Google Nexus 7 (2013) upgrade to Android Nougat 7.1.2 plus auto-rotation fix

 

Nexus 7 (2013)

I ordered my trusty Google Nexus 7 in 2013 so I could get it on the day of release. Google updated the Android OS (Operating System) for a couple of years before it went “out of support”. Since then I’ve had app updates, but no OS or security updates. After the recent reports of Android security vulnerabilities, I decided I needed to bring my N7 up to date by installing a newer version of Android.

 

In addition, my N7 has a common problem whereby the screen would not automatically rotate when the device was rotated. I had been using an app which allowed me to manually rotate it, but that wasn’t very convenient, so I decided to fix this problem before updating to a newer version of Android.

Nexus 7 disassemblyThe hardware fix involved separating the two halves of the device, disconnecting and reconnecting the component responsible for the failed screen rotation sensor, securing the component, then putting the device back together. I have done this fix previously on a Nexus 7, but it’s still pretty fiddly.

Then followed about two hours of very technical work to install Lineage OS, a version of Android created and maintained by enthusiasts. I have installed this before on many other devices, but each seems to have its own unique installation problems to solve.

 

Nexus 7 Android 7 Android N

However, I now have a brand new OS, with Android 7.1.2 (soon to be updated to Android 8 Oreo) with August 2017 security patches, and OS and security updates for the foreseeable future.

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Recent Jobs catchup

It has been a very busy time recently. I’m catching up with paperwork today, so here’s a selection of the recent jobs I’ve completed. “Remote support” is where I’m in the office and a customer logs me in via the internet, “on-site” is where I visit the customer’s home of office premises, and “return to base” is where I bring the computer back to my office to complete the work.

PC Tune-up via remote support.

Customer called saying he had a warning on his computer that he had a virus and “someone is trying to exploit your hard drive”, and that his files would be deleted in five minutes. He logged me in for remote support and less that 30 minutes later his computer was back to normal.

For another customer, he had a hard disk failure that needed a replacement, including data recovery and backup, supply and fit new hard disk, install Windows 10, and restore data from backup. Initially the customer reported several problems such as Chrome freezing when trying to attach files, Word and Excel freezing when using cut and paste, and Excel freezing when using “open” or “save as”. My diagnostics revealed that the hard disk was failing. Return to base to complete the work as it was more convenient for us both.

Security set-up on three PCs. Same customer as above logged me in for remote support on his three computers (one desktop, one old laptop, and one new laptop) to ensure all had my recommended combination of security software/apps.

Another long job. Customer contacted me about her computer freezing the un-freezing, constant cut-outs of Wifi, and the cursor jumping all over the screen when she was typing. I went on-site to take a look, but had to bring the laptop back to the office for more diagnostics. It turned out to be two separate issues; the freezing and WiFi issues were caused by a faulty DVD/CD drive (maybe shorting out), and the jumping cursor was caused by a faulty touch-pad. I removed the DVD/CD tray and disconnected the touch pad and returned the laptop to the customer (with a mouse she could borrow) while I sourced replacement parts. When the parts were in I went on-site and fitted them there.

That’s enough for now.

If you need help, please contact me on the numbers at the top-right of the page, or via this contact form this contact form (click here). Please do not leave comments to request help, as I may not see them for some time.

 

 

 

What to do when you get visual and audio alerts that you computer is infected

I have heard of several people in the last couple of weeks whose computer has shown fake warnings of viruses or system problems, often with audio warnings. The computer is locked and you can’t close the windows or get rid of the warnings. The warnings say you must phone a number to repair the computer. DO NOT PHONE THAT COMPANY, they are scam tech support companies. See here for examples https://blog.malwarebytes.org/fraud-scam/2014/11/psa-tech-support-scams-pop-ups-on-the-rise/

Some of these warnings take the form of pornographic images in order to shock and scare the user into calling the fake tech support company and pay for their “services”. See here for more info. https://blog.malwarebytes.org/fraud-scam/2015/05/tech-support-scammers-go-for-pornographic-shocker

Don’t fall for these scams, they’re expensive with the scammers and expensive to sort out afterwards. Instead, go to a trusted tech support company (like me) for professional help.

Here’s what you should do if the computer is locked by fake warnings, maybe with loud audio alerts:

  1. Put your finger on the power button and hold it down until the computer shuts itself off
  2. Restart the computer and run a full virus scan and malware scan (contact me for my recommended security software)
  3. If the results of the scans show infections, or you can’t complete the two steps above, or you feel that you want the computer looked at professionally, contact me.
  4. Be aware that a website you visited recently or software you installed or files you opened recently may be the cause of the problem.

Contact me for help and advice, virus and malware removal, or for my recommendations and tuition to keep safe online.

Replace Norton and Avast with my recommended security suite, and new Android phone setup

Quite an easy job this one, uninstalled Norton and Avast, both of which are sometimes hard to uninstall requiring additional tools. Avast caused a problem this time, getting stuck deleting a file, but  I solved that. I then installed my recommended suite of security software which is less than £20 per year compared to the £60+ Norton subscription. I also removed MyPCBackup which had been installed without the client’s informed consent.

This client had bought quite a nice phone from a shopping channel several months ago but not turned it on. I turned it on, set it up (email, Facebook, etc) and gave her some tuition on how to best use it.

New laptop setup, including antivirus and printer installation

A regular client was bought a new laptop and asked me to visit because he couldn’t figure out Windows 8.1. I went round to visit to help him, give a little tuition, and set things up for him including:

  • Uninstalled the free trial of McAfee LiveSafe –  if your trial runs out and you don’t pay up then you won’t have full antivirus protection
  • Set up free antivirus
  • Installed my recommended additional security software, that prevents unwanted software from being installed – the client already has an annual licence for this for less than £20 per year which allows installation on up to three PCs. This is much better value in my opinion than paying for McAfee or Norton.
  • Installed his printer software – he couldn’t find the CD that came with the printer, so I downloaded the correct version and installed it for him

Virus/Malware Removal, Memory Upgrade, Java Update Fix, New PC Set-up

Here’s a few recent jobs that I can remember off the top of my head:

istartsurf Browser Search HijackRemote Virus, Malware, and unwanted programs removal. This image shows a browser search hijack, where instead of opening a Google.com search page it opens a different search page. This was done without the client’s knowledge, probably as a result of downloading free software from somewhere.

Memory upgrade (more RAM).

Remote to fix a Java update that wouldn’t install properly.

New PC setup, including security, and data transfer.