How to Fix an Android Phone or Tablet That Appears to be Bricked

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brickedandroidSo you decided to root (and flash) your Android handset or tablet, and now things don’t seem to be working right. Maybe it won’t start. Perhaps the phone keeps restarting or won’t boot into Android.

It’s time to face the music..  your Android device is bricked. Or is it? In reality, Android is built with flexibility and durability in mind. That means its hard to completely break your Android device.

When fully bricked, your phone is no longer user-repairable in any shape or form. The truth is that many times new modders think that just because a phone appears to be bricked means that all hope is lost. Luckily, this isn’t true.

Haven’t rooted your device yet but considering it? Before you decide, take a look at Guiding Tech’s list of pros and cons involved when rooting your Android device.

Fixing a device that appears to be bricked isn’t a one-fits-all approach, but we will share with you some of the general hints and tips that could be used to get your Android device working again:

What to do if Your Phone Boots Straight into Recovery

Right now your phone refuses to do anything other than boot up directly into ClockWorkMod or any other recovery software you chose to use. It’s toast right? Not exactly.

There is a chance that everything is actually fine and the ROM you used simply is designed to boot into recovery the first time after flashing. To test if that’s the case:

Step 1: Load up ClockWorkMod or whatever recovery tool you are using. Keep in mind that how you do this varies, depending on your phone’s make and model.

For most devices, it’s as simple as holding the up or down volume rocker as your phone boots.

Note: Some devices will automatically boot into the recovery tool, but others will require you to first pick recovery from a list of options.

Step 2: Once in, navigate to reboot system now. This should be the first option on the top, for those using ClockWorkMod.

cwm1

Hopefully that’s it and everything will start working. If not, that means that you’ll want to re-flash the ROM all over again.

While it doesn’t hurt to try re-flashing with the exact same ROM that you used last time, odds are the problem is that the ROM you used was corrupted. If that’s the case, you’ll be better off downloading a new/different ROM.

If you’ve gotten this far, you should already know how to put a ROM ZIP file onto your device and flash it, but as a refresher:

Step 1: Plug your SD card into your computer and drag the ROM ZIP to your SD card. When it’s finished transferring, eject the card.

Step 2: Place the SD card back in your phone or tablet, while the device is off. Now turn on your phone and boot into recovery. Using the volume keys as buttons, navigate down to Install ZIP from SD card. Select this option by using the power button.

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Step 3: Let it go through the process of flashing. When done, reboot. If successful, your device will now boot into the custom ROM you installed.

What to do if Your Phone Won’t Stop Rebooting

The ROM has been flashed, you thought everything went well, but apparently your phone won’t boot into the homescreen and appears to be stuck in a reboot cycle. The problem here could actually be a very simple one.

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It’s important to wipe your data and cache before flashing a ROM to your device. Luckily, if you forgot, it’s really not a big deal.

Step 1: Turn your phone off, and then reboot into Recovery. As already mentioned before, how you do this varies depending on your device, though often enough you simply need to hold down either the up or down volume rocker.

Step 2: Navigate over to Advanced. This will bring up a new menu with several options.

Step 3: The second option from the top downward is Wipe Dalvik Cache. Choose this option and follow the prompts. When finished, return to the main menu by selecting Go Back.

cwm3

Step 4: Once back at the main screen, navigate down to Wipe Cache Partition. Select it now.

Step 5:  Head to Wipe Data/Factory Reset. This will wipe all apps and settings, but since this is a new ROM flash this shouldn’t hurt anything.

cwm-wipe

Step 6: Finally, reboot your device by selecting reboot system now. If all went well, you should now be able to boot directly into the ROM. If not, you might want to re-flash the same ROM, or try a new one.

None of the Above Solutions Seem to Work? Your SD Card could be at Fault

While the odds of this are pretty low, sometimes the SD card itself is causing issues with things like flashing a ROM.

In this event, you might want to put your SD card into your computer and reformat it. If you have a spare SD card, you also might want to try using it instead.

Is Your Hardware Actually the Problem?

brokenphone

If your phone simply refuses to start or the display is being unresponsive, it’s possible that the problem has nothing to do with the root procedure or with flashing your device. Instead, it could just be bad timing that led to your power charger going bad, or perhaps your display is damaged.

Neither of these things are that likely once again, but it always helps to be thorough and consider all possible problems and solutions.

All Else Fails, Time to Restore from the Original ROM

Ran into a problem that seems to have no possible fix? If so, the solution might be to simply restore the original ROM. This will break your root, get rid of ClockWorkMod and otherwise return your phone or tablet to the same exact state in which it was purchased.

