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NES Blinking Red Light

From a recent NES repair blog article, a viewer posted the following question:

"Most of the time when I turn on my NES, the red light on the power button blinks on and off with the tv screen blinking solid white to solid black. This doesn't always happen. Sometimes I can play a game, but the blinking is pretty consistent. What can I do?"

- Jeff, Ft. Worth, TX

Well Jeff, and those of you with an NES blinking light, fortunately the solution simple to boot! A little history lesson before we get to the solution. When the good folks at Nintendo designed the NES console, they put a lot of thought and effort into being able to keep them working down the road. With that in mind, they built diagnostic indicators into the system. Namely, the blinking light on the front of the NES, and the dreaded solid colored screen of doom! Again, these symptoms are really indicators that are trying to communicate a message. Here is what the NES would say if it could talk:

Blinking red light -> NES says, "Umm, did you already put the game in or what? I can't even tell anything is in there! Oh my god, I can't feel my 72 pin connector! Please, oh please get me a new 72 pin connector!"

Solid colored screen -> NES says, "Wow, would you put a dirty game like that inside of you? Didn't think so. Why am I any different? Just clean your NES games already, I don't want to hear your excuses!"

Or, check out our DIY video on How to Fix the NES Blinking Light, which utilizes the parts from our NES Repair Kit:
If you are still confused, you can always send us your original NES system to have us repair it for you. We are happy to help, and as always, happy gaming!


Blinking red light (9/2/2011 4/21/2019 11:16:00 PM)
Hey. I just bought a NES from a Goodwill. I tried turning it on WITHOUT a game in the slot, and it still flashed red! Does that mean the it's broken beyond repair? o-o

Livin4jesus - :P
Blinking (9/16/2011 4/21/2019 8:59:00 AM)
Yeah me too , Guess we better buy a game at good will and find out ...its just $1 ,my sys cost $5 with everything

FanBoy - Florida
@Livin4jesus (10/17/2011 4/21/2019 2:33:00 PM)
No, your NES is not broken. You can't just turn the thing on and expect it not to do that. You HAVE to have a game in there in order for it to work.

gabey - k
can you help me (1/1/2012 4/21/2019 6:06:00 PM)
i got a Nintendo Entertainment System with 45 games off of eBay. when i plug it in and press the power button, the light doesn't turn on

steven - massachusetts
Blinking & then some (1/5/2012 4/21/2019 7:51:00 PM)
My brother replaced the 72pin connector a few years ago, and never used the NES much since then. The carts fit in nice and snugly, but when you turn on the NES, you get both the blinking red light and blinking screen. The game title begins to slide to the middle from the sides and stops before it gets there, and starts this maddness all over again in a cycle of text movement. Any suggestions?

Alex - USA
New 72 pin and still blinking (5/26/2012 4/21/2019 6:20:00 PM)
Ok. I ordered and replaced the 72 pin connector. I still get the blinking red light and screen using a variety of different game carts. What else causes the blinking red light?

Mike - Richmond, VA USA
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