Not necessarily. When the cable to my top screen became partially torn, it prevented the DS from powering up. Instead, the green light briefly lit up and then went out and the machine stayed off. I can only presume that feedback is required from the screen. As for the bottom screen, I'm unsure of how the DS behaves when the screen or cable is damaged.
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Hello there! First of all let me tell you that your nintendo ds can be repaired and it is not trash... what you need is to get the bottom screen to be repaired ....you can do it sending it to the nintendo repair shop or by doing it yourself by following this youtube guide http://www.youtube.com/user/nintendorepair.
This is basically due to a faulty screen. Depending on which screen flashes white when you first turn the DS on, this tells you which screen is faulty. If the bottom screen flashes then it is the top screen that is faulty. If the top screen flashes then it is the bottom screen that is faulty. Screens are fairly easy to fit although the top screen is the harder out of the two, you can buy them off of ebay for around £10 and if you google DS screen replacement there are some good guides out there showing you how to do it.
It could also be a bad top screen due to a bad ribbon cable. If your hinge is cracked it could cause damage to the ribbon cable that passes through it, this shorts out the top screen and will shut the DS down
Try removing the motherboard from the screens and attach the battery the green light should turn on and stay on.
Now attach the lower screen and turn on. If the screen is ok the screen and green light will flash and then turn off. (if the screen doesn't flash the bottom screen is you're problem and will have to be replaced)
If this happens the problem is then you're top screen which you will have to replace.