Wonky USB ports on a laptop

I was gonna put this in Lucy’s laptop thread, but it seems too off-topic. I’ve had an Acer laptop for a couple years. A couple of the USB ports (it has 3 ports on it) have developed problems. If there is lateral movement of the USB cable in the port, the device often disconnects and reconnects. It’s a real hassle when I’m writing to an external drive or, even worse, when I’m using the laptop for live music performance using a USB audio interface and USB controllers. So, some questions:

  1. I don’t think I’ve been particularly hard on the connectors. Is this a generic problem with laptop USB ports or are Acer USB ports particularly bad? Are there other brands that are particularly bad?
  2. Does anyone use any strain relief product on laptop USB connections? Which ones? Do they work well?

USB A or C?

I know several people whose hardware had developed wonky USB-C ports.

(Mostly phones, but also laptops.)

My phone did for sure, though it was a micro port, not a USB

If one is still good you can find a USB multi connector if you need to connect a few devices at once. I needed that on a older computer that had only one port

I usually replace my laptop before any of the parts fail, most of the time it gets obsolete before that happens. I don’t think they are designed to last very long.

I do think they are repairable, maybe you can get yours repaired.

I"m still thinking about how to do some sort of strain relief on this. It’s easy on the other end of the USB cable, where I am now converting to Neutrik USB connectors (NAUSB-W | Neutrik), but there’s no way to do that on the laptop itself. So I was thinking maybe of trying to fabricate something that would enclose both the USB cable connector and part of the laptop to keep it all more steady. Maybe 3D print something or mold something, but I don’t know much about how to go about doing either of these. Does anyone have a suggestion on how to do this?

You’re going to do all of that instead of just buying a new laptop?
Or are you going to do all that, and then buy a new laptop?:relaxed:

But really, if you have one usb port that’s good, buy a usb splitter and plug everything into that.

A problem is that this laptop isn’t just sitting stationary on a desk where it is easy to keep cabling straight and organized. It is also used on a small stand on a crowded stage where the computer and the cabling can get bumped around some. I think that’s how the ports got wonky in the first place and my thought is that not addressing the strain relief will just cause this to recur with any new PC. That’s why I’m looking for something to support the connection.

nobody here’s an engineer. Anything you try I think will.likely be way too much work for very uncertain benefit.
Really, if you must fix it somehow, do the usb splitter thing and hot glue or double side tape the splitter to the top of the case. That’s the solution your looking for that doesn’t require 3d printing.

Otherwise, you’re not looking for a solution, you’re looking for an excuse to buy a 3d printer.

And lemme say, I get the fascination with not letting hardware die. I was doing a whole bunch of convoluted server hardware stuff a while ago to resuscitate a server that was ‘fine otherwise’. I asked my dev, and his response was ‘the server is end of life. Just let it rest in peace already’. So I bought a new one and discarded the old one. Not nearly as satisfying, but it’s behind me now.