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Thread: trying to solve boot loop and save data, am I missing anything here?

  1. #1
    Soundwave
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    trying to solve boot loop and save data, am I missing anything here?

    Hi all! My daughter's tablet is stuck in a boot loop, and I'm trying to retrieve her data if at all possible. I've read through this forum (and several others) and I don't think there's much left I can do but just in case any of you had ideas I thought I'd ask.

    She's got an ME173x, 16GB; she had it for a little over a year. It had started acting a bit sketchy in December (the power issues, some problems with the screen) and I knew we needed to think about getting her a new tablet. I tried to find out how to back it up and was not having much luck (I use Helium for all our other devices but apparently it's not compatible with the HD7). She was playing some app and the game and tablet froze -- once she powered it off, that was it. It's stuck in a boot loop and won't go further.

    I can boot into recovery mode with no problem, I tried wiping the cache and rebooting as people had said, but that had no effect.

    I tried to back up her userdata, but even though I used a fresh SD card with plenty of space, every attempt to back it up results in write error; short write. I see no other way to access the data on the tablet. We were hoping to salvage this because all her photos (her cat, etc) are there and she hadn't backed it up in months. Hard lesson for a 10 year old.

    As far as I can tell my only option left is to attempt a factory reset (which I believe I cannot do through recovery, but uses a file from Asus on an SD card); I did see that one user here was able recover the app data from the apps that had been moved to the SD card (here) but I'm not holding out much hope for that.

    So question 1: is there any step I don't know about that I should try? Or is it time to just factory reset and cross fingers?

    question 2: if we do recover any of the data on the sd card, how can we back up app data and transfer it to her new tablet? (The good news is she loves her new Nexus 7 and we have no trouble backing it up.) Since I couldn't get Helium to work I never found a solution for this anyway. Is there some way to back up all user data that would include app data? As I understand it, my only options involve rooting first, which will wipe the data anyway.

    Thanks so much for any advice you all can give me.

  2. #2
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    Welcome to the forum

    I think you have covered everything. If you Factory Reset you will loose everything.

    I know of no reliable way to transfer app data between devices in Android. In iOS it is built in. Not in Android.

    You might try to manually reload the firmware from a microSD card. It might wipe the user data. It might not work. But that is the only other thing left...

    It is always sad when something like this happens, but all of us have learned the hard way that backups need to be done when everything is fine, because one day it might not be.

    PLEASE Search for existing threads before posting a new one. Thanks.

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    Soundwave
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    Thanks for your response, Janner! I'm willing to give the firmware method a try -- do you know where I can find it? The Asus site does not have it (just the kernel and drivers); and searching online mostly gives me modified stuff. I did find what is supposed to be the latest stock firmware (ME173X_WW_user_4.2.2.09274_20130607) and I have that as a zip file. Not sure if that's what I'm supposed to use or not. I looked at your guide and I believe I should just put the zip file on the sd card, insert it and try and boot?

    I feel terrible about the backups -- I'm meticulous about backing up my own work etc files but I just didn't realize there was no sync or backup going on for her. Her photos were supposed to be syncing but it somehow got turned off a few months ago. And as for backups, I don't game on mobile devices so I'd never even thought about it. Bad mom!!

    Thanks again!

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    Don't feel bad about the backups - as I said, we've all learned that lesson at one point or another

    Yes, just download the firmware zip file from Asus, then unzip it once and put that on the microSD card. The tablet might recognise it, if not try booting and see what happens.

    If your device has an Intel chipset, however, you might need to follow a different routine. Try the one mentioned above first & if it doesn't work, take a look at the sticky thread in our TF103 section & see if that routine gets you into recovery. You can try re flashing the firmware following the TF103 pointers.

    If your daughter played games that use the Google system, that might have backed up her data & some games back up to their own servers. You might just have to hope for the best

    Hope you have success

    PLEASE Search for existing threads before posting a new one. Thanks.

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  5. #5
    Soundwave
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    Thanks again, Janner! Unfortunately, the firmware method didn't work. And sadly, no magical restore like that other user experienced -- I'm thinking that may have been because she used amazon for her apps, which we do not.

    The good news is that upon reflection, my daughter decided that she is fine without most of her games, and the ones she likes best do in fact all backup to their own servers. We've restored most and have two left to go.

    A factory reset and the tablet is running great, and so now she has TWO tablets. I can backup her stuff on the nexus so that'll be primary but I think we'll figure out a use for the Memo HD as long as it keeps working.

    Thanks for all your help!!

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    Glad you have your tablet working again. Good job mom!

    You can always backup certain things using multiple solutions...
    1) Games - registering with the games companies / Google Play games service
    2) Photos - automatic backup to Dropbox or OneDrive
    3) Certain settings/data to Google servers
    4) Other items via manual backup routine to microSD

    All the best

    PLEASE Search for existing threads before posting a new one. Thanks.

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  7. #7
    Soundwave
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    Thanks!! I will now know to regularly check her settings and make sure everything's still backing up (I had originally set things up -- for example photos were supposed to be saving to the micro SD, as far as I can figure out she was using a gallery app that moved everything back onto the tablet, ugh!)

    And going forward, the asus is rooted now and I'm using TB -- if I'd had any idea how simple that was to do I'd have done it long ago. (Pretty sure I can say that here, I checked for rules about rooting talk, but if I'm wrong please delete). Parents -- seriously, root and automate backups!

    I'm hoping she turns the asus into an experimental tablet and uses both, so I may be back again. Thanks again and take care!

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    Rooting is the first step over to the dark side
    Now, if you have some time, look into - don't tell anybody I said this - custom roms!!!
    Join us - it's fun!!! LOL
    Congrats on a fine save btw!

  9. #9
    Soundwave
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    Quote Originally Posted by droidbound View Post
    Rooting is the first step over to the dark side
    Haha!! And just think -- if Google had just built in a way to backup games I'd have never taken the first step! I don't think I'm going to mess around with the Memo Pad -- my daughter plays a game that looks for root, and somehow misses the fact that I rooted (I assume because I used Kingo Root on the asus and it doesn't unlock the bootloader?) -- as long as she's still playing it I think I'll leave well enough alone.

    The Nexus tablets now....that's a whole other story.

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    Well a lot of well developed games include a backup system. Through an account. More and more games are using Google play games services to do this with a google account and other games have their own options. I would encourage you to check the settings to see if you can restore progress by logging into a google or Facebook account.

    I also want to mention that Google has a photo backup solution through google plus which can be set to back up while the device is charging. I use this and never have to worry about losing photos.
    Swipe likes this.
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