12-04-2013 10:35 PM
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  1. DesElms's Avatar
    I have a rooted and custom rom installed and I am now having major issues. It force restarts and gets stuck in boot loop just about every time It is used for more that a minute. I have tried to do the gsm reset and entering the s/n into kies with no luck on either. When I try the gsm reset it comes back with a communication error and not matter what I try to do kies will not connect with it.

    Is there any way to completely reset it back to a stock rom???
    If you backed-up your stock ROM to your Windows computer, then you can, indeed, re-flash it to the phone. You should also reset the flash counter, while you're at. I, personally, do not support rooted phones; and have a difficult time not saying "I told ya' so" when they have problems. So I leave it to others, here, to help you with that part.

    I will add, though, that I've seen inexplicable boot loops which are caused by physical, not electronic or software problems. If you've ever cleaned an old-fashioned mechanical computer mouse -- the kind with the rubber ball in the bottom -- then you've seen the black, caked-up crap that gets all over the rollers, inside. That stuff is s combination of sweat, skin cells, dust, body oil, lint from the mousepad, and godonlyknows what else.

    Well, that same stuff gets caked-up down inside and around the power button of a smart phone, too; and sometimes when it does, it causes the power button to not fully return to its unpressed position after you press it; and so the phone just keeps booting... a boot loop.

    That's why I always recommend the use of a rubbery case made not of silicone but, rather, of TPU; and that said case does not have cutouts where the phones various buttons are; that, instead, the case covers said buttons.

    Though not this precise brand, necessarily, but at least this basic style of TPU case is my personal favorite. Hover the mouse pointer above the photo of it and it will magnify; then move it over the buttons on the sides. Those aren't cutous; those are molded rubber buttons which cover the phone's actual buttons; and so dust and body oil and whatever else is kept out and away from the phone's electromechanical power and volume rocker buttons. Of course, if the phone's been used for a while without such a case, then it might be too late; there might already be so much caked-up crap down in and around the power and volume rocker buttons that adding a TPU case of the kind I prescribe, now, is sort of like closing the barn door after the horse has escaped.

    I'm not saying that that's why you're getting a boot loop, but it's worth checking out.
    11-01-2013 01:02 AM
  2. DesElms's Avatar
    I have a note that is running 4.0.4. I got it from Best Buy under their phone insurance program because they were out of stock of my other phone. It was a factory refurb unit. So far I'm happy with it, but would like to update it to Jellybean. As long as it is just as the battery life doesn't suffer, I will try the update. Can anyone confirm that the Jellybean update has been either better or worse on battery than 4.0.4?
    Yes, the Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean OS is very good on battery on the Samsung Galaxy Note. Though you're only asking about the Note, I want to use the Note II to make a point about that, though: The first version of 4.1.2 for the Note II was pretty much the same version as on the original Note; and so the battery life on the Note II was, at first, unbelievable. However, in the Spring of 2013, a over-the-air (OTA) (via WI-FI only) update to 4.1.2 was rolled-out to the Note II; and battery life, after that, was awful. We Note II users are now awaiting the new 4.3 update, slated for sometime in the next six weeks or so; and we're hoping that better battery life will return.

    But my point in explaining it is to simply point-out that just because an OS version is "4.1.2" doesn't necessarily mean that it offers good battery life. As it happens, the version of 4.1.2 that KIES installs onto the Note (as opposed to the Note II) is pretty darned good about battery.

    So, yes, definitely upgrade the Note to 4.1.2

    Also, DesElms, what changes would you apply to the update process for a refurb phone that came with 4.0.4?
    It's exactly the same as what I've herein described.
    11-01-2013 01:09 AM
  3. MelVel71's Avatar
    This is for Gregg.

    First let me say I spent the better part of the evening yesterday reading this entire thread and I want to thank you for ALL of the useful information.

