By December 19, 2011

This Droid Has a Bad Motivator: Android Galaxy Nexus Phone Boot Animation Loop and Reset Problems

Sedagive? and I picked up our Samsung Galaxy Nexus Android smartphones last Thursday at Costco. Since the Galaxy Nexus came out in the UK and other parts of the world earlier, we felt pretty good about being “early adopters” in the United States.

Overall the phone is a sweet piece of kit, and the Ice Cream Sandwich version of the operating system is pretty good. I have mixed feelings about it, but that’s for another post. I’ve enjoyed exploring mine. However, Sedagive’s? phone ran into a problem that we hope to never see again.

Her phone shut off unexpectedly while we were at IKEA Saturday night, just two days after getting our phones. She tried powering the phone on again, but nothing happened. We pulled the battery and tried again. The phone booted this time, but became stuck at the loading animation screen. The boot screen animation looped over and over again. We pulled the battery again and went home instead of trying to troubleshoot it in the car.

I tried the following to fix the phone:

  1. Removed and reinstalled the SIM card.
  2. Removed the SIM card and powered up the phone without the SIM installed.
  3. Put the battery from my working Galaxy Nexus into her phone.
  4. Put the SIM card from my working Galaxy Nexus into her phone.
  5. Tried to boot with Sedagive’s battery installed, yet running from the wall charger.
  6. Some US Galaxy Nexus owners were reporting boot loop problems when going from a WiFi area to another network type (3G or LTE). This was apparently fixed in the latest over the air update, but you know how things go. Some owners were able to get their phones working again by doing a factory reset and then disabling either WiFi or 3G/LTE. I tried to do a factory reset by holding down the volume up button and the power button while the phone was off.

    The phone didn’t respond to that key combination, and continued to get stuck in the boot animation loop.

  7. We called Verizon Wireless from my Galaxy Nexus. “Becky,” the customer service representative, sounded genuinely concerned that Sedagive’s phone was dead. After all, it had only been out in the market for two days. I told her what I’d done, and she said that was her troubleshooting script as well. There was nothing we could do except exchange the phone.

    Costco only had five Galaxy Nexus phones on launch day. By the time Sedagive? got hers they were down to two, with another customer apparently coming in. This was all before 3PM on Thursday, so we were concerned they were going to be sold out.

  8. We had to go to Costco on Sunday anyway, so I attached the phone to the wall charger and just let it run. After about 90 minutes the phone chirped — Sedagive? had an email notification. Apparently the phone was fine.

So far so good — although she didn’t trust the phone and wanted to exchange it anyway at Costco.

We were in luck, and they had several Galaxy Nexus phones in stock on Sunday. The lady tried to tell us that phones use battery power when going from WiFi to other networks and back again, and that sometimes the battery runs low. Sedagive? gave her the best “you are a dumb whore” look I’ve seen in awhile and then dropped knowledge on her about what was going on. We finished up our rundown with “and Verizon suggested we return the phone to you,” and that was that. New phone on the way.

The staff attempted to do a factory reset on Sedagive?’s phone but it got stuck in a loop again. I’m not sure how long it took for the phone to sort itself out, but I did all of my shopping at Costco in the meantime. I’d say it was at least twenty minutes. I was able to verify that the phone was eventually returned to the factory setup.

Between the screwy booting loop, our inability to get the phone to recognize the factory reset key combination while the phone was wonky, and the troubled reset at Costco, I am very glad that Sedagive? exchanged her phone. The new handset appears to be fine, and she mentioned that the screen orientation seems to be faster than on the last Galaxy Nexus. Perhaps that’s another symptom of a bad phone, but it’s too soon to tell.

I am afraid that more people may have these problems before we hear more about it, but I hope that ours is just an isolated case of a droid with a bad motivator.

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6 Comments on "This Droid Has a Bad Motivator: Android Galaxy Nexus Phone Boot Animation Loop and Reset Problems"

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  1. Had exactly the same issue with my Aussie Telstra-bought SGN. Full charge will stop the reboot loop, but no other power-up options work. Power down is on battery removal only, and keypresses during reboot fail.

  2. Yolliandra says:

    I am having exactly the same trouble with my Aussie Telstra Galaxy Nexus right now. I’m about to take it back to the shop that I bought it from.

  3. Jevon says:

    So I bought my Galaxy Nexus and within 10 minutes of having it, it started doing the boot loop. I returned it because I couldn’t get the bootloop to stop. I got another Galaxy Nexus and decideed to sign in with my gmail account and not load anything from the app store. I believe the boot looping was related to some of the apps on my old phone which was a droid x. I would start adding accounts one at a time. For example my facebook account, then power off the phone and reboot, no problems. Then add my twitter account, google music, ect. Each time adding a new app and turning off the phone and rebooting. As soon as I added an app from the store, it shut off and started the boot loop again. I had to do the factory reset to stop it and start all over. I believe the rebooting and then getting stuck in the boot loop is related to apps on the app store not fully tested to be used with ice cream sandwich.

  4. Jevon says:

    forgot to add that since I’ve left the certain app off my phone, it has not rebooted and gotten stuck in a bootloop. It has rebooted before but not often and usually when I’m streaming music, checking email, while using navigation.

  5. David says:

    Jevon, I’m having the same problem. Would really like to know the name of that app!

  6. siri says:

    i have the same problem too but my unit is the EEepad transformer…i upgraded to icecream software…then after a week…my pad..just shut off…and the darn android animation kept on appearing..on and off loop…anyway ..i had it return to the service center.. bottomline here is that ..android’s software has a problem…it kills the unit..for whatever reasons i dont know..somehow..i really prefer apple this time since apple allows you to reset the phone despite loop problems…