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Bug Android Google Handhelds Operating Systems Portables Upgrades Hardware

Google Lollipop Bricking Nexus 5 and Nexus 7 Devices 179

First time accepted submitter Zape (303550) writes The Lollipop update has turned sour for me and several other Nexus 7, Gen 2 (and Nexus 5) owners. It seems that I'm not alone in having my tablet boot to the Google Logo since a couple of days after updating to Android 5.0.2. Now Nexus 5 owners are reporting a reboot loop in Android 5.1. My device, like many others, is a couple of months out of warranty, but worked great until the latest OTA update from Google. They branded it, and they updated it, but Google claims it is between the buyers and ASUS, the manufacturer.
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Google Lollipop Bricking Nexus 5 and Nexus 7 Devices

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    Google updates their core services without asking to get around fragmentation. They can't bring everything into core services, but they can bring a lot. The downside is accidentally doing something like this.

    • Re:Google updates (Score:4, Insightful)

      by spacepimp ( 664856 ) on Friday April 10, 2015 @08:41PM (#49450945) Homepage

      If they let people upgrade their own phones this wouldn't happen

      • Re:Google updates (Score:4, Interesting)

        by snowgirl ( 978879 ) on Friday April 10, 2015 @09:01PM (#49451039) Journal

        But that's the provider's problem, isn't it?

        Google can't force providers to use AOSP, and unlocked bootloaders, and all that...

        • So what would be if you buy a PC and then Microsoft won't sell you or let you update to any new version?

        • They can force manufacturers to use unlocked bootloaders if they want the official Google version. Microsoft (ironically they're changing this for Windows 10) requires manufacturers use unlocked firmware implementations for machines running the Intel version of Windows on UEFI machines.

          There's no reason whatsoever why Google can't make the same thing a requirement beyond being scared manufacturers wouldn't go for it and would prefer shipping a version of Android with no Google services over shipping a de

          • They can force manufacturers to use unlocked bootloaders if they want the official Google version.

            But hardly anyone is running the stock Android anyways. They've all expended on the code, and made it different. Almost no one actually uses the "official Google version" at all...

            There's no reason whatsoever why Google can't make the same thing a requirement

            But they can't because it's open source software. No one could make all of the Linux Distros use the same official kernel... it's not possible, because it's open source, and you can make it yourself.

            and would prefer shipping a version of Android with no Google services

            But this is already the case. Amazon and Barnes and Noble do not sell Android devices with Google services on them.

            I don't get why pe

      • by Anonymous Coward

        They do. Nexus devices have unlocked bootloaders and easy root access. They are still developer phones, you know. Install your favourite ROM and enjoy (a much better experience than stock android as well, in most cases)

    • by thsths ( 31372 )

      Yes, they could update the core services, and they could fix bugs quickly, but they don't.

      There are quite a few battery drain bugs still in the core services, especially in the location service. It is embarrassing.

      But not surprising. Core services were never about faster upgrades or better Android, but about control. Once apps rely on core services, they can no longer run on a plain Android device with the Google apps. Android is getting more and more closed.

      • by jgotts ( 2785 )

        Fused Location is absurd. I have an unrooted phone that was upgraded to, but did not come with, Android 4.3.

        Using the program CPU Memory Monitor, Fused Location right now is at 48 CPU minutes. Google+ is legitimately at 59 CPU minutes because it's backing up a bunch of photos and videos I took last night. The next highest process is at 5 CPU minutes. Except for this unusual workload, Fused Location almost always consumes many times the amount of CPU time as the next process.

        I think Google has great ideas bu

  • Not Brick (Score:3, Insightful)

    by srwood ( 99488 ) on Friday April 10, 2015 @08:41PM (#49450943)

    Boot Loop does not equal brick.

    • I believe any attempt to reflash does not fix the boot loop. So it does appear to be a brick.
    • as the article states, nexus 7s are bricked, nexus 5s are in a boot loop. You'll find a lot of Twitter activity under #nexus7bricked.

    • Not always. Sometimes when a flash happens, the manufacturer blows some e-Fuses to prevent the device from being downgraded. I've heard of it happening on some Samsung phones, specifically one of the JellyBean versions (4.1 to 4.2 or 4.2 to 4.3). From what I recall it was the 4.1 bootloader that could no longer be used, and you had to know the exact baseband you were on to get a proper bootloader to restore your phone with Odin. From what I recall, Odin is an internal Samsung program for repairing phones
      • Can't tell about the Nexus 7, but on the Nexus 4 and 5 I've been going back and forth between the "stock" bootloader (from different Android versions) and more exotic ones. I very much doubt that they actually lock the user out of that.
  • by hawguy ( 1600213 ) on Friday April 10, 2015 @08:47PM (#49450963)

    My Nexus 5 went into a reboot loop, after a lot of research online (and taking the phone apart to see if the power switch was damaged (it appeared to be working fine with a good "click" when pressed) -- I managed to get to boot by repeatedly and rapidly hitting the power button while it was booting, then quickly unlocked the phone and rebooted into safe mode by holding down the power button.

