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What causes a crash loop? Is Android really this unstable if you're not an advanced user?

Discussion in 'Android Lounge' started by alexeisdolores, Dec 21, 2011.

  1. alexeisdolores

    Thread Starter

    HTC Desire Z (Gingerbread)
    Not rooted or jailbroken
    No Android Task Killer
    *I use ADWLauncherEX instead of the HTC Sense UI.
    **Purchased in July 2011 (I badly need a physical QWERTY keyboard.)

    First off, I'm incredibly frustrated that Android can be this unstable. I've owned a Blackberry, Nokia (symbian), and an iPhone, but I have never had a problem with the OS that could not be resolved by merely rebooting it ONCE.

    Moreover, let's face the facts: Not everyone has advanced programming skills. I'm not a total noob, but it's safe to say that I know my way around my gadgets than most average people. I apologize if I'm asking something that might seem stupid to some people.

    Ultimately, experiencing something like this makes the phone an inconvenience. I'd like to think that owning an Android is about usability and versatility.

    ANYWAY, the problem:

    The loop began immediately after this happened:

    My battery was nearly drained, and I had just stepped into the office. By the time the phone indicated it was shutting down, I managed to plug it to my laptop for charging (I forgot to bring my wall charger), but it shut down anyway.

    I borrowed a colleague's wall charger a few minutes later and when I turned it on, the crash and boot loop started.

    I tried doing a system recovery (by holding down the power and optical navigator buttons at the same time and selecting RECOVERY), but the phone just got stuck on the phone icon with a red warning sign (triangle and exclamation symbol).

    Is my phone hopeless at this point? Do I have to do a factory reset? I have no back up of my files that aren't in the micro SD. (By the way, is there a way to download my files from the internal memory at this point?)

    P/S - I know it's stupid that I don't have a back-up of my internal memory. I use a Macbook and haven't had the time to figure out how to back it up into my computer (Android doesn't have a back-up software for Mac from what I recall). I also never learned how to back it up into my external micro SD. Some of the Android apps I found that allowed me to do that required rooting my phone?

    1. Download the Forums for Android™ app!


  2. dan330

    dan330 Extreme Android User

    I dont think it is a software issue at this point, so not android..
    maybe your battery is below minimum level of charge.. so it keeps loosing power.

    trying letting it charge for a few hours... without interruption.

    or the battery could have gone bad.
  3. Crashdamage

    Crashdamage Android Expert

    Android is just fine. If it had severe stability problems hundreds of millions of people wouldn't buy and happily use Android devices. I'm typing this on a HTC G2 (T-Mobile version of your Desire Z) and it has been totally stable for over a year.

    Do as dan330 suggested - charge it fully and try again, without pushing anything but the power button. If it fails take out the battery for 15 seconds, replace and reboot. If it still fails post again here with the error.

    For backups to SD card without root I like MyBackup Pro. You don't need backup software for your Mac. After using MyBackup just connect to the Mac via USB in mass storage mode and copy the 'rerware' folder from the SD card.
  4. alexeisdolores

    Thread Starter

    Please explain why it's a battery issue. What difference does it make if it's fully charged or not?

    Going into a crash loop already implies that my phone has enough power to go into, well, a crash loop?

    In any case, fine. I'm fully charging my phone first. Hope this works.

    Is there a way to recover my data while the OS is malfunctioning?
  5. dan330

    dan330 Extreme Android User

    low battery can make the phone act strange...

    since you said it is boot looping at the beginning.. i am guessing it never get past the phone's initial start up before it goes into android. so android is not involved with your current issue.

    you said this started when you could not reach a charger in time.. and it shut down. when you tried to get the phone to boot up, after that.. this is when your boot loop started. so.. we are guessing it has to do with low power.. on your battery.

    we have also see others that have issues with their battery.. and it took a long charge time for the battery to start to respond again.

    you do know... this is just us giving you our best guess at what might be wrong.
    you can try it out.. or...
  6. alexeisdolores

    Thread Starter

    I badly need my contacts at this point. I just need to know if there is a way to boot my Android through my computer so I can get my contacts.

