Fix the Lumia Windows Phone Blue Screen of Sadness

I have never come across this till recently but I now know how to fix the Lumia Windows Phone Blue Screen of Sadness (Blue Screen Of Death).  Maybe you have seen this, you try to start-up your Lumia Windows Phone and receive a screen with a sad face on it.  Either the screen is black with a blue sad face or the screen is blue with a white sad face like below.

Lumia Windows Phone Blue Screen of Sadness

Lumia Windows Phone Blue Screen of Sadness

I only have fixed this on a Nokia Lumia 521 however the process should be the same for all Nokia Windows Phones.  This will not work for Windows Phones made by other manufacturers.  To fix the issue you will need to download the Windows Device Recovery Tool. Once you have downloaded that install it and run it. If the app asks to update you will want to do it as it will support more devices and have bug fixes.  Once it has started you will want to click on My Phone Does Not  Start Up Or Respond.

Nokia Software Updater

Nokia Software Updater

Then a screen will show up prompting you to plug-in your phone into the computer.  You will want to do so and if the software does not automatically start your phone you can hold down the Power and Volume Down buttons (at the same time) till the phone vibrates and then release them.  This will reinstall Windows Phone on your device and it will delete any and all data on your phone.  It will take a while to download the firmware but getting your phone working again is worth it.

This resets my Nokia Lumia 521 back to Windows Phone 8.0 and I am now using the Preview for Developers to update it back to Windows Phone 8.1 for testing purposes.  I was able to fix the Lumia Windows Phone blue screen of sadness (Sad Face, Blue Screen of Death) but as always your results may differ.  I also want to state that I am not responsible if you brick your phone trying this.  This is not supported officially.  Good Luck.

Comming soon to Useful Windows September 2014

Hello readers, I just wanted to give everyone an update and share a few things I am working on for Useful Windows.  First in about 15 days there will be a Technical Preview of the next version of Windows (Threshold/Windows 9) I will be writing a lot of articles about it so stay tuned for that information.  Second I recently moved and went through my stuff and found my wife’s old HP Netbook.  I plan to update my articles I wrote about it years ago since Windows XP is no longer receiving any security updates and a few new articles about it.  If you have a HP Netbook you might want to check those articles out.  I am also working on trying to get an old Toshiba Tablet PC running to write about as well, may test with Windows 8.1.  I am also trying to get the Asus EP 121 tablet again to test, but we will see on that.  All in all a lot of things going on.  I also recently got Windows 7 installed and running on an 800 MHz Pentium III!  Expect some articles about that.  I hope you enjoy and I will see you all soon.

What is Up With Pandora’s Bad Audio Quality?

So hey Pandora the 1990’s called and they want their streaming audio quality back.  What is with the bad audio quality on Pandora lately?  I have not listened to Pandora for a while but recently I pulled it up to be disappointed.  I initially thought something was wrong with how under water and tinny the audio sounded.  I checked my data connection to see I was on 4G LTE with full bars.  I even tried over a few days and different devices.  Unfortunately for me I can no longer stand to use Pandora it just gives me a headache and Spotify has awesome sounding audio.

So what is the bit rate that Pandora is pushing out to mobile phones? My guess is no better than 128 Kbps.  I am right too, according to Pandora mobile phones get no BETTER than 64 Kbps AAC+.  I am not sure on the bit rate of Spotify at this time but it does sound better on my phone.  That reminds me that Spotify also released a new Windows Phone app that supports streaming free.  Check it out, it’s a great upgrade.

Maybe things will change in the future, but for now I am not listening to Pandora and instead listening to Spotify until Pandora changes it bad audio quality.  I do have to state if you love Pandora and are not a fan of Spotify you can subscribe to Pandora and get better audio quality and I believe that is for your phone too.

So what is my Technological History anyway?

After dealing with some server issues and a recent move I am glad to be back on the site.  I was recently reading some other blogs and one guy had a post where he talked about his Tech background and well why not share mine.  So here we go.

It all began in the early 1990’s, my friend Belinda recently got a new computer in her house (well her parents anyway)  This computer ran Windows 3.1 and had AOL (America Online) which we spent hours on having fun as kids in the early days of the web.  In early 1995 my parents got their first computer.  A Packard Bell 480 CD, running Windows 3.11 Windows For Workgroups on a 75 MHz Pentium with 4 Mb of ram and a 1 Gb hard drive.  Oh yeah it was cool. This computer cost a whopping $2,400. We would never have internet on this machine as that was an expensive monthly bill my parents could not justify and they were paying off the computer.  This computer would later become my first computer.  I upgraded it to Windows 95 and installed a 90 MHz Pentium and 32 Mb of ram.  I completely disassembled this computer and put it back together just for fun and to better understand computers.

