Droid Power-Off Issues

UPDATE: Looks like it’s fixed still not fixed.

Since the latest OS update (Gingerbread 2.3.3), a number of Motorola Droid X users have reported problems* with powering off their phones. I’m one of them.

The issue is this. You want to turn off your phone, so you hold down the power button, and get the menu (power off, sleep, airplane mode, etc). You press Power Off. The phone says it’s powering down, gives its little death rattle, and dies. Eight and a half minutes later (I timed it), you hear the cheery chord that tells you it’s just powered back up. So far, powering down a second time appears to do the trick.

The problem seems to be in the way it, or some embedded app, handles the Sleep function (evidently your Droid X prefers to die in its sleep). Previously, there were reported problems with Sleep, problems that were intended to be fixed with the new update. However, a well known fact is that every time you touch a line of code to fix a bug you have about a 30% chance of introducing a new one. This, they did.

So far, Motorola seems to be stonewalling the issue. Some people have been given new phones. It didn’t help — it’s a software problem. Some people have been given elaborate instructions on how to clear the cache. Didn’t help — it’s not a configuration function. One report says it only appears in a few phones, and in those phones only because of a certain combination of chips. Motorola buys chips from a variety of manufacturers, and some of them apparently have QC problems. I’m sure the people who are on their third wonky phone won’t agree.

I have an app killer installed on my phone. It’s not set to automatic, so I have to tell it when to shut stuff down, but it will pretty well clear the boards of almost all running apps — for a moment. I’ve tried using it to kill everything prior to poweroff, but it doesn’t always work. There are some apps that just don’t want to die. If I kill all possible apps, go back to the Home Page, count to five, and look at the app killer page again, I see that eight or ten apps have restarted. If I kill all possible apps, then immediately shut down (while still on the app killer page), I can see one or two restarting behind the hazy “Shutting down now” screen. One of them looks like the App app. That’s Motorola’s app that lets you download other apps from the marketplace. It’s one of the many, very many, apps that has the ability to keep the phone from sleeping.

I thought that killing all the apps as part of the shut down process might be a workaround until the new version of the OS comes out next year. Didn’t help. Then I tried putting the phone into Airplane Mode right before shutting down. Worked sometimes, but not always — as I found when I turned off my phone and sat down to write this. Finally, tried combining the two, and that also failed. It may be that there is no workaround, and you have to keep turning the phone off. So far, turning it off twice in a row has always worked.

This is a major issue. If my phone is low on power, I don’t want to have it soaking up power with a reboot. If I am getting on an airplane, I don’t want it coming back on during take-off. If I am going to bed, I don’t want it waking me up three minutes later with a chord from across the room. And if I am leaving it on the table and going into the bedroom, I don’t want it running itself down to zero while I sleep. Motorola should be doing something about this, but they’re not. Why should they? What will I do, go buy a Blackberry?

*This update introduced a number of bugs, including the phantom update available notification. Whenever I start the phone, it tells me there’s updates available. Most of the time the update manager denies all knowledge. Sometimes there’s an update available, in which case, the phone tells me there’s two updates.


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2 Responses to “Droid Power-Off Issues”

  1. Name Says:

    I too have basically the same problem. Most of the time when I go to power the phone down, after it completely turns itself off it will turn itself back on and reboot within 10 to 20 seconds of initially powering itself off the first time. And as the person above mentioned, it always stays off on the second attempt. It does this probably 50% of the time.

    • FoundOnWeb Says:

      One report said getting the phone ‘re-activated’ would help. My wife to my phone to the local ‘droid store. They were aware of the problem, did not know of a fix. They ‘re-activated’ the phone for me.

      It didn’t help.

      That’s OK. In May, I’m eligible for an upgrade, and it doesn’t have to be a Motorola.

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