When All Else Fails…

…change the cable.

A few days ago, my Nokia Lumia 800 phone suddenly refused to connect to my PC for synchronising. I’d plug it in, but nothing would happen – Windows would not react to the connection, the Zune software would not start, zilch. And when I disconnected the phone, Windows would give me an error saying: “USB device not recognized”. However, the phone would still charge via the connecting cable, so at least something was happening.

So I searched the web for this error and got lots of advice. Mostly involving uninstalling and re-installing the Zune software on the PC and doing a hard reset on the phone (which loses all my information on the phone).

I followed all of this, without any resolution of the problem. I even installed the Zune software on another PC and tried connecting the phone there. Still the same error.

Right, this then meant that there were two possibilities:

  • Either the phone was faulty, or
  • the connecting cable was faulty.

Not having a spare micro-USB cable handy, I decided to buy a new cable, at – gulp – €24.95. It arrived today. With some trepidation, I plugged it in and voilá – synchronisation began.

So the moral of the story is that even with modern electronic devices it can still be simply a  faulty cable that causes the problem.

About Geoff Coupe

I'm a British citizen, although I have lived and worked in the Netherlands since 1983. I came here on a three year assignment, but fell in love with the country, and one Dutchman in particular, and so have stayed here ever since. On the 13th December 2006 I also became a Dutch citizen.
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2 Responses to When All Else Fails…

  1. boma23 says:

    HI Geoff,
    Bad/cheap USB cables are a surprisingly common source of issues, and I’ve learnt to swap them first of all in any situation. Have had customers bringing in “dead” external hard drives, that weren’t reading properly, or at all, until the cheap USB cable was swapped for another… have also seen bad USB cables stopping PCs from booting when plugged in as well!

    • Geoff Coupe says:

      Yes, you’re right, but the trouble was that the bad cable was the Nokia cable that came with the phone. In this particular case it was not cheap, but turned out to be bad after 8 months of use…

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