Sunday, November 30, 2014

More adventures in rooting

Gosh, it was back in May 2013 that I explained the odd bug in my relatively primitive Samsung Tab 2 tablet which required either a factory re-set, or rooting the system to be able to access system files to stop the bug.  I successfully rooted and solved that problem permanently.  (I think.)

Well, a new and completely different bug arose this weekend - the machine got stuck in a "reboot loop".

Getting to the bottom of this problem proved much harder - in fact, although there are suggested remedies out there, no one seems to really know what causes it.

The simplest remedy is to do a factory re-set; the more complicated one was to "flash" onto the machine a whole new modified operating system, of which there are many floating around out there.   Actually, I would have been perfectly happy using an official Samsung one - yet finding one for the correct region is a real pain.  Samsung Australia don't bother providing it as a download.  Samsung US seemed to, but not for this region, and I understood that it could be risky using the wrong region one.  And some websites did have the right firmware, but on one of those awful download sites that try to get to pay money instead of waiting for a painfully slow 4 hour download to finish.   Of course, the fact that this was a basic tablet that's been superceded by probably 40 Samsung models alone means that there is probably very low demand for a copy of the right firmware.

Anyway, I spent hours considered using Odin (the software, the Norse god was not available) to put on a whole new ROM, but before I did that, I tried something less than a factory reset - a wiping of the partition cache.  The only effect this had was to prevent me getting back to the system recovery screen commands - while the machine continued its reboot loop.

I then tried to follow the many guides about installing a whole new ROM, but none of them allowed for the fact that I might not be able to get to the system recovery commands.   So I used Odin to try to install a couple of recovery programs that many said were needed anyway for loading a new ROM.  Neither of these worked - well, they got onto the machine, but only the introductory screen would show up, then the tablet would start its reboot loop again.

So, out of desperation, I decided maybe it would be useful to re-root the machine using the same Odin method I had used for the previous problem last year. 

Lo and behold - re-rooting it meant the system recovery screen was back, and at that point, I hastily did the factory reset that I should have just done the first time, and saved myself 8 hours of frustrating Googling amongst the world of Android nerds.

And so the tablet is back - admitted with all photos and videos lost (not that there were that many, and I think some are backed up on the PC) and apps to re-install.   But - it is not a brick.  Yay.

(And actually it gets limited use now by my wife mainly - I spend all my time with my beloved Samsung Tab S 7 inch.  A fantastic machine that even Samsung's poor support for its earlier, crappier models does not detract from.)

Update:  Is this the most boring post ever on this blog?  Don't get me started on recent precipitation patterns in South East Queensland, though....   

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