Monday, March 17, 2014

Updating my 2012 post about .@VZWSupport and my Samsung Stratosphere OS upgrade

For those who have forgotten the details:

Back on September 18, 2012, an Android operating system upgrade was pushed out to my first-generation Samsung Stratosphere phone. After the upgrade was complete, I began having problems connecting my phone to my netbook via USB, and was receiving errors such as

Sorry…Process stopped unexpectedly. Try again

The "solution" for these problems was to perform a factory reset of the phone, which even Verizon Wireless (my cellular provider) acknowledged was painful:

Often times after a software update is completed a factory reset becomes necessary. I know completing this step can be a bit painful, but it resolves so many minor problems that pop up after the update.

I chose not to perform the factory reset at the time, and am still not pleased that a factory reset is recommended after an OS upgrade. (Imagine if Windows, Linux, or the MacOS required such a step.)

Eventually, my initial workaround to connect my phone and netbook ceased to work, so I developed another workaround - using a popular free cloud-based service to store files for transfer between the two devices. But I'd still get the nasty error message when I plugged my phone into my netbook to charge the phone.

And, as the months went by, other little things would crop up occasionally. Whether they were related to the OS upgrade is unclear, but they were petty little things that I could live with.

Until 11:30 pm yesterday (Sunday).

I was sent to the store to get something, but I would have to make a phone call from the store to get the right thing.

Now, even under the best of circumstances, making a voice call on my phone is a complex undertaking, because I have both Skype and Google Voice installed on my phone. So if I want to make a call, first I have to say "no" to the dialog box that asks if I want to use Skype, then I have to say "no" to the dialog box that asks if I want to use Google Voice, then I have to say "no" to the second dialog box that asked if I want to use Skype. (I don't know why I'm asked this a second time; this is one of those petty little things that's cropped up over the last few months.)

Sometimes, however, I don't encounter the best of circumstances. I'll choose the person that I want to call, then after a couple of minutes I get the first dialog box, then after a few more minutes I get the second dialog box, and then I eventually get the third.

Last night I wasn't that lucky - I never could make the voice call from the store.

So I resorted to texting - and even the text message took 10 minutes to be sent.

Oh, and I was unable to get a connection when I tried to uninstall Skype, and sometimes my settings said that my voice phone number was unknown.

Now some or all of these things may have had nothing to do with the OS upgrade. They might not have had to do with my phone; perhaps I was just in a bad coverage area. But as I sat in a chair in the store, staring at my phone, waiting for something to happen, I made a resolution - "I think I'll do that factory reset when I get home."

Eventually I got home (despite the communication issues, I did buy the correct item), and got ready to perform a post-midnight factory reset. I found these instructions at the Verizon Wireless website; they described a "preferred method" and an "alternate method." The preferred method would complete the process in 2 1/2 minutes or less, so I chose that method.

Eight minutes later, I switched to the alternate method. Luckily, that worked, and I was able to proceed with phone activation and setup, which was going fine...until my phone shut off due to lack of power (despite being connected to the charger). Luckily, the phone turned out fine - I think.

As of today, the phone is working. Due to the late night activity, I've only installed a few applications so far - Spotify, of course, was a necessity. But I haven't rushed to install Skype or Google Voice.

And I never did check to see if I was now able to transfer files between my phone and netbook.
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