Your USB cable could be killing your computer

What’s the worst thing that can happen when you come across a bad USB cable? Slower charging speeds, no support for data transfer, broken cables at worst? That’s what we thought, until we chanced upon this post by Google engineer Benson Leung.

your usb cable


The cable was so bad he left a 1-star review on Amazon, where he bought the $9.99 cable: “DANGER. PELIGRO. BAD CABLE. PLEASE DO NOT BUY THIS.”

The product was a Surtech’s 3M USB A-to-C cable, and Leung lost 3 devices to the cable, including his precious Google Pixel C chromebook. He attached the wire to a 12W wall charger, and as soon as he plugged in the cable, his devices stopped working in what he described as “permanent damage”. In his words,

No amount of software recovery could revive the EC. Upon closer analysis, serious damage has been done to components related to charging and managing the USB Type-C port’s capabilities.

Pixel's type C USB port
Pixel’s type C USB port

After a tear-down, he discovered that the 5V VBbus pin was attached to Ground on the other end, instantly shorting the cable. The cable also did not conform to USB 3.1 standards, unlike what was advertised. Simply put, it was a normal USB 2.0 cable fitted with a blue USB port.

Blue USB 3.0 port
Blue USB 3.0 port

Our condolences to the Pixel C which sacrificed itself for the greater good of USB C, but in all honesty, how did Surtech even manage to push out such a failure?

What are your thoughts on this post? Will you adopt the USB C standard or wait for it to mature? Do leave your comments and tell us what you think!

Source: Amazon ReviewGoogle+ Post

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