iPad Going Bonkers

Discussion of non-operating system issues related to all iPads.
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Stephen Hart
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iPad Going Bonkers

Post by Stephen Hart » Fri Dec 05, 2014 3:26 pm

So I've had this problem for a while--maybe since I got my new retina iMac--where if I plug my iPad in with USB, it plays the connection tone over and over, but iTunes claims the iPad is not available. Syncing by way of Wifi (since iOS 8.1.1) works.
Plugging in my iPhone 6 in exactly the same way works every time.

I confronted that issue today and found, well, embarrassingly, what I should have thought of to start with.

iMacs have all their ports in the back. So to make switching different USB cords in, I have a short (4-inch) USB extension cord that I leave plugged in. I've used this for years. I think it came free with some USB device.

So I plugged the Lightning cord into another USB port, and the iPad acted normally, with one tone on connect, followed by a regular sync.
I moved the extension cord to another USB port on the riMac and everything worked as expected.
I moved the extension cord back to the USB port it was plugged into and everything worked as expected.

So the lesson is, if something doesn't work, unplug, then plug back in. (Meanwhile, I think I'll order a new, short USB extension cord.)
Last edited by Stephen Hart on Mon Dec 08, 2014 2:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works."
Steve Jobs

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Stephen Hart
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Re: iPad Going Bonkers

Post by Stephen Hart » Mon Dec 08, 2014 2:38 pm

Here's just a bit of followup:

It occurred to me that the very short cord I was using was hanging off of the back of the iMac, so every time I plugged something into it and unplugged something, I was probably wiggling on the connection to the computer. Also, the female end of that cord was quite tight.

I replaced it with this: AmazonBasics USB 3.0 A-Male to A-Female Extension Cable - 3.3 Feet (1 Meter) $5.49, which gives plenty of length to loop back and then down to the desk. I was surprised to find that some extension cords were labelled as USB 2 and some as USB 3, and since my new iMac has USB 3, I limited my search to only cords so labelled. I mainly use this for cameras, so the difference between 2 and 3 may not be anything.
This cord looks very sturdy, with a thick cable. The female end is easy to plug into and pull out of and looks heavily shielded.

Of course, the short cord is probably fine, and had just wiggled a bit in the socket, or wasn't originally snugged in far enough.
"Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works."
Steve Jobs

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Stephen Hart
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Posts: 3099
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Re: iPad Going Bonkers

Post by Stephen Hart » Wed Jan 21, 2015 9:51 am

It's baaaaack!

Once again, I plugged in my iPad and it just kept reproducing the connect tone over and over.
Plugging directly in to the iMac works fine.
Wiggling the USB end of the lightning cord where it connects to the extension cord can make the connection. Weirdly, this same lightning cord always works for my iPhone.
I checked a different lightning cord and it worked fine. Hmmm.
I cleaned the USB end of the offending lightning cord with lens cleaning tissue (Flents Wipe N Clear) wrapped around an appropriately sized flat object. Problem solved.

Who knew USB plugs got dirty?
"Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works."
Steve Jobs

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