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I have a Motorola XT720 on eclair. A couple times, I've seen it show the boot animation (mystical Motorola logo), usually it's while it's sleeping. After I see the boot animation, I am on Emergency calls only, just like when I first boot my phone. (I'm not sure if this is normal either.)

I just saw this now, and it was plugged into my computer (usb debugging enabled). I had it set to memory card access and ejected it and switched to portal & tools. It sat for a couple minutes and then I saw the logo. I touched the screen and it showed my lock screen.

I'd assume this is a crash and reboot, except that if I goto Settings > About phone > Status, I see the uptime listed as 116 hours.

What is the phone doing? Does anyone else see this behaviour?


Update: I read elsewhere that it may be related to the SD card and I've started fscking whenever it happens.

First I find out where my device is connected (I'm on /dev/sdb1) and then I fsck.

grep fat /etc/mtab
sudo fsck.vfat -r /dev/sdb1

fsck will do interactive repair and ask you how to fix the errors. After I get one of these crashes, there are errors to repair. I think this has reduced the crash frequency.


Update 2: I put in an old 1 GB SD card awhile ago and I don't remember the last time I saw one of these crashes.

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Bizarre, it does sound like a crash and reboot. I see lots of freezing when I search for info on this, but not what you describe. –  Matthew Read Dec 17 '10 at 1:16
    
This happened once on my Droid 1, I freaked out at first but after entering my Gmail account info it came back exactly how it was before. –  Kyle Dec 28 '10 at 21:13
    
My Garmin-Asus exhibits this behavior quite frequently since the upgrade, usually right in the middle of a call. When it comes back it declares that I have no service. A manual reboot and it's happy again. I dumped my IPhone because it kept dropping calls, only to move to a phone that keeps rebooting. Very frustrated with the level of quality on smart phones in general. –  Moosemiseter Jan 17 '11 at 4:30

2 Answers 2

up vote 5 down vote accepted

This is a crash and restart of the android runtime, without a crash and reboot of the underlying linux operating system kernel. The uptime refers to the underlying linux, so it is maintained across the framework restart.

The difference between a framework crash and restart vs. a kernel crash and reboot is not very apparent to the end user, since there's no visual console while the gui is down; from a debugging perspective though they are very different and imply bugs in different parts of the system.

For point of comparison, if you connect to a device by adb (and I think this even works on a secured, ie not rooted one), you can cause a framework restart by typing

stop ; start

and a reboot by typing

reboot

You may or may not see any difference in sequence of splash screens, though the framework restart may be a little faster than a reboot.

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Do you type those in adb shell? None of those commands have any effect. (On my unrooted phone.) adb reboot does what you describe, but there's no adb stop or adb start. –  idbrise Jul 20 '11 at 17:38
    
Yes, from the shell rather than the desktop shell. In which case you would not type adb, just reboot, stop, or start. You can probably do it from the desktop shell by typing 'adb shell stop' etc –  Chris Stratton Jul 20 '11 at 17:42
    
If I type adb shell I get a prompt where ls shows the contents of my Android filesystem. If I type stop ; start nothing happens. (Not even a command not found or permission denied.) Maybe they're not supported on 2.1 or only work with root? –  idbrise Jul 20 '11 at 19:18
    
I thought they didn't require root (in that they could be run by the semi-privileged shell user), but perhaps they do. At any rate, this is just a demonstration of what a runtime restart (without a kernel reboot) would look like. Kernel uptime would confirm the difference. –  Chris Stratton Jul 20 '11 at 20:02

This may not be exactly what you are seeing, but I have seen situations where the "home"/launcher app will be garbage collected. The next time the phone returns to the home screen, it shows a loading screen as it restarts the launcher app.

Depending on the model of phone, ROM, and launcher you use, this initialization screen may be different, and it may go through the process of re-detecting the current signal/connection, etc. So it could be a question of which parts of the boot sequence are actually the boot sequence and which parts are the launcher startup which happens immediately after bootup, but which can occur at other times too.

On my Droid Incredible with Skyraider, I see the Skyraider launcher splash screen (which is different from the boot animation) and then I see all the widgets and shortcuts on my home screen load from scratch when this happens.

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