A pin or cable is bent, broken, or missing.

Updated: 04/26/2017 by Computer Hope

VGA cable with pinsMany computer cables have pins on one or both of the connector ends, and those pins cannot be bent, broken, or missing. Using a cable with a damaged or missing pin can lead to connectivity issues between the computer and the device on the other end. This in turn may result in lost data, which can cause problems such as a malfunctioning printer or video distortion.

If you find that one of your cables has a bent, broken, or missing pin there are a few things you can do to remedy the situation:

Straighten the pin

If a pin is bent, it may be possible to straight the pin out using needle nose pliers. Depending on the severity of the bend, you could straighten the pin out enough to make it usable again. However, if the bend is severe, it may not be possible to repair. Also, be aware that you could cause damage to other pins when attempting to straighten a pin out, so take extra care when using pliers to straighten a pin.

Repair a missing pin

If a pin is broken, you may be able to take the cable to a computer repair shop and have them replace the pin. In most cases, however, the computer repair shop will recommend that you replace the whole cable. The cost of replacing the broken pin may be more than the cost of a new cable, when you figure in labor costs. Some cables cannot be repaired in this manner anyway, requiring you to replace the whole cable.

Replace the cable and prevent future damage

If the cable cannot be fixed, the only other option you have is to replace the cable. In the future, to prevent cable damage be careful when attaching a cable to a computer or related device (monitor, printer, etc.). Attach the cable slowly can help prevent damage most of the time and never force a cable that doesn't want to connect.

Additional information

  • See the cable and pin definitions for further information and related links on these terms.