Is my phone replacement a dud?
September 29, 2013 2:11 PM   Subscribe

Someone recently stole my Iphone 4 and with my upgrade coming up in December and not having insurance I had to resort to alternative means to acquire a new phone. I purchased a HTC thunderbolt online with a cracked screen for fairly cheap.When I first got it the "device" worked great. I can browse the phone and connect to wifi and have no SD card issues but when I went to activate it at verizon they stuck a 4G LTE SIM card in it and tried activating it for over an hour then eventually told me they were stumped and to buy another phone or call customer support.

Well they managed to reset it and even checked the prior service from the previous user to make sure it was a working verizion phone as describe by the seller since it was off market. The phone had been used with a month and they could not fully activate the phone. I can turn on the mobile network and I connect the the 4G network which enables be to browse the web and download anything. The only functionality issues are my phone number, I can't make or receive calls. I got a google voice number and use VOIP for the mean time but i would like to get to the bottom of this. I think the phone may of been "rooted". I'm not very familiar with DROIDS, ROMS, or rooting but I am tech savy. When I boot the phone while pressing the volume down it boots into a program called Team Win Recovery Program TWRP... Please help me flash the rom on the phone and bring it to factory settings so I can activate it or at least shed some light on my problem. I believe I need to "unroot" it then activate and update it then "root" it again... Help I don't want to brick my phone or ruin what little service i already have.
posted by isopropyl to Computers & Internet (3 answers total)
First, try a factory reset (warning - This will wipe out everything you have customized since getting it): With the phone off (not just asleep), hold down volume-down and power until it comes up to a diagnostics menu. Scroll down to "factory reset", and press power to select it. That will completely wipe your phone back to its original state (though depending on the rooting technique used, may or may not un-root it for you).

If you don't currently have the latest and greatest firmware, I would follow the above with a firmware update. that should un-root it for you and restore it to more-or-less compliant defaults, no matter what.

And all that said - You might want to make sure it works "normally" before trying to tie it into 3rd party services like Google Voice. That will help you rule out the phone or carrier, and limit your diagnostics to only what you've changed since it last worked.
posted by pla at 5:49 PM on September 29, 2013

Is it a Verizon-branded phone? If not there's not much we can do for it, alas.

Can you send and receive text messages? If yes, what number comes up on the recipient's phone -- the one you have, or a different one? If a different one, well, there's yer problem -- it's not fully activated to your line.

Do you know how to check the baseband version and android version and all that? You should be on Ice Cream Sandwich. Is the software itself up to date? Current should be something like 7.02.605.10 [source]. AFAIK there should be some indication there if it's a rooted phone vs some sort of weird software overlay.

source: VZW customer care, I am. I'm not full tech, I'm more of a generalist, but that should get you going in the right direction. If that all checks out then yeah, I'd do a full factory reset.
posted by gloraelin at 1:22 AM on September 30, 2013

Not sure that a Factory Reset is going to work in this instance. My guess is that you'll have to download an original factory image (RUU) and then flash that over what you have now. The HTC Thunderbolt area on XDA is the place to go for this sort of thing. The Q&A forum is the one you want, and there's even a noob starter guide for hacking/flashing that phone.

Be aware that the process is doable, but can be complex. Good luck!
posted by cnc at 2:01 PM on September 30, 2013

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