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PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2010 1:46 am 
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Hi guys!

I will be contacting Archos support shortly, but I thought I'd check if any of you might know something about this before I call them. I am having nasty serious stability issues with my Archos 5 IT Android. I have the newest firmware (1.7.33) installed + the market and Gmap hacks. (Though I am POSITIVE the hacks have nothing to the with the issues as they were there before I applied the hacks). I got the player last week and I am already on my second one, as I got a replacement for the first one for the same issues I will describe below.

Here's what's happening:

The device turns itself off without any warning and for no good reason. It does not happen very often, but often enough to be annoying/worrisome. This happens at random times, though I have noticed one instance when it has already happened three times. After reinitializing the device, I was trying to enter my WPA2 key (I have a 64 bit long key so it takes forever to enter it) and the device turned itself off. This has happened 3 times in the exact same situation.

Also, Android restarts itself sometimes when the RAM gets full, I guess. The device freezes for a couple of minutes and then I see the Android logo again, though if I am playing music, the music goes on. I guess that's normal behavior - I wouldn't know as this is my first Android device.

The worst part however is that already three times Android has crashed fully on me. What I mean is that the player rebooted itself randomly and when it came back on, it displayed a mouse pointer in the upper left corner plus a dialog box with a title bar "Sorry!" and content ""Process System is not responding". There were two buttons "Force close" and "Wait". Neither would bring me any further - the Archos just freezed. After forcing it to shut down (by holding the power button for 15 sec.) and turning it on again, I got the Android installation wizard, which also crushed a couple of times. After I finally managed to get back to my home screen, I realized that most of my apps did not work. When I tried to open them I got a message that they have crashed.

I don't know if these problems are due to the new firmware or something else, but I have to say they are very annoying and happen too often. Keep in mind I have only been using the Archos since last Thursday (thought admittedly for >6 hours every day) and for that time I have already gotten a replacement player from my vendor and I have done 2 full reinitializations on the first one and one on the second one - the problems persist.

Any input would be appreciated.

Thanks!


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2010 1:50 am 
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Now I also got "Damaged internal storage". This is getting worse by the minute...


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2010 2:22 am 
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Hi el Jefe,

I think you hit the nail on the head. Low memory conditions do crazy things with Android on the 5A. Poor memory management yielding: Increased Response time, Extended Slowdowns, Freezing, Reboot, and the like.

To make this even worse, the Android Archos 5 usually gives us no warning. What to do!?!

Turn on Settings>Sound & display>Audible selection

Then you get a "click" each time you tap a screen selection.

The Warning: Not Hearing the Click After a Tap

The Action: Wait until you hear the tap "click".

As Android matures with better memory management this will go away. Maybe Google with fix it this year, especially if Android devices get more market penetration.

Allen

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5IT|A70S|A101


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2010 2:32 am 
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Hi Allen!

Not sure what you meant with the clicking sounds - I have them disabled on my device anyway :)

The problem for me is not what happens when the device runs out of memory - that happens to any device I guess. My problem is I get these problems even after full reinitialization! I just got another two reboots right after a clean reinitialization. I will try to reflash the firmware now. I am getting fed up!


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2010 2:45 am 
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I tried 5 different a5s and they all did the same things, so I finally gave up trying. But generally I found out that re-installing the firmware produced better results than re-initialization. Also, you might have to do it several times in a row, even if it seems redundant - just the way it is, you either accept it or you learn your lesson and buy something else.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2010 2:55 am 
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It's interesting that I couldn't find any other similar posts... Are we the only few people who are having problems? And if yes, then why? It's such a pity, because the device is otherwise beautiful!

Btw. Blakove, did you only have these problems with 1.7.33 or also with previous firmwares? I am slowly loosing patience... I don't want to give my money to Apple, I really really don't!


