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I have intermittent connectivity when putting devices into USB sockets, as if there is a poor connection.
Can I / should I attempt to clean the external - easy / internal - difficult / visible surfaces of the 'contacts' ?
If so what with - i.e. purple meths, clear meths, proprietory contact cleaner, spray ? or stuff a thin rag inside and wobble it around ?
I've been cautioned against using a can of aerosol compressed air anywhere near a computer due to the possibity of damage due to static building up on the end of the thin plastic tube that these cans use, or suck dust off with a vacuum cleaner for the same reason, and was advised to go to the local garage and use their metal tipped tyre inflating compressor - with caution ! - and ensure that I was not wearing rubber soled shoes, but this seems a but like nut and sledgehammer advice.
I do use a small,clean, paint brush to keep dust off the keyboard but how does one keep the USB ports clean and serviceable?
The USB connection problem could be a damaged contact. Have you inspected them with a magnifying glass? Is the problem only apparent with just one cable, or one port? If it's one particular port, it could be a dry joint (cracked solder) behind the port connector. If it's just one USB cable giving problems, it could be a wire broken internally. Have you tried swapping cables or ports?
The static thing has always appeared to me to be a little overblown. Unless you're wearing all-synthetic clothing, or you've been rubbing against synthetic upholstery material, I don't think it's something to be seriously concerned about.
I've always worked on my computers, built them, repaired them and maintained them, and never took any excessive steps to guard against static electricity, such as wrist bands or anti-static shoes. I rarely wear much synthetic clothing though, I own 99% natural fibre clothing.
I find the small brush head on the vacuum cleaner, operated in conjunction with a new, clean, 25mm paintbrush, works just fine on keeping keyboards, computer innards, and connectors clean.
If you think you may have a build-up of some kind that is preventing contact in the USB connectors, I'd be using a cotton bud dipped in an alcohol cleaner. Make sure the power is off to the computer before you commence cleaning operations.
Many thanks, the problem is only with an Asus Eee PC "notebook" of recent purchase, it only has 2 USB ports, one on each side, and both have occasional symptoms of poor connectivity, tho' both always seem to eventually read the device I plug into them, viz. a variety of Flash drives, a camera card reader, and a Vodem - a 3G device to connect to the Internet when WiFi is unavailable.
There's no apparent loose connection that is visible from an outside examination, but I'll try cleaning all the devices I insert and have a go at the innards of the sockets as well.
I have learned to leave stuff plugged into USB sockets i possible they seem very delicate,a good idea would be to standardize the plug from the front panel to the mother board usb socket so they could be changed,the front one on my newish case went TU but I had a couple of older cases that I removed the small front panel and connectors with the idea of replacing the buggad one both had different connectors on em that did not fit the pins on the MB.
Did eventually find a old case in the back lane on bin day and plundered it,front panel USB socket replaced and ok now,waste not want not.
I had problems with my USB ports not long ago, tried everything I could think of to no avail...
Amazingly the fix was incredibly simple. While your laptop is turned on, unplug it from the power supply and take the battery out, leave it to stand for 5mins or so with no battery in. It should 'reboot' your mobo.
All good stuff, I like the idea of a dedicated extension tightened to fit, but the idea of leaving one permanently plugged in only works for something that never leaves home - I do in fact already do that for my mouse connection on a larger laptop that I have stopped carrying around, ( which is the only reason I bought the smaller netbook ) all the 'jiggling' is then absorbed before movement reaches the socket - but rather acts against the idea of carrying a netbook around with a cable hanging off it, one would only need to snag the cable on something that pulls it in the wrong direction, to ruin your day.
The battery removal 'fix' is interesting, I wonder why, maybe their is a surge of current as one reconnects, that makes a better connection ?
don't put any solvent in there, you could damage the plastic "tongue" inside the socket. Just blow it out with compressed air But, in truth unless you have a very hairy cat or have habit of stuffing dirt in the ports then I really don't think dirt is the problem. USB port contacts are designed to be self-cleaning Either you have a machine on which both USB ports have bad connections (bad solder joints maybe) or you have a faulty USB controller chip
You say this is a recent purchase. I believe you have a hardware fault, one that you cannot realistically fix unless you strip it down and solder new ports on - and even then if it is the controller chip, then you won't be able to fix it.
What you need to do is simple Reload the machine to factory settings. If the fault is then still there, take it back and demand either a refund, new machine, or replacement motherboard to be fitted. If the fault goes away, then the problem was due to an imcompatble USB driver that you've installed (very unlikely)
The battery out supposed fix is one I've read many times, for many supposed problems for where the fault is supposed to be due to "static on the motherboard". All I can say is I've tried it for other faults and its been a waste of time. 750XL may have been lucky, but I believe what he experienced was pure chance
Last edited by Milo Minderbinder; 12th Sep 2012 at 22:17.
ExSp33db1rd, I presume you've opened "device manager" and ensured that your USB ports are functioning properly? This is the start point, to eliminate software problems, before you start on it being a hardware problem.
I still reckon this is a software issue. Typical Windows.
Never had any problem on my tablet, plug a memory stick in and it's recognised.
But when I put the same stick in a Windows machine I get all sorts of problems. Usually it is simply no response. Sometimes it is 'Device not recognised' or similar. Have to keep on trying until the stick is recognised. Machines with XP are ok, Windows 7 is really bad.
I suspect that it is a Windows polling issue, it simply gets its timing cycle wrong because it is trying to do too much and messing up the interrupts.
Perhaps it might be a good idea to give the machine time to settle and then shut down all activity before usb plug-in. Use the three-fingered salute (ctl-alt-del) and then kill all activity.
I never seem to get these problems that people complain about with Windows, but then I shut it down each night and switch the mains switch off, which kills everything including the router, that way there is a new copy of windows loaded into ram each day and all the extraneous crud cleared from ram as well.
I always mark memory sticks with the right way up to shove into USB socket,some of the damage to sockets is probably caused by trying to bung the buggah in upside down or groping behind the machine on older kit that did not have front USB sockets.
Location: A Whilom nimble brain. With 31 million posts.
most extraordinary coincidence. I have a Sony 'stick' stuck (ho ho ) in the front of my PC. I back up to it every few minuets while writing. Just after posting on this thread, the Send To on the right click in my explorer, couldn't find the device. I unplugged it and stuck it in again, and away it went.
Cleaning the contacts or whatever, but just a mind-blowing coincidence after not budging it for a couple of years.
Yep, the extended lead with a heavy desk socket is what I use for the 'carry stick'
I've been meaning to do what Tony does for ages. It's been 55 years since I used to carry white paint for dotting customer's telly controls to stop 'em getting in a muddle.
That rubs off, a bottle of red nail polish ( nothing queer about me, Carruthers) from the $1 shop serves a multitude of purposes, comes with a handy little brush attached to the cap, dries quickly, is permanent, marks the top of the USB gadget as described, little red dots on switch rockers and base plates identify whether the immersion heater switch at the back of the cupboard is in or off (make the dots lie closely next to each other when ON) identifies the 10 mm spanner in my tool box - cos that seems to be the most popular size needed ) marks this house door key amongst the zillions of keys I tend to hang on my keyring, and many other handy uses.