View Full Version : Troubleshooting Kindle Paperwhite stuck on boot


Clytie
01-27-2013, 04:54 AM
G'day :)

I received my KP a while back, and it has mostly worked well. Its only eccentricity has been an occasional strange reluctance to download content. Every now and then, a just-purchased-on-Kindle ebook will fail to download. It doesn't show up in the Cloud, because Amazon assumes it has downloaded. Requesting it download again has no effect. Only restarting fixes this.

This was annoying, but didn't happen often enough to drive me to public complaint, although I planned to consult my retailer about it if it persisted.

However, today when this issue occurred again, I chose Restart from Settings, and my KP got stuck on the boot screen (tree icon and rotating progress indicator). It's been stuck there for over half an hour.

Forced-restarting doesn't work. I can hold the power button down for several minutes, and the KP will just grey out briefly and/or get stuck on the boot screen again.

I tried plugging the KP in, but the USB screen did not come up, nor did the KP show as a USB drive. This isn't surprising, since it hasn't loaded its software, but I thought it was worth a try.

I have no WiFi issues (home network, good signal). Updates were greyed out. I can let the dratted device run down and hope something changes, but that will take a while.

Meanwhile, your suggestions are most welcome. :)

(Grumpy P.S.: none of my previous ereading devices, from my Handspring Visor to my current iPad2, have ever given me this sort of trouble. Grrrr.)

HarryT
01-27-2013, 05:00 AM
Sounds like a flat battery. Leave it plugged in to the wall charger for at least 4 hours, and then try again.

Clytie
01-27-2013, 06:05 AM
The device was fully charged when I started using it this afternoon. Battery was fine. Surely it wouldn't keep trying to boot if the battery were flat (the progress indicator continues to rotate, and it's been doing that for a couple of hours now).

ixtab
01-27-2013, 06:12 AM
Well, thanks to Amazon's policy of locking the device down and not providing any means to debrick it, I guess your only option is to send it back for a replacement.

HarryT
01-27-2013, 06:27 AM
The device was fully charged when I started using it this afternoon. Battery was fine. Surely it wouldn't keep trying to boot if the battery were flat (the progress indicator continues to rotate, and it's been doing that for a couple of hours now).

Try what I suggest and see what happens. You have nothing to lose by doing so.

Clytie
01-27-2013, 06:56 AM
True. Thanks. :)

Beginner-reader
01-27-2013, 08:02 AM
You should probably try what Harry said, but chances are it's bricked for now.
You could also try and empty the battery completely. That works on temporarily bricked laptops. You should probably call the CS though because you already have another problem with it. A small problem can be the beginning of a bigger one.

Clytie
01-28-2013, 02:11 AM
I think my KP is suffering from some kind of dissociation syndrome. Despite the battery being close to full when the stuck-on-boot issue occurred, leaving the device plugged in overnight did sort of bring it back to life.

Unfortunately, it doesn't seem to be reading its own Settings. It came back to life showing only the Kindle User Guide (no ebooks) and saying I need to register and connect to WiFi, despite "Clytie's Kindle" and a strong WiFi signal being in the top status bar, and despite its own Settings showing I am logged in and connected.

I bought an ebook and Sent it to that device, which then tried four times to download it, unsuccessfully. The title would appear on the screen briefly, then disappear again. This is the original, persistent issue which I was enduring before the freeze-on-boot. The post-purchase page on Amazon reminded me to make sure my device was logged in and connected. Evidently Amazon isn't seeing it properly, either.

Since it's already dumped my downloaded eBooks, and isn't reading its own Settings, I probably don't have much to lose in doing a factory reset. What do you guys think?

HarryT
01-28-2013, 02:55 AM
Nothing at all to lose. But it does sound as if it may well be faulty. If a factory reset doesn't sort it, you need to contact Kindle Customer Service.

Clytie
01-28-2013, 03:22 AM
OK, I've factory reset the KP and re-entered my data. The device downloaded a couple of titles I selected from the Cloud, and three I bought afterwards. So far, so good.

I agree, if the KP loses track of consensus reality again, I'll contact my retailer (readership.com.au). Prayer and electricity mightn't be enough. ;)

Thanks very much for your prompt and informed help. I'm new to Kindle OS (such as it is), and appreciate you sharing your experience.

Katsunami
01-29-2013, 11:40 PM
If a computer acts like this (corrupting files, not reading or writing files, hanging or crashing during use or at boot), then there is a big chance that the RAM or HDD is defective. As the KPW has both RAM and flash memory (instead of an HDD), I would not be surprised if one of those parts is defective. Then this problem will return. If you have one more issue, I'd exchange it ASAP.

radioactive76
01-31-2013, 06:37 PM
<sigh>
I plugged my stock PW running 5.3.1 into my Mac today, and it bricked it. Usually I plug it into the wall, but for some reason, it's now hosed.

The paperwhite boots fine, but immediately drops the the lock screen (without the "swipe to unlock" that's standard). There's no way to unlock it, and resetting the Kindle has the same effect. I upgraded to 5.3.3 in hopes that it would fix it, and reformatted the user partition, but to no avail.

