Did you ever blow on your game cartridges?

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JCTango

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#1  Edited By JCTango


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JCTango

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#2  Edited By JCTango

When I was a kid, we used to play video games on game cartridges, not CD's, DVD's, or downloads :). For some magical reason, whenever we encountered problems in starting a game up, we would take out the cartridge, blow on it (sometimes multiple times), reinsert it, and ta-da, it worked! Now, I never really used this trick on my SNES or Genesis systems, or even my Sega Master System, but the NES carts got a good working almost every time I tried to pop one in.

I've never really understood why this method seemed to work out a lot... it just didn't make sense to me how miniscule amounts of dust/carbon would cause a game cartridge to malfunction. Over the years however, I noticed that some of the games that I'd blow on would need even more blowing in order to work correctly :/... I think the damage that the moisture from blowing on it built up (could you imagine the damage done to the rental cartridges?!).

Did you used to blow on your old gaming cartridges? Did you have any other tricks to get them to work correctly?

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Marcsman

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#3  Edited By Marcsman

Yep since the good old Atari 2600 days.

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Okari

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#4  Edited By Okari

First I would blow on it, and if that didn't work I would put it under my shirt and blow through my shirt. That worked most of the time, but on those rare occasions, I would blow and then just slam it into the SNES. Worked every time.

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SadPatrol

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#5  Edited By SadPatrol

duh

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mac_n_nina

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#6  Edited By mac_n_nina

I would blow on it and then slam it down.

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PeasantAbuse

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#7  Edited By PeasantAbuse

Yup, never owned a NES though.

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thellama042

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#8  Edited By thellama042

Hell, I still blow on CDs/DVDs when they don't work lol. "Is that dust? *blows* That should do it."

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matthias2437

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#9  Edited By matthias2437

Obviously I did, I wanted it to work. Had to blow in the cartridge 4 times, blow in the console twice, put in the game, start the system without the game pushed down, turn off, push down game, turn on. Worked every time.

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Koobasta

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#10  Edited By Koobasta

And if that didn't work, I'd put rubbing alcohol on a q-tip and clean the surfaces. I don't know which of my silly friends suggested this, but it seemed to work at the time. Also did the trick when the cartridge was already inserted into the NES, I'd tap it so that it goes up and down (since it's still a little loose even inserted) and turn the system off/on when a particular game was giving me problems.

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smiteofhand

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#11  Edited By smiteofhand

The original NES model (NES-001) had a chip that would detect and not play illegitimate cartridges to try and prevent bootlegs and non-licensed carts from being used. Tengen and other companies found ways around it, however a flaw of the chip is from time to time it would incorrectly detect a valid cartridge as invalid and refuse to play the game. Made worse if the cartridge was dirty, hence the cleaning improving the chance of it working. By taking the cartridge out, blowing, and putting it back in you would reseat where the pins are and take another shot at the chip, hopefully this time making it actually work. The blowing step did absolutely nothing except deposit some saliva in and on the cart. The top-loader (NES-101) either had this chip removed entirely or was much better designed (I can't recall) as the problem never occurs on it.

Sorry to crush your nostalgia.

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fugie7

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#12  Edited By fugie7

of course i did. it's to get all the dust of out it. to make it work.

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Hunter5024

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#13  Edited By Hunter5024

Dragged my n64 out of the garage the other day so I could play some Donkey Kong 64. Tried turning it on four times and it wouldn't work. Then I remembered the old trick and finally got it going. It was awesome.

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TheHumanDove

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#14  Edited By TheHumanDove

Yes. Because...you had to.

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MrKlorox

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#15  Edited By MrKlorox

How else are you gonna get NES games to work?

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#16  Edited By MightyDuck

Yep! Blew into my NES and Genesis cartridges all the time to get them to work.

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Jrinswand

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#17  Edited By Jrinswand

Why make this a poll? There's only one conceivable answer.

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Patman99

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#18  Edited By Patman99

@mac_n_nina said:

I would blow on it and then slam it down.

