Bootloops, Internet & Shitty Service Center

(A short break from a post on MH370 – we are still hopeful of finding the wreck and getting to the bottom of the reason why the plane went missing. Looking at the various flip-flop statements coming out from the politicians, there is little doubt why countries like China is whacking Malaysia left right and center and now we have the criminals from the South of Philippines kidnapping tourists from Sabah under the very nose of ESSCOM. Another case of someone sleeping on the job?)

It happened once when I still had my trusted N8 and not surprisingly it has happened again

Well, it started with this:-

Swedish developer Knowit Mobile already has a number of Xperia Themes in the Google Play Store. It has now released seven more, which includes three freebies. You won’t find these themes through Sony Select right now, so you’ll have to go direct to the Google Play Store. You will find links to the Play Store and pictures of each of the new themes below.

(Source)

You know me, I soon get bored with the existing themes and seeing one that seemed to be custom made for Xperia (and seemed to be endorsed by Sony and it is in Google Play), this new set of themes looked very tempting.

snow

(I love the icons at the bottom – it was a very cool theme but unfortunately with a hidden time bomb. Image source: Google Play)

However I then made 2 mistakes.

Mistake No. 1 – Changing the standard Xperia themes to something else when the standard themes are already working well and perfectly. Why fix something when it is not broken, eh?

Mistake No. 2 – Not reading further into the post above and read the readers comments. Otherwise I would have discovered that there is something wrong with this theme.

I had installed some of the themes and it was working well until one fine morning, I noticed there was still one theme I have not installed – Winter Snow. It looked great too. It looked alright when I installed the theme and nothing looked out of the ordinary as I navigated the various functions on my phone with the new theme installed. I have installed plenty of apps before but nothing wrong have happened.

Anyway after the new theme installed, I just placed my phone on the side and continued with my work. A couple of minutes later, I noticed something from the corner of my eyes – the phone was restarting. I don’t know why it restarted. It usually happens when there is a major upgrade but there was none for the day. I waited for it to restart but something was not right – it restarts and then half way, it stops and restarts again. This goes on and on. I know then I was in trouble. And I know that the new theme must be screwing things up and thus I had to uninstall it.

For a moment, I panicked and was cursing myself. I quickly checked on the internet on how to stop this insane restart and how to do a hard reset or start on a safe mode. No matter how many times I press on the power on and the volume down (with different sequences), nothing changed. After a couple of attempts unsuccessfully, I gave up. The only choice left was to bring it to the Sony authorized service center. I checked on Sony’s website – the nearest one was either at KLCC or Mid Valley. Then I noticed there was another service center near Sunway (their out-sourced authorized service center). I decided to try my luck there as it was nearer – I urgently needed my phone to make calls and at the moment, I only had a faulty phone that was booting in a loop and could not be shut off (it was getting warmer too).

I rushed to the nearest service center  and noticed that there was only 1 customer at the waiting area. I saw one lady at the counter and so I walked over and showed my phone to the lady at the counter. She was lazily looked at my phone and then looked at me. What she said next made me speechless for a moment – they don’t handle smartphones. Apparently they handle all other items made by Sony but not smartphones (but that was not what I saw on the Sony’s website). I thought she was pulling a fast one on me. I insisted that she call a technician and take a look nonetheless. She reverted that even they assist me on this, it will take 1 – 2 months for the phone to be fixed.

She asked me to go to KLCC instead and she gave me a number to call. That was not acceptable and I persisted for someone OTHER than her (one look at her told me that she is not a tech savvy) to give my faulty phone a look but nothing moved. Ya, you can call it Mistake No. 3.  It had all the element of “tidak apa” written on the wall. So I decided that there was no point talking to this lady at the counter and try my luck with the service center at KLCC over the weekends. That means a couple of days without my smartphone but it looks like I had no other choice.

I was angry for wasting my time with the so-called service center and feeling very frustrated, I went back to the internet, hoping that someone out there, some where in the world would have faced the same problem and managed to find a workable solution. Another trip to the Sony Mobile website for trouble shooting and tips however did not do anything to resolve the problem. I was back to square one and the phone was getting even warmer by now. I was beginning to get worry and Yoda’s statement on the dark side of the force echoed in my mind – “Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering”? I was suffering indeed.

I tried a different key words in the Google Search and then something positive showed up:-

Hi, speak from Brazil.

I’m here to warn you guys that the themes of Sony, those new (cute) themes simple put our Xperia SP to bootloop, don’t use them in any circumstances.

I’ve made a lot of test in the firmware 12.1.0.266 and when i put any of those damn themes and turn off my phone, it just enter in bootloop mode when i try to turn it on again.

Then i have to use SUS to recovery phone.

I’ll repeat

DO NOT USE THE NEW THEMES IN ANY CIRCUMSTANCES.
UNFORTUNATELY SONY MESSED UP OUT PHONE.

just want to warn you guys, sorry about the English.

(Source)

At last a light at the end of the tunnel!

The only way available now was using the SUS program (Sony Update Service) but that would erase all data & installed programs at the same time. Between the phone kept booting up unsuccessfully and causing me to miss my calls and SMSes & leaving with no other choice but to take time to go to the Sony service center at KLCC and me losing the data in the phone, I decided to go for the latter.

I downloaded and then powered up SUS and there was some moments before SUS were able to detect the phone (I misread the steps provided by SUS and cause the phone not detected). Then it took about 5 minutes for SUS to download Android 4.3 for Xperia SP and installed it. My phone then recovered and able to boot normally. It was missing all my phone contacts, apps and SMS logs – 2 of it (contacts & SMS logs) were easily restored using my earlier backup using Sony PC Companion. The apps on the hand will take some time to be updated to the level before I hit the problem in the morning. But at the end of the day, the phone was back to normal and I need not go to KLCC.

The internet is indeed a great place to look for information and tips and saves a whole load of trouble with the service centers. The solution on the internet solves my boot loop problem in less than 10 minutes – a far cry from the 1 – 2 months that the lady mentioned to me.

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