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Support HTC M9 Fault

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by IS122, Aug 23, 2017.

  1. IS122

    IS122 Lurker
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    Hey Everyone,

    I'm having trouble with my HTC M9. I bought it just before moving overseas and unfortunately it's developed a really nasty tendency to turn itself off. And not just off either – it's a brick until I get it on a charger. Completely unresponsive to hard reset, etc. Nothing. Doesn't matter what % the battery is on.

    Normally I'd just return it, but unfortunately it's not an option as I'm in the other Hemisphere for the foreseeable future with work. Would appreciate any insight at all. The self test passes with no problem, so I'm kind of stuck.

    Symptoms
    -The aforementioned bricking. When it receives charge, it boots as if it had been completely depleted. It never bricks while on charge.
    -When I do reboot it, if the battery is higher than 33%, it will ALWAYS display 33% until charge drops below. I've had it die at 90%, rebooted it, and it stayed on 33% for 4 hours.
    -It often (although not always) clears all widgets, but not app shortcuts.
    -It's always triggered by opening an app or unlocking the phone. The Camera is by far the worst for it, but everything is suspect, from the gallery to Facebook. If an app opens successfully, I can use it without issue. The camera is a dice roll on each photo however.
    -If I do reboot it and remove it from charge, the next few minutes are very high risk and likely to brick it again.
    -Could be completely unrelated – but when charging it often drops off charge for a split second.

    I'd much rather get it repaired than replace it, but I'm not sure where to start? I suspect the battery mostly (possibly not coping sudden demand from the CPU?) but I'd be lying if I said I had any firm idea. Additionally, It's worked fault free for up to a month at a time...

    Would appreciate your thoughts. Should I replace the battery/something else, or just cut my losses?

    Thanks in advance.
     

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  2. PyroSporker

    PyroSporker Android Expert
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    Did you buy the device used? Do you know the history of the device before you received it?
    It certainly sounds like a hardware battery issue if it is showing the incorrect % and the charging cuts out for a split second during charge.

    My M9 battery life has been degrading lately, after years of use/abuse (still running well though - makes it through the bulk of the day until I'm getting home to a charger). I have it overloaded with text messages and should back them up and perform a much needed device reset - this would probably help my battery last longer through the day.

    Are you running any 3rd party security/memory tending/battery tending applications? Generally these type of applications hurt you more than they help you.

    Can you recreate all of the exact battery issues you have described while in Safe Mode?
    If you can live without your applications, try Safe Mode for an entire day and see if the issues pops up as it normally does.

    For Safe Mode instructions click spoiler button below:
    Safe Mode will run your phone with all 3rd party applications disabled, on a more clean configuration.
    • Power the phone down and wait for it to be fully turned off for a minute or two
    • Power the phone back on
    • When you see the HTC Boot screen immediately press and hold down the 'volume down' hardware key on the right side of the phone. Hold it until the phone completes start up, and you see the words "Safe Mode" displayed in the lower left corner of your lock/home screen.
    To get back out of Safe Mode simply power off and power on your phone as normal.

    (getting into Safe Mode process may have changed in newer up to date software versions)

    As for replacing the battery. As you can tell, the battery is fully sealed inside the device and very difficult to access without a guide, know-how, and tools to carefully lift out the screen, protective material, and boards below. Perfectly putting the kit back together again cleanly after taking it apart is very hit or miss.
     
    #2 PyroSporker, Aug 25, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2017
  3. tommo47

    tommo47 Android Expert
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    I have had a very similar experience to both @IS122 and @PyroSporker, not only with my M9 which is beginning to show some battery deterioration but also with an M7 which is now almost four and a half years old. A couple of months ago the M7 started shutting down when the battery went below 50% or thereabouts. Rather than go down the repair route, which I'm given to understand is a difficult and therefore expensive job on the M7, (apparently not so difficult/expensive on the M9), we've bought reasonably priced, not too bulky, external battery packs which we've found to be a very effective way to overcome the problem.
     
