Monday, September 2, 2013

Old Galaxy Phone returned

The saga continued when I took phone back to AT&T store for a second visit.  This time they graciously copied my contacts from the old phone to he new phone.  They had a machine for doing this, just as my Android guru friend said.  But they would not do anything about my photos, music, or any other personal items on the phone.  For my benefit, they went into developer options and turned on the USB Debugging feature.  They said that would make it easier to access all the data on the phone.  (I could not tell that it made anything easier...USB connection continued not to be of any use.)

So when I got back home Thursday night I first connected phone to my Mac.  It did not seem any different than at work.  No new device appeared either in Finder of iTunes.   A Samsung Modem device did appear in my network preferences.  But I tried that dialog several times (what is the password to my phone?  I don't remember anything about setting a password for my phone.) and nothing came of it.  I had no idea what kind of "server" I would have to enter for the Connect to Server dialog either.  (Why do these things assume I know all these things.  The programmers who programmed them probably have a much better idea of protocols, port settings, and so on, than I do, why cant the devices test the possible ports and set them, or choose working defaults?)

So then I downloaded and installed Easy Phone Sync on my Mac and my Phone.  But many attempts to get Easy Phone Sync to work failed with an error message about "device is busy."  The help explained that I should download Kies, then choose the uninstall option.  Well, before doing that, before messing with my phone and removing what might turn out to be essential programs, I thought I should get some more information.  Why shouldn't I be using Kies instead of Easy Phone Sync?  I resolved to consult the Android guru on Friday.   Only later did I even check into downloading and uninstalling Kies.  I had assumed I was supposed to do this on my phone (I had never installed Kies on my Mac at that time) which I'm now not even sure if it is true.  I'm not sure because there is no "Kies" I can dowload for my phone.  There is a "Kies Wifi" that I can download, and something else Kies also, but neither of them clearly The Kies I am supposed to download and uninstall.

I was a bit worried when I didn't see my friend at work when I arrived.  But I saw him just before he left for the weekend.  He agreed that it was not a good idea to uninstall Kies.  He told me that Kies was the sync software developed by Samsung, and I should use that.  I told him that I had seen lots of people complaining about it not working, but he dismissed all that and said using Kies was my best plan.

So when I got home, I uninstalled all the Easy Phone Sync stuff and tried running Kies.  Just as with Easy Phone Sync, every attempt to get Kies working failed.  At one point it asked for a password, but every attempt to enter my Mac's password failed.  I did this about 12 times.  There was no option to see what I was typing, and the next day I discovered that the batteries in my wireless keyboard were low, that that might have explained these failures.  But the keyboard had still been working well enough that one of my attempts to enter password should have succeeded.  I did see the required number of dots appear for password characters each time (though, sometimes I had to hit the required keys several times to get those dots to appear).

But what was really the downfall of running Kies was the part where it tells me my software (in phone presumably) was out of date, so it attempted to download some new update for it.  But every time that started, it simply stayed at 0% complete, no matter how long I waited.

But now after describing how all these attempts to transfer the personal contents of my phone failed, let me describe the one thing that actually worked, enabling me to preserve all my personal files.  My friend suggested I get an SD memory card, and copy all my files to that.  So that was one more thing I did on Thursday night.  After visiting the AT&T store that night, I then went to Radio Shack and bought at 16G SD card for $18.  After my exhausting episode with Easy Phone Sync, I inserted the SD card in my phone and first copied the Photos folder to the card.  Then I copied music.  Then I copied some other folders.  Then I decided, why not copy everything?  So I did that.  I selected "Select All Files" while showing the root My Files folder.  Since I had already copied music, and was worried that music might occupy several gigabytes--possibly enough to overflow the 16G card if I copied the music files into it twice.  So I unselected the Music folder when making the Everything copy.

But this was not wholly satisfactory.  When I moved the SD card (along with the battery and SIM card)  to the new phone, and copied all the photos from the SD card to the Photos folder in the new phone, the photos appeared in some strange order, almost random, definitely not chronological, and not even chronological by device-taken (something like 95% of my photos were taken with my iPhone in the past 4 years, before I got the Galaxy phone).

With 2000 photos, and lack of chronological (or any other discernible) ordering, I'd never find photos I wanted.  So it was this limitation that led me to try Easy Phone Sync and Kies, the USB syncing methods, both without any success at all.

But late on Friday night before the Labor Day weekend, I discovered something useful.  It turned out that my photos ARE in chronological order inside the DCIM folder.  The DCIM folder on my SD card is (like all other image folders on SD card) is visible in Gallery.  I just select the DCIM folder, and presto, I can see all the last 5 years of photos in chronological order.  That was all I needed.  Now I don't care to copy this DCIM folder into the DCIM folder built into the new phone.  It's fine with me that all my older photos are now in a special older folder.

One more thing I did on Friday night.  Nobody told me to do this at all.  But when I was finally satisfied enough to return the old phone on Saturday, I put my battery and SIM into the old phone (but NOT the SD card now full of all my old stuff!!!) and gave it a Reset.

It was quite easy to repack the old phone with the packing insert and box provided.  I took it to the Post Office at 3pm on Saturday afternoon and asked if I could mail this prepaid package with delivery confirmation.  The clerk said no, but he could give me a receipt.  So I got the receipt for returning my old phone to AT&T.  And now I hope this is the end of the story, and I hope that AT&T doesn't find some reason they can't honor the warranty, in which case I'd end up paying for two phones.

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