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Stock Nexus 4 not booting Android
I'm writing this verbosely so others can find it. Hopefully this is the right place to a troubleshooting question.
My Nexus 4 has been running stock 4.2.1 since I got it (OTA update from 4.2 to 4.2.1 on the first day). This morning the GUI bugged out when unlocking the device from the lock screen, and the thing crashed into an continuous loop of loading to the Nexus cross logo, and arbitrarily freezing after a bit. A few times it loaded the time, battery status, on screen back and home buttons, but nothing else. I've since restarted it numerously, and now can't get further than the black screen that shows before the nexus logo appears (after the Google logo). It's been fine on battery charge.
I can get to the bootloader by pressing volume up, volume down, and power buttons when the device is off. Wiping the cache doesn't get me anywhere (by selecting Recovery mode using the volume buttons, and selecting using power, then pressing [and holding briefly?] volume up + power buttons to bring up the console, and selecting the wipe option).
If doing a factory reset from the recovery console is the only option, then I'd like to have a chance to recover my data, but I'm not familiar enough with adb (android debugger) to know whether I can connect via USB from the bootloader.