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Simple Easy Way To Make Sure You Are Using The Correct Type Of USB Cable On You SNES Mini...

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A broken/ damaged or the wrong type of USB cable... It's one of the most common problems for many people trying to flash a custom kernel or add games etc... to their SNES Mini...

They are either using the wrong type of USB cable or as is very common they are using the correct one but they are still running into issues with error messages telling them things like "Your Mini Is Taking Too Long To ReBoot" and basically getting stuck and unable to do anything with their Mini via HakChi and all because the USB connector at the end you plug into your Mini has loosened/ slackened off and is making no connection or intermittent connections on the data lines...



There are basically two types of USB cables in this case...

First type is a basic cable that merely contains two wires for powering up or charging a USB deviceThis type of USB cable is no good for use with HakChi/ A SNES Mini as it doesn't have all the wires it needs (data lines) for your Mini to communicate with your computer, sure it will power your Mini on BUT it can't transfer data between your Mini and your computer which is vital to be able to mod it...

Second type is a fully wired cable which IS the type of cable you MUST USE. As well as the two power lines/ wires it also contain extra wires (the data lines) that allow your Mini to communicate with your computer/ HakChi and transfer data between them...



As so many people always ask "How do I know if I am using the correct type of cable ?" or "Where can I buy the correct type of cable ?"...

Well there's no real easy answer to that one without testing/ checking the cable...

You can't tell just by looking at a cable if it is fully wired or not, or even if it is the official Nintendo USB fully wired cable that came with your SNES Mini that it perhaps has a broken wire (most unlikely) or as is more common the USB plug/ connector at the end of it which you plug into your Mini has loosened off and is no longer making a good connection on the data lines, in turn causing all these issues (this is very, very common and is usually the root of the problem). Also you can't tell someone to go to Amazon and purchase this cable as again there's no guarantee it will in fact be the correct type of cable they need when they get sent it...

Happily I've found online a handy little piece of software that can be used to easily test and show that you are using the correct type of USB cable AND it will also help diagnose the poor connection issue where the connector has loosened off and is making no connection or intermittent connections on the data lines (the most common problem of all I have found)...

The software is called "USBDeview", it's freeware so it doesn't cost a penny and can be downloaded online from the following link...

(The actual download link on the page is way down near the bottom so scroll down to it to find it)...
https://www.nirsoft.net/utils/usb_devices_view.html

The software is simple to use and doesn't need installed you can just unzip and run it direct from your desktop if you wish...

While it has lots of options for displaying all sorts of info then you don't need to bother going through all of those and configuring the thing, the only thing we are interested in finding out is...

1) Is this cable I'm using the correct type ?

or

2) I know this cable is the right type but it's not working most/ some of the time !!!

Now that's a simple task to do with this tiny piece of software... :-)



Simply run the software and it will display a window with it's main space showing which USB devices you have connected to your computer (if any)...

Now hook up your Mini to your computer using whatever USB cable it is you are using...

If the cable is the correct fully wired type and doesn't have any loose connections then you will hear a chime being played and in the main window a new USB device entry will appear showing you so (this can also be done/ checked in "FEL Mode" which is when you power up your mini with the reset button held down for flashing a custom kernel or flashing back the stock kernel)...

Congrats if this is the case as that means you are using the correct type of cable and it had no loose connections. Which means if you are still suffering from issues like black screens and getting stuck there when powering your mini up then that will be down to being the custom kernel being messed up and that's another issue to deal with elsewhere... :-)




Okay then but what if you keep having random issues with this KNOWN working cable and sometimes when in use HakChi keeps randomly throwing up those "taking too long to reboot" errors !!!

Well happily that's where this little bit of software can also help you detect if this is being caused by the connector having loosened/ slackened off (as it's very common problem with Micro USB connectors and not just on the SNES Mini)...

To test for this then while the software is running gently waggle back and forth or up and down the actual connector you have plugged into the back of the Mini (heck even simply tapping or touching your Mini or the cable can be enough to cause a poor connection if the metal hood/ shielding has slackened off)....

If the connection is poor then you will hear a chime and it's USB entry will disappear from the list or indeed it may suddenly show up in the device list if there was nothing showing up to begin with...

Your Mini will probably stay powered on as it's very rare for the power lines to have a bad/ loose connections but those data lines for whatever reason are very easy to have poor connections on, so the software will show it as being offline as it can no longer communicate with your Mini even though as said it will still clearly be powered on...

These Micro USB connectors are very prone to slackening off/ becoming loose and not making good connections on the data lines causing these issues. Happily it can easily be fixed though... :-)

First disconnect the cable from BOTH the computer and at the connector end which you plug into your Mini (this is to ensure there is no power running through the cable in case in the next step you bend the metal hood/ shielding of the Micro USB connector and cause a short circuit)...

Then on the metal hood/ shielding of the connector gently but firmly using a thumb or fingernail bend very slightly inwards the end of the connectors metal shielding/ hood so that you have very slight curve inwards across the shielding/ hood going inwards towards the small gap/ space of the connector that actually plugs into your Mini...

Don't be tempted to bend it in too far as of course you still need a gap there to be able to plug it into your Mini and if you bend it inwards too far then you will have find a way to try and bend it back outwards again...

You only want to bend it inwards slightly so that it will create a tighter fit when you plug it into your Mini which in turn causes it to make a good connection on the data lines again...

Also after bending the hood/ shielding inwards to create this tighter fit then BEFORE you use the cable to hook up to your computer and power it up then try plugging the cable into the back of your mini first to make sure it does fit and you haven't overtightened it. If you have overtightened it then DON'T try and force it into your Mini otherwise you will most likely damage the actual USB socket on your Mini...

When it's down to being a loose connector then this simple fix works every time, the simple act of plugging in and unplugging these Micro USB connectors can and does over time loosen/ slacken off the metal hood/ shielding of the connector and that is what causes these sudden issues of a known working cable no longer working or working intermittently...

This diagram should help to show you and make it clear how to bend the metal hood/ shielding in slightly to create this tighter fit of the connector






If it turns out you are using the wrong type of cable (ie: a cable that is only capable of charging/ powering up a device) then you won't of course have anything show up in the software even if you thought the cable was the correct type and tried all of the above, so then you will know you really are using the wrong type of cable and will need to try or buy another one... :-)

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