My Nokia N97 Won't Start!!! I don't want to Hard Reset. (Rant)

| October 2, 2009 | 66 Replies

UPDATE: Since installing V21.0.045 I have no more hard reset problems! I thought V21 didn’t fix it, but that was because I was just getting impatient and staring at that damn “Nokia” Screen too long. It does take about 50 seconds, where before it would only take around 28 – anything past 40s meant you needed to restart but no more

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One of the best things about S60 and the N97 is that it’s meant to grow with you. Out the box, it’s really not much, but over time personalizing it, you get it to the settings that’s right for you, organized layout of icons, widgets – set up your online accounts – building up photo libraries, map destinations, playlists, contacts and web bookmarks. Over time the N97 and other S60 devices become specifically tailored to your requirements and makes it very hard to switch to other devices.

My N97 was doing that – until it decided that “NO. I’m not going to switch on. In order for me to function, you will have to hard reset me!”

n97 trash

The first time, I thought it was a problem with the memory card (n97 wouldn’t start if the memory card was inserted) then it just stopped switching on altogether. After a hard reset, I stopped using the memory card and I thought the problem was fixed. Manually, I put everything back, reinstalled apps, resynched contacts, etc.

A couple of weeks later (last Sunday) my N97 refused to start up again. It wasn’t the memory card error now – something is really faulty with this N97. S

I didn’t want to hard reset my n97, but that was the only solution.

I didn’t want to send my N97 away just yet, thinking perhaps this is an issue firmware V20 could fix (coming some time this month). God knows how long before I would get my N97 back if I did decide to send it away. I thought my N97 could last maybe a couple of weeks maybe even just one week without breaking and requiring a hard reset.


This is the third time I’ve had to HARD RESET my Nokia N97 just so I can get it to start like  NORMAL PHONE!

Actually – no. In the time in took to write this. My N97

My N97 gets stuck at the “Nokia” logo, and proceeds to stay there FOREVER. The only solution means a HARD Reset – wiping the phone memory completely.

Q.What do I lose after a hard reset?


  • Settings – anything I’ve configured in settings to my liking is gone
  • WLAN access points – gone
  • Bluetooth paired devices – gone
  • Profiles – all profile changes/new profiles made – gone
  • Calendar inputs/appointments/todo – gone
  • Notes – gone
  • Web bookmarks – gone
  • Menu Layout – any reconfiguration of menu is lost. Since my last reset was only on Sunday, luckily, I didn’t bother to reconfigure my icons
  • Certain applications have disappeared – Gravity/Nimbuzz/SmartMovie/Nokia Messaging/Google Maps/Opera Mini and a few others (Fortunately, Gravity and Numbuzz both remember any previously applied settings – the rest, if you did change any settings around/make bookmarks – well that’s all GONE)
  • Some ovi store purchased apps may need redownloading. Have fun trying to do that.
  • Ovi Maps has reverted back to 2.0. You can’t use Ovi Maps at all if you’ve used 3.0 before because the maps are incompatible.
  • All my landmarks that I may have been building up have disappeared.
  • My homescreen widget settings have disappeared – reverted back to default.
  • My phone contacts have disappeared –
  • Any messages stored on phone
  • Call log – recent calls in/out/ data logs
  • Profiles refuses to see any music files prior to the HARD RESET.
  • Calendar refuses to see any photos/videos prior to the HARD RESET,

Q.What about backing up?

– no because it’s utterly horrendous with the N97.

Regardless of the frequency of this unfortunate bricking of my N97, usually with S60, I’d just restore from backup and I’d get my phone back pretty much how it was on my last restore, albeit a few apps that won’t install from memory card. I thought this would carry through to my N97 but restore here is so utterly crap.

Of the few things the N97 can back up and restore, of course, it has to also back up BUGS. Bugs that if you restore your N97 will continue to fork it up.

Contacts and settings are the only thing I’ve found my N97 to restore properly. But because my N97 likes to break if I back anything on memory card, I don’t use it.

Backing up via PC suite is atrocious. It locks up 100% of the time and enjoys freezing when it’s 86% of the way in my backup.

What about Ovi Sync?

– too many freaking clicks.

Ovi Sync is supposed to help out with contacts/calendar but in the N97, Ovi sync is

1. difficult to set up. You must go to, sign in, go to contacts manage phone section, send your settings to your phone, put in the activation code, save settings, go to settings on your phone, locate connectivity>sync>select active profile>ovi>then sync contacts.

2. impossible to find as it’s stupidly hidden in settings>connectivity>sync as opposed to having its own dediated SYNC icon/app.

I wish Ovi Sync would make automatic syncs – perhaps once a day. At least just have an easily accessible Sync icon so that I can manually sync my personal details. You can’t even sync contacts within the contacts app it self, or calendar entries via the calendar.

Re-downloading apps from the Ovi Store:

Ovi store remembers what apps you’ve downloaded but there’s no way to automatically redownload lost applications. There’s a section called “My Stuff” which has your recently downloaded apps. This is great because otherwise you’d have to search for it and searching for Apps on Ovi Store is like searching for a corner in a spherical room, i.e. impossible. They might as well call the search feature “waste 20 seconds”.

What’s really annoying is that for paid applications, (I think) you can only redownload via the dedicated Ovi Store client. Trying to redownload from the browser version results in you most likely buying the application again. But to do this, you need the latest version of the Ovi Store.

Unfortunately, I cannot even download the latest Ovi Store app from I get the error “Item Unavailable – Sorry, this item is no longer available”. So for x amount of time, I cannot redownload purchased apps from Ovi unless I buy them all over again. Thank you Ovi Store! (Though it would have been nice if said apps could just remember that you have a licence for it, e.g. Gravity).

I don’t want to keep having to contact Nokia support just so I can do something that should happen automatically.


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Category: Nokia, Rant

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Hey, thanks for reading my post. My name is Jay and I'm a medical student at the University of Manchester. When I can, I blog here at and tweet now and again @jaymontano. We also have a twitter and facebook accounts @mynokiablog and Check out the tips, guides and rules for commenting >>click<< Contact us at tips(@) or email me directly on jay[at]