21 July 2012

Samsung GS2: Charging paused. Voltage too high

I have a Samsung Galaxy S2 running Android 4.0.3 and this morning it greeted me with the message:
"Charging paused. Voltage too high"
The problem was it wasn't even plugged in.

The message comes up every few minutes and the battery indicator flashes in the status bar, plus it doesn't charge when I plug it in. in addition to this when I restart it sometimes it gets locked int a battery indicator loop and won't restart: a grey batter icon with a spining wheel, a green half full battery icon with charging status bar then blank and repeat.

I tried:
  • Restarting it
  • Removing the cover, battery, SIM and SD card and leaving it for a few minutes.
  • Soft rest (Vol up and power on)
  • Hard reset (Vol down and power on)
None of these worked so I restarted it (after a few attempts: the battery indicator kept coming up and it kept turning off). I then plugged it into my computer to run a backup on Kies. This is my first reaction when something starts to go a bit wrong: to try and get the data off it. Luckily this worked, although there is no guarantee I'll get it 'out' of the backup again of course! (See update on getting data off if your USB socket doesn't work).

Then I noticed there was a firmware update available for it so I thought I might try that: I recently did the ICS update so perhaps there was some bug in that. Sadly of course as I've written about before Kies is some of the worse software ever written so it wouldn't connect again, just doing the standard 'Connecting' for ever and a day.

Reading online about others with the same problem there seems to be some consensus about it being related to the USB port dying so I gave my provider a call (Orange). They said that as I didn't have insurance it would have to be taken up with Samsung under their warrantee and put me through to them.

After arranging with the Samsung operative for a repair I asked him if it was likely to be a software or hardware issue. He said it was most likely software related to the latest update. So I then asked if there was any point in me returning the phone: if it was a software issue then it was likely to re-occur? He said no if your phone doesn't work we will fix it or send a new one. Not blessed with logic this particular operative obviously... Anyway who am I to argue so I await my jiffy bad to send off my phone to Samsung.

[UPDATE] I returned my phone to Samsung after the jiffy bag eventually arrived (it took about a week!), I also had to get a letter from Orange stating when I 'bought' the phone from them (it was an upgrade) to enclose with it. I now have the phone back (also took a week) and it works again. The USB port does look very shinny and new so I'm pretty sure that is what the problem was although it doesn't say any more than 'found a fault and fixed it' in the enclosing letter.


[UPDATE] Backing up without a working USB port
If you can't get the USB port to work for Kies connectivity you can use Kies Air to connect via wireless. Both devices have to be on the same WiFi network and you'll be transferring a lot of data e.g. photos and videos, text messages so it's worth stopping any other network hungry operations whilst you do this (e.g. Windows Updates, non critical browsing etc.).

If you don't have a WiFi network you can use 'Tethering and Portable HotSpot' (Settings, Wireless and Network, More) on your phone to setup a network, then connect to it on your computer (enter the key on the phone under Configure WiFi hotspot), then start Kies Air on the phone. It will give you a url (e.g. http://192.168.48.1:8080) to browse to on the computer and you can download stuff that way. If you use this method do turn off mobile data first or your computer will try to do normal network stuff via your 3g, and this data usage won't be covered under most 'unlimited' contracts. 

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