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Old 07-06-2010, 02:52 PM   #1
curio
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Thumbs down Tough luck: nook Wi-Fi received abroad, Wi-Fi dead on arrival

After taking quite some hurdles in order to get a Nook Wi-Fi delivered to Germany, I finally received the device today. I was rather happy that there were no obvious defects (dead pixels and suchlike).

However, I rather quickly noticed that something cannot be quite in order with the Nook's Wi-Fi: The Wi-Fi menu offers only the option to toggle airplane mode; other options are entirely missing. This means that Wi-Fi cannot be enabled. A Google search turned up one case of someone with the same issue who had to get his device replaced. Yes, I did reboot the device multiple times, including several hard resets (pressing the power button for 20+ seconds).

Now with myself living abroad, and as I bought the device via an eBay dealer and a freight forwarding service (with the dealer having the device delivered directly from B&N to my freight-forwarding address, and me having it shipped on from there), I'm in a rather complicated and costly situation if I want to see the device exchanged. I have contacted neither the eBay dealer nor B&N yet.

I see the following options:
  1. Try and get the device exchanged via the eBay-dealer. I'll have to pay for both shipping the dud back and the replacement, as I had it delivered to a US address by the dealer. Costly.
  2. Try and get the device exchanged via B&N. Does anyone know if there is any chance that they will not want the device back (accepting proof of destruction instead), saving me the cost of shipping it back to the States, and that they'll send the replacement to Germany? Otherwise, costly.
  3. Has anybody knowledgeable in electronics ever had his Nook open and can hazared as guess as to what the likely cause is? I reckon that the hardware fails to initialize during Android startup, and the dependent Wi-Fi components are subsequently left out. Is it likely that the issue is merely a matter of a bad connector, which might be fixed? If instead the Wi-Fi transceiver itself is likely to be malfunctioning, what are the chances of having an electronics engineer (at least I'm well-connected in this regard...) replace the module, and things being alright then?
  4. Cheaply obtain a display-broken Nook (Anyone have one? PM me, please.), hope that the remainder of its electronics are in order, and exchange this, retaining my new housing and displays. Is there anyone who knows wether the displays are soldered-on or just screwed-on/snapped-in?
  5. Probably the easiest option would be to try and sell the device -- what are the chances of that happening at a "reasonable" price? Without Wi-Fi, the device cannot be registered with B&N (thus only DRM-free(d) books can be read), and it is not possible to gain ADB shell access with a softroot.

Looks like I'm in for a substantial loss in any case.

Obviously B&N's quality control is sorely lacking; in view of this experience, I cannot recommend anyone outside the States to get a Nook as he or she may find themselves in the same dilemma as I do.

P.S.: I think there's a second issue concerning the device's charging: While it did charge for a while, up to 84%, it does not seem to charge any further. The orange LED beside the USB port is on, but the Nook's status bar's battery symbol does not indicate charging, and the charge remains at 84% while plugged in. Device resets did not change this. Is this one of the charging issues discussed here recently, or do the symptoms look more severe (I'm not in the mood to research yet another defect-related topic right now)?

Last edited by curio; 07-06-2010 at 03:01 PM. Reason: Added another option.
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Old 07-06-2010, 03:00 PM   #2
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Sounds like you have a dead battery.

The wifi thing, ouch. That sucks, I hope someone on this board can help.
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Old 07-06-2010, 03:00 PM   #3
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Before I gave up on the unit, I would try downloading the software from bn and reflashing it.
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Old 07-06-2010, 03:07 PM   #4
curio
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lastblade View Post
Sounds like you have a dead battery.

The wifi thing, ouch. That sucks, I hope someone on this board can help.
Looks like an exceptional example of bad luck if the unit even has two defects. With a bad battery I could live, even if I had to exchange it on my own cost.

Thanks for your sympathies.
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Old 07-06-2010, 04:15 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by curio View Post
After taking quite some hurdles in order to get a Nook Wi-Fi delivered to Germany, I finally received the device today. I was rather happy that there were no obvious defects (dead pixels and suchlike).

However, I rather quickly noticed that something cannot be quite in order with the Nook's Wi-Fi: The Wi-Fi menu offers only the option to toggle airplane mode; other options are entirely missing. This means that Wi-Fi cannot be enabled. A Google search turned up one case of someone with the same issue who had to get his device replaced. Yes, I did reboot the device multiple times, including several hard resets (pressing the power button for 20+ seconds).

Now with myself living abroad, and as I bought the device via an eBay dealer and a freight forwarding service (with the dealer having the device delivered directly from B&N to my freight-forwarding address, and me having it shipped on from there), I'm in a rather complicated and costly situation if I want to see the device exchanged. I have contacted neither the eBay dealer nor B&N yet.

