Friday, 21 July 2017

Black Screen - Android -

The network manager and his devices are not having a particularly good week.

He dropped his (recently repaired) phone on the carpet yesterday.  The screen went black and would not respond to either the buttons or the now black and unresponsive touch screen. We knew it was working as it was vibrating. 

The issue was that the screen was not showing anything so it could not be powered off and on again, following the recognised and traditional IT Troubleshooting procedure and best practice.

The network manager also uses his phone as an alarm.  It starts sounding about 6.45 am.  This morning I came downstairs to the sound of the alarm going off quietly.  It had been wrapped in a tea towel and shoved down the side of the sofa in an attempt to “snooze” or at least quieten it down a bit.

It was at this point I pulled the back off and disconnected the battery. 
(This was not the greatest plan but at the time it was the only way to deal with it. This phone does not have an easily accessible battery.  Fortunately I had a the right sticker to put it back together again).

Later in the day, I took the sim and MicroSD card out and held down the power for a short period of time - about 45 seconds to a minute.  Then reconnected the battery, still not working, checked all the connections. Tried again. 

It worked. The phone either had a loose connection or just needed a random power cycle to fix it.    

It appears that it is a well known thing and is well documented on Google.

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Google (FRP) Factory Reset Protocol

I will pretend that I’m not the only one who missed the memo about Googles Factory Reset Protection  and explain all about it.

It all began with The Network Manager and his trusty Hudl earlier in the week.  The Hudl was not charging, so having previous form with this kind of thing I ordered a new charging port for it. I fitted it and bingo, it still did not work.  There were more troubleshooting options, like a new battery, a hammer… but how far to take it.  

So He went off to Argos on Saturday  to get hisself a new tablet.  He had done some research along the lines of What about this one it’s a nice colour or this has got 21gigawatts of flux capacitor power or something like that, I lost interest after about number 75.

We are quite good here at Lamas HQ about passwords, we use password managers and other methods to remind us of passwords and are really quite reliable where passwords are concerned, so I was not overly concerned about the loss of any saved passwords stuck in the depths of the deceased hudl. 

New Tablet arrived amid some ooh shiney new tablet interest and then I went off to peel some spuds or re-tile the bathroom or something. 

He started with the obvious enter your google account details, but the account password was incorrect.  The current password was located and everything continued quietly for a while.  The password was not what I would call a strong one and was duly changed for a more complicated one as befits the level of security required.  This has subsequently been identified and ERROR No 1.

ERROR No 2 was allowing the upgrade of Android from 5.x.thing to 6.0 and 6.0.something else so closely after changing the password

When Android upgrades from one version to another it effectively resets the device.  This means that the Google Account information needs to be input again.  However, if the password has been changed within the last 72 hours it locks the account until the password has been changed for 72 hours rendering the device unusable until that time is up. 

This account protection has been around since at least July 2015 and I have read most of a community support thread spanning some 20 or so months, which contained many many voices saying the same thing,”what on earth has happened and why can’t I access MY device” to paraphrase!  It is to stop Tablets and phones being stolen, reset and sold on, but its a pain in the bum if you are not aware of it.

So :
  • If you buy a second hand android device that has not had the previous google account removed, it will be useless.
  • Try not to reset/upgrade your device and your google password in the same week.

  • Make sure you keep a record of the original account details for your android device.
  • If you have to perform a reset on your phone delete the google account from the device.

It appears that in the Network Managers  case the Google FRP only held the account up for 24 hours.  I tried to log in the following afternoon 20 hours post password change and it didn’t work.  At 25 hours post password change it did in fact login and continue the setup as normal.  

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