All in one basket

First post in 2022. Nothing to be proud of.

I’ve been hit by reboot loop on my phone. Every 15 seconds or so after the latest update the phone tries to reboot and stops in the bootloader. One additional manual step and it starts again. Rince and repeat.

Before I even knew what the issue was I switched over to my backup phone. Immediately I was realizing that I was mainly depending on my calendar on the busiest day of the week. Just 15 minutes later all contacts and calendar entries were available on the new phone.

All the other stuff was secondary and could be added one by one during the evening. I’m talking about access to e-mail, message application and minor management access for some devices. Nothing critical.

The only thing that would have given me some headaches however would have been the multi-factor application required to access some other services I require for work. In the meantime however I found a workaround to stop the phone from rebooting and exported all tokens to the backup phone.

I am always hesitant when it comes to create new dependencies on my phone. One bank is always trying to convince me to switch over to some bank application for user authentication instead of my hardware token. When I confronted them with what would happen if I lost access to my phone: “Just get a new phone.” Thanks. That is as helpful as “Get a new bank.”. Literally.

It seems that I have taken the right choices on my private side when it comes to dependencies on my phone. Work-life-wise however, there’s room for improvement. Why shouldn’t there be a backup for the token generator available?

I have to look into that.

Actually I am a bit glad about this involuntary test run in switching phones unexpectedly. That showed me:

  1. Some minor documentation gaps I had.

  2. There is some need for some automatic phone configuration a la Ansible Automation Engine or similar.

  3. The decision not to put everything on the phone paid back in having a reduced stress level when it got taken out of the game.

The reason the phone stopped working was an update to the google play service I had applied earlier that day. The reboots did not start immediately, but with a delay of several hours. The workaround was to find and disable the play service within 15 seconds after the reboot before the phone restarted again.

Then I was bombed with messages that any amount of apps would not work, but at least the phone stayed on and accessible for recovery.