My 32GIG 3GS iPhone not charging when connected to a PC and weird compass issues

Discussion in 'iPhone Tips, Help and Troubleshooting' started by itsnevo, Jun 30, 2009.

  1. macrumors member

    Feb 8, 2009
    I just picked up my new 32GIG 3GS iPhone today and when I connected the iPhone to my PC it wouldn't charge the iPhone. I can sync with iTunes with no problem and I can transfer photos from my iPhone onto my computer with no problem.

    All I get is what you see in the attached pictures below. Just to clarify, the USB charger plug that comes with the phone is what I am using to connect to the computer so I am using the proper wire that is made for the iPhone.

    The phone will charge if it plugged directly to the wall socket and the car charger with no problem but just not when plugged to the computer.

    Also, it seems to take forever to charge up. I have a 16GIG 3G iPhone that I plugged into the computer using the same wire and it charges up right away with no problems at all. I had the 32GIG 3GS iPhone charging for over 45 minutes and it just barely charged the phone. At one time I even stopped in a parking lot with the charger plugged in and it charged up one percent about every 2 minutes. With my 16GIG 3G iPhone, it charged up right away with the car charger and I never had any issues at all. I also noticed that the charge went down almost 10 percent after only using the calculator for about 5 minutes on the 3GS, not exactly the power saving benefit that the 3GS iPhone was supposed to have over the 3G.

    One last thing.....does anyone with a 3GS iPhone have any weird issues with the compass not facing correctly? Also, when you use the maps app for GPS directions with the headlight looking directional icon does anyone have it facing like 45 degrees from the direction you are actually traveling? The only way that the headlight looking icon could be right is if I was drifting all the way down the road or if I had the planets worst alignment and my car was driving at something like a 45 degree sideways angle from the road. At one time I was facing directly west and it said that I was facing north east. And there is no button to recalibrate the compass either.

    I am bringing it to an Apple store thursday to have it looked at but I'm just wondering if anyone with a new 3GS iPhone has had these problems and if it's with all 3GS iPhones or just the 32GIG model. :confused:

    Attached Files:

  2. thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 8, 2009
    Here's a couple pictures of the screen while I'm using the GPS maps with the directional icon that is supposed to be facing in the direction you are going.

    At one point today it actually started to rock back and forth to the point where I couldn't use the GPS with the directional icon activated.

    As you can see from the pictures the white headlight looking icon that comes from the blue pin that indicates your position on the map is in some cases facing 90 degrees from the direction I was actually facing.

    Anyone have this same problem with the 3GS? :confused:

    Attached Files:

  3. macrumors newbie

    Jul 8, 2009
    I have the same issue with my 3gs not charging

    Did you find out what the problem is? Did you go the store and if so what did they say? I'm having the exact issue and can't fix it. I"ve turned off the 3g feature as well as the wi-fi. In addition I've made the switch to charge from the wall rather than my laptop. Still no changes.

    What was your solution to this?
  4. macrumors 68020


    Jan 17, 2008
    Big D
    It's the USB port. I have that exact problem on my right USB port but not my left one on my MBP. I think the bad port is a little loose - it connects data but not power. Unplug all other USB devices and hubs and go directly into different ports to experiment.

    EDIT: Rereading your post - your issue seems different than mine... as far as the compass - make sure you are holding it flat with you looking down rather than the phone vertical.
  5. macrumors newbie

    Jul 8, 2009
    Not sure if its the hub

    I am going through the electric socket on the wall and its still not getting a charge. The same wire however does allow syncing on my laptop just not a charge. Hmm. June 19th till finally now I have not had any problems and I"m hoping that this is a minor problem that won't have me jumping on my 5th fone this year. Please let me know if anyone is aware of how to remedy this situation.
  6. thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 8, 2009

    The problem with the iPhone not charging when plugged to the computer turned out to be a defective cord. I picked up a new 4' Belkin cord at an AT&T store and it charges with no problem and I also brought back the cord to an Apple store and they replaced it for me. That Belkin cord is great for connecting your iPhone to your computer especially if you have your USB connections on the back of your computer with the 4 foot length. Plus the wire on the Belkin cord is quite a bit thicker than the stock cord too, so there is less of a chance of the wire breaking or getting cut. Plus it is nice having a dedicated wire for my computer and the stock cord for the iPhone charging dock. Apparently also it sounds like the 3GS iPhones seem to have charging problems also if you try to use an older style cord like the one that came with the original iPhone with the two buttons you have to squeeze to release the connector from the iPhone too.

    As far as the compass problem, I do lay it flat down but the "Apple Genius" said that it's something in my car that is interfering with the compass. It seems to be facing the correct direction in the store, but just not in the car. I don't know why a totally stock 2009 Nissan Versa would have this effect on the compass, it kinda makes me wonder why they even have a compass application if it can soo easily be interfered with by a basic car. I could see if I had amplifiers, subwoofers and other electronics that use large or powerful magnets but this is a totally stock vehicle. I since then downloaded an app called G-Map that is just like a Tom Tom with a more traditional navigation screen and a voice that tells you when a turn is coming so I haven't really played with the Google Maps app much since. (there is a picture of the G-Maps screen below)

    As far as the power drain issue, I still haven't figured that one out yet. You can set up an Apple Genius appointment and they can hook up your iPhone to their computer to test the battery usage, but I did that and they couldn't give me any help. They tried to tell me to turn off the 3G to reduce battery usage, but Apple claimed that the 3GS iPhone lasts longer on a full charge than the 3G and I really don't see Apple claiming that only if all features that work perfectly well with the 3G (like the 3G) have to be turned off on the 3GS. When the 3GS iPhone first came out there were apparently tons of people who have had this problem to the point where Apple stores were replacing them with new ones and sending in the old phones to get fixed just to be told by the service techs that there wasn't anything wrong with the phones and that certain settings were unnecessarely turned on causing the power drain.

