Am I the only one who thinks that the physical connector standard for USB-A is inappropriate for its use? I have numerous laptop and desktop PCs that have one or more defective USB connectors. Some were damaged when the connected USB cord or device was bumped or jerked. Others failed for no apparent reason at all.
In the case of those that failed for no apparent reason, I suspect that the damage came from the cumulative result of numerous attempts to insert the plug or device upside down. In other cases, the little plastic backing plate and contact guide breaks off, leaving four unsupported and non-insulated pins in the opening, and rendering the port unusable.
The ubiquitous USB type A connector is also one of the most delicate and breakable devices.
Other forms of connectors work fine for years. I have one serial adaptor that has outlived several laptops, even after having been inserted and removed hundreds of times. For some reason I have never seen the cord end -- which would be easy to replace -- break this way. It is always the female receptacle buried deep within the computer that fails.
I have another issue with these USB connectors. There is no immediate visual cue for the correct orientation of the plug when it is inserted. There is no tapered “lead-in” to guide insertion of the plug. That means that half or more of the attempts to insert the connector will be unsuccessful. The male connector is upside down or slightly misaligned with the female connector half the time. I believe this contributes to the deterioration of that little plastic backer plate in the female socket.