Troubleshooting a Windows 7 Phone Problem

Update: apparently, the phone issue is a known issue related to the Samsung focus and using microSD cards that aren’t “certified for Windows 7 Phone.”  The problem is, there is no such certification now.  Nice.  Apparently it wasn’t part of the official Windows 7 Phone profile or something.  But a fix is supposedly on the way, so for the meantime, AT&T says they will give me a new phone (since it’s apparently possible it could brick itself at any point).

Windows 7 Phone can use a MicroSD card to increase its capacity for storing all those mp3s you illegally downloaded with Napster of your music, videos, photos, etc.

When I bought my Samsung Focus, it didn’t come with one, so I ordered a 32 GB card through Amazon and got it yesterday.  You have to basically reset the phone to factory defaults and format the card, which I did.  Syncing the phone through the Zune software took 4 or 5 hours as even though I never ever intend to listen to music, watch videos, etc. on it, I figured, what the hell, and downloaded all my content.

This morning, I noticed that the phone started to display system glitches I hadn’t noticed (I would go to check email and it would show my inbox but then jump back to the tiles, for instance).  Even worse, while it was laying on my desk at work, I noticed that it rebooted itself a couple of times, and after the 2nd or 3rd time, all of my settings were gone, as if I had reset it to factory settings.  Since there are various prompts it gives you when you do this, I’m pretty confident I didn’t accidentally do that.

So now, the question is, what’s the cause?  There are 3 possible causes that I can think of:

  1. There’s a fundamental problem with the Windows 7 Phone platform.  I’ve been really busy, but I think that if this were the case, it would pop up online and I don’t think I’ve seen anything along those lines.
  2. The MicroSD card I bought is faulty.
  3. My particular handset is faulty.

The interesting question, assuming 1) isn’t true, is how to figure out if 2) or 3) is true.  Technically, they could both be true.

The manual states that if I remove the MicroSD card (which is now ‘integrated’ into the handset, whatever that means), the phone will be inoperable.  What I need to do is check with AT&T is if this is really the case.  Can’t I remove it but then immediately tell the phone to reset to factory defaults?  If I can’t, I have no idea how to proceed.

Otherwise, I guess what I can do is to remove the card and reset to factory defaults, then get another MicroSD card, and see if the glitches come back.

When I was younger, this is the sort of thing that I would find intellectually interesting.  Right now, it’s just annoying, especially since I have a high priority project going on that takes up so much of my time that I don’t have time to find it intellectually interesting.  If you get my drift.

posted on Wednesday, November 17, 2010 7:05 PM Print
# re: Troubleshooting a Windows 7 Phone Problem
Sergio Pereira
11/18/2010 8:05 AM
From what I read, your SD card is not integrated with the phone in the sense that it can't be removed. It only has been cryptographically paired with the phone to protect your data, so maybe it's unusable in other devices.
One you'd think that since the card is meant for expandable storage (even if not completely implemented in WP7 yet) you could remove it without taking away any piece of fundamental firmware and get your phone back to the pre-card state.
# re: Troubleshooting a Windows 7 Phone Problem
Andy Hitchman
11/18/2010 8:58 PM
Unfortunately, it's option 1.

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