  4. Hadron

    Hadron  
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    My M7 isn't that bad, but it's reached the age where I don't trust it below 30% - below that it might drop in large steps, or sometimes just shut down because the battery has discharged despite what the meter says (it always reads 0 when you plug it in even if it said 27 when it shut down).

    So yeah, ageing battery sounds possible, though I'm surprised at shutting down at 90% due to that so wonder whether there may be more to it. I guess this phone is second-hand so you don't know the history of the device.
     
  5. IS122

    IS122 Lurker
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    Thanks for the help guys,

    I bought the device new. The box still had the factory seal. With that said, it's a test model and the M9 wasn't new when I bought it, so I suspect it's probably been on a shelf for a few years unused.

    No, I'm not. That's been my experience as well. I think the HTC battery manager is running, but I've installed no 3rd party software of that nature.

    That's a good idea actually, I haven't tried it. Given the hard shutdown nature of it I always assumed hardware but I'll check safe mode to be sure.

    Aye, I've seen some videos. I've repaired phone screens and ipods before but being away from home I'd be likely to hand it over to a repair shop here I think. Thankfully they're not very expensive.

    I've asked a few people and the battery seems to be the consensus so barring safe mode I might look into having it replaced. I had an external bank but that stopped working too. I just have no luck with batteries it seems!
     
  6. PyroSporker

    PyroSporker Android Expert
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    Well that is confusing. I'm reading 2 sort of conflicting responses. Was it brand new or used? (Sorry if this is a language barrier/translation thing, not trying to be insensitive here)

    Batteries can go bad simply if they sit too long un-charged.

    Other good notes, always try to only use the original charger, cable, and travel converters that came with the device or a true product from your device's Manufacturer. There are tons of dodgy products out there that can ruin phone connectors and potentially batteries (especially with the newer phones than the M9 that have Type-C connectors).

    If the Safe Mode trick doesn't work, then you will know that it is very strongly leaning towards a strictly Hardware issue. As a final last ditch effort, you could back up all of your necessary data and then do a Cache Clear/Factory Data Reset. That should reset/clear the deep down software that works with the Battery to report the % and keep the device powered. Sometimes these files can get all hosed up - especially during/after a significant Software Update.

    Please update, I'd love to hear the final resolution from this one
     
    #6 PyroSporker, Aug 28, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2017
  7. IS122

    IS122 Lurker
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    Re reading that I can see the confusion - very poorly written on my part! The device was brand new. As I said, it was in a factory sealed box. When I booted it however, I learned it's a "test" model; it logs anonymous information like usage patterns, button presses and the like for HTC. It says on the splash screen for instance it's for testing purposes and shouldn't be distributed. It doesn't really bother me provided it works, so I never bothered bringing it up with the retailer.

    My friend bought one at the same time and his is a normal model.

    Which leads me to suspect that may be the problem. The M10 had been released when I bought this and I doubt there's much use for a test model late in the products life cycle. If anything they'd be the first produced. I imagine what happened is the phone probably gathered dust somewhere in a warehouse for couple of years before being found and the battery has perished in the meantime.

    I've tried the safe mode briefly and while I didn't have any problems, the removal of most functionality makes it difficult to simulate realistic conditions for it to fail under. I'll try the cache and factory data tomorrow probably and if I have no luck I'll look at having the battery replaced.

    Will keep you updated! Thanks for your suggestions and help thus far.
     
  8. IS122

    IS122 Lurker
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    Alright, so it's been a few days now since I did the factory reset and.... everything is good? I haven't had a shutdown since.

    Perhaps some pretty deep software as you said. I'll report back if the problem reoccurs, but thanks very much for the suggestions and help! God it's so nice to have a working phone again :)
     
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  9. IS122

    IS122 Lurker
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    Regret to report back - unfortunately it's reared it's ugly head again. I'll look at a battery replacement this weekend and let you know how I go.
     
  10. PyroSporker

    PyroSporker Android Expert
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    Test model, very odd. I've never heard of one of those besides a manufacturer test prototype, which is generally a completely different handset hardware shell used just to test the SoC (Processor chip), Camera modules, and Audio hardware.