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2010 3:03 am 
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The last firmware I had was 1.4.25. I was waiting to see the reports from this one, but it's not looking good. People still report wifi issues (which was my biggest problem) and just from today I see at least 4 new threads about freezing, rebooting and general stability and performance.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2010 3:18 am 
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I too have had this problem. I found that powering off the unit gives better results than doing a reset/reboot. This happens with or with out the market hack. I did not have this issue with 1.6.08 with or with out the market hack. I think there are more bugs in 1.7.33 they are just not being report yet or we have issues due to our setup. There could be issues with Micro SD sticks and wireless router. I have noticed better performance when I turn off wireless when I know I'm not going to use it and I'm not talking about battery life.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2010 4:43 am 
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An altern
blakove wrote:
The last firmware I had was 1.4.25. I was waiting to see the reports from this one, but it's not looking good. People still report wifi issues (which was my biggest problem) and just from today I see at least 4 new threads about freezing, rebooting and general stability and performance.


Yeah, nevermind - I just found some posts too. I guess my search previously was too specific. Oh well. I like the device so as long as I can keep it working, it's OK. Btw. I haven't had any problems with wifi whatsoever. Then again I use an expensive, powerful N router so I guess that might explain that.

Hopefully the future updates will improve things. I just looked around the net for an alternative to the archos and I couldn't really come up with anything. And Apple still seems unattractive - even against a buggy 5IT ;-)


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2010 4:55 am 
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el_jefe wrote:
An altern
blakove wrote:
The last firmware I had was 1.4.25. I was waiting to see the reports from this one, but it's not looking good. People still report wifi issues (which was my biggest problem) and just from today I see at least 4 new threads about freezing, rebooting and general stability and performance.


Yeah, nevermind - I just found some posts too. I guess my search previously was too specific. Oh well. I like the device so as long as I can keep it working, it's OK. Btw. I haven't had any problems with wifi whatsoever. Then again I use an expensive, powerful N router so I guess that might explain that.

Hopefully the future updates will improve things. I just looked around the net for an alternative to the archos and I couldn't really come up with anything. And Apple still seems unattractive - even against a buggy 5IT ;-)


I didn't have problems on my router at home either, even if it's just a cheap plain N router... But I have a laptop at home. Have you tried logging in at hot spots around?


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2010 5:58 pm 
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blakove wrote:
I didn't have problems on my router at home either, even if it's just a cheap plain N router... But I have a laptop at home. Have you tried logging in at hot spots around?


Sure, I've used it with several different hotspots, one of which completely open (e.g. no encryption, no WEP etc., which is typically the problem with Linux based devices and with the Archos i particular from what I gather). I do however still have plenty of other problems...


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2010 6:16 pm 
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Which apps do you have installed and which do you have running in the background. This is usually the reason for instabillities.

You surely installed more than just the market hack and if yes which.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 29, 2010 8:00 am 
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el_jefe wrote:
Hi Allen!

Not sure what you meant with the clicking sounds - I have them disabled on my device anyway :)

The problem for me is not what happens when the device runs out of memory - that happens to any device I guess. My problem is I get these problems even after full reinitialization! I just got another two reboots right after a clean reinitialization. I will try to reflash the firmware now. I am getting fed up!

Hi el Jefe,

TURN AUDIBLE SELECTION ON!!!

Do an Advanced search on:
    Search for keywords: Audible Selection
    Search for authors: AllenPapapetrou
The click NOT being there is an indication that you're going to fast for the 5A. The 5A queues your taps, so if you don't hear a tap, it is almost always because the 5A is still processing a prior selection.

NOT HEARING THE CLICK IS SOMETIMES THE ONLY WARNING YOU GET BEFORE THE 5A CRASHES.

Next, If you can, install an App like App Manager and backup all your Apps. If you an narrow down which Apps are failing an uninstall / reinstall has worked for me.

Install something like Advanced Task Manager Free from the Market. Put its End All Widget on a Home Screen and run it periodically. Place Apps you always want available: Archos Media Center, File Manager, and Better Keyboard in the Exclude list.

