A device is said to be brickened when the device is n’t even able to access the desktop, stays in an eternal boot loop, or simply doesn’t turn on . That is, we are facing a beautiful brick. A very expensive paperweight. Anyway, although a brick means that the phone or tablet is totally disabled , it does not mean that it cannot be repaired or fixed with a little skill.
Tips for repairing a bricked or unusable phone
What I want to achieve with this article is not to chair, far from it. Each terminal is a world and what works for one device may not work in another. What I would like is to embed these 11 ideas in your brains , since they can practically be considered universal truths.
“I am not going to tell you how to fix your cell phone, but I will give you a couple of tips that will help you repair it by yourself.”
Tip # 1: Do a “Hard reset”
When a phone doesn’t work well, the first thing we think about is doing a factory wipe. Although we cannot access the Android settings, we can always try a “hard reset” from the device recovery .
The difference between a hard reset and a factory reset in use is that the hard reset can be done without loading the operating system -important if the mobile is brickened-. You can see more details on how to do a good factory reset from the recovery in this POST .
Tip # 2: A brickened phone is (almost) never broken by software: you can always connect to a PC via USB
Even though the phone reboots in an everlasting loop, don’t load the recovery menu or even turn it on – there is still workaround. Except for a short circuit or failure of any of its hardware components, it can always be connected to a PC via USB .
If we install the device drivers on a PC and connect it through a USB cable, our team is able to identify it and communicate with it. Even if the phone is turned off and without battery .
Tip # 3: ADB and Fastboot Commands for your Bricketed Cell Phone
The ADB and Fastboot commands allow us to communicate with our Android directly from the PC . For this it is necessary that we have installed the ADB and Fastboot packages .
This is very useful if we cannot get into the recovery to do a factory wipe. For example, using the command ” adb reboot-recovery ” we can restart the phone and directly load the recovery mode -from where we can do the hard reset-.
We can also use the command ” adb reboot-bootloader ” to restart the mobile and load the bootloader menu of the device.
Note: If we are advanced users and we are not afraid to “stick our hands” we can also use the fastboot. A more powerful tool than the ADB that allows us to flash partitions, recoverys, boot and other actions of great significance.
Tip # 4: Smart Phone Flash Tool + ROM of your terminal
If the problem is really serious and it is not solved with a hard reset, then it is recommended to flash the terminal. This is something that can be done using fastboot commands. Luckily, there are also flashing tools that do this job for us.
It is what is known as a Smart Phone Flash Tool, and each device has its corresponding flashing program for PC. For example, Samsung uses Odin , terminals with Mediatek processors use SP Flash Tool , HTC uses Windroid , etc.
Once we have the corresponding flashing application we only need to find a stock ROM , an image of the operating system of our Android terminal.
Once we have the ROM, we will use the flashing program to copy the ROM to our terminal and thus have a totally clean and 100% operational device. Like the first day.
This is the standard procedure to retrieve any phone no matter how messed up it is.
Then I leave you a LINK where the operation of the most common flashing tools is explained.
Tip # 5: Flash a new ROM with ADB Sideload
If we have a custom recovery installed on our Android we can take advantage of it in our favor. Custom recoverys like TWRP allow us to flash ROMs or factory images from our Android.
With ADB Sideload, we can flash a ROM from the PC by entering a single command in MS-DOS.
Tip # 6: Let the battery drain completely
When a terminal has an irreparable software failure, many times we will not even get the flashing tool to detect or work correctly with our terminal.
To solve this it is best to let the battery discharge completely .
With a fully depleted battery, our Flash tool is more likely to do its job.
Be careful, sometimes a device can take days to fully download.
Tip # 7: Emergency start by button combination
Oddly enough, many terminals often have an emergency ignition. That is, a combination of buttons that, if executed correctly, can allow us to turn on the phone.
What is that button combination?
The exact combination depends on each manufacturer and terminal, so here I can help you little. What I can tell you is that in my case, in a situation where the terminal was totally dead, I managed to turn it on by pressing all the buttons simultaneously for about 5 seconds.
Other possible combinations can be:
- Volume up + Power
- Volume Down + Power Button
- Volume up + Power + Home button
Tip # 8: Hardware failure?
As I said at the beginning, these are solutions for terminals with software failure, if the terminal has suffered a severe blow or short circuit, it is best to take it to the technical service.
In the event of a breakdown from falling into the water, my recommendation is to put it in a bag with a little rice for a few hours / days to absorb moisture . Although it does not always work, many times we can get to turn on the terminal at least to try to recover the data stored in it.
Tip # 9: USB Jig for hard bricks
One of the last recovery options, especially if we are facing what is known as a ” hard brick ” or unrecoverable failure in which the phone does not even turn on, is to buy a USB Jig.
The USB Jig is a device that connects to the USB input and activates the download mode of the terminal. This allows us to reinstall the device’s stock firmware.
It is a gadget that can be found at a very good price in stores like Amazon or Ebay. The bad news is that it does not work on all devices and does not offer any guarantee of use, so normally, in these cases it is best to take it to the store for repair.
Tip # 10: Broken screen?
If the problem is that the screen of our phone or tablet is broken, we must assess whether it is worth repairing or not. If the corner store is going to charge us 70 or 80 euros, it may be more convenient for us to buy a new mobile.
Personally, I do not recommend doing the repair ourselves, as it is a very delicate process. In this interesting video we can see how to repair a broken screen by a true professional step by step :
Tip # 11: Battery problem?
Finally, if you think that your smartphone does not turn on and that the problem may be in the battery ,
Tip # 12: Is the power button broken?
If the power button is broken or broken due to a blow and we cannot turn on the terminal there are several options that we can try. The idea is to turn on the Android phone and once this objective has been achieved, change the power function to another physical button (such as one of the volume buttons).
- Turn on the phone : To start up in the terminal we can do it either through ADB commands (connecting the terminal to a PC and launching the command “adb reboot”) or connecting the terminal to the battery (some mobiles start automatically when connecting the charger to the USB port).
- Assign the on / off function to another button : For this we can use an app like Power Button to Volume Button (which does exactly that, assign the power button to the volume button) or Gravity Screen , another app that allows us to turn on and turn off the screen by using gestures.
To finish I also leave you the corresponding video that I once uploaded to YouTube, commenting on these same tips:
And what do you think? Do you know any other method to recover from a brick?