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Background

I bought a factory resetted BQ Aquaris E4.5 Ubuntu Edition and as an experienced, trusting Ubuntu user, the second thing I did, after taking pictures, copying over some music, adding some contacts etc. was install a terminal and type sudo apt-get update; sudo apt-get upgrade;.

From numerous sources I learned afterwards that this is what I was not supposed to do.

Problem

The result was:

  1. no onscreen keyboard, it just doesn't pop up anymore
  2. broadband internet cannot be enabled, the button react a tiny bit and then pops back to the left, disabled state
  3. clock is not working.

In an attack of Feng Shui I resetted the phone once more ( I read that this would bring the keyboard back), not fixing the problems, but also effectively deleting my images, contacts etc.

The first point results in not being able to type a wifi password, hence (together with the second point) no internet, hence no way to install a terminal and no connection via ssh.

The first point also means that I cannot enable the developer mode, because that requires a lock screen code or password, which requires a keyboard input. Hence no connection via adb.

Therefore almost every functionality (except calling another phone) is not possible, which means the phone is not technically bricked (I can still boot), but... well... to a great extend unusable.

Questions

First question: Does a broken keyboard really mean that the phone is unusable, unreacheble and unfixable? Pleas tell me I am wrong!

As I have some pictures I would like to keep: Is there a way to create an image of the phone data or to copy e.g. /home/phablet in order to maybe restore some images and other stuff.

More info

I tried connecting via adb, which yield no result:

$ sudo adb devices 
List of devices attached

$

Remember, development mode is not enabled.

I can boot the phone into fastboot mode and get:

$ sudo fastboot devices 
JU003207    fastboot
$

which looks promising.

I run arch Linux and have ubuntu installed in a VirtualBox. When I plug in the phone via USB, I don't get a reaction from dmesg. What I do get is the offer from VirtualBox to make "MediaTek Android [0100]" available. In VirtualBox I get the same results with adb and fastboot as above.

Edit

I managed to flash using a dedicated (not VM) Ubuntu machine and

$ sudo ubuntu-device-flash touch --channel=ubuntu-touch/stable/bq-aquaris.en --device=krillin

I had to run it several times and on some of these intents, I used the options

--recovery-image /path/to/recovery-krillin.img

and

--bootstrap

The push processes complete, the phone reboots into recovery and ubuntu-device-flash ends with success. But when I reboot, the problems remain the same.

Solution :)

Here's how I managed to solve the issue:

  1. Boot into recovery
  2. wipe cache (don't know if that is necessary, but won't hurt either)
  3. factory reset (the factory reset option in systems setting does not work in this context)
  4. flash ubuntu using ubuntu-device-flash
  5. reboot

The first boot will take a few minutes, and you will see a progress bar (not the 5 dots). Then all is good :)

2

Here's how I managed to solve the issue:

  1. Boot into recovery
  2. wipe cache (don't know if that is necessary, but won't hurt either)
  3. factory reset (the factory reset option in systems setting does not work in this context)
  4. flash ubuntu using ubuntu-device-flash from a dedicated ubuntu machine (not in a VM)
  5. reboot

The first boot will take a few minutes, and you will see a progress bar (not the 5 dots). Then all is good :)

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From what you have said it soundslike you still have functions such as being able to drag down the top bar, so you can enable Blue-tooth which would then allow you to connect a keyboard and type. This may give you basic functionality back to help resolve the other issues one by one. Also you could type in your wifi password to get updates. There was a post recently about backing up your Ubuntu phone and yes it is a case of that. I will dig out the post and add the link here for you to see. I hope this helps as this is where I would try first.

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  • I could enable bluetooth, but my bluetooth keyboard (one that I usually use with a dongle in the raspberry pi) wasn't recognised. I tere extra steps to be done to use a bluetooth keyboard? I would be interested in that post. – steffen Jul 26 '16 at 10:17
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Basically, it's never a good idea to use the apt command line tool for installing or updating packages. That's not recommended and warned at many places. But I think you allready recognized it :D

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