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Upgrading to Android 5.0 Lollipop

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Thomas Zucker-Scharff
Veteran in computer systems, malware removal and ransomware topics.  I have been working in the field since 1985.
I recently upgraded to android 5.0 Lollipop on my Samsung Galaxy S5. Check out my initial post about what not to do here. After I upgraded I started having another problem: my phone resets often. I am not yet sure why this is. It does not seem reproducable, but it is extremely annoying.

If you read the other article or glance at my blog, you will notice that I am very demanding of my phone. I use my phone for virtually everything and so having any problem is of great concern. But let me go back to the beginning and walk through the upgrade process.

Initially, I discovered there was an upgrade only because I was checking all my system settings. When I tapped the system update setting there was a message that I could update to Android 5.0, but that it would be done in two parts. I like to have the newest and fastest, and since I do technical support, people who have upgraded to newer operating systems come to me for help.

So I find it best to familiarize myself with the various operating systems before any questions arise. The initial OS upgrade needed to download first -- no problem. I downloaded the first part of the upgrade over WiFi (don't do it over your data connection). I waited until the evening to install the update.

The one disturbing thing about the upgrade to Lollipop was that during the first part of the install it displayed a message that was exactly like the one I had seen when I had changed from the Dalvik runtime to the Android Runtime (ART), saying it was optimizing my applications. It finally finished optimizing and everything seemed fine, so I  went to sleep. In the morning it said it was ready to download the second part of the upgrade (this time there was a notification about it). I started the download as soon as I got up and by the time I left the house it was finished. So far, so good. When I returned home that evening and tried installing the second part of the upgrade, I ran into a problem. The phone told me it needed over a gigabyte more space in order to install and asked if I wanted assistance in picking out which applications/files to delete to free up thenecessary space.

It took me about a day and a half to troll through my applications and data files and eliminate enough stuff so I could continue the upgrade. This is one of the reasons I complained so vociferously about getting a phone with only 16gb of internal storage. If I had been able to I would have purchased the S5 with at least 32gb internal storage. I do have a 64gb SD card inserted (Samsung branded), but since not everything can be moved to the card, there is a problem. I even use App2SD, although it is more of a holdover from one of my previous phones. Nonetheless, I was able to free enough space andstarted the secondpart of the install.  

Everything went very smoothly -- so smoothly that I started playing around with the settings to see what was new and what I could change. I made some changes that I thought would enhance security, such as activating the SIM card lock, that I found out had been buried in the preferences for a long time. I don't want to rehash what I wrote about here, but suffice it to say that I was receiving no calls or texts on my phone and Samsung found a way to brick it and then Verizon Wireless found a way to fix it.

So I don't know if it was my tinkering or Samsung's tinkering -- they had remoted into my phone, or the upgrade, but one of them caused my phone to be virtually useless. My suggestion to anyone who wants to upgrade is to do so carefully and document each step. Test your phone after the upgrade has finished, with the WiFi turned off. If you have any trouble DO NOT contact Samsung first, contact your carrier first.

I DO recommend upgrading to Lollipop. I like it much better, and I haven't figured it all out yet. They have changed a couple of things, some for the better. But this upgrade changes your phone from using the Davlik runtime to the Android runtime (that's why some things looked the same when it was upgrading), and in so doing make it so some of your applications will not work anymore. What is interesting is that some apps that say they don't work run fine in the background -- go figure.

More important than anything else: BACKUP before you do anything! But as I have pointed out in the other article, Samsung's backup application, Kies, does not seem to even recognize my phone now. So make backups using the native windows interface, another android app, or a UNIX box.
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