I just got off the phone with Will at Amazon support, Will's final (useless) conclusion was "when you format the user partition, the javascript link between the Fortran and the kernel is broken." :rofl: Seriously, who hires these people?

Oddly, the Kindle is still connecting over 3G, so I encouraged Will to pull some logs off the device in hopes that it will help diagnose it. He said it takes 3-5 days for development to review the logs.

I'll leave the Kindle charging overnight, but does anyone have any other ideas about getting back to the main when the kindle just decides to lock itself?

Katsunami
02-01-2013, 09:57 AM
I just got off the phone with Will at Amazon support, Will's final (useless) conclusion was "when you format the user partition, the javascript link between the Fortran and the kernel is broken." :rofl: Seriously, who hires these people?


I've worked in (IT) support in the past. "Will" probably knows very well that the above is just balloony. However.... In many companies, the support people are actually *not allowed* to *not* know the cause of the problem. Therefore they make stuff up, throwing in random IT-jargon ("technobabble") that sounds very serious for 99% of all people, so they'd think: "That's way beyond me. I'll do whatever you say."

However, sometimes support talks to someone who does know stuff (you, me), and then "technobabble" sounds utterly stoooopid. I've never done it and just told people that every possible thing was tried and I didn't know anything else to do. Warranty? Repair / Exchange, done. Happy customer. Because telling a customer that "you don't know" was not company policy, my team leader was always livid. Until he saw my happy customer score. Many companies often don't understand one simple thing: Honesty gets you a very, very long way with many, even extremely angry customers.

The above is probably just Will's way of saying: "I don't know, and I'll see what I can do for you." (With regard to exchanging.)

Good luck resolving the problem or exchanging the device.

I have no ideas. (Oops, did it again :D)

ixtab
02-01-2013, 10:04 AM
I just got off the phone with Will at Amazon support, Will's final (useless) conclusion was "when you format the user partition, the javascript link between the Fortran and the kernel is broken." :rofl: Seriously, who hires these people?


Sorry for off-topic, but that just reminds me so much of the I'll create a GUI interface using Visual Basic. See if I can track an IP address (http://www.cracked.com/article_19160_8-scenes-that-prove-hollywood-doesnt-get-technology.html) thingy :)

radioactive76
02-01-2013, 10:46 AM
I probably spent a full 4 hours trying to fix this last night and today. What a complete bunch of clueless people Amazon has working for them. I used to have a high opinion of Amazon, but all this mess changed it.

During my useless conversation with Will yesterday I mentioned that I had a Mac, but used VMWare to mount the user partition to erase the files in Windows, since I read on the Amazon forums that perhaps OS X (eg, Spotlight) had dropped a file on the partition that the Kindle had problems indexing. Today's conversation with support had the agent read back the notes from yesterday, and informed me that since I had used VMWare to installed unauthorized software on the Kindle, I had voided the warranty. She explained that since I had rooted (not true) the device, they could only offer a discounted replacement, but not a warranty swap. The sad thing is, I didn't root the Kindle, I don't have any interest in tinkering, I just want an e-reader. Lesson learned, play stupid when talking to support.

In the end, I was able to fix it, but it took some timing. I noticed that when the USB cable was plugged into the computer, there was a 0.5 second period between the USB energizing the card before the Kindle was enumerated in the OS, however if I ejected the Kindle from the OS, the screen saver went into its deep, un-wakeable sleep. During this time, the display was responsive to touch, but only for 0.5 seconds. It took a few turns, but I was eventually able to navigate to Settings -> Reset Device and get it to the factory settings. After it booted, things seemed to work fine.

Unfortunately, the second CSR today deployed a log gathering package that kept gathering logs and rebooting the Kindle every time I put the device to sleep. I called customer service a third time, and the agent recommend I do a new "Device Reset" to clear it out, which did work.

I don't understand why Amazon doesn't have a DFU restore like the iPhone, specifically for cases where something went wrong and you'd like to zero it out to defaults without navigating menus.

Hope this helps someone else!

Blossom
02-01-2013, 04:20 PM
The morally of the story is don't tell them what you did. Just say it isn't working and play dumb. Happy you got it fixed though.

Clytie
02-04-2013, 12:48 AM
Glad/sorry to know I'm not the only one encountering weird PW behaviour. Glad, because I'm not alone in this, and sorry that you're encountering difficulty.

I've already had to restart my PW twice, to access downloads it thinks it's downloaded but hasn't. I also note that the WiFi indicator is usually only on 2 bars, where all the other household devices always have 3 bars (full signal). It is starting to look like a corruption issue.

"I just got off the phone with Will at Amazon support, Will's final (useless) conclusion was "when you format the user partition, the javascript link between the Fortran and the kernel is broken." Seriously, who hires these people?"

I'm impressed they have anyone there who remembers Fortran, whose main claim to fame back when I was an undergraduate (late 70s) was its ability to run Fourier Transforms (mathematical processes analyzing scientific data). The thought of anyone using that venerable programming language on "the latest" Kindle ... *snorts of laughter*

Also, who in their right mind uses JS prebindings? If you have enough sense to run a Linux kernel, you stay away from the devious, sloppily-coded, so-easily-corruptible tentacles of JavaScript.

