Motorola Milestone Froyo Frequent Reboots and a Fix (sort of…)

After all the positives after the cache wipe my phone has become increasingly less stable. This manifests itself with the phone becoming unresponsive and then spontaneously rebooting, it’s not a full reboot, as often the phone restarts and you don’t even need to enter your SIM PIN.

Some digging around on the internet shows that this is not a problem unique to me, in fact there’s significant numbers experiencing the problem.

It turns out that it’s a kernel-level issue, examination of DMESG in a terminal shows a large number of DSI errors, for example: –

[40458.499359] omapdss DSI error: rx fifo not empty when sending BTA,
dumping data:
[40458.499389] omapdss DSI error:    ACK with ERROR (0x40)
[40458.499389] omapdss DSI error:    False Control Error
[40460.231140] omapdss DSI error: rx fifo not empty when sending BTA,
dumping data:
[40460.231170] omapdss DSI error:    ACK with ERROR (0x40):
[40460.231201] omapdss DSI error:    False Control Error
[40465.048065] omapdss DSI error: rx fifo not empty when sending BTA,
dumping data:
[40465.048095] omapdss DSI error:    ACK with ERROR (0x42):
[40465.048095] omapdss DSI error:    SoT Sync Error

DSI stands for Display Serial Interface, and the problems are within the kernel itself, which of course is signed and can’t be changed by developers outside of Motorola, because of the locked bootloader.

I’m going to raise a support call with Motorola to highlight the issue, but owing to the delays in getting Froyo and Motorola’s general reticence and slowness there’s not a lot of optimism out there for a fix. That said I’d encourage everyone to saturate them with *official* support calls (as opposed to moaning on their own, or other, forums) since this will necessitate an official response.

There is a workaround to this problem, but you will need root to apply it and as shown here you will lose the fix on a manual reboot. There is a way to apply the fix permanently and I’ll post on that later once I’ve done it myself and if there’s enough interest.

Thanks to nadlabak for the idea.

Open a terminal on your phone and type the following: –

$ su

$ echo 1 > /sys/devices/omapdss/display0/update_mode

The latter command changes the display’s update mode the side effect of which is you may see some tearing when scrolling in lists (contacts, web page), but it’s a minor issue, compared to the major inconvenience of frequent, random reboots.

This entry was posted in Android, Google, Milestone. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Motorola Milestone Froyo Frequent Reboots and a Fix (sort of…)

  1. monsterduc1000 says:

    My phone has actually been more stable since the 2.2 update. My update came through Telus and they delayed it for a week so maybe they fixed some bugs during this time instead of just adding more bloatware.

  2. V says:

    This is the only answer I could find for this issue online. Thank you so much. Please post the definitive answer as son as you have it 🙂

    V

  3. Dimitris says:

    Hello there!
    Thank you for your advice on Milestone issues.
    I tried to execute the command but I got a message saying:
    “cannot create /sys/devices/omapdss/display0/update_mode: permission denied”.
    I have rooted my phone with Universal Androot and I’m currently running on stock Froyo 2.1. I used an app called Terminal Emulator to bring up a terminal, if that has anything to do with it.
    I would appreciate any feedback.
    Thanx again!

  4. aLUNZ says:

    Just want to say thank you very much for this information. My Milestone is (just) out of warranty and when the frequent reboot problem started happening (after an upgrade to 2.2) I was told that a fix would involve a replacement of a ‘main board’ that would cost ~AU$300. When I contacted Motorola about this I got sympathy, but nothing else.

    After making the change to update_mode that you described my Milestone phone has gone from rebooting several times a day to hardly ever rebooting (the last two reboots were manually initiated).

    The phone is much more usable now, although I have noticed a certain ‘sluggishness’ with screen transitions.

    I would appreciate any hints that you may have to make this fix more permanent.

    Thanks again.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *