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On my Galaxy S Android 2.2 , I just got the 'Activiate Starter took too long to respond . Force close ?', which I did.

Now the home screen is black. :)

So I killed the starter program, so it seems. I should have looked at the message closer.

Apart from turning off and restarting the phone, is it possible to restart the main program on a phone ?

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Did you try pressing the HOME key? – Sparx Dec 11 '10 at 5:47
@Sparx: Yes , I'm 99% sure I tried all sorts of combinations, including pressing the home key. But as in all such things, one cannot be 100% sure, sometimes you overlook the obvious. Next time, if ever it occurs again, I will certainly try this. – Edelcom Dec 13 '10 at 14:44
Just a hint, not an answer: you can reboot the phone quickly by holding the power button until the boot screen appears (about 10 seconds) instead of holding it for a second and choosing "Power off" and powering on again. – onik Dec 31 '10 at 6:24
I don't like my questions unanswered, since no one has answered this question , yet, I am going to close this question as soon as I can. If someone else provides a valid answer, I will select his/her answers in stead. – Edelcom Mar 2 '11 at 13:52

You could probably start the application with the abd shell

in the shell type

am start [DETAILS]

the usage is

usage: am [start|broadcast|instrument]
       am start -D INTENT
       am broadcast INTENT
       am instrument [-r] [-e <ARG_NAME> <ARG_VALUE>] [-p <PROF_FILE>]
                [-w] <COMPONENT>

       INTENT is described with:
                [-a <ACTION>] [-d <DATA_URI>] [-t <MIME_TYPE>]
                [-c <CATEGORY> [-c <CATEGORY>] ...]
                [-e|--es <EXTRA_KEY> <EXTRA_STRING_VALUE> ...]
                [--ez <EXTRA_KEY> <EXTRA_BOOLEAN_VALUE> ...]
                [-e|--ei <EXTRA_KEY> <EXTRA_INT_VALUE> ...]
                [-n <COMPONENT>] [-f <FLAGS>] [<URI>]

Some examples can be seen on this page.

It would require you to know a few details about the launcher in question though. It may be worth reading this thread about am usage from the android-framework google group.

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I don't understand, if my launcher application is not running, and my screen is blank, how am I going to be able to start an abd shell ? – Edelcom Mar 22 '11 at 9:27
You'd have to connect via usb – Ben Griffiths Mar 23 '11 at 12:20
Note that whatever home screen you use, you can always use am start -a android.intent.action.MAIN -c android.intent.category.HOME to start your default home screen. – Lie Ryan Mar 26 '11 at 16:50

Pressing the home key on my Dell Streak prompts me to choose a launcher program if there isn't currently one running after it's crashed or re-installed.

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