How do you go about this process? Unfortunately, it would be impossible to walk you through this step by step without knowing exactly what handset or tablet you are using. In this case, a search engine like Google or Bing could prove to be your best friend. You’ll want to use a search term like: How to restore original ROM for ( your phone model).

Conversely, you might want to head to a trusty Android community resource like the XDA Developer’s forum, where you will likely be able to find additional help or the tools needed to restore your device.

Conclusion

Never give up! Odds are, your so-called bricked phone can be unbricked without sending it in and paying top dollar for repairs.

If you really are at a dead end here, you can always try returning your phone, but remember that mentioning a phone has been rooted/flashed will void your warranty.

Anyone else out there have any other suggestions for fixing a device that – at first glance – appears to be bricked? Both Guiding Tech and our readers would love to hear all about it in the comments below.

Image credit: Robert

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  • http://www.techpanache.com/ Ashish Mundhra

    You mean semi-bricked. Because if a phone is bircked, it’s as good as a paper weight. I did brick my SGS once and no buttons would work on it. The company had to replace the mother board. But I have semi-bricked my HTC phone countless number of times and most of it while writing for GT :) Most of the time I had to take a different approach. Like for once I had to re-flash the whole CWM recovery.

    • http://www.guidingtech.com Abhijeet Mukherjee

      Yes, the writer mentions the same in the third paragraph.

  • Pingback: Android Phone Not Working? Try These Steps :: TinyHacker

  • Murthy Viswa

    Dear Friends,

    I have a Micromax A100 mobile which is out of warranty. I tried to update the ICS with Jb 4.1.1 and at that time the mobile got OFF and now I am not able to SWITCH ON the mobile .

    I tried with VolDown + Power key at the same time to launch FASTBOOT and so many options like that. The mobile is not ON. When connected to PC via data cable it is not shown in the LIST OF DRIVES on MY COMPUTER but shown in the device manager as “”QUALCOMM USB 9800″” and something like that.

    How can I get back my phone back in ON condition ?

    Actually at the time of installation of GRAND ROM V3, it got struck, showing the message “”ERROR 7, Installtion Aborted””. I manually operated the options ( dont exactly remember) and tried to REBOOT and then it got OFF and not SWITHCED ON till now for the past 10 days.

    Also, in some of the sites, I saw the motherboard images and some solutions by some modifications on the board.

  • Takara Misaki

    Hi..

    My phone is Samsung Galaxy Mini 2… I already flashed the roms… And, when I reboot the screen, it always not to get to homescreen… So, I thought I did not wipe it… I want to go to the recovery mode… I pulled the battery and put it back… When I wanted to go to recovery mode, my phone doesn’t ON… I tried many times and it won’t work… It is my phone bricked already??

    • Nijall

      yeah, this happened to me too…

  • Bob

    Forgot to mention the Clockworkmod version is v6.0.1.0

  • Hulio Mauta

    my galaxy ace s5830i froze up wen i turn it on it froze wen it say galaxy ace s5830i this happens offer i flash the ROM plz help me fix it. email at hulio_mauta@ymail.com

  • Miguel

    My lg g2 d800 boots into twrp custom recovery. I’ve tried but my phone won’t go into download mode. There spent seem to be a first for it. My computer doesn’t recognize it either.

  • Simon

    How about a solution when the device doesn’t start at all ?

    • Riaz44

      Facing the same problem. My Hyundai Hold X700 NoBluetooth tab is completely dead. How can Ifix it now?

  • Josh

    I have a android Trio Stealth Lite 4.3” tablet, and it is hard bricked (it won’t turn on no matter what I try to do). It bricked because I rooted my tablet and THEN tried to flash the ROM with clockworkmod recovery. The next day after, it is completely bricked and won’t start at all. I’ve looked all over google and I haven’t found a solution for my specific tablet. I would be grateful if SOMEONE could help me find a solution.

  • Anselm Gervase

    Nope for Huawei ascend G525 i although I installed ClockwordMod successfully I couldn’t reboot into ,but i it reboot into custom recovey mode that came with a phone from manufacturer!!!!! Any help please!!! Sorry for poor English

  • Michael Biwersi

    Hello, I have a rooted lg optimus dynamic II (ANDROID 4.1.2) and I tried to download and install a thing to speed up my phone that required root called “Chain fire 3-D” I didn’t pay to instructions to well and now my phone is stuck on the “LG” logo screen and can’t proceed further (can’t go into system recovery mode either) so I desperately need help. I don’t care about removing root or factory resetting device. Any help?