    I have an original Note i717 from AT&T and updated back when the JB OTA update was released. However, I like many people have had nothing but issues since. I only wish I could have found information as helpful as yours back then. However it had not been well noted how many problems there were with the update and so here I am over 6 months later still looking for a solution. After my update the first thing I noticed immediately was the lag. Of course I was told that it would disappear in a few days (which I believed but now know, thanks to you, that the "stabilizing period" is non-existent). Needless to say the lag never disappeared and is worse now. The second and most frustrating issue I found was my battery life. I immediately noticed that my battery life was cut in half. Actually, worse than half. With no real answers on what to do, and this was after a phone call to AT&T, who at this time was supposedly not completely aware of the issue, and a phone call made by AT&T to Samsung while I was on the line, a friend suggested I do a factory reset, using the reset option in the "Settings" and so I did. I noticed some difference in the lag (not nearly enough though) but the battery issue remained. My phone would go from 100% to 70% in about two hours time with absolutely no use by me. It would just be sitting on the dresser and do this all on it's own. I have always made it a habit to close all apps that run in the background, I have all apps that update set to the highest amount of time available for updating and so on and so forth. I monitored which apps were still using battery even while the phone was "sleeping" and either removed or force closed them. I feel I did everything I could to make certain the battery was not being used unnecessarily. Nothing has fixed the problem to this day. I ended up having to purchase spare batteries to fix the issue, a problem I never had with ICS.

    So that's my background story. Now, my question for you is this. After reading ALL of your posts and feeling that I would be able to follow your instructions on doing a proper upgrade, do you think it would benefit me to do so given the fact that I did NOT do a reset of any kind prior to my upgrade? I know I read in your posts that after one has done the upgrade and did not do a GSM reset, we are then stuck with OS files that are a mixture of the two OS's. Please correct me if I misunderstood or quoted you wrong. Could it benefit me in any way to do a GSM reset and then the upgrade? I also plan on re-calibrating the battery according to your instructions once I try to correct this problem first. I will also say that I actually happen to have an AT&T device support center here in my city. I don't mind attempting to fix the issue myself first if you think it can be done. Any feedback you can give me is greatly appreciated. Thank you for your time. -Melissa
    11-04-2013 12:13 AM
  4. DesElms's Avatar
    This is for Gregg.
    Hi, Melissa. I know I promised, in our private communication, here, that I'd get this response done last night, but I got sidetracked with a call from an old friend after dinner that went longer than I thought; and then, honestly, I got up from my desk with this response half done on the screen right in front of my eyes, and completely forgot about it. My apologies. It's the morning of Tues 5 Nov 2013 as I now resume.

    After my update the first thing I noticed immediately was the lag. Of course I was told that it would disappear in a few days (which I believed but now know, thanks to you, that the "stabilizing period" is non-existent). Needless to say the lag never disappeared and is worse now.
    Yeah, it sounds like your phone is suffering from the problems of which I warn, and for which my methods of avoidance have been so chastised. The problem, in part, with threads like this is that people don't really read them all the way through -- especially when the bickering starts -- and so they don't get to the point that you've here gotten to wherein you can attest to that you're having the very problems which my methods help one avoid. Thank you for your witness.

    Just so you know, my actual use of a Note (SGH-i717) was short. The upgrade to 4.1.2 went magnificently (did it via KIES, which I prefer to OTA; takes forever via KIES, but worth it for its error free completion); but it turned-out there was a hardware problem; and the video card basically burned-up.

    When AT&T tried to replace it with a refurb, I refused to accept it (my phone, after all, was brand new) and pushed the matter up the management food chain until I found a supervisor of supervisors in the "retention" department (those supervisors have all the power to make deals) who agreed with me that I should get a new (and not refurbed) one. However, he had no new ones in stock (company-wide); and would be getting, as of that time, only one last shipment of new ones in -- in late July 2013 -- and then no more, ever, he said. It was only the third week of June at the time and I didn't want to wait; so he made me a deal I couldn't refuse whereby I got billed only a small additional amount and ended-up with a Note II (SGH-i317) in my hands within about four days (and, of course, I returned the Note... they crossed in the mail). And so the Note II's what I've been using since the beginning of July.

    I must say I loved the Note, though, and kinda' miss it. For starters, it's 1080p, and the Note II's 720p; the Note III returns to 1080p. It's not that big of a deal, of course, but, honestly, I kinda' like that big wide original Note screen. Once you get yours finally right, you're gonna' really love it, I think. And I feel so bad for you that you've had to endure this for so long. Phones and computers work for us, not the other way around. When they don't work, we need to be zero-tolerant. You should have done what I'm going to herein prescribe a long time ago. But, alas, you're almost there: soon you'll know what a Note with 4.1.2 on it is supposed to be like! Getting excited yet? [grin]

    At any rate, my use of the Note, then, with 4.1.2 on it, was only about a month long, give or take. But I used it hard, and had none of the problems you describe, and battery life was excellent; so there's no question that your Note -- assuming there are no hardware issues (and there probably aren't; mine wa really unusual) -- can be made wonderful again. Fear not.

