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Sunday, March 31, 2013

Nexus 7 Dead - Won't Start

Bought a Google (Asus) Nexus 7 Tablet in March 2013, via a friend who came from US. I paid $299 (+ shipping & tax = $339). It is the 3G model with 32GB internal memory (there is no support for external memory, like Micro SD cards).

More info:

This is supposedly the most powerful 7" tablet around. Spec wise it is way powerful than the Apple ipad mini too. Here is a quick look at the technical details:

7" 1280x800 HD display (216 ppi)
Back-lit IPS display
Scratch-resistant Corning® glass

1.2MP front-facing camera

NVIDIA® Tegra® 3 quad-core processor

NFC (Android Beam)

Android 4.2.2 (first to get updates)

16/32 GB internal storage

WiFi 802.11 b/g/n
NFC (Android Beam)

One of the coolest features of Android 4.2.x is multi-user. Like Windows etc, multiple users can have personal profiles, enhancing customization, personalization and security. This is really cool if you share the device with others in the family.

One tablet, many users.

It’s your fully customized tablet. And theirs, too. With support for multiple users, you can give each person their own space. Everyone can have their own homescreen, background, widgets, apps and games – even individual high scores and levels! And since Android is built with multitasking at its core, it’s a snap to switch between users – no need to log in and out. Available only on tablets.
Nexus was not launched in India until recently. Now basic model of Nexus 7 is available for purchase from google store directly. Nexus 4, Nexus 10 or other models of Nexus 7 like 32 GB, 3G etc are still not available.

Nexus gives you the best return for the money spent. But it is not rock solid as an iPad. An iPad can take severe beatings and still works reliably. Most common Nexus 7 issues are start up issues. It usually happens when battery is drained completely. Easiest way to prevent is to charge when battery is low, instead of waiting for the device to shutdown automatically! 
It happened for me too. Nexus 7 switched off by itself, complaining low battery. Then it didn't start, even after charging overnight. Searched online for common problems and solutions. None of it worked. Finally saw a comment from someone in a forum that it could be because the battery connections came out (usually happens if you drop the tab). Split the Nexus 7 open and voila it fixed my problem. 
Here are the details:
Problem: Nexus 7 won't startup after auto shutdown
1) First try a force reboot. Disconnect power cable and press down power button for 30 seconds. If lucky you will see the Google logo and your Nexus will start up fine! You can try again after charging for 2 hrs.
2) Connect power cable, immediately press Power + Volume Down buttons simultaneously for 30 seconds. It should boot into recovery mode with options to do factory reset etc.
If the above didn't help, you need to get your hands dirty. For me doing the above steps just turned screen on/off/flickering etc, but nothing came (no Google logo etc). Screen was just lit, nothing on it. While charging also screen would bleed light. 
So I carefully opened the back of Nexus 7, by wedging my nail thru it. If you don't have a strong nail, you can try a small knife or anything thin. Unhook the latches and remove the back cover. Examine the battery connector. For me it was loose and when I pushed slightly, it locked into the socket firmly with a click. Here is a picture of the same.

Put back the cover, pressed power button and it worked like a charm!

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