Thickness of a USB Cable?

September 4, 2011 at 01:12:09
Specs: Windows 7
Hi Everyone,

I was just wondering if there is a difference between two USB cables having same set of connectors, but having different thickness.

Actually, the USB Cable for my WD 500 GB External Hard Drive got damaged. I tried replacing the cable but no other cable seems to detect the hard drive. Then i got an original cable with the same thickness from a friend and only then my hard drive showed up in My Computer.

So it just had me wondering, does the thickness of a USB Cable matters? if yes how do we measure it ? I mean i just thought that USB Cables were differentiated by their connector types (A,B, Mini etc)

Can anyone shed some light on this? Would be thankful.

P.S. since my friend took his cable back, now i am again searching for a perfectly compatible USB cable for my HD, but haven't found any yet.



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September 4, 2011 at 03:55:45
USB cables are rated by type usb-1, usb-2 & usb-3. The construction determines the maximum speed rating.

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September 4, 2011 at 09:53:35
Sure seems odd. I doubt that is a real usb 3 but might be. I have never had any trouble but some of this stuff is just at the edge of working so it might need a good quality cable to work.

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September 4, 2011 at 19:29:27
The USB cable for an external hard drive (or an external optical drive) must be able to supply 500ma (1/2 amp) of current from the USB port it connects to. Generally, the thicker the USB cable, the more likely the individual wires inside the cable have a thick enough wire gauge to be able to supply that current. If the USB cable is rated for USB 2.0 or higher use, it will have thick enough individual wires for sure.

Also, the USB port you plug the cable into must be able to supply 500ma of current - not all USB ports can.

Troubleshooting USB device problems including for flash drives, external drives, memory cards.
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September 4, 2011 at 20:07:49
I agree, possibly USB 3 but probably the quality of the cable. Either try to get the original cable from WD or just purchase a higher quality cable from a name brand like Cables to Go, etc., some even have a Y at the computer end to allow you to supply more current by using two nearby USB ports. Look:

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