k83012_Not Amused

Update: After receiving a distraught email from Team ACS, it has been brought to our attention that their root method may not be the cause of signal loss on the Epic 4G Touch. We're currently researching the details and will update this post accordingly.

Update x2: According to new information we received, there have been reports of this same issue happening on non-rooted phones. We're not sure how things got twisted around to point the finger at rooted devices, but we do know that Sprint is looking into it.

Have you rooted your Epic Touch 4G? Apparently, some users who have tried to flash Zedomax and ACS's custom kernel have experienced a loss of signal bug. Prior to the release of a flashable stock kernel, this was bad news bears, and Sprint is none too happy about it:

wm_9-23-2011 10-16-41 AM

While there is now a fix, it's obvious what Sprint's concern is. For those who don't really understand what rooting, custom recovery, and "flashing" really are, the lure of "unlocking the potential" of your device can lead to some unfortunate consequences (ie, bricking your phone).

As the Sprint internal forum post above indicates, 3 such poor souls entered a Sprint store looking for a solution to this very problem. The (I assume) manager of that store is not happy about this, probably because he ended up replacing their handsets. This is because, as the second post says, Sprint stores have yet to receive the E4G Touch software diagnosis and repair tools on their handy Sprint triage laptops.

While this issue now has a solution, it shows the continuing tension that exists between carriers and the development community, and the frustration that phone hackery-gone-awry can cause.

Thanks, Captain Anonymous!

David Ruddock
David's phone is whatever is currently sitting on his desk. He is an avid writer, and enjoys playing devil's advocate in editorials, and reviewing the latest phones and gadgets. He also doesn't usually write such boring sentences.

  • Michael

    This is exactly why people should not be rooting and ROMing their phones unless they know what they are doing. This is one of the big reasons why carriers want root blocked in the first place.

    • nullghost

      Yup! We should be free to root, but users that fuck up their phones need to learn to accept the consequences.


    If you root your phone, and install custom ROM's which lead to software/bricking, I have little sympathy for you. If you THEN bring the device and expect Sprint/Manufacturer to repair/fix your phone for free, then I hate you.

    That is just another reason why carriers will want bootloaders to be locked. Stop being noobs and start taking responsibility.

  • tdavis42

    The best part of the XDA forum was that the people that this happened to said after the fact "they shouldn't release these root methods without a go back(stock) method in case something goes wrong". Maybe you should wait to root your device until the developers post a go back method in case something goes wrong. Hind sight is always 20/20.

  • http://www.acsyndicate.net flyers2114

    This is a lie. Sprint and Sammmy both acknowledged this bug prior to. This needs to be retracted

  • http://www.acsyndicate.net flyers2114
  • WR47H

    absolutely correct flyers. this has nothing to do with flashing any kernel or rooting. so sprint's internal message boards can contain whatever conjecture they want. bottom line is, they are just looking for an excuse to put a samsung/sprint problem off onto the end user.

  • Aphex

    Sorry guys but this article is wrong. The LOS bug is happening on un-root, stock phones. There is a problem with the Radio Layer Interface it is crashing, radio turns off then doesn't turn back on.

    See the reports here.

  • http://www.acsyndicate.net flyers2114
  • str8upx

    Those of you bitching about people trying to return bricks are full of shit. Of course you would try to get a replacement if your phone died that you just paid $200 - $600 regardless of the reason why. Most of the time bricks are caused by trying to circumvent the security put in place to prevent rooting/flashing by the manufacturers/carriers. They are just as much to blame as the noob who tried to take ownership of HIS device that he paid good money for. So do us all a favor and stfu.

    • JayMonster

      If you void your warranty... you lose the benefits of the warranty. Period. If you want to Root your phone, select one that isn't locked. Blaming the manufacturer's for your bricking your device is just asinine.

      They are NOT to blame if *you* screw up the phone you bought. So, please, get a clue, and until then, I suggest it be you that STFU, at least until you grow up.

      • str8upx

        People that spend hundreds of dollars on a device should have the freedom to do whatever the fuk they want with it. If the OEM's didn't lock the shit out of everything there wouldn't be bricks in the first place. They are 100% responsible. Now I agree that people who don't know what they are doing shouldn't be rooting/flashing but only because the OEM's/carriers have made it dangerous to do so.

  • http://www.acsyndicate.com tanimn

    I love how everyone blames root for this, when it's been happening to stock handsets as well. The issue is also not persistent, so it's surprising that any sprint tech spent enough time with a single handset to replicate the issue. The few instances that I know of where this issue appeared persistent were resolved by updating profile. It appears that the employees involved only looked far enough to find someone else to blame and pass the buck, instead of attempting some basic remedies.
    All of the logcats (3 so far) I've seen regarding the LOS problem indicate SprintAndroidExtension.apk as the source of the problem, which is not a kernel level file. (the problem actually seems to be in the radio and not the apk, but figuring that out would require doing more than reading the error code)
    I can't deny that a custom rom could cause such issues, but failure to look beyond ro.build.display.id for the source of the issue leaves me forever second guessing what any sprint technician says.
    Finally, how is the initramfs from a stock kernel going to fix anything when the problem is evident with a stock kernel in the first place?
    This isn't an article, it's a screenshot demonstrating ignorance, with one sided commentary trying to claim that it's enlightening.

  • http://www.mdknight.net Ish

    I thought rooting voided warranties anyway? How are they being replaced at all?

  • http://www.acsyndicate.net/ AbsolutZeroGI

    Hello, I'm AbsolutZeroGI (member of ACS, ops on the IRC channel). It has been conclusively proven that root has NOTHING to do with LOS. I've been helping people for 4 days now and it doesn't matter what they're running (rooted, unrooted, stock, custom rom, any one of the 3 kernels), the LOS problem is UNIVERSAL. This has nothing to do with hacking gone wrong or bad development by the kernel makers. It's a problem with the modem.bin and requires a firmware update to fix. This is from someone who's been in the front row the whole time as well, thanks for your time.

  • M

    I have been researching this and it appears to be an ongoing problem that has absolutely nothing to do with whether the phone has been rooted or not. It has been happening to a lot more unrooted phones and has been going on for a while. It is a bug that has to be fixed.
    As far as rooting goes, there are always some inherent risks involved. Most of the time, not always, but most of the time it is the end user who made a mistake during the process. Many people often do not read and understand what they are doing before they jump into it.

  • dc

    i can assure you that i have been battling with LOS problems and i have not (yet) attempted any root method for my epic touch.

  • http://www.AndroidPolice.com Artem Russakovskii

    We've amended the story this morning and I even changed the title accordingly.