DEAL WITH YOUR “NOT WORKING” POWER BUTTON – ANDROID

if you own a pretty cheap android phone like xiaomi or any other, after sometime (say 1 year) your buttons will stop working one by one. currently in my redmi note 2, all buttons are not pressable anymore. 😀

you get what you get for your money, can’t expect more.

usually, if your phone comes with plastic buttons for power and volumes +/- buttons, well give it sometime and observe. you’ll need this article someday. 😛

cheap plastic buttons on RN2. picture courtesy: http://www.gsmarena.com/xiaomi_redmi_note_2-pictures-6992.php

the actual reason for buttons not working is not actually with the button materials it self. but it reflects the quality of internal accessory. 😀 real reason behind this is flex cable getting jammed. if you can remove the phone’s back cover and look at the place where buttons actually lie, you can see a small cable fixed-in, in that area with small 3 bubbles which represents the hardware keys in your mobile.

flex cable which can be found in RN2.

so if your power button is not working anymore, you’ll find lot of troubles. you can’t power off / on the phone from hardware button, specially when battery is drained and connected to charger. you can’t wake /lock your screen ? the troubles will get really embarrassing if you didn’t go for a solution quickly.

owkey. time to explore solutions. 😉

1. PERMANENT SOLUTION

just replace the flex cable with a new one. if you are a DIY fan, you can order a one from ebay, watch some DIY videos on youtube and get it done by yourself. it’s not that hard. but here you have to find a temporary solution till your flex cable arrives and till u get some free time to do it.
i am still having this problem, my flex cable didn’t arrive yet. so i had to go with below steps to get my device working till then.

2. TEMPORARY SOLUTION, OR IS IT ?

so your power buttons and volume buttons are not working. can’t turn screen on or off. can’t boot the device ? let’s solve one by one.

2.1 CAN’T WAKE / LOCK SCREEN

solution for this would be use alternative ways to wake / lock the screen.

2.1.1 WAKING UP
2.1.1.1 WAKE WITH VOLUME BUTTONS

you can use volume buttons (if working) to wake up the screen. in MIUI (xiaomi ROM) this functionality can be enabled in settings. but in my case my volumes buttons are also not working, so had to dig deeper.

2.1.1.2 DOUBLE TAP TO WAKE

another way is to use a mechanism like double tap to wake. so you double tap on screen while its off, and the screen will wake up. some ROM vendors had integrated this functionality inside their ROM. if so it’s recommended to enable it from there, rather than depending on a third party app. in MIUI 8 (xiaomi) this functionality can be enabled in settings.

i found a app called knockon which provides the same functionality. didn’t test in on my device though.

2.1.1.3 WAKE WITH MOTION

imagine a scenario, your device will automatically wake up when you needed and it’ll automatically lock when you are not using the phone. this solution is very effective even if your buttons are working, but you are too bored to press it every time you need to wake it up.

using your phone’s inbuilt sensors (context) and with sensor fusion this app (gravity screen) can do an educated guess whether you are holding your phone, lying it on table, it’s in your pocket, you are watching something, etc.
so depending the conclusion, app will automatically wake the screen or lock the screen. i am using it for couple of weeks and it’s surprisingly reliable.

gravity screen app configurations.

once you configured the app as you need, you will never have to press your power button anymore. 😉 (even if it’s working)

2.1.2 TURN OFF SCREEN

this is extremely simple. because unlike in waking up the screen, you can be the one whom in-charge of this action.

2.1.2.1 TOGGLE BUTTON WIDGET

just place a toggle widget to turn off the screen on your home screen.

2.1.2.2 ASSISTIVE TOUCH

or you can be more creative and use an app like assistive touch to have a assitive touch ball on your android like in ios and lock the screen using that.
MIUI 8 (xiaomi) users can enable this feature without any third party app by simply enabling the quick ball feature in settings.

using both toggle widget and assistive touch.
2.1.2.3 LET SENSORS DECIDE

as described in 2.1.1.3 section, you can use gravity screen app to automatically turn off screen when you are not using the phone. just put the phone lying down once you are done, it’ll automatically turn off.

2.2 TURN ON (BOOT) DEVICE

all the solutions i explained earlier are solved using software approaches. but when your device is powered off, we should look at another way to get it booted. 😛

owkey, lets approach it step by step. first of all, when do u need to power on your device ? it should be one of below.

  1. your battery is empty and it was switched off
  2. you intentionally turned it off

 

2.2.1 BATTERY IS EMPTY AND SWITCHED OFF

first thing you have to do when the battery is empty, is to plug your phone to the charger.
when you connect the charger to your phone while it’s switched off, it’ll show a charging indicator but won’t power on. so what if, we could modify that functionality and make it boot when the charger is connected instead of showing the charing indicator screen.

this can be done. for that you will need to first boot the device into fastboot mode and modify some configurations. you need adb tools installed in your PC to continue. if not install them. also make sure you have enabled developer mode and USB debugging in your phone as well.

now connect your phone to PC (while it’s ON), carefully issue below commands. first lets get it booted to fastboot mode.

adb reboot-bootloader

now, your device will reboot into fastboot mode, which we continue to do our modifications.

issue below command and see if your device is identified.

fastboot devices

issue below command and it will print all the system variables on terminal. examine the value returned to off-mode-charge. it should be 1.

fastboot getvar all

..
(bootloader) off-mode-charge: 1  # if its disabled

now we have to set off-mode-charge in to 0 in order to boot the device while the charger is connected. issue below command and verify that you get a similar output.

fastboot getvar all
fastboot oem off-mode-charge 0

..

next reboot the device. issue below command.

fastboot reboot

time to check if it’s working. turn off the phone with assistive touch or any other method and plug in the charger. now your device should boot instead of showing you the charging indicator. 🙂
voila.

2.2.2 INTENTIONALLY TURNED IT OFF

simple, just connect the charger, USB cable or a power bank to phone. 😛 it’ll turn on now according to section 2.2.1.

there is always an alternative way. all you have to do it dig deeper. 😉

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