Problems, like yours, have gotten most everybody on the board. Archos provided the setting for the wonderful facilities we have with the 5A and the crashes. Your problems are not something Archos can solve without additional FW upgrades. In the meantime, YOU can mostly eliminate your problems by CHANGING the way you use the 5A. If other people on the Forum are not having the problems you are having it's because they are using their 5As differently than you.

Best to ya,
Allen

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 29, 2010 9:58 am 
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Charbax wrote:
Which apps do you have installed and which do you have running in the background. This is usually the reason for instabillities.

You surely installed more than just the market hack and if yes which.


Here's what I have installed:

  • Aldiko
  • AppsLib
  • ReaderScope
  • KeePassDroid
  • TaskPanel Lite (Had Advanced Taskkiller Free)
  • Weather Widget - Free
  • OI File Manager
  • Unrar
  • Robo Defense
  • Fring
  • Dolphin Browser
  • Browser (a theme for Dolphin Browser)
  • Battery Status - Free
  • ConnectBot
  • Google Maps
  • Simple Last.fm Scrobbler
  • Last.fm - Personal Radio
  • Deezer
  • DoggCatcher (installed yesterda)
  • Market4Archos (apk from the forum, installed yesterday)
  • Quickpedia
  • Squeeze Commander

Now, I read some threads around the forum, and I do hear you when you say that apps are what usually causes crashes. But I really don't think this is the case here. Let me repeat that my Archos crashed multiple times with NO APPS installed whatsoever, except from the stock ones, which come installed by default. That also excludes the memory overload problem.

Moreover, I don't use many of the apps above (like Quickipedia or Deezer) - I keep them for just in case, if I need them once in a blue moon. And whenever I use more than the usual Gmail, Browser, Music player and maybe ReaderScope, I always make sure that I have at least 30 MB of free memory.

Don't get me wrong: I am not complaining. I made a conscious decision to drop 300 euros on an Android device, when I could've gotten an iTouch or a Zune or something of the kind. I've been using Linux boxes and and off since 1996 so I am well aware of the problems (and huge benefits) that go along with open source software.

However, I do think there's a problem here. When I install Debian, openSUSE or Ubuntu, I get a free piece of software and nobody promises anything - take it or leave it. When I drop 300 bucks on a hyped media player however, I expect it to do basic things at least halfway decently. I don't expect it to "just work" - I could've gotten an iPod for that - but I do expect it to not crush and die right after full reinitialization and firmware reflashing.

Also, I still don't understand what memory overload and application crushing has to do with the firmware... I am not that technically literate, but I assume the firmware is installed in non-volatile ROM memory, which should not be accessible to applications. How is it possible that repeated Android crushes due to memory shortage or application crushes leads to corrupted firmware and the need to reflash the firmware repeatedly until it works "properly"?


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 29, 2010 10:05 am 
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AllenPapapetrou wrote:
el_jefe wrote:
Hi el Jefe,

TURN AUDIBLE SELECTION ON!!!
Allen


Hi Allen!

I'll give it a shot, it shounds helpful :) However, as I said above, that still does not answer why the Archos crushes after full reinitialization and firmware reflashing and why do we need to reflash the firmware repeatedly. Also, keep in mind my first 5A crushed and died on me right after firmware update, before I had even installed anything on it.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 29, 2010 10:10 am 
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el_jefe wrote:
Charbax wrote:
Which apps do you have installed and which do you have running in the background. This is usually the reason for instabillities.

You surely installed more than just the market hack and if yes which.


Here's what I have installed:

  • Aldiko
  • AppsLib
  • ReaderScope
  • KeePassDroid
  • TaskPanel Lite (Had Advanced Taskkiller Free)
  • Weather Widget - Free
  • OI File Manager
  • Unrar
  • Robo Defense
  • Fring
  • Dolphin Browser
  • Browser (a theme for Dolphin Browser)
  • Battery Status - Free
  • ConnectBot
  • Google Maps
  • Simple Last.fm Scrobbler
  • Last.fm - Personal Radio
  • Deezer
  • DoggCatcher (installed yesterda)
  • Market4Archos (apk from the forum, installed yesterday)
  • Quickpedia
  • Squeeze Commander


Uninstall. You've most likely got a bunch of bloatware apps installed that suck out all the RAM memory. For example Fring is pretty badly written app that sucks huge amounts of system memory.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 29, 2010 10:20 am 
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Hi el Jefe,

I'm wondering do you have a problems with wrist watches? ;)

The only thing I can think of is trading your 5A with someone and see if they have the same problems. Then we'd know it's HW.

