I have had a similar problem with my kids' unit. In ours it appears that there is a metal brace in the game slot that has gotten warped. We must have left it in the car too many times. Anyway it didn't allow the games to drop completely into the slot and the machine wouldn't work. My redneck solution was to use a playing card to push the brace out of the way while putting in the game, and then removing the game. Works OK now.
I have the same issue with two of these units, and I find that leaving
the power cable unplugged, plug the cart in, then plug the power in,
sometimes it works. Sometimes you have to repeat this many times before
it starts working. I am guessing it is a problem with the little card
slot inside the unit, but not sure. Would be nice to have a better fix
for this. Cleaning might help like retrocache said (maybe I will try that myself).
Here is wild stab in the dark
the Vtech is a cart based game
sometimes the contacts that are at the end of the cartridge and the hole in the machine may get a little dirt in them and stop the game from playing.
if you open the slot in the machine and blow in the slot you may dislodge any dirt
you can do this with the cartridge as well
if this fails you may want to clean the contacts with a cotton cloth with 100% alcohol (or CD lens cleaner)
I hope this helps.
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There are problems with the power adaptors. Did you use a VSmile power adaptor, or something that just seemed to fit the unit? Using the wrong power adaptor (like unknowingly plugging a Leapfrog power adaptor) into the unit can cause damage to the Vsmile Board.
Push and hold the power (smile) button for one minute, then install fresh batteries. if it powers back up, then try:
Dirty Smartridges (the game cartridges) are to blame for about 90% of VTech Vsmile products not powering up.
In some instances, the cartridge slot on the unit itself can become damaged and will cause no power up.
Kids (of all ages) can dirty a smartridge in less than a second, and render the whole system dead.
We had the same problem. Put alcohol on a q-tip. Pull back the plastic sleeve on the Smartridge (game) and clean both sides of the metal contact. Insert the Smartridge into the Smartridge slot and remove quickly. Then insert Smatrige and turn on the power.
I did this to all of the games and now it works like new!
Make sure the system is off before inserting any cartrdiges.
Things you can try to get the V.Smile TV Learning System to work: 1)Press the Reset – Press and hold the ON button for about 10 seconds 2)Make sure the game is inserted far enough into the system, and that it is pointing in the right direction.You may occasionally need to clean the contacts. 3)Also, make sure you are using the supplied power cord/adapter, not batteries.Batteries cause more problems than they’re worth.
-Tha Mp3 Doctor
HI! Have a few ideas for you. First, are the batteries brand new never used good batteries? Also, are you sure they are in the correct way? If so, try to reset the system. Unplug all cords from the Vsmile. Then, for a full timed minute, press down BOTH buttons on the front of the console. After the minute, plug everything back in and try to power it up. If this does not work for you, please contact Vtech Customer support. You can reach them at 18005212010. Hope you find this helpful! Good luck! :)
Do you still have your receipt? You could try to echange it at the store. Vsmile is coming out with a newer slightly different handheld model you could try. Though, we have a vsmile for the home and a leapster as a handheld game. Which both of my children have loved. Have you tried calling Vtech about the problem? I've had to call before about the home unit and they were very helpful. (Incedently, I have had problems with that, so if you ever do here's a helpful tip: Reset the machine by unplugging EVERY cord and pressing the two front buttons together for one full timed minute! We were having problems with a power issue and this solved it) They may be just as helpful as Leapster's Leap Frog company and send you a replacement! Once on a long car trip my daughter got sick in the car, while playing, so needless to say the game system got it too. And when I called Vtech about what to do, they sent a replacement! Try calling Vtech and see. You never know! Good luck!! :)