As any of you who read my blog regularly might have noticed, I love my Virgin Mobile LG Optimus V. It’s my first smartphone and has really made things convenient: spur-of-the-moment photos and videos, checking account balances, email, games, music and yes, even the occasional phone call I place.
This joy, however, was shattered a few weeks ago when I turned it on and got this dreaded message:
The process com.android.phone has stopped unexpectedly.
I figured this was not a good thing since I couldn’t even navigate through the menus without the message popping up at least every 5 seconds. Seriously, it was that bad.
I went online to look for some solutions and did find a page that offered some potential solutions but sadly, none of them worked. And being that we don’t have a home phone number and use Skype instead, it was of paramount importance that I have my cell phone in working order.
That said, the time had come: I had to call Virgin Mobile Tech Support which, as those of you who have dealt with them in the past know, is more often than not an extremely unpleasant experience in which nothing is ever accomplished.
But much to my surprise, this time was nothing like that.
I was helped by a pleasant rep that, while still sounding like she was reading from The Big Book of Answers, did a great job in assisting me with the problem. After giving her the gist of things, she told me to navigate through a few menus and restart the phone and then a whole plethora of alternatives, all of which did nothing to alleviate the problem.
Then the Hail Mary was called: I was told I had to wipe the phone’s memory clean of everything except the Android OS. (For future reference, hold down the Power + Home + Volume Down buttons on the Optimus V at the same time to access the reset menus. It’s pretty self-explanatory at that point but this is only recommended if NOTHING else has worked. Read on.)
The menu, looking like a slightly upgraded version of MS-DOS, only had a few selections on it that I was told to choose. After choosing both required selections, the phone went blank for about 30 seconds, restarted, and was back to its factory-fresh settings after about a minute. Even the ugly red wallpaper came back.
Once it was determined that phone was functional and error-free, I had to reactivate it which I did in the same call. All in all, it took around 30 minutes to solve the issue which meant that I was 30 minutes late to work that day. This incident happened just as I was leaving the house.
Then the fun of reinstalling apps began and despite having them all on my microSD card, they were wiped clean and I had to download all of them again.
With the time it took to download all of them, you would think of this as a bad thing, wouldn’t you? It actually turned out to be good.
As you know, the Optimus V is extremely limited on internal memory (unless you screw around with it and risk turning it into a brick which I am not willing to do). As such, I had to constantly be shifting around or deleting apps in order to preserve space on my phone in order for it to…well, work. It was a real hassle and downright frustrating.
But with the phone crashing, I didn’t even look back at my download history with Amazon’s Appstore or Android Market. Instead, I only downloaded what I knew I used on a regular basis and didn’t bother with those I couldn’t remember. The bottom line is that I now have my essential apps with about 30MB internal memory remaining, whereas I used to have around 20MB which gets you into trouble if you’re not careful. It even gave me enough extra space to try some other apps I had wanted to try but never had the memory to run.
As far as Contacts go, I had them backed-up in my Google account and only had to replace a few once I synced my Gmail account. Additionally, I didn’t lose one photo, video, or music file on my microSD card.
I wouldn’t go so far as to say this wasn’t so bad because it was a major headache having to reinstall everything. But in the end, considering I’ve got a decent amount of memory left, the hassle seemed to be worth the effort.