Friday, 16 October 2015

How To Solve a Very Specific Computer Problem

It's too early to say "I'm back" to blogging, but, y'know, "Hi. How've you been?". I'm thinking of writing a series of posts about Pregnancy, Childbirth and Baby Management, and then making them into a book so I can make loads of money. But I probably won't get round to it.

In the meantime, a Thing went wrong with my tablet (Google Nexus 10), and i tried all the Things the internet suggested, and none of them fixed it, and then I fixed it myself, so I thought I'd throw my method out there in case it helps the grand pool of knowledge created by humankind.

So, the problem was thus: tablet charger broke. Tablet ran out of power. Ordered new charger. Waited. Charger arrived. Charged tablet. Turned tablet on. Tablet won't stay connected to WiFi for more than 20 seconds.

At some point in this process, the tablet upgraded to Android Lollipop. I think it was after charging it up, and before the WiFi disconnecting thing.

So I Google it (in increasingly irritating 20 second bursts), and I find that this is a Known Issue with Android Lollipop, and I think " Well, good, then, there'll be a solution ". But I can't find a solution; I can only find " suggestions ". I decide to try them, in the following order:

1. Switch tablet off and back on - nothing
2. Switch modem off and on - have to wait for Mr Smile to go to work before I can try this, so he doesn't think I broke the internet. Still doesn't help.
3. Switch router off and on - I'm not sure how this is different from switching the modem off and on, so I skip it. Come to think of it, I don't really know that that was the modem I switched off in step 2. Anyway, we're no further on.
4. Get the tablet to forget the network and then reenter it. This step doesn't work because my tablet is a freaking encyclopaedia of networks, apparently, and it doesn't have the " forget" option anywhere.
5. Try switching it off and on again.
6. Connect to the modem directly by entering the IP address, and change the channel the network is broadcasting on. This is almost guaranteed to end in disaster, but thankfully the tablet won't connect to anything.
7. Update all your apps to the most recent version. I'd love to do this, but I have 37 pending updates and can only update in 20 second bursts. I struggle on gamely through the first 3, and give up.
8. Fiddle with the WiFi settings. This sounds suspiciously vague, but I'm willing to try anything by this point, so I toggle things on and off at random. I come across something that tells me to press the WPS button on the modem, and I do it anyway because Sod It All.
9. Rewind your operating system to KitKat, but back up your data first. This involves a process so complex that I can't even be bothered sitting through the 300 20 second bursts that it'll take to read about it, so I give up.

So the internet is Out Of Ideas, but I am not. Here's what I did next, which fixed it:
1. Went to my sister's house. Realised my tablet was happily connected to her network. Started downloading updates.
2. Got interrupted by my nephew wanting to play the animal game on my tablet, so stopped downloading updates.
3. Went home. WiFi disconnecting immediately, and I realise I only let about 4 updates actually download. And they're stuff like the Asda app, which are hardly likely to be causing the issue.
4. Became despondent.
5. But realised that the problem seems to be only with my home network.
6. Concocted plan to get a neighbour's password.
7. Opened WiFi settings and looked at the network again. Decided to type in the wrong password, in a bid to anger it. It whined that it couldn't save the network settings because the password was wrong.
8. And then the WiFi stopped disconnecting.

You're welcome.