    The second and most frustrating issue I found was my battery life. I immediately noticed that my battery life was cut in half. Actually, worse than half.
    Well, of course if the 4.1.2 upgrade didn't go right, so who knows what's actually causing it. You could have incompatible pieces of the OS looking for signals from one another, and polling (and so thrashing the processor and, in turn, the battery) and not finding them and so just polling and polling and polling. Or there could be an app that thinks it's installed on a stable 4.1.2 and is looking for something from the OS and not getting it, so it's polling and polling. There are just too many possibilties, at this point, to really even guess. There's no point in even trying to troubleshoot it until you've got a really good, clean 4.1.2 on the phone.

    Yes, of course it could be a hardware issue, too; but even that can't really be reliably diagnosed until the phone's running a stable OS version, be it Gingerbread or Jelly Bean. And, anyhow, I have a sneaking suspicion there's no hardware issue. Obviously, I don't have enough information to state that with any real authority, of course, but I'm just sayin' that that's my gut.

    With no real answers on what to do, and this was after a phone call to AT&T, who at this time was supposedly not completely aware of the issue, and a phone call made by AT&T to Samsung while I was on the line
    Yeah... no, that was a waste of your time. Those guys, seriously, are mostly just reading down a troubleshooting checklist which presumes that whatever's wrong is the user's error. One needs to get way beyond those front-line support people to someone who's got advanced training; and the truth is that with a device like the Note, that better trained person almost really needs to have the device in his/her hands to really and truly figure it out with any efficiency.

    a friend suggested I do a factory reset, using the reset option in the "Settings" and so I did. I noticed some difference in the lag (not nearly enough though) but the battery issue remained.
    The factory reset would not help. Let me explain why...

    Factory resetting a phone simply puts it back to the way it shipped from the factory. That's it. It simply reformats all the internal storage and then copies the factory-installed operating system from a read-only memory (ROM) chip back to said storage, and initializes it so it'll fire-up when next the phone is booted; and then it reboots the phone.

    Whenever you do an OS upgrade, an entirely new OS is "flashed" to that ROM chip; and so the next factory reset done after the OS upgrade doesn't bring the phone back to how it came from the factory but, rather, to how it would have come from the factory had the newly-upgraded-to operating system been flashed to said ROM chip back at the factory.

    For example: if the phone came from the factory with 2.3.6 Gingerbread on it (or whatever came on it... doesn't matter, for our purposes, here; let's just say it was 2.3.6); and then if it's used for a while as a 2.3.6 phone; and then if a factory reset is done, the phone goes back to how it shipped from the factory with 2.3.6 Gingerbread on it. However, if the phone shipped from the factory with 2.3.6 Gingerbread on it is field OS updated/upgraded to 4.1.2 Jelly Bean, and then is used for a while as a 4.1.2 phone; then if it is factory reset, it will not be reset all the way back to 2.3.6 Gingerbread. Rather, it will be reset to how it would have come from the factory had it come from said factory with 4.1.2 on it; and that's because after the field update/upgrade, 2.3.6 Gingerbread is no longer on that ROM; rather, 4.1.2 Jelly Bean is now what's flashed to said ROM, and so that's all the phone can "factory" reset back to.

    In other words, whatever OS is flashed to that ROM chip -- whether it gets so flashed at the factory, or in the field -- is what gets copied to internal storage and initialized for next-phone-boot-up during a factory reset.

    And so here's how that's now impacting you: If the field OS update/upgrade goes badly so that what ends-up flashed to that ROM chip is a mess, then a mess is what gets copied to internal storage and initialized for next-phone-boot-up during a factory reset. So that's why your factory resetting of your phone didn't really fix anything, to speak of... because what's on its ROM is a mess on account of a partially-failed OS update/upgrade.

