I have a Galaxy S2 and a Linux Mint laptop. For a while I was using a long USB cable, maybe 1 metre in length, to connect my Android device to my laptop. It worked fine, but the extra length was unnecessary and sometimes got in the way. So I went to my local electronic store and bought a 20 centimetre USB cable.
With the shorter cable, it would recharge my phone, but I could not connect to the file system on the phone in any way. No USB related activities, such as connecting to the device from Eclipse or transferring music files from within Banshee would work.
I thought maybe I was just unlucky and got a bad cable. So I went and bought a second 20 centimetre cable, and it was the exact same situation.
Bad cables are rare enough that it seems unlikely that I got two in a row. In any case, I'm a little hesitant to just go and buy another until I know what's going on. My 1 metre cable still works, so I assume there is nothing about the system that is failing.
Why would the 20 centimetre cables behave any differently from a longer cable? Is there a type of cable I need to be getting? Is there something else I need to know when buying cables?
This is what my 20 centimetre cable looks like: