Thursday, 10 October 2019

How to Upgrade Your Smart Phone or Tablet To Latest Android

Before anything, I would like to be clear I am just sharing my experience and I shall not be responsible for any thing wrong that may happen on your tablet or phone. When visiting sites I mentioned in this blog, I am not responsible for the security of your device.

In 2012 I bought my tablet Samsung Note 10.1 2012 WiFI only, GT-8013 model. This is a decent gorgeous tablet with a pen. This has a very good review during its time. The one I bought is even better because is the first Quad-core first version and has Android. My tablet's specification from manufacturer: https://www.samsung.com/us/support/owners/product/galaxy-note-10-1-wi-fi#productInfo

But as all things in technology advances, now that hardware can handle more complex software, Android improves its version like any other. When Android 7, was released, I noticed apps in my tablet do not get updated anymore. The new apps and new updates requires Android 7 and mine is only in 4.1. Apps starts to lag especially when connecting to the WiFi. I do not remember what came to me, but I started searching the web for possibilities to upgrade my tablet. I found that is possible to change its Android to an open Android release version 7. I found LineageOS 14.1.

Honestly, this decision is for a brave soul. Upgrading a phone or tablet to latest Android is not an easy one for me. I am a total ignorant about it. Thank you for the people who posted their experiences and edited software, I was successful. May I expressed, that reading their blogs doesn’t mean it is successful straight away. It took me three days of working on my tablet on the first time. The next upgrade which is OS and GAPP and installing other apps took me just less than a day, still in a confuse state. This is why I wrote this blog to share and have this as a guide when I upgrade LineageOS in my tablet to 17.1 or higher.