    After it booted into safe mode, I left it in the charger overnight, and in the morning, rebooted back into normal mode and it was fine. Mostly. It was no longer in the reboot loop, but kept powering itself off throughout the day.

    I replaced it with a new phone, moved my SIM over, and then the Nexus appeared to be fine, no more poweroffs, no reboot loops, I used it as a Wifi-only tablet for a day and then it got a Lolipop 5.1 OTA upgrade, so I upgraded. It's been over a week since then, and it's still working fine as a wifi-only tablet, I haven't tried moving the SIM back

    I still have no idea what was wrong with the phone, maybe it was a hardware problem with the switch, or maybe it was a software problem. My Nexus 7 tablet (also running lollipop) is fine.

    I replaced my Nexus 5 with a Samsung Galaxy S5 -- I really like the S5 (and removable SIM), but I hate Samsung's Touchwiz interface. I really wanted to stick with the Nexus line, but am not willing to pay $700 for a 64GB Nexus 6 when the S5 cost about half that and I wasn't going to buy another Nexus 5 after what happened to this one.

    • by xyzzyman ( 811669 ) on Friday April 10, 2015 @10:01PM (#49451219)
      It is the power switch. Started happening with mine and confirmed it on the Nexus 5 subreddit. Entire thread dedicated to it. There's two different width power switches they've used and it's happening on both. It's in a very tough spot to solder a new one on so around here none of the cell phone repair places would do it for me. Now I just use a program called "gravity" that lets me turn wake it up with a swipe of my finger across the proximity sensor, and a flick of the phone itself to put it to sleep.
    • by sremick ( 91371 )

      I replaced my Nexus 5 with a Samsung Galaxy S5 -- I really like the S5 (and removable SIM), but I hate Samsung's Touchwiz interface.

      Which is one of the reasons I bought a T-Mobile S5 even though I'm on AT&T. Unlocked it, rooted it, installed Lollipop months before AT&T or T-Mobile released it. Been happy ever since.

      I only had to suffer through Touchwiz and bloatware for a few days.

  • by mellon ( 7048 ) on Friday April 10, 2015 @08:54PM (#49450997) Homepage

    5.0.1 totally killed the battery in my Nexus 5, but I replaced it (thanks, Amazon for the battery and iFixit for the spudgers) and stuck with 4.4.4 until 5.1 came out. I'm running 5.1 now with no issues. I'm not saying that there are no problems, but this is probably a configuration-dependent issue, so a factory reset ought to fix it.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    this is NOT between the buyers and Asus, it is entirely between the buyers and Google, whose software have now broken devices that were fully working.

  • Pass on Google and give Ubuntu Touch a shot:

    https://developer.ubuntu.com/en/start/ubuntu-for-devices/devices/

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Thank god that Ubuntu doesn't screw things up

  • 1. Can't connect to camera error often.
    2. Play Music simply won't play music.
    These are new on my Nexus 5 on 5.1.
    And the one issue I hoped 5.1 would fix:
    3. Play Music skipping on Bluetooth
    Didn't go away.

    This lollipop sucks.

    • Lollipop is perfectly fine on my SGS4. It's much faster, totally lag-free, full of nice animations and new shiny UI. I think it's the shitty hardware that's the problem with the Nexus devices.

  • by Tumbleweed ( 3706 ) on Friday April 10, 2015 @09:41PM (#49451157)

    I have a Nexus 5, with Lollipop 5.1 on it. No boot loop issues. Coworkers with Nexus 5 aren't reporting this, either. /shrug/

    • Not a hugely useful comment... Yes of course it isn't bricking every unit, but if it's causing such a serious problem on even 1%, this is a fuck up.

  • I took all of 2 hours, having never flashed a ROM before, to get back to stock rooted kit-kat on my Nexus 5.
  • The current version on a 2012 Nexus 7 is 5.2. 5.0 was months ago.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Because they used java, its a dud again. If they had used lisp then the whole thing wouldn't have happened and they could have used a recursive tail call function to do it as well. If anything had of happened they could of rolled it back using emacs. Why wouldnt everyone program in lisp then. hey. ponk.

  • I have a hard and fast rule at work: unless it's a real lab device, never ever ever install anything that has been out less than 6 months and is not on its 3rd patch.

    It doesn't matter how much a customer wants (read: is willing to pay for) a feature that's out in the next release, if the product version is X.0 or even X.4.0 - if the last number is a not a 3 - I'm not installing it unless I've had it in the lab for 6 months and have thrown everything I can think of at it, including production size load &

    • by mlheur ( 212082 )

      ^^ - if the last number is not a 3 or greater -

      for all the pedants out there, like me.

    • by Cederic ( 9623 )

      Wait? Don't go with anything under patch 3 - so basically refusing to ever update to software that works first time, or need just a single patch.

      That's bloody stupid to start with. But then you admit that you're using beta software.

      You have no clue. You're inept. You're stupid. You're fucking scaring me. How is it possible to be that fucking incompetent?

      • Reading comprehension 101:

        He said "never ever install anything that has been out less than 6 months and is not on its third patch.

        In other words, he'll use things at patch levels less than 3, but only once they've been in the wild for 6 months or more and hence any bugs are likely to have been identified and resolved in one of the patches (even if that patch has a number less than 3!).

  • My first generation Nexus 7 died after two years.
    Maybe they are designed to last only two years.
    I took it apart, pierced its storage chip with a screwdriver, put it back together, and recycled it.
    Maybe its on a barge to a third-world country now.

  • After installing the OTA update from 4.2.2 > 4.3 (August 2013), my Nexus 4 wouldn't boot. A quick scan of the interwebs found that lots of people had the same problem. I could load Cyanogenmod (based on 4.2.2) or the stock Google 4.2.2 image but other attempts to load 4.3 did not work. Eventually, I shipped back to Google and they gave me a new phone.

  • My 2012 N7 (running Android Version 5.1) is shutting itself down randomly, within a few minutes of booting. Boots up fine, and it appears to only power off when it's asleep (screen is off). I *knew* i should have stayed on Jelly Bean, but I was just so damn sick of seeing that "update is available" notification come up every. five. seconds. This may push me to put Cyanogenmod on it, which is something I've been meaning to do for a while anyway.
  • I shouldnt have updated to 5.0. I want my money back!!!!
  • by TheBogBrushZone ( 975846 ) on Saturday April 11, 2015 @02:39AM (#49451963)
    It's probably unrelated but my Nexus 9 went into a terminal boot loop this week (it was lagging severely and taking 10 minutes to boot beforehand so I suspect a memory or CPU issue). I just find it amusing that Google are putting this on the manufacturer because when I complained to HTC they told me to go talk to Google instead. Fortunately since it's fairly new and UK law is very clear about responsibility I can go to the retailer instead of playing customer support ping-pong.
  • by MPBoulton ( 3865641 ) on Saturday April 11, 2015 @06:16AM (#49452369)

    If you bought your device in the UK, then you entered into a contract under laws such as the Sale of Goods Act 1979 with the retailer (not the manufacturer). In my case I bought my N5 from the Google Play store, so my contract is with Google, not with LG and as such Google are solely responsible for providing a replacement, repair or refund. Alternatively, because these devices cost more than £100, if the item was either partially or fully purchased on a credit card you benefit from an additional right to seek compensation from the credit card company under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act as well as the manufacturer.

    Sadly this "go to the manufacturer" response is so common from customer service staff (and their managers) in the UK who haven't been correctly trained.

  • by KevReedUK ( 1066760 ) on Saturday April 11, 2015 @12:32PM (#49453705)

    I own a Nexus 7 2013 (Non-cellular, WiFi only) unit.

    Two weeks after accepting the latest OTA update, my tablet froze on the lock screen and would refuse to accept any key presses on-screen. Forced a reset via the power button, and got the described symptoms (Boot loop). None of the bootloader options allowed me to get it to boot all the way.

    I guess that I must have been a little frustrated at this point, because I held the tablet so hard that it gave slightly (held in Portrait with my hands on each side and fingers pushing from back to front gently, but enough to cause mild screen distortion). After doing this a final restart allowed the device to boot normally. I have since carried out the same procedure with three other examples of the same model of tablet (OK, so one of them was the LTE variant) and seen it resolve the same symptoms in each case without any adverse affect (other than a look of mild horror on one of the owners' faces until I handed it back working!).

    The only thing I can think of (and I haven't bothered to crack the case to check, so this is literally just a guess) is that the touchscreen connector may not be as sturdy as it could be, and that the device will fail to boot if it doesn't detect a properly working touchscreen connection.

    I'm not suggesting that everyone should try this, but if you're going to crack the case to replace the motherboard anyway, try re-seating the connectors (particularly the screen) and reassembling it first before going as far as replacing any parts and see if it sorts the issue out for you!

  • This bricking sounds similar to the first Nexus 10 the Google Play UK store sent me. I could boot it initially, but then the device would spontaneously reboot. Each time, the reboot intervals reduced (and weird graphical glitches started appearing) - within a matter of hours, it was just stuck on the Google logo and never got any further.

    It was indeed Google I contacted to return it and they sent me a pre-paid courier wrapper (I had to weigh and measure the Nexus 10 packaging/tablet), but they also charged

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