    Now, my question for you is this. After reading ALL of your posts and feeling that I would be able to follow your instructions on doing a proper upgrade, do you think it would benefit me to do so given the fact that I did NOT do a reset of any kind prior to my upgrade? I know I read in your posts that after one has done the upgrade and did not do a GSM reset, we are then stuck with OS files that are a mixture of the two OS's. Please correct me if I misunderstood or quoted you wrong. Could it benefit me in any way to do a GSM reset and then the upgrade?
    No, sadly... not at this point. And that's because the phone thinks its at 4.1.2 Jelly Bean -- albeit a messed-up implementation thereof -- and so neither KIES nor any check for updates OTA will trigger the phone into believing it needs to be updated/upgraded. The phone (mistakenly, of course) thinks it's fine; it thinks it's updated/upgraded to 4.1.2 Jelly Bean, and doesn't even know it's sick.

    GSM resetting it will simply cause the mess-up 4.1.2 implementation that's flashed to the ROM to be copied to internal storage and initialized for next-phone-boot-up... bringing you to right where you are now. There is, I'm sorry to say, nothing that you can do to fix this. But don't panic. That doesn't mean it can't be fixed. It just means that you're not the one who's going to do it...

    ...er... well... wait... if you were willing to root your phone (which I do not recommend... please... don't even consider it), then you could forcibly flash a whole new copy of 4.1.2 to the ROM chip... but, again, don't do it. All that rooting tends to do is create a phone that always needs to be fiddled with in order to keep it working. It's the kind of thing that geeks who like to get into the bowels of the phone and screw around with it, and who get their rocks off doing things to the phone that neither Samsung or AT&T want them do to, do. Most people just want their phones to work, without having to become a geek; and the best way to ensure that is to not root the phone... no matter how many geeks try to shame you into it, and no matter how many apps in the Google Play Store say they'll only work with rooted phones (or that some of their features won't work unless the phone's rooted). Don't be fooled. Don't root.

    Plus, rooting voids your warranty. And there's also a chance of "bricking" the phone from rooting... which, as its name implies, means so screwing it up during the rooting process that the phone becomes, in effect, a brick... a paperweight... a door stop... good for nothing more. So, please, don't root.

    I also plan on re-calibrating the battery according to your instructions once I try to correct this problem first.
    Won't do a bit of good yet... not 'til the OS update/upgrade problem is fixed.

    I will also say that I actually happen to have an AT&T device support center here in my city.
    Good, 'cause that's now your only option. That, ultimately, is my advice to you: First, back-up to your WIndows computer anything that you'll need... your contacts, primarily, and any music, videos, documents, etc. If any apps you use have a means of backing-up their configurations, and if you know how to then find them and get them over to your Windows machine, too, then fine. Most apps are so easy to configure, though, that, honestly, all you really need to back-up is your contacts, and any data (meaning documents, media files, ebooks... whatever).

    Then figure out when you're gonna' go to the device support center and then, the night before, turn the phone off and re-charge it while off so the battery is fully charged; and then leave it off after unplugging it from the charger and while you drive it to the device support center.

    Here's the thing, though: You're not going to want just anyone at said center helping you. You need one of the higher-end people... likely the assitant manager or manager. In my response to the private message you sent me, I asked where you are; and the reason I asked is that I can have my guy at my local center call his counterpart at yours and make sure s/he knows exactly what happened and what to do. There's a chance that if you try to tell them that you want the phone cold/hard flashed to 4.1.2 as if the phone were fresh off the assembly line with no OS flashed to its ROM (meaning they should wipe the ROM, first), they'll say "okay," but then take shortcuts and not really fix the problem carefully. So be sure to respond to my private message, and then we'll figure out when you're gonna' go, and I'll make sure it's all set-up for you.

    That said, if you tell them that you tried the field upgrade/update and it failed, they'll likely know that they need to wipe the ROM and then do a full-blown OS flash just like the phone had come fresh off the factory floor.

    Actually, truthfully, what really needs to happen is for what's on the ROM to be wiped, and the test programming that's put onto it at the factory needs to be flashed in its place; and then the phone needs a thorough, factory-check-out, burn-in-style hardware test, sans operating system. Then, after that, if its hardware is fine, then the phone needs to have 4.1.2 flashed to its ROM as if it were a new phone, fresh off the assembly line. That's actually precisely what needs to happen; and if you'd like me to make sure that your device support center knows you're coming, and precisely what you'll need, I'll be only too happy to help you with that.

