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Help I'm having problems with my phone connecting via USB on a consitent basis.

How do you want your phone to connect to the PC? You can go to Settings/Wireless & Network/ USB and tap on the USB connection. Follow the on screen instruction. You only connect the cable after taping the icon. What this does is make the phone into a thumbdrive so that you can explore the phone with the computer.

Also go to the same USB location above and check if USB debugging is ticked. Hear it sometimes works and doesn't work for some. Kies works for me so not sure why it doesn't for you. Also you generally don't need kies other than for official firmware update. I hear the myexplorer app works just as good.

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If you are just trying to connect the USB, then do the following;

1) Tap menu, and choose settings.
2) Tap wireless & networks
3) Go to USB utilities
4) Tap connect storage to PC
5) Connect the USB cable (Only now connect)
6) Tap the screen icon
7) Browse your phone through the PC. Your phone is connected like a thumbdrive.

Kies connection is a different thing. But if you just want a USB connection, the above should be what you want.

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