I see the following options:
  1. Try and get the device exchanged via the eBay-dealer. I'll have to pay for both shipping the dud back and the replacement, as I had it delivered to a US address by the dealer. Costly.
  2. Try and get the device exchanged via B&N. Does anyone know if there is any chance that they will not want the device back (accepting proof of destruction instead), saving me the cost of shipping it back to the States, and that they'll send the replacement to Germany? Otherwise, costly.
  3. Has anybody knowledgeable in electronics ever had his Nook open and can hazared as guess as to what the likely cause is? I reckon that the hardware fails to initialize during Android startup, and the dependent Wi-Fi components are subsequently left out. Is it likely that the issue is merely a matter of a bad connector, which might be fixed? If instead the Wi-Fi transceiver itself is likely to be malfunctioning, what are the chances of having an electronics engineer (at least I'm well-connected in this regard...) replace the module, and things being alright then?
  4. Cheaply obtain a display-broken Nook (Anyone have one? PM me, please.), hope that the remainder of its electronics are in order, and exchange this, retaining my new housing and displays. Is there anyone who knows wether the displays are soldered-on or just screwed-on/snapped-in?
  5. Probably the easiest option would be to try and sell the device -- what are the chances of that happening at a "reasonable" price? Without Wi-Fi, the device cannot be registered with B&N (thus only DRM-free(d) books can be read), and it is not possible to gain ADB shell access with a softroot.

Looks like I'm in for a substantial loss in any case.

Obviously B&N's quality control is sorely lacking; in view of this experience, I cannot recommend anyone outside the States to get a Nook as he or she may find themselves in the same dilemma as I do.

P.S.: I think there's a second issue concerning the device's charging: While it did charge for a while, up to 84%, it does not seem to charge any further. The orange LED beside the USB port is on, but the Nook's status bar's battery symbol does not indicate charging, and the charge remains at 84% while plugged in. Device resets did not change this. Is this one of the charging issues discussed here recently, or do the symptoms look more severe (I'm not in the mood to research yet another defect-related topic right now)?
Try a recover to the original firmware. This will install a new copy of the original firmware. Files that are already on your Nook will be lost. You start a recover the following way (copied from the B&N forum):

"Power down.
Press the power button, wait for the screen to flicker, and continue holding for 12 seconds.
Then, release the power button, and repeat the above 6 times.".

You do not need to register the Nook to read DRM books. Outside the USA Wifi is only used to download B&N books and firmware updates straight to the Nook.
You can download DRM books from B&N and other stores to your PC and use the USB cable to copy them to the My Documents folder on the Nook.
You can also use the USB connection to manually update the firmware.
While downloading B&N books to your Nook using Wifi is nice, you can use the Nook fine without registering.

As for your battery problem. The Nook needs a few charges to calibrate the battery. Use the Nook until you get the message that you need to charge the Nook. Could be that after charging this way a few times the problem will go away.

I wonder why you did not buy the Nook yourself at B&N, using a freight-forwarding service? That would have made returning the Nook easier.
If you buy something not meant for you country this way, you know that in case of a problem returning the device will cost you money.
As only one person until now has mentioned this kind of Wifi problem on the B&N forum and there are only a small number of people with this kind of library problem this seems to be a case of just "bad luck".
I understand your anger (I would feel the same way myself), but it is the risk you take buying the Nook from outside the USA.
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Old 07-06-2010, 04:42 PM   #6
curio
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geertm View Post
Try a recover to the original firmware. This will install a new copy of the original firmware. Files that are already on your Nook will be lost. You start a recover the following way (copied from the B&N forum):

"Power down.
Press the power button, wait for the screen to flicker, and continue holding for 12 seconds.
Then, release the power button, and repeat the above 6 times.".
So far I've tried reflashing v1.4 downloaded from B&N, which the Nook refused to do directly. So I downgraded to v1.0, which does offer Wi-Fi options but does not detect hotspots and fails to save ones I enter, likely meaning the malfunction is merely being detected later in the game. I'm currently re-updating to v1.4 and will try the above procedure afterwards. I'm not optimistic, though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by geertm View Post
You do not need to register the Nook to read DRM books.
That's some relieve -- but how then do they authorize books for my device/account if I buy books via a US VPN?

Quote:
Originally Posted by geertm View Post
You can download DRM books from B&N and other stores to your PC and use the USB cable to copy them to the My Documents folder on the Nook. You can also use the USB connection to manually update the firmware. While downloading B&N books to your Nook using Wifi is nice, you can use the Nook fine without registering.
Personally, I'd prefer Wi-Fi working, if only for easy ADB shell access and the (albeit limited) web browser. It may, however, retain more value if I decide to sell the device to someone less keen on Wi-Fi.

Quote:
Originally Posted by geertm View Post
As for your battery problem. The Nook needs a few charges to calibrate the battery. Use the Nook until you get the message that you need to charge the Nook. Could be that after charging this way a few times the problem will go away.
Sounds plausible, but if that was the normal state of affairs, less tech-savvy people would no doubt complain all the time, or at least wonder aloud more frequently.

Quote:
Originally Posted by geertm View Post
I wonder why you did not buy the Nook yourself at B&N, using a freight-forwarding service? That would have made returning the Nook easier.
Tried that, but got the "order cannot be processed, please call" issue. I assumed then (falsely) that this meant the order would not be accepted due to their detecting the address as a freight-forwarder, and thus resorted to the eBay way. My bad, I guess I deserve the calamity.