    Then, after that, you would take the phone home and calibrate the battery before you even start to customize it. Then whatever you do, don't remove that battery after that for any reason, else you'll have to recalibrate it. Basically, any time the phone and the battery become electrically disconnected, even if the phone's off when it happens, the battery needs to be recalibrated. You should probably have at least two batteries, but not because you'll want to hot-swap them in the middle of the day when one dies, but, rather, because you'll want to run one battery in the phone for about three months, then let it run down and while it's down, remove it and put it on a shelf and let it sit for three months while the second battery gets used for three months; and then just alternate them like that every three months. The batteries will both last longer and be more generally stable.

    I don't mind attempting to fix the issue myself first if you think it can be done.
    It can't, at this point. Your next stop is the AT&T Device Support Center...

    ...which normally, you need to know, doesn't do OS updates/upgrades; that's the users' job, they figure. But if the reason you're there is because you tried, and you followed the Samsung instructions, yet it failed (or resulted in a squirrely phone, as in your case), then the Device Support Center will happily do it for you. All for free, of course.

    So let me know (via private messaging) where you are if you'd like me to get you all set up to go to the Device Support Center.

    Once the phone's right, we can have a chat about how to configure things so that your battery life is maximized without your feeling like you have to uninstall things that tend to use a little-more-than-average battery. That Note is able to handle lots of simujtaneously and even constantly running apps and their processes and services without inordinately adversely affecting battery life. The trick is to learn about "wake state," and which apps are in it too much. There are apps I can turn you onto that'll help you learn which apps are really and truly using a lot of battery, and which ones only seem to be. Most of them only seem to be, and so you can actually probably have all the apps you want on that phone... especially if you get a 32GB external SD card and install as many Apps2SD as possible. It's the screen, really, that tends to use the most battery, and I can tell you some tricks to help you, there. The other thing to do is not let anything auto-sync which you don't have to.

    For example, if you think about it, unless you want to be notified of every email that hits your GMAIL inbox, there's really no reason to ever let it sync. Whenever you launch GMAIL, it'll sync right then and there, and so your inbox will be up-to-date for that use of it. Then when you close it, it'll just sit there, not syncing and using-up battery, 'til the next time you open it, at which point it'll take a moment to sync. That's how I do it; but then, again, I never want to be notified of new emails... or new Facebook posts by my friends, or any of that crap. Anyone who wants to reach me can either text me, or pick-up their phone and call me... that's what phones do, after all. The only thing I let sync in the background on my phone is "App Data" (so that the Google Play Store app can tell when updates are needed), and my calendar app (because I have a full-homescreen-sized calendar widget on my first-to-the-right-from-center homescreen which I want up-to-date with my Google Calendar, and to notify me of appointments and stuff), and my news and weather app (so that whever I wake the screen to the centermost homescreen, its widget is displaying the correct temperature and weather, and is showing current headlines). Anything else I use, I'm happy to have do a quick little sync/update upon launch. You wouldn't believe how just controlling sync can save battery!

    More on all that later, though. Just, for now, let's get your 4.1.2 update/upgrade squared away at the Device Support Center. Private message me and let's get them called and expecting you.

    Hope that helps!
    11-05-2013 11:34 AM
  5. MelVel71's Avatar
    Gregg,

    I have tried repeatedly to send you a private message. Can you please let me know if they are going through? I don't want to continue trying not knowing if I am bombarding your inbox with multiple copies of the same message. Thank you so much.

    -Melissa
    11-05-2013 11:15 PM
  6. DesElms's Avatar
    Gregg,

    I have tried repeatedly to send you a private message. Can you please let me know if they are going through? I don't want to continue trying not knowing if I am bombarding your inbox with multiple copies of the same message. Thank you so much.

    -Melissa
    Oh... geez... I didn't even know you posted this here. Hmm. You know, I don't think I get all the notifications from this website in my email inbox that I'm supposed to get. Weird.

    Anyway, as you know (and so, now, I'm really just posting for the benefit of the reader), we connected in my message box, here, after all; and then by email; and I made some calls and found the righ... er... you know what? I'll just let you tell everyone how it worked out.

    Tag, you're it.
    12-04-2013 10:35 PM
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