    Thanks for the updates. I was glad to see that it was mostly solved. I almost happily replied to the first update, but I had a feeling that this would come up again. I saved us both the excitement :)

    The fact that it worked ok for a period of time and then got weird again is a little bit suspect. Makes me think this could still possibly be software related and not hardware. Did you re-install all your applications again right away, or one by one over a few days? Have you taken a long look at ALL the applications that you have installed?
    The beauty of a longer term Safe Mode test is that it can help you try to PROVE that it is a software issue. If you can just run Safe Mode for a full day or a battery cycle or two and the issue doesn't happen, then it is probably an application(s) causing the headaches.
     
  11. IS122

    IS122 Lurker
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    I felt it was a little too good to be true as well. I've attached a screenshot with some of the information regarding the device.

    I installed all of my apps at once. I'll give safe mode a try again - my problem is this isn't a super frequent issue - twice a day would be extremely rare, probably once every 2 days on average. A full day without it dying wouldn't be unusual even with full normal usage. I'd expect a day of safe mode to be fine purely because I can't open anything or really use it - which seems to be the trigger. Still, I'll set it up tomorrow and repeatedly unlock it to see if I can :)

    Also (and I'm not trying to be smart here, I'm genuinely curious) but is there a mechanism which would stop the phone turning back on that's software related? I can totally see how it would take it down, but how could software prevent it powering up? It doesn't crash or loop on the splash screen. It's completely unresponsive without power.
     

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  12. IS122

    IS122 Lurker
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    Just another quick bump - my concerns regarding safe mode were unfounded - had it brick in safe made within 3 minutes of turning on :thinking: I guess we're looking at hardware then!
     
  13. PyroSporker

    PyroSporker Android Expert
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    Oh yeah, I have seen that message before. It is not what I was picturing at all, but I have seen that. I think it was on an HTC 10. That message might appear on all devices in the newest versions of HTC Sense?
    (side thought; Could it maybe also signify if the phone is locked vs unlocked, rooted vs non-rooted, refurbished,
    or flashed and de-branded for your international travels - if your phone was flashed with the incorrect firmware it could cause lots of weird stuff to happen)

    It is difficult to describe this in a coherent way; Software at the 'lowest level of the software chain'? could keep the device from powering up.
    Sort of like the BIOS of a computer can override or halt the start up of a computer.

    For example there is low level software and hardware sensors that prevents the phone and battery from overheating and going into thermal runaway. The phone also won't power back up right away until the temperature has decreased.
    This is obviously not a user installed application and not effecting this situation, unless you are over working the phone and overheating it. Just trying to provide an example of sorts.

    Aw shoot! Guess that basically solves that debacle.
    Was it on the charger when that brick in safe mode happened?

    Has your power button ever 'stuck'? That could easily cause some weird power on/power off behaviour. And if 'stuck in' could potentially not allow the phone to power back on.
    Do you use a case with a magnet clasp on it, work or live in a magnetic environment? The phone has a magnetic sensor in it. When a magnet is near the sensor it turns the screen off (It doesn't power it down though)
     
    #13 PyroSporker, Sep 14, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2017
  14. IS122

    IS122 Lurker
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    There's a much longer version when you first setup the phone. It is quite explicit about it being a test unit and not for normal distribution, so I don't think it would be a common feature.

    Hmm, that IS food for thought. I wonder if it may be running non standard firmware. The box still had the factory seal on it and I never specified I was going abroad, so I'm not sure they retailer could have done much. Would it be potentially worthwhile flashing it?

    Ah that makes sense, thanks. I assumed how "hard" it crashed precluded software, but I hadn't thought of stuff running at that level.


    No, I had it off the charger to test. It's never bricked on charge before.

    There has been moments on charge I'd say it wanted to though. Sometimes opening the camera takes a couple of seconds and the device almost freezes, but it always opens if there's power.

    Nah, never had any issues at all with the power button.

    I did have a magnet case, but the magnet actually fell out a few months ago and it made no difference to the problem.

    I haven't had a chance to get to a repair shop this week, but barring firmware issues, the battery seems like the way to go yeah?
     

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