Then again, I'm trying to make sense of a statement which obviously didn't have that intent...

NullNix
02-04-2013, 07:56 AM
The thought of anyone using that venerable programming language on "the latest" Kindle ... *snorts of laughter*


Why not? They use every other language they can get their hands on, from C and C++ through Java and even JS. Most of the Kindle UI is written in Java, and that's a language with a *much* more heavyweight runtime than Fortran, which compiles to native code just like C.

(But, yes, I think it's unlikely that there is any substantial amount of Fortran on there. Heck, in a complete Linux distro you're unlikely to have more Fortran than is contained inside ATLAS these days.)

radioactive76
02-06-2013, 12:45 PM
For brevity, I left out another small snippet: "Will" told me that he thought linking Fortran and Javascript was a bad idea, and that in his opinion, it should all be done in Java.

Having had enough, I told him "You know I'm an electrical engineer?" to which he, the tier 1 support guy at Amazon retorted, "Yeah, and I have a computer engineering degree, but that's neither here nor there."

The whole exchange was some mix of comedy and tragedy, I'm not sure which.

On an unrelated note, somehow, the device bricked itself again this weekend when I switched from English to German. The rescue method was the same (cycle the USB and try and get into the menu). Kindle's going back under AmEx's "extended warranty" protection, since Amazon refuses to take it back. I'm just glad Apple allows me to wipe the rootfs when I decide to, new iPad mini is more and more tempting...

rghelase2001
03-24-2013, 04:26 AM
Hello all,

I have a similar issue with my PaperWhite, it is stuck on "Repair Needed" screen. Tried factory reset (hold the button for 20-30sec) but no luck. After a boot sequence (the tree with the child reading the book under it, and something moving on the screen), that lasts for about 10sec, the PW returns in the Repair Needed screen. Tried this like 7+ times, no luck..

I had a book that did not want to be opened, I tried to reset the device, but got into this "Repair Needed" screen.

Tried the procedure radioactive76 mentions on post #15, but not sure if I understood completely, does it apply also to Windows OS?

Guys, any other clues?

Many thanks in advance!

HarryT
03-24-2013, 04:39 AM
Holding the power button for 20s is not a "Factory Reset"; it's just a reboot. Factory Reset can only be done through the menu.

rghelase2001
03-24-2013, 04:43 AM
Thanks HarryT, you are right.. Therefore, it is mandatory somehow to enter menu for "factory reset".. Could someone please explain me how could I manage to do this using Windows OS?

HarryT
03-24-2013, 04:48 AM
Unfortunately, if your Kindle won't boot, you can't do a Factory Reset.

Given, though, that this is a Kindle PW, it's definitely still under warranty, so you should contact Kindle Customer Services.

rghelase2001
03-24-2013, 05:03 AM
HarryT, I appreciate your effort, but I have just bought this PaperWhite as a gift to my wife, and I have to deliver it to her on Monday with some books already uploaded.

At least for now, I have to spare all the necessary steps that I can do, without crack-opening the device, that's why replacement is out of question right now.

Thank you for understanding, but, knowing there is a possiblity to fixing it without replacing the unit, I would like to experience it.

HarryT
03-24-2013, 05:06 AM
If it's new, and it was like this "out of the box", it sounds very much as if it's faulty, unfortunately.

rghelase2001
03-24-2013, 05:13 AM
Yesterday evening opened the box, registered it to my Amazon account, copied couple of books from the Cloud, and copied couple of DRM removed books from the hard drive.
While testing that every book works, got into one DRM free book that refused to open (the book remained opened to the first page, and the device was stuck). Successfully rebooted, deleted the book from the menu, copied it again using the cable, and the same result (azw3 book).
Did a format change in Calible, copied it also as .mobi and .azw1, and got into this "Repair Needed" error screen.

If there is any other procedure I could try, I would appreciate, because replacing the damaged unit for sure will take at least couple of days..

Blossom
03-24-2013, 11:56 AM
Sorry to say but there's no way to fix that. You're going to have to call Amazon for a replacement. The unit is obviously defective.

rghelase2001
03-24-2013, 12:05 PM
Ok, Blossom, then I will call for replacement.
For my knowledge, and in order to prevent this happening in the future, was the unit damaged, or was anything that I did that crashed the unit for good?

Blossom
03-24-2013, 12:22 PM
Ok, Blossom, then I will call for replacement.
For my knowledge, and in order to prevent this happening in the future, was the unit damaged, or was anything that I did that crashed the unit for good?

It was defective in my opinion. You should have no problem adding mobi or AZW3 books to the PW. I don't think it's anything you did.

HarryT
03-24-2013, 12:28 PM
Ok, Blossom, then I will call for replacement.
For my knowledge, and in order to prevent this happening in the future, was the unit damaged, or was anything that I did that crashed the unit for good?

Nothing that you did would have resulted in this problem. Your Kindle is faulty.