Here is a how to upgrade your phone or tablet.
  1. Log or save a picture of your phone tablet specification. Make sure you save the detail information of your tablet or phone. These information be very helpful to collect the right version of software/apps to upgrade. Mine is Samsung Note 10.1 2012 WiFi only, GT-8013 model. 
  2. Back it up.
    • If your phone/tablet can have a SD card, make sure it has one and backup here. 
    • Also, back it up in a PC. It can’t hurt to have many backups.
    • If you can enable Google Backup, it is worth doing this. This save information about apps installed in your phone/tablet, which is will install automatically (with is latest versions available from play store) when do a restore. I have not used this to bring back the apps into my phone after an upgrade, but to reinstall my phone when I forgotten my password.
    1. Base on the specification, download the software for upgrade.  Again my phone / tablet is Samsung Note 10.1 2012 WiFi only, GT-8013 model. So, I will need, the specific for it.
      1. Stock ROM firmware / TWRP  / ClockworkMod Recovery (CWM Recovery)
        Note: ROM is Read-Only-Memory of any computing device. Stock ROM is the default firmware that comes with any Android device. TWRP is for Team Win Recovery Project, also the name given to Stock ROMs.
      2. Odin to flash Stock ROM this from PC to phone/tablet.
        This is a software that you download and run to your PC, so you can connect the PC to your tablets/ phone's "Odin Mode".Note: Flash means to install a firmware into the ROM of a computer device. I got Odin, Stock ROM (or TWRP), and Rooting app from Unified_Android_Toolkit. These can be download via from https://skipsoft.net/skipsoft-unified-android-toolkit/. From Unified Android Toolkit choose 37 for device Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2012 to download files needed. After going through the options, these will be in recovery folder. I would like to suggest to donate to them if you are successful in using Unified_Android_Toolkit. These is what I used on my tablet. It may also work on yours or may not.   
      3. Samsung Kies or USB drivers to enable debugging tool.  The Odin may not work, this could resolve this issue. 
      4. Rooting software is required to free the tablet from manufacturer’s access and enable a user to access the firmware. Rooting is a process that allows you to attain root access to the Android operating system code (the equivalent term for Apple devices id jailbreaking). It gives you privileges to modify the software code on the device or install other software that the manufacturer wouldn't normally allow you to.
      5. Android OS, the LineageOS (Android OS that will work for the model of your phone/tablet).
        At this time of creating this blog, the only Android works on my Samsung Note 10.1 2012 WiFi only, GT-8013 is LineageOS 14.1 from https://forum.xda-developers.com/devdb/project/dl/?id=26049.
        Where you can download Android OS for your device:
        --- https://www.theandroidsoul.com/download-lineage-os/
        --- https://www.lineageosrom.com/2016/12/list-of-devices-getting-official.html 
        --- http://www.lineageosdownloads.com/get-google-assistant-lineage-os/
      6. GApps is a bundle of Apps from Google, it also has PlayStore.
        For LineageOS 14.1, the GApps version is 7.1. You can download it from https://opengapps.org/. My Samsung Note 10.1 2012 WiFi only, GT-8013 has a 64GB SD card. I am able to copy the Aroma GApps into the SD card and installed it using TWRP, which was successfully flashed by Odin.
    2. Setup the phone/tablet for upgrade.
      I learned that, this "setting up stage" is not all about the device. It is also about how prepared I am to accept that things can go horribly wrong. Commitment is required to make it happen too. I am saying this because I almost give up because I thought I bricked my tablet. But I thought I keep going, because what else could it go wrong?
      Brick, bricked – this a description when things go very wrong, that your phone or tablet froze and nothing seems to work. Soft bricked, is when bricked phone is just a temporary state. This is common to experience at first when learning.   
      When things are going wrong, you might need to keep on trying to de-brick your phone tablet. I had a different experience in upgrading my tablet. I manage to wipe out my table and Adroid 4.1 OS of my tablet. I have no backup. So, I have no choice but to try to make it worked. After so many trials of pressing the button I got into Odin part of my tablet. I connect my tablet to my desktop which is running in Windows 10. My desktop won’t see my tablet. Out of the blue I decided to setup my laptop (which is also in Windows 10) to connect o my tablet. This immediately see my tablet and I am able to flash the. 
      1. When settled and still determine to do the upgrade, Install Odin in your PC. Connect your device via USB and boot your device in Odin mode
      2. When done, flash the Stock ROM / TWRP. This link has a detail illustration how the Odin works: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hIap2E1DYTY is how to flash firmware. Another one https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KYBs98R9rTs
        The Stock ROM I had successfully installed in my Samsung Note 10.1 2012 WiFi only GT-8013 model is recovery-twrp-2.7.0.0-n8013.tar from SkipSoft.net. I think this is a good guide to install TWRP into a tablet like mine, https://www.android.gs/install-twrp-recovery-galaxy-note-10-1-n8013.
        You only need to flash the Stock ROM once. After a success on this, you never need to do it again, unless it is required to flash a different one, to install a new version of Android.
    3. Upgrade the Android in your device. Install the appropriate LineageOS version on your device. The only sound open Android OS I found is LineageOS (was CyanMod before).
      There are two ways to do this:
      1. If your device has an SD card slot, copy the OS file here. The OS should be in .zip with or without .md5 file. Boot your device in TWRP / Stock ROM or CWM Recovery. Use this to install from SD card.
      2. Flash the the new Android OS to your device using ODin if your device do not have extended / external storage card. See How to Install Lineage rom using CWM Recovery from https://www.lineageosrom.com/2016/12/how-to-install-lineage-os-rom.html
    4. Install GAPPs. If your device uses SD card to extend its storage, you may be able to install the biggest Gapp package - aroma. After you downloaded this into your PC, copy this to the SD card (via SD card reader off course). Put the SD card to your device. Reboot your device to TWRP / CWRM / Stock ROM, to install aroma GApp.
      Important! The big packages of GApp like the aroma will have options that you have to deal with. There will be a menu that you will need to go up, down, left right using the volume, on and off button. Going through the options in GAPP aroma bundle can be more the most difficult of the upgrade. Try to choose not to list options, so GAPP aroma installation is more automated. 
    After I had reinstall the latest Android possible my Samsung Note 10.1 to have (because I forgot my password). The responsiveness of the screen is much better. I still look forward for LineageOS 17.1 for my tablet.

    But this must not make you think, all are easy. Good for you if it does. But if you are going through it like me, here are some additional notes links about how people get around this issues.
    Thank you for reading this blog. I hope it had help you in what you would like to do with your phone, whether it is worth the hassle of learning all these to upgrade it yourself or just buy a new one.

    I apologies if links for your phone are not provided. But this blog is for the purpose of describing the process as well as to remind me on what to do until the next upgrade.

    For those who find this site useful, feel free to comment and add your device and where you get the firmware/software/apps that you had successfully flashed/installed.

    Thank you.

