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2.26 or 2.4 GHz / White plastic unibody enclosure

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Faulty / loose USB ports


I have a late 2009 model MacBook 13

Inch. The USB ports on the side are starting to become less reliable than they should. For example when I plug a USB in, most of the time it will connect properly, but then it will disconnect automatically. I'm pretty sure this is from the connectors cords being loose. Is it a possibility to replaced that section and the board with those ports in. Or would it be easier to buy a new laptop?

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Thanks for the advice.

Both sockets are giving me trouble. The USB seems to be wiggling around in the sockets more than they should.

I'll give it to an apple store and see if they can fix it.

Thanks for the help Dan


Also, I have to be careful when the USB is in the socket. The slightest knock or bump my laptop gets. It disconnects the USB straight away


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The ports are soldered onto the main logic board so you can't replace them.

Are the cords slipping out or are they firmly connected? Is a given socket having problems?

If they are firmly connected and one socket has more of an issue, then you maybe able to fix this by tagging the solder joints (after pulling the logic board out). It's possible you just have a cold joint. This is still a bit of work and is not something I recommend for a first timer to do.

If you are loosing connection without touching the cord or the device then you may have a power issue via the USB port. Start by getting a powered USB hub and then connect it to your system with the USB devices connected via the powered hub. Is this working better? If so you may need to check the USB fuse links on the logic board as they maybe blown. These are small SMT components and do require a bit of skill to test & replace. See if you have an electronics repair person nearby who has the skills set and the needed SMT fuse link part (Apple authorized service center Vs an Apple Store).

If the cords are not firmly holding you might be able to reshape the cord connector so it is pushing against the friction point of the socket harder (don't over do it!) or try a fresh cord to see if its the cord thats bad.

As to replacing your laptop Vs repairing:

I would fix it (or have someone fix it) as it still a useful system. If your system is overly beaten up then maybe its time for a new system.

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wondering what reshaping the cord connector might be like? How to do?


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Most Helpful Answer

I had a similar problem with both of my (2008 Macbook) USB Sockets.

I ended up fixing the problem by shutting down my macbook and very gently bending the tiny metal usb grips (inside the usb socket) either with a tooth pic or a needle, as they had seemed to have become flat (due to unpluging devices regularly).

See this pic for info.

Good Working USB sockets should have the 2 metal prongs (circled in red) sticking up slightly, if they are flat then they won't grip the usb plug when inserted and will loose connection regularly (the prongs complete the circuit by possible providing a ground connection)

I also cleaned the connectors with a cotton bud/q-tip and some isopropynol alcohol.

Give it a try. Both my sockets are working fine now, no disconnections even when i wiggle the usb plugs inserted into the sockets :)

I hope this helps

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Extremely helpful, especially the pic. Thank you.


This worked for me too! Just saved me big bucks! late 2011 13" Macbook Pro


I want to give it a try but when I looked into the socket there are 2 metal prongs, but they have a flat metal prong, a bit a sticking up slightly. can I bend them like you said ? thankyou


pic disappeared


Hello, Jason, would you mind sharing the pic again, please?

On my 2011 13 inch MacBook Pro, one of the USB ports can establish connection when I jiggle it, but the connection does not last. It is almost as if the USB relaxes into obscurity.


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The USB ports can be replaced with new ones by someone with soldering skills. It sounds to me like the solder joints have failed on the board. While the USB ports are relatively sturdy, being as small as they are, there is only so much abuse that they can take. Replacing them should resolve the reported problem.

Note: I have replaced 100s of these over the years (as well as other components like this) and can say that limiting stress on these connectors is the best way to prevent this type of problem. For example, don't let the cable hang off of a table from the side of the laptop. Make sure that there is minimal stress on the connector. This holds true for anything connected to the laptop ports, even flashdrives. Charger connections used to be the most common failure before manufacturers got smart and changed the way the ports were supported internally.

Hope this helps,


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