USB/Firewire port longevity?

Danny Futuro

macrumors member
Original poster
Sep 1, 2006
I use my apple cinema display with my macbook everyday, and I was wondering how the constant plugging/unplugging of the USB and firewire cables/ports will affect the life of the ports. I'm not rough with the cables, and I connect the ports softly and slowly. I have applecare, but I really would like to minimize the amount of service this computer will need as it needs to get me through college.

Have any of you guys worn out a firewire or USB port as a result of repeatedly connecting devices?


macrumors 603
Aug 15, 2001
The Cool Part of CA, USA
I've heard of it happening, but I've never done it myself, and I've treated some FW ports pretty darned badly.

The most common cause of failure is when somebody accidentally jams a firewire cable into the port backward and spreads out the D-shaped flanges enough to make it WAY too easy to plug a cable in backwards, hence frying the device.


macrumors 68040
Aug 21, 2004
Maybe you should get a four prong adapter thing for the usb and they probably have one for firewire, too. It would stay plugged in all the time and the stress would be on the adapter. I have one somewhere I got it at fry's for four dollars (the usb one). I've seen a firewire one but I think they are like twenty five bucks. Might be worth it if you are stressin'.


macrumors 6502a
Oct 15, 2004
Brooklyn NY
I wouldn't stress about it too much. You have to be pretty damn rough with USB and Firewire ports to break them and there are many more horrible things that can happen to your mac. For instance, your hard drive could fail. Do you back up your files? I'd worry about preventable stuff like that first. :)


Moderator emeritus
Jan 9, 2004
Grand Rapids, MI, USA
The only issue I've ever had is that the plastic casing on the end of my iPod firewire cable pulled off the metal. It really just needs to be glued back together when I'm not feeling lazy. But it functions fine. :) I haven't heard of many people breaking these ports aside from the aforementioned FW backwards issue.

And I'm also sure they've been stress tested pretty aggressively by the OEMs.... They should be fine.


macrumors 6502a
Jun 20, 2004
My sister broke off the USB ports in her iBook (she doesn't seem to comprehend taking care of things :rolleyes: ).

I took it into the Apple Store, and they said it would cost $800 :)eek: ) to fix it, because it would require a new logic board. Keep in mind this is a $900 computer (with edu discount).

I told her she can live with not being able to use USB.