Sep, 14 2013

HTC ONE X ATT

Warning: I’m writing this after having spent nearly 24 hours trying to fix a few issues with my AT&T HTC One X, a period in which I went from a semi-functioning device to losing S-Off state, all the data on my SD Card (yes I did have a backup), and now having no ROM whatsoever on my phone, with installation attempts failing.

TL;DR: I’ve had enough of spending time getting my phone to work the way it should out of the box.

My first Android device ever was the T-Mobile myTouch 4G, which I purchased back in December 2010. The phone I really wanted was the Nexus S, but due to a few reasons I couldn’t wait for it to hit the market. Settling for the myTouch 4G wasn’t much of an issue, however, since it was a pretty solid device built by HTC that topped the benchmark tests at the time. It had a decent back camera and a front-facing one, which wasn’t in vogue at the time.

The first thing I did with the device (after unlocking it so I could use it in India) was throw on CyanogenMod 7. It was pretty straightforward, and the device even went on to run CyanogenMod 10 for some time (I reverted back to CM7 for more stability). I really enjoyed the phone, and never missed out too much on the new stuff Google was putting out thanks to the amazing developer community.

Last August, I finally felt it was time to move on, so I went out and bought an AT&T HTC One X. The choice was between HTC, the Samsung Galaxy S III and the Galaxy Nexus. I was leaning towards the Nexus, but in the end decided to go with the One X for its better camera. I thought I’d live on custom ROMs again, and get the best of both worlds. And I succeeded for a little over a year, before everything started going downhill.

It started a week ago, when I woke up to find my device switched off, and failing to boot up either normally or into the bootloader. I managed to get into recovery after connecting to my laptop and using ADB, but since my ROM had been acting up a bit, I felt it was important to change to something more stable. What followed to my current state as of now can probably be the inspiration of an Oatmeal comic.

  1. Found a ROM that I felt would suit me best on XDA.
  2. The ROM requires me to update my phone’s radios and HBOOT, for which I needed to get the latest 3.18 RUU.
  3. RUUs only run on Windows. I don’t have a Windows device (I use a Mac and a Chromebook Pixel that also runs Ubuntu).
  4. I downloaded VirtualBox and Windows XP on my Mac.
  5. To get everything to work properly, I downloaded HTC Sync. For some reason, the RUU still doesn’t detect my device.
  6. Searching around, I found a couple of undocumented drivers that should fix everything. They did, and the RUU began working.
  7. The RUU failed, stating an “image error”. Redownloading the RUU (from HTC’s own site, which I did so the previous time too), I tried once more.
  8. Still no luck, and things got worse: I was now S-ON, and after reinstalling my previous ROM, my home and multi-tasking buttons stopped working. The phone wouldn’t ring or even show an incoming call when someone dialed my number.
  9. I tried a different RUU (2.20) hoping that maybe that would work. It didn’t.
  10. I factory wiped my device, and adb-pushed my previous ROM on to the phone. It wouldn’t install anymore, failing to mount storage.
  11. I tried fixing things with the storage, but still no luck. Tried the 2.20 RUU once again, no luck.
  12. I’m writing this as I try the 3.18 RUU once again. Pretty certain it’s not going to work.

I’ve wasted an entire Saturday on this. While I know fully well that I must have made a mistake or two here or there, possibly the previous times I changed ROMs or something, I can’t help feel horribly tired by it all. I’m not a n00b, yet I feel absolutely helpless right now. If things don’t improve soon, I’m looking at using a busted old iPhone 3G for a while, and I can’t imagine anything worse than that.

My biggest fault, of course, is not going with a Nexus. I relied on the community which, while it does some amazing things, can get a bit tiring. For example, can people please be a bit kinder on XDA?

The biggest change, however, is that Android on the whole has gotten so good, that the specs race is over (yes I agree with Quentyn, though I’d give props to the Nexus 4, and not Motorola). My biggest issue with the Nexus devices is the camera quality, but if the Nexus 5 doesn’t end up having one that meets my expectations, I can always thrown money at Sony’s QX10 lens. And considering the cost of a Nexus, I would probably only spend as much as an unlocked Galaxy S IV, if not less.

This is the end for me in terms of using non-Nexus devices. I’m tired, sleepless, cranky at having wasted a weekend, and I just never want to have to install a ROM on my own ever again.

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