Defining the Symptoms
Before we start troubleshooting, we should first define what is happening.
This article discusses a situation in which a smartphone does not respond to the power button. This is often known as “bricking” in geek slang, because it renders the phone as useful as a brick.
If your phone will partially turn on, or is turning on but restarting occasionally, you will need to look elsewhere for help.
The “Oh…” Solutions
A phone that won’t turn on can be alarming. They’re not cheap, and they contain tons of information about our personal lives. Where are your contacts now? Will you have to pay full price for a new phone?
Don’t panic. First, we should take care of a few possible causes that are a bit obvious, but easily forgotten.
Dead batteries are the first culprit, so plug that phone in! Even if your phone appeared to have a full battery, a sudden malfunction of the battery could knock it out of commission. If the Evo still does not respond when you try to plug it in, try another phone with the same charger to see if the charger is actually working.
If you still have no luck, try opening up the back of your phone and resetting the battery as well as the SD Card. It’s unlikely that these would cause a problem, even if the phone was plugged in to a wall socket, but at this point we’re trying to eliminate every possible culprit.
The Hard Solution
Should you still be unable to power on the Evo, you can try performing a hard reset. This will revert the phone back to a factory specified state. All information stored on the phone will be lost, but you can restore from a backup if you set one. You can also remove the SD Card to make sure its contents aren’t lost.
- Connect the phone to a charger.
- Hold the Volume Down button.
- Press and release the Power button.
- A menu should appear that allows for Fastbook, Recovery, Clear Storage, and Simlock.
- Select Clear Storage by pressing the Volume Down button.
- Press and release the Power button.
- Confirm your decision: Volume Up for Yes and Volume Down for No.
Presto! Your phone should be reset. If a software problem was causing your phone not to boot, this procedure should clear it up. Your phone will boot as if it was just shipped out of the factory. You’ll need to re-enter your Google account. You can re-insert the SD Card and restore from a backup if you have one available.
Still Not Working?
If you followed the steps above and the phone is still not working, you may have a hardware issue. I suggest taking the phone in to your carrier’s store to see if their technicians can help you. They will likely try the same steps you have, but because they’re trained in how to systematically eliminate possible causes for the malfunction, they may have better luck.
Hopefully, they do indeed find a solution. If they don’t, however, you may have to replace the phone. Check to see if your account includes protection against device defects. Most carriers let customers purchase this for a monthly fee. Though I don’t normally recommend this coverage given the low incidence of smartphone failure, if you have it, you may as well use it.
If you don’t have coverage, you may still be protected by your HTC manufacturer warranty. This is effective for 12 months from the date of purchase and protects against manufacturing defects. However, you may need to send in your phone for repair, which could be a problem if you’re one of the growing number of people without a backup landline.
If you’ve contacted HTC and found that you’re out of the warranty period, you have little recourse. You’ll need to buy a new phone.
Although your phone is dead, it may still be possible for your carrier’s technicians to retrieve data from it and transfer that data to whatever new device you choose. Be sure to ask about this, as the service should be free. Also, make sure to inquire about any discount you may be able to receive. Some carriers offer discounts frequently to users as an incentive to purchase a new phone and renew their contract.
However, don’t sign a new contract if you don’t want to. Carriers will sell you phones without contract at the phone’s full retail price, which is usually two to three times the discounted price. If you were thinking of switching carriers when your contract expires, look for a phone that supports both GSM and CDMA networks. This will broaden your choices when it’s time to make the leap.