Random reboots of Galaxy Nexus

Since I moved to Antwerp, in a high building apparently made out of the thickest steel they could find (> My wifi signal barely passes the internal walls, and I’m pretty much unable to make a decent cell phone call) my Galaxy Nexus has been behaving oddly.

It started during the night of the press conf when I was catching up on my mails when I got home of a whiskey tasting evening/”apps for whiskey” event.

It suddenly rebooted (the screen lit on showing the usual boot animation (“X”)). I didn’t pay attention.

A couple of minutes (twenty ish) later again.

Odd… I did a reboot myself (hold power button, turn off, turn on).

After booting up for about 30 seconds, it rebooted again… Annoyed but busy with other stuff I didn’t pay that much attention.

This time I unplugged the battery, hoping that would help anything, and tried again.

By the way, this is all on a stock Android 4.2.1.

After booting, I had to refill my pincode each time (so it was not one of those infamous reboots where it saves its session/state/whatever… The cache-thing-whatever was cleared). I first thought some mail over IMAP was causing this (as I was directly thinking of my previous mail issue). But I made sure that I read all my mails and deleted what wasn’t relevant on my Macbook Pro and Nexus 7. It should sync.

Then my attention got caught by the WiFi. While it was connected pretty instantly, it took a long time to change the icon from its grey “I-am-unable-to-access-the-internet” to the usual blue color. Either way after about one or two minutes into Android itself, it rebooted again. Irritating.

So I was starting to think about odd kernel panics or memory problems.

The furthest I got after that was unlocking (pattern) my display, and it would reboot… Not even making it to the settings pane.

After that, it would just loop-reboot. At first I would still see the lock screen popping up, then only the Android boot animation. And after a while it would just loop the Google name and flick black for a second, and (presumably) start over.

No matter what I did (pull battery, try without battery, get closer to the wifi, recharge battery, connect it to my mac, …) it kept on doing that. I decided to head to bed and left my GN off by removing the battery. But 8 hours of rest didn’t really help my phone. The next morning it was still behaving the same.

I saw no other option that going into the boot menu (holding power button + volume down and up) and doing a factory reset. Wiping all my data (well, mainly just my settings (I am lazy), and I don’t have any fancy apps, but it did delete all my pictures which I hadn’t copied to my mac in a long while).

After the data wipe/recovery, I started reinstalling my apps, reconfiguring, and restoring my text messages backup (best app: SMS Backup+) and everything was pretty much okay. No hardware issue, no more reboots…

Note: those with a laggy Galaxy Nexus, this helped me to improve speeds; but a total wipe brought my GN back to about 90% of it’s 4.1 speed (no scientific proof for that though ;)).

Anyway… All was fine until Thursday night. It suddenly started to reboot again, and random. With intervals of, well, sometimes 30 minutes, sometimes 10. I didn’t get to the reboot-loop yet. Turning off wifi or turning off data didn’t seem to help. I tried airplane mode, but I had to make phone calls/text, so I didn’t wait until/whether it rebooted. I tried getting closer to the wifi hotspot, change rooms (yea, whatever) and none of that helped. It kept rebooting during the night (I reentered the pin code twice when I woke up that night). And it kept doing that in the morning…

And as I stayed a couple of days at my parent’s house for Christmas (where everything was fine), I was starting to think my new apartment/steel-tower was bugged (or the Proximus cell tower in the neighborhood).

At this point I was panicking. Looking for options to buy a Nexus 4 and Googling about this (and well, apparently I’m not the only one having this problem). Random reports pointing to random apps, lock screen, GPS, etc.

I noticed for some reason Latitude stopped reporting my location (I hate when it does that for no apparent reason… Already happened 4-5 times the past 2 years) for this device, turned it back on and since then my device hasn’t rebooted yet…

Haunted shit for sure. Google please fix your crap.

To be continued…

Edit: about 24 hours later it rebooted again. When I attempted to insert my pincode it rebooted again. After that I managed to get past the lock screen. I received Whatsapp messages, Twitter crashed, and it started to update apps. After that it (2-3 minutes after booting) it rebooted again.

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12 responses to “Random reboots of Galaxy Nexus”

  1. Yves avatar

    Had the same on my Galaxy Nexus after being OTA upgraded to 4.2. I removed the app HD Widgets, and the problem was gone – It hasn’t rebooted automatically since then. (more than 2 weeks ago) A happy Nexus fan.

  2. Yeri Tiete avatar

    Yes, HD Widgets is often reported as one causing a lot of problems.
    However, I do not have that app.

    It’s believed HD widgets is likely the one causing most crashes because it accesses both lock screen and location information. Whereas other apps usually only access one of both and thus reduce the chance of this crash (memory overflow? leak? kernel panic?).

  3. Yeri Tiete avatar

    I can also say I’ve had three subsequent reboots when attempting to pick up a call.
    Disconnecting the battery (while it was booting) magically solved the issue. I then could accept calls again.

    So it’s not just happening when it’s idle.

    When picking up the phone it would simply freeze (looping sound/noise, the vibrator wouldn’t go off and just kept vibrating for ~10 seconds straight, unable to access the touch screen (buttons not giving any reaction), unable to turn off the display via the power button).
    Each time after a couple of seconds (10 ish) it suddenly rebooted.

  4. Yeri Tiete avatar

    Still hangs with 4.2.2 when I receive a phone call. Reboots after ~10 seconds.
    This doesn’t happen all the time (luckily), but I have to remove the battery to stop it from rebooting every phone call.

  5. John D avatar
    John D

    Hi Yeri,
    Has your problem solved on Galaxy nexus ? or still persists?
    Even I am experiencing the same . I did reset many times; removed battery; did a phone recovery by volume up; down; power buttons too. worked well for just 2 days; Again Experiencing problems with my Galaxy Nexus 4.2.2. kindly help if your problem is resolved.

  6. Yeri Tiete avatar


    It still persist.
    I changed to a Nexus 4 and gave my dad this galaxy Nexus and he started to have the same problem.

    It usually reboots when doing inccoming or outgoing phone calls. Removing the battery always solves it for a few days.

  7. John D avatar
    John D

    Uff 🙁 then I don’t have any other options other than to wait until Google releases 4.3 or Lime Pie 5.0 to Galaxy Nexus 🙁

  8. Yeri Tiete avatar

    Not sure it will get updated to be honest.
    I was thinking to find a clean rom and try that, but I’m afraid I’ll brick it. And as it’s still under warranty, I could try sending it to Samsung; but I guess they won’t find any problem as the reboots are so random. 🙁

  9. John D avatar
    John D

    I did uninstall Juice Defender; disable Google Currents; Google Location Sharing Options and Still the problem persists. Is there any temporary solution to this? even I did a reboot option too by pressing Volume Up+ down+ Power buttons.

  10. Yeri Tiete avatar

    Don’t think so…

  11. John D avatar
    John D

    :(. Keeping Fingers Crossed for the next Update Optimistically

  12. Hans-Georg Michna avatar

    I also have a case in which a Galaxy Nexus, unrooted, with stock Android 4.2.2, suddenly began to auto-reboot 3 days ago and at the same time stopped reporting its location to Latitude. Interesting pointer.

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