Michael recommends....

Reflashing connected to power and under full charge. He seems to think the FW may not get properly installed if the flashed memory hasn't been zapped properly. He's also recommended repeated reflashes

Some folks have reported flashing 10 or more times before everything straightens out.

I haven't had those problems myself.

Good Luck!
Allen

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5IT|A70S|A101


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 29, 2010 12:26 pm 
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Charbax wrote:
el_jefe wrote:
Charbax wrote:

Uninstall. You've most likely got a bunch of bloatware apps installed that suck out all the RAM memory. For example Fring is pretty badly written app that sucks huge amounts of system memory.



Yeah, i agree about fring. I haven't really used it though anyway. Plus you didn't answer my real question: how is it that apps corrupt the hardware and why does the device crush even without any installed apps?

Also you have to agree that it's a bit rediculous that someone should sell and "Internet tablet" for 300 euros, which only works with certain apps :) And don't tell me I'm not even supposed to have the apps from the Market, because, again the 5A crushes even without them.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 29, 2010 12:31 pm 
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AllenPapapetrou wrote:
Hi el Jefe,

I'm wondering do you have a problems with wrist watches? ;)

The only thing I can think of is trading your 5A with someone and see if they have the same problems. Then we'd know it's HW.


Oh come on Allen, don't give me this nonsense :-) I've been using experimental software and hardware since I first laid my hands on a PC. I was also a full time alpha/beta tester for some time. I don't think I've ever seen a buggier production device before. Again, I am not complaining, I am just expressing my opinion.

AllenPapapetrou wrote:
Michael recommends....

Reflashing connected to power and under full charge. He seems to think the FW may not get properly installed if the flashed memory hasn't been zapped properly. He's also recommended repeated reflashes

Some folks have reported flashing 10 or more times before everything straightens out.


Yeah, I read those threads. I think they might be right, because I cannot come up with any other logical explanation of what's going on. I don't buy Charbax's theory of Apps crushing android and corrupting the firware...


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 29, 2010 1:04 pm 
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Allow me to reiterate what I've said in other threads.

If the unit is unstable before any other apps are loaded, the problem was almost always a firmware installation gone wrong (I'm assuming here that the hardware is working correctly).

The solution is to do the following...

1. Backup any important data on the device.
2. Re-initialize the device
3. Reinstall the firmware
4. Test the device thoroughly
5. If there are any problems, return to step 2. Always allow at least one hour to elapse before re-flashing the device.
6. Apply the Market hack
7. After applying the hack, reboot the device.
8. If there are any problems with the login process to Google or with any of the Google apps, return to step 2.
9. If after testing everything is stable, then you have a completely stable firmware.

From that point forward, following Allen's advice regarding not trying to use the device faster than it will go along with the memory management techniques that have been discussed in this thread will make the device very stable.

My only other recommendation is to only install one application at a time, and only one application per session. So, after you install an application, reboot, then launch the application to make sure that it's working. If you install another application, repeat that process. (I suspect this has to do with disk caching/writing)

This may sound like a fair amount of work and I guess it is. It took me about an afternoon to get my device working the way I like it. But the other stuff, once you take a day or so to remember to do it becomes second nature.

I'll even note that I use Fring as an instant message and emergency VoIP client. It runs pretty much all the time. And it never crashes for me.

But I guess another important part of this equation is that I like what the A5A does well enough to spend a day or so getting it sorted. And, of course, it may not be valuable enough to you for you to waste that amount of time. That's really a decision you have to make for yourself.

I wish you much better luck in the future and please let us know how your story turns out.

Michael


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