    Thursday, 28 March 2013

    Fix blocked ink problem on Epson PX710W – A DIY job or pay someone to do it?

    FIY is not everyone’s cup of tea.  But at this modern time, availing the gadget the technology has to offer comes with a price which is bigger than what we expect when things break.  To save, FIY is a better choice if we find time, rather working hard to earn the money to pay someone to fix our problem.  It could not break the bank if we do cautiously by investing time on research.

    True, along the FIY process, sometimes it is hard to see the end or let say: “the light at the end of the tunnel”.  All I could advise is be patient.  Everything has an end.  It is hard for me to say that it will be what you want, but one thing for sure, there is always learning during the process of FIY.

    Before embarking on a FIY project, research, evaluation is a must.

    Here are some tips or guides I come up that could be useful for someone who is confuse on what option to choose.

    To show you are real application, I would to use my experience in solving “the blocked ink problem on Epson PX710W.
    1. If the project is like fixing a printer (like my project) and the object is still in warranty, avail the warranty. Even the problem cannot be fixed, at least you will a chance to know and ask questions to know the details. Ask the estimated cost to fix the problem.  Then you can go back in front of your computer to do more research for options.  

      My printer’s warranty expired. From the web, services are not available in the area. I have to travel 10 to 15 miles to avail support from Epson dealers. It could cost me £200 for the initial service, which I am not sure if that guarantees to fix the problem.
    2. As yourself, do you still need the services of this item now and in the future?   If your answer is yes, then continue reading the guides.
    3. Choose one from the options to fix the problem:
      • Replace the item by buying a working one.  If you do, ask yourself:  “Would you have the same problem again?”
      • Pay someone to fix it.  If you do, how much would it cost to fix the problem?
      • DIY. You might be asking how much time would it take you to fix the problem.  How much would cost you?  I cannot exactly tell how much time you need to spend and how much you need to spend on consumables.  But my experience is here to make it easy for you.
    Epson PX710W is a good scanner and printer.  It also can print CD labels.  It has built in feature to print A4 pads with lines, or outline for coloring.  It could also accept 200gsm thick paper.  All this I discovered when it is getting difficult to find support. It has a built in “head cleaning program” which does not work but only consumes ink if there is a nasty blockage which is the problem my PX710W has.

    We bought it around for the price of £300.00 four years ago.  Its equivalent would be roughly the same price, for I want the same feature to assist my child in his homework.

    Any printer is prone to the same problem: ink blockage.  If I do not understand how to deal with it now, I still need to know how to resolve it in the future.  I just postponed the problem and maybe cost me more for not dealing with it now.

    If I choose to pay someone to solve my problem, I cannot tell the exact cost to fix the problem.  However I estimate it can cost me about £200 for initial service.


    So for the reasons:
      • I know that I will have the same problem again.
      • To replace it will cost me at least £300.
      • The initial cost for an Epson printer support to fix it more likely to cost me at least £200 (this does not include the consumables which is the ink).

    I decide to try the DIY in a very cautious fashion to guarantee my success.

    Here are the problems I encountered with solutions and my advice.

    Problems Recommended Solution Warning or comments
    The most famous problem seen on ink jet printers is the ink clogging or blockage. Epson or most printers have an option under maintenance to print a nozzle check pattern. If the print has skips, the colour that has skips is the one not printing correctly. Printers like Epson PX710w has its diagnostic “head cleaning facility” which sends out more ink to resolve clog problems.  The recommended solution will consume ink from your cartridges faster than printing. It could also cause the next problem.  So do this, not more than three times
    Ink pads near end of life. With this warning message, you are just about to have the problem. All ink that did not go on the paper during printing has to go somewhere.  The waste pad absorbs it. Most ink jet printer now use counters to detect the end of life of ink waste pads.

    You have to decide whether to replace the waste ink pad or buy a waste ink potty.

    Along in resolving the waste ink problem, you have to
    Disable the counter that triggers the warning message.  If this reaches the limit, it may not allow printing.  A software fox PX710W is available for download to reset the counter, but you need to buy the “WICReset code”.
    For those who go for the ink potty you could buy this from the dealers available.
    It is hard to find waste pads.  But I did find one for Epson PX710W and it is more expensive than the printer potty.  I think ink waste ink pads, require more work to install. You have to cut the pads into shape.  Either is difficult to install. You have to remove the sharp metal plate at the bottom of the printer.  Be careful! It could slice your skin deeply.

