Error Locking Users Out of Google Wallet

Discussion in 'Android News' started by Malvado, May 28, 2012.

  1. Malvado
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    Malvado DF News Team/Mod Premium Member

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    While there aren’t too many merchants that accept NFC payments there are probably even fewer devices that come with Google Wallet pre-installed. Maybe that’s why there hasn’t been much commotion over a potentially huge issue some Google Wallet users have been facing over in our forums.

    One such Google Wallet user is having difficulty getting the app up and running again, after performing a routine factory reset on his HTC EVO 4G LTE. It all started after an app (Sense) began force closing repeatedly. Normally, under a situation like this when things start acting awry, a factory reset has long been the go-to method for fixing up a device’s software issues good as new. Anyone who has ever contacted tech support when dealing with a software issue knows this well. But that’s actually what started this whole mess.

    While the factory reset managed to fixed up the little Sense crashing issue, it actually managed to disable all Google Wallet functionality on the device. Keep in mind, this all happened without any kind of warning, prompt or popup that this could potentially kill Google Wallet purchases from his device (a common selling point for NFC enabled devices) forever.

    After a quick call to Google to find a solution, their response? Your fault. You need warranty coverage and your device will have to be replaced on your dime. When it comes to NFC enabled devices, there’s a security mechanism inside the NFC portion of the phone called the “secure element” that, if tampered with — or in this case a simple factory reset — will brick it, causing a “secure element error” when attempting to make NFC purchases Google thinks this common method of fixing up issues on the phone and also required before re-selling a device, is some kind of an attempt at someone engaging in some kind of nefarious activities by attempting to gain access to your funds.

    And this isn’t unique to the EVO 4G LTE either. A quick Google search will show you this is a common issue for any NFC based device currently using Google Wallet (yes, even the Galaxy Nexus) and has been going on for quite sometime. The problem is Google, as well as the manufacturers with Google Wallet enabled devices (Samsung, HTC, LG), should at the very least warn Wallet users — either with a prompt or upon opening the Google Wallet app — that performing a factory reset will completely kill all Google Wallet functionality in the handset, and the device will need to be replaced (although Android Beam and NFC tags work fine).

    However, there is a method for preventing or fixing the issue. For prevention, just make sure that before you perform a factory reset, you go into your Google Wallet’s settings (inside the app itself) and click on the option to “Reset Google Wallet.” This will delete all payment information from the device and you can factory reset to your heart’s desire. Fixing the issue is a little more difficult. This requires someone who is experiencing the bricked secure element (after flashing a custom ROM) to restore a backed up ROM (before everything went down) and reset the Google Wallet app from inside the app’s settings. No backup? No dice.

    SOURCE: http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?p=26587822
  2. syndicate0017
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    syndicate0017 Well-Known Member

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    Something else has to trigger this secure element error...I've done numerous factory resets (while never resetting Wallet) and everything functions fine. Whoever ends up figuring out what actually causes this error (or comes up with a fix) deserves a huge donation imo.
  3. metalspring
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    metalspring New Member

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    Its a hit or miss with a factory reset, I flash roms all the time on my gnex and have Google wallet and many times forget to reset it but have had no issues. However I have heard of it happening

    Another possible fix I heard of is to change a line or 2 in the build.prop to make it seem like another nfc capable phone (nexus s I think) and wallet will open again properly so you can reset it
  4. syndicate0017
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    syndicate0017 Well-Known Member

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    I've heard of that. If I remember right, that won't work if the secure element is locked out.

    Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using Tapatalk 2
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