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Released on June 23, 1996, Model NUS-001, 64-bit gaming console

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Why is my well kept N64 system starting to shut off?

Hello all!

One of my most prized possessions started acting up this week. My nintendo 64 has started to shut off on its own not long after I start playing games. I have removed a few of the possible problems with a few different tests. It is not a TV issue as this problem happened on 2 different tvs. I do not use an adapter to switch between several A/V devices. I am plugged right into the TV.

It is not a specific game as this happens with all games. I gave my system the basic cleaning with compressed air which helped nothing. Here is where things get interesting. When the system "shuts off" I lose all sound and the picture. The red light DOES NOT turn off. This led me to believe it was an audio video cable problem. I noticed for the first time today though that after waiting a bit, the game will sometimes come back on and shut off again.

The red light always stays on. The game itself starts form the beginning again every time the picture goes away which means its not just the signal to the TV I am losing, but the system itself is restarting every time. My next plan is to track down another power cable and see if it helps. I haven't found anyone who has one yet though. I might end up buying one. If this doesn't work though I will be completely stumped.

Any advice would be appreciated.

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I had the exactly the same problem. I unplugged the power adapter from the n64, plugged it back in, unplugged it, plugged it back in like 10-15 times, worked like a charm. I don't know why this worked, maybe the pins oxidised with time?

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Wow this actually worked, thanks.

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this worked!! thank you!!!

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Worked like a charm, thank you!

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Worked for me too, my N64 was only running up to 15 minutes before trying this, hasn't happened since.

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If its shutting off at a common length of time from cold, then its probably something to do with IC's overheating or maybe power supply. Maybe try blowing a fan on it while using it and see if it lasts longer. If it does its definitely heat related. In that case it won't be the power supply cable. The problem would be related to items on the motherboard, maybe the capacitors. Its also possible that the heat sink is not attached well enough anymore and it might be a good idea to reseed that. Let me know what happens from there.

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It's tough to say for sure if the fan is helping because the time in which the system shuts off can be quite random. It has lasted as long as 20 minutes before going black but it has also happened within 4. I tried it twice today (with the fan). The first time it lasted about 5 minutes, the second time it lasted about 2. I have an out of town friend who is supposed to bring me his N64 power cable to test. He will only be down in 2 weeks though sadly. I will update as soon as I test the cable.

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How long was it between those tests? did you let the unit cool 100%(it would probably take an hour+ to do so) If not try it again and see how long it takes without a fan. Then let it cool for atleast an hour if not 2, then try it with a fan. If the fan increases the time it lasts you are dealing with something failing due to overheating. So its either caps or heatsink.

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I have no idea if its my game or my system... I bought a super mario 64 game and i started to play it... racing koopa the quick and BAM! it reset to the loading screen... Is it because its a japanese game and i changed the back on it to play it on my console or just the system?

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Have you diagnosed the jumper pak / expansion pak?

Expansion paks are known for resetting the system randomly (ESPECIALLY 3rd party ones)! due to overheating. Try using the original jumper pak (not expansion pak)? When it overheats, the systems goes black, then it cools and the system reboots..

The console gives a “black screen of death” if the jumper pak isn’t seated perfectly. If it’s loose or corroded at all, the system will just go black, with the red light still on..

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