Yeah! I would do that and then always have this weird ritual on how to actually push down the cart and close the lid. I swear every time I did not follow my patented 42 point inspection, the damn game wouldn't play.

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smiteofhand

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#19  Edited By smiteofhand

Goddamnit. I see drudging this topic back up in an attempt to inform was a huge mistake.

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Zajtalan

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#20  Edited By Zajtalan

uhhhh , who didn't?

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zombiepenguin9

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#21  Edited By zombiepenguin9

I actually had a cleaning kit with different brushes for the different sized carts, with cleaning solution, etc. Probably still have that somewhere, actually.

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Korolev

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#22  Edited By Korolev

Everyone who played games in the early 90s did. Cartridges would get dusty, especially since we never put them back in the box, but just left them lying in the drawers. Blowing into the cartridge would get the dust out - right? Isn't that how that works?

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falserelic

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#23  Edited By falserelic

I hit no by accident. For a second I thought the title said blow up game cartridges. But yes I use to blow out the sega genesis cartridges.

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JCTango

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#24  Edited By JCTango

@SmiteOfHand said:

The original NES model (NES-001) had a chip that would detect and not play illegitimate cartridges to try and prevent bootlegs and non-licensed carts from being used. Tengen and other companies found ways around it, however a flaw of the chip is from time to time it would incorrectly detect a valid cartridge as invalid and refuse to play the game. Made worse if the cartridge was dirty, hence the cleaning improving the chance of it working. By taking the cartridge out, blowing, and putting it back in you would reseat where the pins are and take another shot at the chip, hopefully this time making it actually work. The blowing step did absolutely nothing except deposit some saliva in and on the cart. The top-loader (NES-101) either had this chip removed entirely or was much better designed (I can't recall) as the problem never occurs on it.

Sorry to crush your nostalgia.

This actually makes sense to me. When my friend first did that to his NES carts, I was perplexed as to why doing it would get the game to work... the saliva stuff didn't help either. At home I hardly blew on the carts unless I felt like I really had to. Instead I'd sometimes put the cart in without pushing it all the way in, and it would work.

My other cart systems, like the Genesis, SNES, and SMS didn't need this blowing procedure.

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AndrewB

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#25  Edited By AndrewB

They said not to, but it was the only thing that worked for a kid without access to rubbing alcohol to clean the contacts.

I also bought one of those stupid NES cleaning carts as a gullible kid.

There was literally no way to play an older game without doing so.

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kmdrkul

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#26  Edited By kmdrkul

@mac_n_nina said:

I would blow on it and then slam it down.

lmao, same here. Although outside the video game cartridge context, that phrase just sounds... odd.

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awadnin

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#27  Edited By awadnin

Who didn't :)

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deactivated-5a46aa62043d1

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@thellama042 said:

Hell, I still blow on CDs/DVDs when they don't work lol. "Is that dust? *blows* That should do it."

Yeeep. I even blow on my disks before I put them in. Probably just out of a very long habit I guess.

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Wong_Fei_Hung

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#29  Edited By Wong_Fei_Hung

Never, always used a cotton bud.

27th anniversary today.

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RenMcKormack

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#30  Edited By RenMcKormack

My friend's older brother said that you could put a NES tape in a plastic bag and run up and down the stairs with it to get it to work....we were suckers.

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MyNiceIceLife

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#31  Edited By MyNiceIceLife

it was a requirement wasn't it?

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Kerned

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#32  Edited By Kerned

Obviously! And I blow in my DVDs and Blue-rays when they don't work, too.

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#33  Edited By Tim_the_Corsair

I only blew on a NES cartridge once. Let's just say I was sitting close to the TV and ExciteBike inexplicably lived up to its name...

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#34  Edited By Cyrus_Saren

Of course. Even slammed the cartridge in to make it work because doing that made them start a lot quicker. At least, as a kid, I thought that it made them start quicker.

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