I’ve quite a number of nodemcu’s – around 12 of them.
Some of them are the smaller Amica based boards while a large number are based on a larger PCB and are usually just black on the reverse. The PCB’s are also have squarer corners while the better Aimca versions are nicely rounded.
These larger PCB based nodes use cheaper UART chips and I’ve had a lot of them fail. The usual symptom is for the nodemcu to work as normal (if it’s ￼already got code flashed to it) but if you plug it into the computer’s USB socket it’s not seen or it just hangs when trying to communicate with it.
I’ve got around this by using a good quality standalone UART connector and wiring it to the nodemcu.
I’ve managed to bring back three ‘dead’ nodemcu’s using this method.