So My Smart Phone Died

Well, maybe died is too strong a term.  Everything was crashing on it when I turned it on.  I tried resetting to factory settings, wiping the cache, and everything I tried just made things worse.  Whether it was some kind of malware or virus, or some kind of glitch my smartphone was little more than a paper weight.

My options were few: get a new phone or try and fix it myself.  I had heard that you could install custom ROMs on your android phones (I think the term rooting is no longer used, but I am still new to this so am not quite sure), but until now I had no reason to look into it too much.  A friend of mine convinced me to try because what did I really have to lose?  I could receive calls, but that was about it, nothing else worked.  He pointed me to the XDA developers who have a lot of experience and knowledge with installing custom ROMs (basically installing another version of android onto your phone) for various smart phones.

Generally speaking, if your smart phone is working and you have no issues with it then there’s no need to install any other versions of android.  Doing so probably could void your warranty, so do your research first and find out what you would be getting yourself into before you do anything.  The more research you do ahead of time will mean less surprises and headaches should you actually decide to do it.  I’m more of a “if it ain’t broken, don’t fix it” kind of person, at least I was with my smartphone.  Computers are another matter entirely.  Another important thing is backing up your data, which you should do anyway even if you keep your phone the way it is.  You never know when your phone or computer may crash unexpectedly.

My first foray into making my smartphone useful again was installing a stable version of android 4.4.4 that I had found on XDA’s website.  In reading through the forum there and seeing how the experiences were for others I took the plunge.  However the first thing I had to do was unlock the boot loader of my phone.  Not all phone makers will allow this so you will need to do some research to see if it is something that you can do.  Fortunately for me with the HTC desire 610 phone I have the maker (HTC) does allow the boot loader to be unlocked, but they do warn you that it may void your warranty and to proceed with caution.

The process itself was simple enough, but with everything on my phone crashing it turned out being a challenge just to unlock the boot loader as my phone would freeze and crash during the process, but I did manage to do it.  I always backup the important information on my phone so I didn’t lose any important information.

My phone is now running 4.4.4 stable.  I flirted with a beta version of android 5, but my phone is still acting “quirky” which I guess means that the hardware is starting to go bad.  When I restart my phone it takes an additional 8 or 9 restarts just to get the wifi working again. Also the rear camera stopped working, not that I used it a lot anyway.   I could get a new phone, but I’m learning so much about the phone I have.