Unbreak my phone
June 28, 2010 2:08 PM   Subscribe

Why is my HTC Magic (branded T-Mobile MyTouch 3G) restarting every time I try to do anything on my phone?

It just started doing this an hour ago. It's driving me batty, as I'm on the road, and it's pretty much my lifeline to the rest of the world (I'm writing this from a FedEx Kinko's, $0.25 for every minute).

Once, I have gotten an error message ("process android.acore.process is not responding") but all the rest of the upwards of 10 times it has restarted, it has given no error, just stopped responding to any screen touches and then restarted. It seems like it might be related to the touchscreen, as I haven't yet had a freezeup when navigating with the rollerball—scratch that, I just did.

This is incredibly frustrating.

What could be causing this? How can I fix it?
posted by ocherdraco to Computers & Internet (14 answers total)
HOLY SHIT, that just happened to my G1 on Friday, minus the restarts -- but the touchscreen suddenly stopped, and then I started getting that android.acore error message. I do not know how to fix it, but I will say this: I tried a hard reset to the factory settings, and didn't realize that to do the full reset process, I would have to touch the android picture on the screen. So as far as I can tell, my phone is now bricked. So, uh, don't do the reset thing.
posted by Greg Nog at 2:11 PM on June 28, 2010

restarting every time I try to do anything on my phone

To clarify, after each restart, the phone will stay on until I try to perform some action—any action—at which point the screen will freeze for a few seconds before the phone restarts. There is no error message (when I did receive an error message, it gave me the option to ignore. I did, and it didn't shut down immediately, so I don't even know if that error message is at all related).
posted by ocherdraco at 2:14 PM on June 28, 2010

OMG THAT'S SCARY, GREGNOG. Will not do a hard reset, then.
posted by ocherdraco at 2:15 PM on June 28, 2010

Want me to try calling? No idea what help, if any, that would offer, but it's something.
posted by MrMoonPie at 2:18 PM on June 28, 2010

Very important to know - have you installed any hacks/mods/etc or rooted the phone? This could complicate troubleshooting quite a bit.
posted by drstein at 2:43 PM on June 28, 2010

What version of Android are you using? Have you installed a recent firmware update?

I'm sorry I can't be of more help, but ever since I got an OTA update to my HTC Desire earlier this month (Vodafone UK, And2.1) mine has been acting in a similar fashion (running slow, forced close on SenseUI virtually every time I touch it). At some point I stumbled over a thread on one of the many Android forums from someone reporting this problem, many others saying they're having the same issue, and one person saying they'd spoken to someone at HTC that said it was a known issue and they're working on it. Sorry, I don't have an URL for that.

I seem to have gotten it under control by uninstalling a lot of frivolous applications, leaving only the tried-and-tested essentials, and restarting the phone at least once every 24 hours.
posted by K.P. at 3:47 PM on June 28, 2010

Technically you can do a factory reset, as long as your touchscreen is still working. Greg Nog's phone isn't bricked in the "can't boot up past the T-mobile G1 screen" sense. If his touchscreen was functioning, Greg would be able to use his phone normally.

I would try a factory reset and be careful what you install from the market. I'm curious to know if you have rooted your phone and installed a custom ROM. As drstein said, that would complicate things.
posted by aGee at 4:01 PM on June 28, 2010

I have noticed that when I let my G1 run out of batteries, it often has major problems on the next reboot. Really random stuff like not accepting calls, browser quitting, home screen not functioning, random apps crashing all the time. I can fix this with every time by restoring the flash from backup (I use the Cyanogen mod, which has this feature). I assume the phone doesn't completely sync the filesystem on its internal flash, so there are random errors in program code.

I'd recommend the factory reset for that reason.
posted by miyabo at 8:48 PM on June 28, 2010

So, the mystery deepens, because the phone is working normally this morning. I spoke to someone at a T-Mobile storefront yesterday, and when I described the issue, the guy said it was an issue with the phone itself, to call customer service, and they'd send me a new one.

I haven't rooted my phone, and I don't believe I've installed any firmware updates recently.

posted by ocherdraco at 8:23 AM on June 29, 2010

sounds like a dying battery to me. your phone works in an idle state, but any activity ups the CPU speed, causing a voltage spike that your dying battery can't handle, causing the phone to reboot.

does it happen when the phone is plugged in? If not, then a $50 replacement battery will get you back in business.
posted by jrishel at 8:32 AM on June 29, 2010

I'm guessing you charged the phone overnight and it's working normally this morning because the battery is fully charged, but it will start freaking out as it wears down. this fits with my dying battery theory :)
posted by jrishel at 8:46 AM on June 29, 2010

Nope, phone was not charged overnight, and its battery was nearly full when the issues occurred.

I'm thinking this is one of those things that's just not explainable without diagnostic tests.
posted by ocherdraco at 10:32 AM on June 29, 2010

Just to confirm: the touchscreen is completely unresponsive?

(this random poster seems to have run into the exact same issue I did, BTW)

I called T-mobile about my problem and they were like, "Nah, it's broken, time to buy a new phone and get back on contract with us!" and I was all LATERZ

posted by Greg Nog at 10:47 AM on June 29, 2010

When it was happening, the touchscreen would initially be responsive, but would quit responding after a few seconds, then the shutdown would quickly follow.
posted by ocherdraco at 11:07 AM on June 29, 2010

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