Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Bootloop: All You Want to Know

“Bootloop” is a very familiar term for smartphone users whatever OS they use, but it is definitely more familiar to Android phone users. Android being an Open Source operating system, is open to third party modifications. If you have a basic or advanced knowledge of Linux coding, you can develop a custom ROM or a modify a system file of your Android phone. Such openness has opened vistas for our great developers to cook ROMs, mods and hacks. It has enriched our experience with our phones at one hand, and posed a few problems like bootloop or a bricked phone in rare cases.

Most of phone- freaks like me spend their days doing nothing but trying almost all custom ROMs and mods available out there to tell other what is good for them. In doing so we often face a bootloop but that is not to say that only the third- party ROMs and mods are responsible for the problem. In most cases, however, it is some incompatible file imposed from outside that hinders the system files to work normally, resulting in a bootloop.

Thus, bootloop is a situation where the Android smartphones refuses to boot normally. There’s something wrong with the Android device, which is preventing it from completing the boot cycle and is stuck between the boot animation and the unlock screen. Bootloop is mainly caused when system files interfere with each other, causing instability, and crashes at the boot sequence.

While getting a bootloop on an Android phone is not a serious concern for an advanced user, it is surely enough to make a newbie or a noob tremble a little. Very often an average user begin to wonder if his phone is bricked or dead. In the present article I shall try to share with you some solutions that might help you recover your Android device from a bootloop.

Precautions to Avoid and Prevent Data Loss:

Bootloop is definitely one of the most undesirable situations a smartphone user can get into. It is shocking enough to make a new or basic user believe that he/she has bricked the device. It is true that in most cases you can recover your device to normal state but if you take precautionary steps, you could avoid it. Prevention is always better than the cure!

However, precautions cannot guarantee that you device is bootloop- proof. Therefore, it is also necessary that you always keep your phone’s data backed up. Remember, if your device gets into a bootloop, there are 90% chances that you will loose all your data, apps, settings and files stored on the internal SD of your device.

Things to be taken care of:

Before installing any stock or custom ROM, do not forget to confirm that it is made for your device and, more important, the same model number.

Before installing any custom Kernel, mod, patch or ROM, do not forget to backup your ROM. Also backup your phone’s apps, games, contacts, messages or any important data to an external storage-memory card, USB storage or your computer.

Avoid installing apps from outside Play Store and only those that are compatible with your device.
If your device is not rooted, you can use the official PC Suite from your device manufacturer.

Possible Reasons of a Bootloop on Android Device:

The reasons for getting a bootloop on your Android device might be anything. If you wish to know the reason why your Android phone is stuck on the bootloop, you need not type your problem on the Google search box. Just calm yourself for a while and think what you did just before. It could be anything! Here are some major reasons why your Android device is caught in a bootloop.

After installing an official or custom ROM
Flashing a wrong ROM or Kernel
Running an incompatible app or game
Wrong Permissions fix for an app or file
Installing a custom  mod or theme

Most often we face a bootloop just after flashing a stock or custom ROM over an old one. This might be a major factor behind the bootloop issue on your device. Suppose you have flashed a new version of firmware over the old version. Your old data still remains on the device and the new firmware will use the Dalvik Cache from the old ROM that might not be compatible with the new system files and it will result in a bootloop. It mostly happen just when your device tries to reboot after you have flashed a stock or custom ROM. If this is the case, here is the solution.

If your device is on stock firmware, that also means it does not have a custom recovery like TWRP/CWM installed in it. Then do these steps:

1. Pull out the the battery of your phone, wait for about 30 seconds and reinsert it to its place.
2. Boot your device into ASR(Android System Recovery) mode. The method involves a hardware key combination and varies from one phone to another. For Samsung phones, for example, the key combination is Volume Up+Home + Power keys. The tablets which generally have no Home button, you can enter the Recovery mode bypressing and holding the Volume Up + Power keys simultaneously.
3. In the Android System Recovery, scroll down to “wipe cache partition” option using the volume rockers and select it using the power key.
4. When you have wiped the data/factory, go back to the main menu and reboot the device by “reboot  system now” option.
5. If the device is still stuck on Boot animation  pull out the battery again and repeat the above steps. This time also “wipe data/factory reset ” and then reboot device.
The bootloop problem should be fixed now.

If you have a rooted device with CWM recovery installed in it,and your phone  is caught into a bootloop after flashing a custom ROM or mod, do as follows:

1. Pull out the battery, reinsert it after 30 seconds and boot the device into CWM Recovery: Volume Up+ Home + Power keys simultaneously.
2. Go to “Advanced”
3. Choose “Wipe dalvik-cache”
4. Now go to “Mounts & Storage”
5. Choose “Wipe/cache”
6. Reboot your phone
The bootloop should be gone now. If it still persists, do this.
1. Boot the phone again into CWM Recovery
2. Now go to “Mounts & Storage”
3. Choose “Wipe/data”
4. Choose “Wipe/cache”
5. Then reboot your phone.
Now the phone should reboot normally. Next time when you install a ROM, follow the instructions prescribed by the developer. Be more attentive to the warnings before experimenting with any third party ROM or mod. Always ensure what you are about to install is meant for your device.

If the Above Methods Do Not Work!

In case you are not able to get your device come out of bootloop, your final option should be to install or restore a previously backed up ROM by putting the device in recovery mode, or to install the official firmware/factory image to your phone your tablet.

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