My GPS Fix...YMMV

Discussion in 'Android Tech Support' started by Erich_F, Nov 22, 2009.

  1. Erich_F
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    Erich_F Member

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    Possible GPS Fix

    Warning: this will totally wipe your Droid, but it’s better than a trip to the store and a new phone (which might have another set of issues). Your favorite Apps will be re-installed from the Google Sync service, but your home screen will reset to Factory appearance. So, you will have to rebuild your home screen layouts.

    Also, bear in mind that this fix re-stored operation of my GPS. It doesn't necessarily prevent the failure from happening again. So, only do this procedure at your own risk, and only if you experience a failure of your GPS to obtain a valid fix. It is not a preventative fix. That is Motorola's job.

    This fix worked for my 2nd Droid. My first one had a GPS failure on the second day I had it, and I went straight to Verizon Store to exchange it. I had the second unit for about a week, until the GPS on this phone also failed while on a work trip. During this week-long period, I had used the GPS several times on Google Maps and other Apps.

    So, there I was away from home on a trip, sitting in my hotel room with nothing better to do. I decided to try a number of things, with various orders of operations, to get this thing back online. I had read that the key issue might be a comms failure between the Verizon/Motorola system and Google. So, I went about some procedures that might reset that comms link. After several Factory Resets and Re-activations, App wiping, etc, I came upon a procedure that has fixed my GPS, and not just for a day or two. My GPS is working flawlessly so far after doing this procedure.

    So, with all the reported GPS failures on here, I have written this detailed procedure of exactly what I did that resulted in a functional GPS. Your mileage may vary. I think some of the problem might be the Apps we all choose, especially location-based. For example, I was running Weather Bug as a Widget on my Droid prior to this fix. Since, I have not re-installed WB. I now use the Weather Channel’s widget.

    Procedure:

    1.0: Go to Android Market and select Downloads in the menu button. Go through each non-native, location-based app and uninstall it. This is any app that uses your GPS to get a location. This includes just about any weather or location search app.
    1.1: WHY? Your Droid Apps are synced on the Google server. So, following a factory reset, your Droid will re-install any apps you had installed prior to the reset. Uninstalling from the phone only does not remove them from the Google Sync listing.

    2.0: Connect your Droid to a PC and mount the SD card. Go to your SD card using the PC and make a copy of the SD card contents to a temp folder for easy access later.
    2.1: Unmount the SD card from the PC and go to the Settings > SD Card and Phone Storage menu.
    2.2: Select Unmount SD Card
    2.3: Select Format SD Card
    2.4: Return to Home page and power off phone.

    3.0: Remove the Droid back cover and battery. Remove the SD Card and re-install battery.

    4.0: Power on Phone normally.
    4.1: Go to the Settings menu and select Privacy > Factory Data Reset.
    4.2: Phone will shutoff, wipe, and power back on. Do not do anything until you get the green Android Graphic on the screen, indicating ready to re-activate phone.
    4.3: DO NOT ACTIVATE phone at this time. Instead, power off phone as normal.
    4.4: Remove the battery again, and set Droid aside with battery removed for at least 30 minutes.

    5.0: After at least 30 minutes, reinstall the battery, but NOT the SD card.
    5.1: Power up the phone.
    5.2: Tap the Android graphic, and the Droid will dial the Verizon system for re-activation. Follow the voice prompts to re-activate the phone. Once activated, the Droid will hang up automatically.
    5.3: SKIP the tutorial and sign in to your existing Google Account.
    5.4: Allow the phone to sync with Google.
    5.5: Go to Settings > Location and Security Settings. Disable Use Wireless Networks.

    6.0: Access the Android Market and install the GPS Status application.
    6.1: Place the Droid in a window with a fairly clear view of the sky.
    6.2: Activate the GPS Status application and let phone sit in window for about 15-30 minutes.
    6.3: After 30 minutes or so, the GPS fix should be valid and active.

    7.0: Using the Advanced Task Killer, kill all apps.
    7.1: While still in view of the sky, activate the Maps application. Your Location should fix within 10-15 seconds.
    7.2: Using Advanced Task Killer, kill all apps, including Maps.
    7.3: Go to Settings > Location and Security Settings. Enable Use Wireless Networks.

    8.0: Power off phone, remove battery, and re-install SD card.
    8.1: Power up Droid normally.
    8.2: Connect to PC and Mount SD card.
    8.3 Restore SD card contents from Temp folder on PC.
    8.4 Power off Droid and power back up.

    Procedure Complete. Try the Maps App again to make sure your location fix is still working. Use GPS Status to monitor GPS health.

    NOTE: I always use Advanced Task Killer to close Maps or GPS status prior to using any other location-based app.
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2009
  2. Doctor
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    Doctor Member

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    Very informative, thank you so much for the effort you put into this!
     
  3. Erich_F
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    Erich_F Member

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    Update

    Added Steps 5.5 and 7.3

    I almost forgot that was something else I had done during this process. I don't know for sure if it's relevent, but it is something I did during the process.

    Erich
     
  4. Narsil
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    Narsil Active Member

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    I followed your steps precisely but unfortunately, I still have no GPS lock. GPS Status just sits there (over a half hour now sitting on the porch with a clear view of the sky) with the "please wait" circle going and not even telling me how many satellites are available.

    But, then again, I am a former Alltel customer...
     
  5. Erich_F
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    Erich_F Member

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    Hmm...that sucks. There must be something to the Alltel thing. Did you turn off Location by Wireless Networks? Doing so, you would think, should isolate that issue.

    In both of my GPS failures, I could always still see Sats in view, just none in Fix. Sounds like an antenna issue you might have. I work with unmanned aircraft, which depend heavily on GPS, and I've seen all sorts of GPS-related issues. If a GPS doesn't see ANY sats in view, it is usually an antenna connection broken.
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2009
  6. Narsil
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    Narsil Active Member

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    That was the very first thing I did as soon as I could get out of the Google sign-in. It was worth a shot and didn't cost me anything but an hour of time while I sat at the computer. <shrug>

    I'm glad it worked for you and hopefully it will work for others.
     
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