Computers & Electronics

Why do USB CABLES stop working for PC connectivity / charging?

  • Last Updated:
  • Jun 1st, 2018 12:20 am
[OP]
Sr. Member
Apr 29, 2010
899 posts
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London

Why do USB CABLES stop working for PC connectivity / charging?

I've gone through maybe 15 usb cables (USB2.0 micro b) over the years. I only use them to connect my phone to my PC. The cables stop working by either not connecting to my Windows PC but can still charge the phone or it stops working altogether unable to charge or connect to the pc. The moment i swap the cable with a NEWLY PURCHASED cable everything is fine again so please no comments like Windows driver or "viruses". Sheesh.

Can someone explain to me what is happening with the cable for it to consistently devolve to this state? Is there a type of USB cable i should be buying, for instance heavier gauge, metals, brands, a more robust socket connector? I want a cable to last for years enabling me to charge and connect to my pc. Is that too much to ask?!

Thanks
12 replies
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rosario99 wrote:
May 27th, 2018 6:53 pm
(USB2.0 micro b)
That's the problem right there. USB micro B sucks. It's an OK design for a device that's designed to be plugged in once and left that way for years. But for a device that gets connected and disconnected several times per day, forget it. Too weak of a design. The claim of "10,000 connect-disconnect cycles" and "better than USB mini" is a complete joke in my experience.

There was a brand of USB rechargeable bike light that had a micro B connector. I had two of them and both failed in the first 6 months and would no longer charge. The third one they sent me under warranty was redesigned with a USB Mini B connector. Still going strong.
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[OP]
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Apr 29, 2010
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Kiraly wrote:
May 27th, 2018 7:11 pm
That's the problem right there. USB micro B sucks. It's an OK design for a device that's designed to be plugged in once and left that way for years. But for a device that gets connected and disconnected several times per day, forget it. Too weak of a design. The claim of "10,000 connect-disconnect cycles" and "better than USB mini" is a complete joke in my experience.

There was a brand of USB rechargeable bike light that had a micro B connector. I had two of them and both failed in the first 6 months and would no longer charge. The third one they sent me under warranty was redesigned with a USB Mini B connector. Still going strong.
Ahh so the connector design is flawed. Hmmmm.
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Feb 6, 2003
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Where are you getting your cables? The only issues I've had with them are when they're twisted/bent for a long period of time. I rarely plug them into the PC though since it charges slower and files can be transferred wirelessly.
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Mar 6, 2005
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rosario99 wrote:
May 27th, 2018 7:29 pm
Ahh so the connector design is flawed. Hmmmm.
Yeah basically depending how rough you are with it, it bends/stretches the micro side out so the pins only make partial/no-contact which is why it may still charge but not work for data (the Power PINS are still making contact).
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Feb 4, 2018
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Kiraly wrote:
May 27th, 2018 7:11 pm
That's the problem right there. USB micro B sucks. It's an OK design for a device that's designed to be plugged in once and left that way for years. But for a device that gets connected and disconnected several times per day, forget it. Too weak of a design. The claim of "10,000 connect-disconnect cycles" and "better than USB mini" is a complete joke in my experience.

There was a brand of USB rechargeable bike light that had a micro B connector. I had two of them and both failed in the first 6 months and would no longer charge. The third one they sent me under warranty was redesigned with a USB Mini B connector. Still going strong.
Agree 100%. They were insane to claim that Micro-USB was better than Mini-USB.

I will add that I've seen the way most people plug in their Micro-USB cables. I'm actually shocked they last for more than 6 months, considering they jam them in at 45 degree angles, and start jingling them inside the connectors.

At least USB-C is a step up, and eventually that horrible Micro-USB can die the forgotten death it deserves.
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Poutsounia wrote:
May 30th, 2018 2:16 am
I will add that I've seen the way most people plug in their Micro-USB cables. I'm actually shocked they last for more than 6 months, considering they jam them in at 45 degree angles, and start jingling them inside the connectors.
lol.. I almost laughed out hard at work. My wife does this and she doesn't understand why the cables break. One time, the USB port on her phone stopped being recognized on the computer but it was still able to charge. She also sometimes bends cables more than 90 degrees and just holds it there with pressure.
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ds2chan wrote:
May 30th, 2018 10:29 am
lol.. I almost laughed out hard at work. My wife does this and she doesn't understand why the cables break. One time, the USB port on her phone stopped being recognized on the computer but it was still able to charge. She also sometimes bends cables more than 90 degrees and just holds it there with pressure.
*facepalm*

Yes you have no idea how many phones I've seen with busted ports like that. Sometimes you can "fix" them by bending the outer portion of the metal back to position, then they'll work for another 4 - 6 months.
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The BB Playbook was notorious for it's charge port failing and BB's answer was it was designed that way that's why we have the fast charger option...
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Well, since the OP stated that a new cable works it's obviously the cable that's the problem not the micro connector on the PC (or device).

I assume the USB cables come from the dollar store or equivalent - the wire gauge of those is incredibly thin and the wire to plug connectivity very poor.

I buy my USB cables from monoprice or the Canadian equivalent - not that much more money but much, much better quality, these cables last for years even if they are plugged in and out every few days (charging a cell phone).
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Poutsounia wrote:
May 30th, 2018 2:16 am
Agree 100%. They were insane to claim that Micro-USB was better than Mini-USB.

I will add that I've seen the way most people plug in their Micro-USB cables. I'm actually shocked they last for more than 6 months, considering they jam them in at 45 degree angles, and start jingling them inside the connectors.

At least USB-C is a step up, and eventually that horrible Micro-USB can die the forgotten death it deserves.
I've had multiple micro USB cables for my phone and other devices for many years and are still perfectly fine. Maybe the way you guys use it is wrong.
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rubikas001 wrote:
May 31st, 2018 11:16 pm
I've had multiple micro USB cables for my phone and other devices for many years and are still perfectly fine. Maybe the way you guys use it is wrong.
Not me but that's because I make sure to plug it the proper way.

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