Sometimes mobile phone updates can be a little risky. Just this morning, I saw the update symbol prompt for the Samsung Note 3. Little did I know, I would end up in an endless reboot loop!
I thought the update would have been automatic, when I pressed the Samsung software update button and left the phone alone and came back to it later thinking the update process would have been done.
When I came back to it, the Samsung Note phone was stuck in an endless reboot cycle. After the reboot, the phone would hold for just about 10 seconds before going into another reboot. Needless to say, it was also draining the battery and the phone was getting hot from the endless reboot.
No matter what I tried it would just reboot. I tried removing widgets, and apps that was never used in order to lighten the RAM usage. I was also trying to figure out perhaps there were apps that was not compatible with the new update. But to no avail.
I decided to shut it down as I had to rush of to the Church for Sunday service. Later in the afternoon when I returned, I searched the internet for any solution, but those were just stop gap measures. Apparently there were many Samsung phone users who are also experiencing the endless reboot cycle loop.
There was one mentioned on switching on the flight mode to stop the endless rebooting, and I decided to give that a try. I also switched off the WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, and various other settings. It worked! But that’s not a solution as it renders the phone unusable. The post mentioned it could be the incompatible software clashing with the antenna hardware system and it would require an updated firmware. I also hopped over to the Samsung website support section, but there was no mentioned about this endless reboot problem in their troubleshooting guide. So either Samsung was not aware about it or they have no solution at all.
Thinking it through, my wife’s Samsung Note 3 had no problems for the past 7 months or so since December 2013, so I hazard a likely guess that the software update process was incomplete. Took a chance to switch on the WiFi but still left it in flight mode, and the phone still held stable. Whatsapp messages was popping in when the WiFi was enable, so the WiFi was still good. And so decided to go for the software update and this time I kept a watchful eye on the entire update process and didn’t let the phone go to sleep by touching the screen whenever it dims off.
Some 40MB of updates was downloaded, after that it rebooted into recovery mode and the installation proceeded. Keeping my fingers cross and a silent prayer, soon after the process was done, the phone rebooted once more and the phone state held steady. Decided to switch off the flight mode and let it connect to the telco signal, and it held steady too! Thank God it was working, if it was not, I thought I would have to take the trouble to claim warranty for repairs as the device was still in the warranty period.
The software update prompt was still on the notification, and I chance another second update. After the whole process, the phone still held steady. The Samsung software update prompt is still there, which means there are more updates to be done. However I decided not to do anymore updates for now.
Software updates should be a straightforward affair, unfortunately it was not without its hazards. Automatic update should be automatic, but I suppose anything to do with the core kernel update, you need to keep a watchful eye and don’t let the mobile phone go to sleep.
I’m not sure what was updated, as the Android version still remained at 4.4.2, looking at the kernel version there was a change from 3.4.0-340325 (Jan 9, 2014) to 3.4.0-636608 (Feb 12, 2014). That kernel update was about 4 months old. So there might be more latest kernel updates on the way. Anyway, if the Samsung Note 3 mobile phone is stable enough at this update level, I think I will just leave it be for now. I’m not sure what security issues it would have resolved with the latest updates, but if there wasn’t any problem, I didn’t think I want to update for it now, just in case the update wasn’t stable. I’m sure I didn’t want the Samsung Note 3 to end up in another round of endlessly repeating reboot loop!