Nexus 7 brick 2012 back rocks

Can you think of anything worse than bricking your phone when flashing a new ROM? Well, how about your Android device turning into a fancy paperweight when the official OTA update is installing? That’s right, a good bunch of Nexus 7 owners, both 2012 and 2013, are reporting that Android 5.0+ Lollipop is bricking their tablets.

Making matters even worse, users so far are feeling that Google and ASUS both are trying to wash their hands of the problem, leaving users in the lurch. Even users with warranty are feeling the pinch. Hopefully this is just a growing pain or misunderstanding, but these users are pretty vocal, just check out the hashtag #Nexus7bricked for some surprisingly calm and polite outrage.

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For starters, if you have not yet updated your Nexus 7 tablet, 2012 or 2013, to Android 5.0+ Lollipop – especially 5.0.2, you may not want to hit that update button now. Wait for Android 5.1 Lollipop. If you’ve got a custom ROM on your device, just stay clear of stock images for now as well.

If you do already have Android 5.0.2 Lollipop on your Nexus 7, the recommendation is to try not to turn your device off at all until 5.1 rolls out.

What is going wrong?

At this point, we have some amazingly talented users that have identified a few things for us to look at, but an official cause is not yet known.

It appears that the problematic devices boot to the Google logo at startup, but do not proceed past this point, thus, do not load the operating system, leaving the device, essentially, useless. A few users have talked about getting into fastboot and recovery to find what appears to be the complete failure to mount the local storage flash memory.

Nexus 7 2013 Bricked
Image credit

Is this a hardware failure of the flash memory or a software failure that corrupted the partitions or filesystem? We do wish we could answer this at this time, but, as mentioned, nether Google nor ASUS is stepping up just yet to inform users of the cause, or a solution.

Luckily, there is a large group of awesome Nexus 7 users out there that have figured out a ‘fix’. Pull out your tool kit, the repair for now appears to be a complete replacement of your system motherboard/logic board. I hope you’ve got warranty, and that they cover you.

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Again, to be safe, let’s just say that this covers all Nexus 7 models, and all Android 5.0+ Lollipop updates. Please backup all your stuff and do not do anything crazy until Android 5.1 rolls out to your device, which some of you should already have.

If you already have a fancy paperweight, be sure to check out this Reddit thread, with links to a couple Google product forums on the topic. Make sure your voice is heard if you have been left out of warranty repair.

Have any of you seen this Nexus 7 bricking issue, or is it just an unfortunate few that are having the problem?

A big thank you to Christopher Watson for taking a proactive approach to seeing this issue get fixed.

Jonathan Feist
Android purist and enthusiast, rarely more than arms reach from a stock Nexus 7. Often accused of being a Google fanboy, proud of it. Proponent for Android customization and personalization, if you can change it, make it your own!
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