    I'm telling you, it's not a battery issue. Sometimes, I would get to as far as seeing the lock screen. If I'm lucky, I can unlock it and see a dialogue box saying HTC encountered an unexpected error... do I want to force close or tell HTC.
  7. alexeisdolores

    Thread Starter

    By the way, thanks for the explanation about the battery. I hope I have the patience to charge it fully. It's been a day since the endless cycle of crashing and rebooting happened.
  8. dan330

    dan330 Extreme Android User

    go to your computer... go to google.com.. go to the mail site
    login using the google account you created for your phone.

    all your contacts should be there.. if you let it sync...
  9. alexeisdolores

    Thread Starter

    My battery's half full.

    I turned it on again and the boot loop began as usual.

    Something about an error with "com.android.phone" -- no specifics. I've been seeing this error since yesterday. How do I rule out battery issues?


    P/S - My contacts aren't fully synced with Google. I need another option to download my contacts.
  10. chanchan05

    chanchan05 The Doctor

    I had other guys on the Nokia forums have this issue before, and it also happened to me as well, on Symbian phones. I also thought it was the system, but apparently its just the battery. The battery went down below the minimum critical charge left (for some reason I can't explain, as they shouldn't go down that normally even when shutting down, unless the battery was already deteriorating from over use or excessing charge cycles) and no matter how much you try to charge it, it will say full or half full but the charge contained is less than what is needed to boot the phone up, leading to crash cycles. In my research then, I found out this can happen to all types of rechargeable batteries, so I stopped blaming the system, especially after the same thing happened to my old laptop's battery.

    At this point you need to try booting up the phone with a new battery to see if the diagnosis of bad battery is correct.
  11. alexeisdolores

    Thread Starter

    I tried turning on my phone after charging it fully. I noticed that there was an exclamation sign over the battery icon. I guess it really is a battery issue?
  12. jerofld

    jerofld Fixing stuff is not easy

    That means that the phone is not able to talk to the battery or it detects an error with the battery. The easiest solution is to replace the battery and see if it fixes your phone.

    Of course, you can take it back to the store you got it from and have them try a new battery, first. If your device is still under warranty, they should replace the battery free of charge. Cell phones usually have a 1-year warranty.
  13. alexeisdolores

    Thread Starter

    Yes, it's still under warranty. Will update everyone after I visit an HTC service center.
  14. Crashdamage

    Crashdamage Android Expert

    My guess is somehow the charge control chip in the battery was fried when you plugged it into the charger as it was about to shut down. Unfortunate timing but a new battery should fix things.
  15. alexeisdolores

    Thread Starter

    Just an update, but preliminary diagnosis is that it's NOT the battery. Any other ideas?
  16. dan330

    dan330 Extreme Android User

    take it in for warranty
  17. Frisco

    Frisco =Luceat Lux Vestra=

    process com.android.phone has stopped unexpectedly
    Case 1
    If you have recently returned from travel in a country outside your own it may be a service book error

    1. Choose SETTINGS
    Crashdamage likes this.
  18. alexeisdolores

    Thread Starter

    Hi, Frisco. I don't think you read my post thoroughly.

    1. I don't have a task killer.

    2. My phone is on a crash loop. How do you expect me to change the settings of my phone?

    3. I've tried rebooting my phone. It won't work.


    In any case, HTC called me back and told me it was a motherboard problem. >.<
  19. novox77

    novox77 Leeeroy Jennnkinnns!

    Glad to hear that you got to the bottom of the issue. And that you get a free replacement for the defect.
  20. IOWA

    IOWA Mr. Logic Pants

    Glad this issue was resolved.

    Just want to throw another heads up out there, using a charger not properly rated for your phone can damage your device as well. Not all MicroUSB chargers are created equal, and some of them go bad over time as well...

    A bad/mismatched charger can lead to fried batteries.. motherboards... etc.
    danaj and B2L like this.
  21. Roze

    Roze Hiding behind a mystery

    >_>;;; *argh* Hopefully the (unknown) charger that I'm using isn't damaging Artie.
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