    The advantage of the printer potty, I only have to open the bottom of the printer once and hopefully never again.  If it is the waste ink pad, this needs replacement sometime in the future with a new one.

    I suggest if you have removed the metal plate, do not put it back.

    To install the printer potty, you need to put a hole to bring out the tube that spits the wasted ink.

    Pattern still print skips off course.  Printer ink heads still clogged. Soak the ink heads for three days.
    Do a print of the nozzle check.
    If there are skips, perform the printer’s head cleaning not more than three times.

    If there are skips, soak the ink head again using the recommendation above.
    For more information on how to soak the heads of Epson PX710W, continue reading below. 

    How to soak the printer ink heads of Epson PX710W?

    1. You need
      • wipes that is like a cloth not baby wipes which is more like wet cotton in texture
      • Syringe without a needle
      • And a bottle of distilled water
    2. You have to fold the wipes (I used two wipes) into a width that is enough to soak the ink heads.  This has to be place under the ink heads.  But because the ink heads are permanent, the wipes has to be inserted through.  Few pictures are provided to understand how to do this. 
    3. Ink heads of PX710W is locked into station when not printing.  To unlock it, turn off the printer.  But as the printer working its way to be turned off, listened to it and when you hear a sound as if it is printing, quickly turned off the printer from the main. Unplug the cord if you have to.  To make sure you don’t break the printer, keep it unplug or turned off the main.
    4. Open the printer and try moving the ink head, it is possible to lift this a little.  Place the tissue.
    5. Use the syringe to wet this from time to time. The tissue has to be very wet but not releasing the water.  Then try moving the ink head on top of it.  Do this once a day. 
    6. After three days, remove the wipes. Turn the printer on. Perform a nozzle check.  Printer might display an error.  If this happens, turn off the “Auto Cleaning Adjustment” under Maintenance.  You might need to do this very quickly before an error displays and prevent you for doing this.
    7. If there are skips after performing a nozzle check, perform the head cleaning adjustment not more than three times.

    Another matter that might concern you

    When I encountered this blockage problem, I just started using a new set of compatible cartridges that cost 1/3 of the price of the original brand.  Off course I suspect this caused the problem.  In my research, it has been highly recommended to go back and use the original cartridges for the printer.  But a branded cartridge could cost almost £10.  It could be cheaper like £48 for 6 cartridges when on sale in online shops.  The more it become my concern of buy the expensive brand after reading this article from guardian: http://www.guardian.co.uk/money/2013/feb/23/printer-ink-cartridges-paying-more-getting-less.

    During my troubleshooting of the ink blockage problem, I know I will run out of ink before I can the printer work.  So I started looking around for a cheaper way of acquiring good quality inks. In my looking around, I came across the CISS system.  I also came across http://www.talkphotography.co.uk in good time for it made it easy for me where to get a CISS system.  Its members recommend http://www.cityinkexpress.co.uk/ciss/epson/px710w/px-series as the best CISS supplier in UK.  If you are from U.S., http://www.Marrutt.com is a well trusted supplier.   There are two types of ink: dye and pigment. In my simplest way to explain dye is made of liquid solvent that dry more easily while pigments are made from crystalline structure.  http://www.macworld.com/article/1054216/inktype.html has more to tell. 

    In cityinkexpress, they have dye, pigment and Lyon ink – the most expensive.  Lyson is also a dye type of ink. Although it is the most expensive, the recommend, using the Lyson CISS it will only cost 1.28 per cartridge.  So the cost of twelve cartridges is about the same price of a Lyson CISS. I thought it is worth a gamble.  So I bought the Lyson CISS and installed it successfully.  I am very happy with this decision for indeed print far better using the Lyson ink.

    A summary at last!

    It has been a long weary process to resolve the ink blockage problem of my Epson PX710W, an expensive good multifunction printer.  Due to cost and uncertainty in achieving the result – that is getting the printer fix, I chose the DIY option to fix the problem and learn through the process to save money now and in the future.  I am sure that I am not buying waste ink pads in the future and my cartridge cost is now down to £1.28 per cartridge and still able to print lovely pictures.

    My success happened because of the posted information I found using google.  To the authors or writers, thank you very much.

    Here are other website that I found it helpful.
    Thank you for reading.