Guitar Hero Again – Dongle fix

(Dongle fix story, and Dongle Fix Directions at the bottom.)

Lately I’ve felt like revisting Guitar Hero. It’s been a long time. We first finally bought into the franchise on the Wii with Guitar Hero III Legends of Rock. I really liked that game.

We got GH World Tour next.

Then we got heavier into PlayStation than Wii, got the whole band kit for GH WT PS3 … and within a month the drums died and DH promised to bring it back to BB and exchange it, but never did, and I have no idea what happened to that, and the microphone eventually fell apart from little kids banging on it with no use for it but that (I couldn’t stand singing with GH WT, it wouldn’t give me points for doing it even one iota different from what was the original singer, so my own style was poo-poo’d and that sucks since sometimes even it was just MY OWN VOICE replicating the original singer but with my own voice, not a style, just copying “their way” and it would deduct points … ick. Forget it. I’m a great singer and since it wouldn’t recognize me … what’s new? Nothing.

Anyhow, forget WT I didn’t like the whole game anyhow, I really liked Legends of Rock. We picked up a used copy of PS3 GH III Legends of Rock a couple of years ago. I also have the Aerosmith GH but haven’t actually played it (as far as I can remember, like I may have … but not more than put the game in …)

So the other day we pulled out PS3 GH III and the WT Guitar and dongle for it. Plug the usb of the dongle in and … nothing. Par for the course. It always was trouble after not very long of having it.

So the first time anyone played in this session, it was my 13 year old daughter, she used a PS3 dualshock controller to play the songs. She didn’t like it, but got better at it soon. Later I had batteries finally useful for the guitar, and I gave it another go with the dongle. Miraculously it finally turned on. My daughter played with the WT guitar and it worked for her.

So yesterday I finally got my chance to play, felt like playing too, so I got out the dongle and … nothing. I #%#@!!@%!$%@$%&!!!!! with it for hours it seemed. All in all I think I did indeed wasted nearly an hour before I got it to light up. I had trouble with the guitar then, finally found the right battery stuff and had it linked. Started the game and found I only had named my band “BAND” ha ha ha. Must have been a frustrating day those long years ago. So I crank it up and start with Slow Ride. I didn’t do so swell. Lets put it this way. I wasn’t that bad, only had lost my “Medium” edge, just need to re-tune it. Long ago I started GH and used EASY, and got through the game. Then I started over perfecting each song (nearly each song) on Medium, and loved it that way. I intended to go to HARD but didn’t (for whatever reason) and then WT came about and that whole game was like a joke to me, I liked some of it, but man …

So that’s when we also switched to PS3 with GH WT and left the Wii behind. Left GH behind mostly too. Resurgence of GH III later, but not for too long, then we just let it all sit and gather dust.

So there I was playing GH III on my old GH “BAND” profile and with one song under my belt I moved to a second song in the first sections, a few notes in, my guitar was unresponsive, totally …. what??????? Both dongle and guitar were lit up like connected.

So I wasted a bunch more time, fiddling with it all. If I unplugged the dongle to reset the connecting, guess what? It wouldn’t turn back on. I go so sick of it. I had been blowing into the usb ports to warm it up, used my scrapbooking heat gun too. It didn’t work, or did, eventually I got it back on. And my guitar still was unresponsive.

I took it all downstairs to my “office” then. Get away from the Wi-Fi signal that was right there in that other room, and try it on a newer PS3 (like mine in the office is.) Trials galore, no dongle light. So I started more searching online than I had been doing already and found a video of a guy folding paper and cutting it to fit inside the Guitar neck. So I ripped out a piece of notebook paper and folded it up and got the neck of the guitar off, put in the paper and re-inserted the neck. Really tight, but it all went back together. OK, would that fix it? Who knows. The Dongle was still not working.

I put it in the freezer for 10 minutes. Nothing. Heated it. Nothing. Let it sit plugged in for 15 or more minutes. Nothing. Restart PS3. Many times. It was so testy, it was simply more than a pain in the.

Dongle Fix: the Story

Finally I did the only thing that I could figure out. OK, where are the screws. I’m taking this thing apart.

I did.

With the case off of it I looked at it, looked fine, smelled fine. Nothing lose, worn, or anything. Plugged it into my PS3 downstairs like that, the light was part of the button, loose in the case, just held in place, I couldn’t tell if it was connecting without it, so I carefully put the top onto it and voila! It instantly lit up! Yeah! So I had the top on, little poles slide into the circuitboard, so it’s held on secure enough. Anyhow, So now I played through GH III the first two sections and lost my battle against Tom M. Yes, I don’t care. I was able to play, the paper in the guitar neck seems to have worked. I guess I need to test it all without the paper now.

So I played a whole new game, never had played GH on that machine and I didn’t even think to put my save file in the cloud. All in all it’s OK since I really don’t mind beating it again. Not that I beat it already. No. I’m two sections in, just need to beat Tom M. and then I’ll have my more favorite songs to practice on.

So I played the two sections with no hitches. Then I quit, brought the dongle and guitar upstairs and asked my daughter if she wanted to play then. Yes. OK, let’s see … yes, instant dongle light up. Guitar worked. Awesome!

I had her unplug the dongle when she was done and put it in a drawer. This morning I pulled it out and quickly plugged it in, it lit up right away! I brought it down to my other PS3 and repeated my success.

I decided to put the bottom and screws and feet back on it. I didn’t over tighten, just enough. Sure enough, it still works. I tried it on both machines … instant light.

I didn’t do anything but take the feet off, take the screws out, take the bottom off, pry the circuit board off the poles in the top of the dongle case. It wasn’t anything about taking it apart that needed to be done. I’m guessing it’s the button, maybe it sits funny and that’s why, but simply replacing it makes it work solidly again. Works for me.

I have nothing against taking things apart (love doing that anyhow!)

Directions to fix GH Dongle to light up every time you plug it in!

So if you have a GH dongle and it won’t light up, try taking it apart. Pry off the sticky black dot feet, I used a T6 screwdriver to unscrew the 4 screws. Take the bottom and top (case) off. The circuit board is on poles connected to the top, just wiggle the board up to get it off. The button fits into a slot there, it’s easy enough to put it back together. If the dongle works when opened up, it just may work when put back together, as it did for me. Reverse the process to put it back together.

6 thoughts on “Guitar Hero Again – Dongle fix

  1. I have been having many problems with my GH guitar. Got a GH guitar and three games for Christmas and the dongle it up and connected to the guitar and it worked. But the strum bar immediately started screwing up. Every time I hit it down it would only sometimes activate. Then it stopped working completely. So I sent it back and bought a GH guitar and single brand new. Plugged in the dongle and turned it on and the red light flashed and flashed and didn’t stay a continuous light. I turn on the guitar and the red light on it constantly blinks and flashes. Tried changing the batteries, ordered a new dongle but I’m almost 100% it won’t work. If anyone could help I’d greatly appreciate it.

    1. This original article is referring to the old GH system … if you are talking about the new GH Live … then I don’t know about any problems with it yet. (I have it but haven’t turned it on yet.)

      The old system, the dongle is a box connected to a usb plug-in … it wouldn’t work at all most of the time until I did the fix I talked about in the post above, and it’s been solid every since. Haven’t had a strum problem either, nor a problem with connecting once I took apart that dongle and fixed it.

  2. I’ve had a non working dongle lying around for a year. I tried activision support which was a complete joke, they basically told me to Google it. I tried your trick and it worked! Thanks

  3. I’m having problems getting my Warriors of Rock guitar to connect to its dongle on the PS3. The lights work on both, but no connection. Tried following the instructions. Nothing. When I plugged it into my PC I noticed it was called “Spyro Portal” in the Devices and Printers window. So two part question. 1) Can I fix the connection issue? And 2) Is the Spyro Portal part of the issue?

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