what does system profile update option do?

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  1. tearfamg

    tearfamg Member

    What does updating the profile do for a phone?
    Settings->About the Phone->System Updates->Update Profile
    I'm on a Samsung Galaxy SII Epic (Sprint) if that makes a diff

    I'm asking bc I have been experiencing a number of phone issues over the last few days, 50% faster battery drain, txt messages and voice mail msgs not downloading to my phone till after reboot and such. I finally called tech support after I started receiving text message from random numbers not in my address book that seemed to be intended for other ppl.
    Supports answer was update your profile that will fix everything...
    When I asked them what it did, they gave me some BS answer about it updating the 5 software builds of my phone, but they couldn't explain what that meant. So I've done what they asked, have no idea if it will help, or even what it does, other than I'm pretty sure it doesn't do what they told me it does.

  2. Metroid Prime

    Metroid Prime Oil Can!!! Oil Can!!! VIP Member

    Try shutting the phone off and pulling the battery and then put the battery back in and boot your phone back up. Hope this helps.
    tearfamg likes this.
  3. 9to5cynic

    9to5cynic Well-Known Member

    I think the profile is how you're connected to the network, something like provisioning... I could be wrong (and probably am). I really don't know what it does....

    I know PRL is preferred roaming list, but that's not what you're after... >.>
  4. EarlyMon

    EarlyMon The PearlyMon Moderator

    Your profile validates your account tied to your phone.

    I've found that generally it's best to update your profile after updating your PRL.
    tearfamg and 9to5cynic like this.
  5. tearfamg

    tearfamg Member

    thanks for the responses so far
    @Metroid prime
    suggestion done.

    thanks for the info a couple follow up questions:
    1. I take it you are also calling BS on the support rep's description of profile?
    2. so in that context updating my profile would be?
    generating a new cert for the phone and sending it to the carrier? (I'm technically inclined and am comfortable/craving more technical descriptions)
    3. How would this be tied to an updated PRL? is that an empirical observation, or is there an explanation that goes with it? Isn't the PRL just a list of towers for roaming (some places I've seen says it is userName and passwords for towers)? I don't understand how updating my profile interacts with this, if it is the equivalent of resetting my phone-carrier password.
  6. EarlyMon

    EarlyMon The PearlyMon Moderator

    There are a lot of smoke and mirrors involved in PRL discussions.

    A phone tech published the contents of a few last year in the Evo 3D forum. It's a list of towers, that's it.

    And for whatever reason, it doesn't affect just roaming, it can and will impact which towers you access in your local area.

    We've found as independent communities, empirically, that updating the Profile after any PRL update does seem to help phone performance. That was part of the very original Evo rooting steps and then again, part of an in-depth study of Pandora issues on the Evo led by Mr. Ed.

    There are a number of things that's imperfect with the way they do over-the-air system updates. A lot of people find that a good strategy is to have (or make) a full back-up of your phone, do a factory data reset, and then restore the backup for best performance - indeed, a host of update-related bugs across the board (all Android phones, carriers, and update versions) are solved by that process.

    That's due to something getting tangled in either cache or data (I suspect it's cache), as rooters know that when installing new roms, those areas tend to need to be erased before anything works (especially the Dalvik cache). They don't do that on updates.

    Android = Linux (with services) + Dalvik Virtual Machine (VM) + apps running in the VM using Linux services

    So, clearing a tangled OS cache makes sense, just as it does when your browser misbehaves, for example.

    The only thing I know for sure about the profile is that uses your carrier credentials (in Sprint's case, your Sprint-private email address) and that a profile update communicates that between Sprint and your phone.

    The PRL and Profile are data files that work in concert in normal operations to choose a tower and is part of their validation that you belong there. Does the profile include any sort of secure key? I can't say, don't know.

    After finding empirically that updating those in that order improves things (meaning, if your PRL ever updates automagically, update the Profile, or if you get an system update, then update both) many of us formed a working theory: they're data files, the least corruption or tangling in however they are really used together seems as likely as the Dalvik cache getting tangled (and that's highly likely), so it's best to update them when in doubt.

    We've had too reports of that improving overall tower performace (even when the PRL doesn't change) to easily dismiss it as anecdotal or a placebo effect.

    Sorry I can't answer in detail, but if you find out for sure, let me know, too! :)
  7. 9to5cynic

    9to5cynic Well-Known Member

    ^ Wish I could have thanked that twice! :D
    EarlyMon likes this.

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