    If you are noticing power drainage issues on your 3GS iPhone, there are some settings you might want to check on your iPhone that apparently use battery power pretty quickly such as the Push setting for email and the connection to Wi-fi. If you go to settings/mail, contacts, calendars/fetch new data and turn it to off, that apparently makes a difference with saving power. Also if you to to settings/Wi-fi and turn that to off, that also makes a difference. Only turn on the Wi-fi when you are looking for an internet connection. Both of those settings will make the iPhone constantly search for connections and new emails every 5 minutes if they are turned on.

    I'll post any other settings that cause power drain issues as I find out more information.

    Attached Files:

  7. macrumors newbie

    Jul 8, 2009
    Thank you!!

    There is hope! Thanks for the prompt response from all. I will try your recommendation. It's funny because I have only been using the cord that comes with the Iphone 3gs which appears to be the 'old' version. I'll upgrade to the bulkier set wires offered by Belkin. Hopefully that should fix it. I just wish Apple would have issued their new phones with equipment that could handle the heavyweight requirements... in this case the wire provided with the 3GS phone. In any case I'm hoping that this will solve the problem. As of now I am out of touch with the world via mobile phone till I go to Apple in the morning.

    Take it easy and thanks again.
  8. thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 8, 2009
    Probably the easiest and cheapest way to figure out the problem would be to schedule an Apple Genius appointment and bring everything including your phone, box, charger and cord. They apparently can test the cords and the phone right on a laptop at the store and if the cord or charger plug is bad, they will give you another one right on the spot at no charge. If your phone is bad, worse case they can give you a replacement.

    For anyone who is noticing a power drain problem, before bringing it to an Apple Genius appointment, try to charge your phone fully and once fully charged, let it drain to almost completely empty (like 10% or 5%) because that way they diagnose the power drain problem easier. If you don't let it drain too much before charging the phone, they won't be able to tell what is causing the power drain issue and they will probably tell you the same thing as my about turning off the 3G to conserve battery power.
  9. thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 8, 2009
    If you want to purchase that Belkin 4 foot cord, it's available only at AT&T stores, so if you won't find it at the Apple store. The Apple store only has the short length cord that is pretty much the same as the stock cord.

    The strange thing about the cord issue is that I have a car charger that has the 2 buttons that you have to squeeze to release the connector, and it's been working fine with my 3GS.

    Hopefully that will solve your problem.
  10. thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 8, 2009
    Here's a picture of the Belkin cord, the 3GS stock cord and the "old" style cord connectors.

    The Belkin cord is the one on the top. Notice how much thicker the cord is compared to the other cords? It's $29.99 at the AT&T store, but I think it's worth it with it's longer length. (it also comes with the wall plug) The connector might be larger than the 3G and 3GS cord connector, but it's still the same buttonless style connector as the newer 3G and 3GS chargers.

    The middle cord is a newer stock 3G and 3GS cord with the smaller connector.

    The bottom cord is an older style cord with the 2 buttons you have to squeeze to remove the connector from your iPhone. I had this cord from when I had my iPod Touch back in the day and my 3GS won't charge if I try using this cord although it will allow Syncing. If you are using this style cord and you are having similar charging issues, this might be the problem.

    Attached Files:

  11. macrumors newbie

    Jun 26, 2009
  12. macrumors newbie

    Jun 26, 2009
    As far as the compass goes- your problem with it seems to be pefectly normal. I get the same (roughly 90 degree)interferance in my car and on the local transit trains its worse (almost 180 degrees off). It generally works fine inside away from electronics and outside. Keep in mind that iphones are built with what are probably very cheap compass units, not lab/aviation/milatary grade compasses that can decipher the earths magnetic pull from other sources of electromagnetic interferance, which would be basicly anything electronic (as wires and electronic circuits with current running through them act as magnets), not just magnets per se. even a stock nissan will have loads of magnetic interfearance with a radio, an alternator, all kinds of wiring, the chassis as the electrical ground, all types of magnetized metal, etc. I just wonder how useful the compass is going to be for apps when it is very suceptable to all this interfearance.
  13. macrumors 68020

    May 15, 2005

    Some of the things that throw off the compass r a car compass or other EMD device. Also, settings for true north and magnetic north can vary quite a bit based on where you are on the map. Even 10 degress could be normal. This is called declination. Where I live in Northern California this can be as much at 15+ degrees difference.
  14. macrumors regular

    Jul 3, 2006
    Surrey B.C. Canada
    well then this is bizarre, but on my pc I have two usb ports, and was getting the same exact same errors as the op, simply selecting one of the other front usb ports eliminated the no charging error, go figure :confused: thanks to the poster who mentioned moving to a different port!!! worked a charm!

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