Quote:
Originally Posted by geertm View Post
If you buy something not meant for you country this way, you know that in case of a problem returning the device will cost you money. As only one person until now has mentioned this kind of Wifi problem on the B&N forum and there are only a small number of people with this kind of library problem this seems to be a case of just "bad luck". I understand your anger (I would feel the same way myself), but it is the risk you take buying the Nook from outside the USA.
Sure, but that doesn't prevent one from desperately hoping not to be affected by issues of warranty, and whining the more for it when one is.

Thanks for your input, Geert.
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Old 07-06-2010, 05:32 PM   #7
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Lo and behold, after downgrading to v1.0 and re-upgrading to v1.4 Wi-Fi works -- I really didn't expect this to have any effect. It's still an odd issue, though, or even more so considering the way it appears to have been remedied.

Now only the battery issue remains; I guess I'll exercise patience and see whether a discharge-charge cycle results in the device charging to more than 84%.
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Old 07-06-2010, 05:37 PM   #8
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Lo and behold, after downgrading to v1.0 and re-upgrading to v1.4 Wi-Fi works -- I really didn't expect this to have any effect. It's still an odd issue, though, or even more so considering the way it appears to have been remedied.

Now only the battery issue remains; I guess I'll exercise patience and see whether a discharge-charge cycle results in the device charging to more than 84%.
Good news!
I agree with you that this a very strange problem. I hope your battery problem will also be solved. Have fun with your Nook!
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Old 07-06-2010, 05:48 PM   #9
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Glad there is a happy ending (2 dollar extra!)
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Old 07-06-2010, 07:23 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by curio View Post
P.S.: I think there's a second issue concerning the device's charging: While it did charge for a while, up to 84%, it does not seem to charge any further. The orange LED beside the USB port is on, but the Nook's status bar's battery symbol does not indicate charging, and the charge remains at 84% while plugged in. Device resets did not change this. Is this one of the charging issues discussed here recently, or do the symptoms look more severe (I'm not in the mood to research yet another defect-related topic right now)?
I have the exact same issue. So far it has occurred three times, each time after trying to charge it while it still had more than 50% (not a hard number, just an approximate observation). It stopped, I think, on the exact same number: 84%.

The battery seems to run as expected, though, so I don't know if there is a real problem. My primary concern is it continuing to charge when full and destroying the battery...
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Old 07-07-2010, 02:07 AM   #11
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This sounds awful Im so sorry for your trouble glad the wifi works though!! I'm in Australia and I feel your pain about having stuff sent overseas. I was all set on the nook until I read this post hope The battery gets better!!
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Old 07-07-2010, 03:30 AM   #12
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Have fun with your Nook!
Thanks! So far, my expectations are met (except for those issues) -- it's a nice little gadget if it works.
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Old 07-07-2010, 03:37 AM   #13
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I have the exact same issue. So far it has occurred three times, each time after trying to charge it while it still had more than 50% (not a hard number, just an approximate observation). It stopped, I think, on the exact same number: 84%.
Is this after some discharge-charge cycles, or has your Nook still seen but a few days of use?

I still think that its failure to charge to 100% is not the expected behavior; after all, the welcome screen explicitly advises users to fully charge the device prior to first use. Of course I don't know whether I sabotaged some calibration algorithm by resetting the device because of the Wi-Fi issue before it had charged to 100%.

Meanwhile, I've had it at 87% at one point, but not further yet (again wouldn't charge further when I plugged it in after that).

Quote:
Originally Posted by LoganK View Post
The battery seems to run as expected, though, so I don't know if there is a real problem. My primary concern is it continuing to charge when full and destroying the battery...
Mine hasn't lost any significant charge overnight either.

I'm pretty sure that the battery won't be charged to destruction by the device; its protection against that happening actually seems overzealous.
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Old 07-07-2010, 03:48 AM   #14
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This sounds awful Im so sorry for your trouble glad the wifi works though!! I'm in Australia and I feel your pain about having stuff sent overseas. I was all set on the nook until I read this post hope The battery gets better!!
Consider my fingers crossed if you do order one.

I guess the Wi-Fi issue in particular is rare -- I hadn't come across the one report I found in the B&N forums on me research prior to my decision to order one. While it isn't statistically founded to extrapolate from a single case, the Wi-Fi issue apparently may be just in software and thus fixable if indeed it does crop up. Nonetheless this incident illustrates that getting a defective device is (of course) a possibility that cannot be entirely ruled out.

But as Geert said, getting a defective device is the risk you take by ordering from outside the market. While a defect restricting the device's functionality is the most severe case, you have to decide for yourself whether you could live with, say, pixel defects on one of the displays or a button being harder to press, i.e., cosmetic issues.
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Old 07-07-2010, 05:16 AM   #15
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Meanwhile, I've had it at 87% at one point, but not further yet (again wouldn't charge further when I plugged it in after that).
After plugging it in again this morning, it's now charged to 100%. Seems like all of my issues have been resolved, or resolved themselves.
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