I met my friend Jake in Grade School who was into computer games and started learning a few things from him.  We had a lot of fun trying out new things and customizing Windows to our liking, sometimes at our parents disapproval.  We also spent a lot of time online via AOL having fun in chat rooms and talking over instant messenger.

My parents second computer was an IBM Aptiva with an AMD K6-2 I think 350 MHz and like 128 Mb of ram running Windows 98, not the Second Edition just the first version of Windows 98.  This computer was a problem from the start. Windows 98 had a bug in it that caused it to crash and my dad bought a copy of Windows 98 Second Edition and I helped him install it.  By this time I had picked up a few things about computers and was reading computer magazines.  I told my dad to get a Pentium II instead of the K6-2 but oh well.  If I remember correctly this computer cost around $1,200 to $1,800.

Sometime while my parents were using this computer and before I got a new one my parents would get NetZero because it was free.  Free Internet! Man were those the days! I later bought a long phone cable and would sneak out of my room at night and plug in my computer into the phone jack in the other room.  I copied the install files for NetZero of either a floppy disc or CD and would spend time every day online on my own computer.  While other people spent time in chat rooms, playing games, or looking at porn, I would be downloading music (later on to stop because it was illegal and later either deleted all that music or bought the albums{I am a big music supporter today, support bands dang it, buy a CD from them}) or I would be reading about Windows from Paul Thurrott or Mary Jo Foley or other places I could find or download updates and other programs to make my computer cooler in my eyes. (to say that Paul and Mary Jo have not been an influence on my would be a lie and I openly admit it)

When I was in High School in early 2001 my parents recognized two things, first that computers were the future in business and life in general, and two that I was good with them.  So they bought me my own machine.  A Compaq Presario 7120US running Windows ME on a 1.5 GHz Pentium 4 with 128 Mb of Rambus ram and a 60 Gb hard drive.  This computer was around $800 to $1,000 if my memory serves me right and I still have this machine.  I actually liked Windows ME, for a few reasons, first because if crashed less (it seemed) than Windows 98 on my parents computer and second it had some features I really liked such as zip file support and Windows Movie Maker.  I would later in December 2001 install Windows XP Pro on this machine.  I got a disc from a friend at school (we are no longer in contact).  I would later learn online that this was software piracy and later deleted that partition from my computer for fear that Microsoft was going to come after me or something.  Later on I would scrape the money together to buy a copy of Windows XP Home to put on this machine.

I met my friend Ed while I was in High School and we bonded over what we were running on our computers.  When he found out I was already on Windows XP we really had a lot to talk about.  I would learn a ton from him about computers and we are still good friends to this day.

My senior year of High School my friend Jake convinced me to take a Visual Basic 6 class.  He would continue to pursue programing in college and I would not.  So while I can’t really program anything I do at least understand some basics and have a healthy respect for programmers.  Programing is something I would like to get back into because there is more money there.

In college I knew the director of IT because he went to our church.  He hired me on as a student worker to help him keep the classroom computers and the lab running smoothly.  Over the summer my friend Ed would tell me that Best Buy was hiring in their tech bench (this was right before it would be rebranded as Geek Squad) Here I would learn so much on the job.  I became a pro at removing viruses and seldom gave up on a computer.  9 times out of 10 I did not have to format the hard drive and reinstall Windows.  To me that was giving up.

With the help of Ed I would later build my first computer.  This machine would see many installations of Windows sometimes many at once. I ran this computer into the ground and then used my laptops till I had enough money to build the computer I have now and like any good tech it is in need of an upgrade I think.

From there I would work for the local water treatment plant for my city as a tech, as well as Staples and a school district.  It was at this time I would start a blog that would become Useful Windows.  I would later be a remote technician for a local company with clients nation wide and eventually go back to work for Best Buy Geek Squad, funny enough for my old boss though neither of us realized it till we met for the interview.  Today I work mostly side jobs when it comes to technology but I would like to go back to full time.  I have four versions of Windows installed on my desktop and about six others in virtual machines just to I can test and write articles here.  In addition to that I have multiple desktops and laptops for testing as well.   My wife thinks I have a problem but I have gotten rid of some and clearing out old computers.

So what is next for Useful Windows, well I hope to cover as much about Windows Threshold (9) as I can.  Some usability guides for Windows 8.X, more install and upgrade articles and anything else you suggest.  I have been looking into doing weekly videos where I talk about tech news if you all are interested.  In the mean time thank you for reading and supporting me all these years.