Nexus 7 Not Turning On? My Experience

This is the story of how my brand new Nexus 7 not turning on anymore after 5 days of use and how I solved the problem.

Nexus 7 Not Turning On – Phase 1: Panic and Depression

Let’s start from the beginning: I bought my Nexus 7 from a local store here in the Netherlands. I ordered it through internet and received it the day after the order was set. Everything was perfect. I was having a great experience.

Then, suddenly, disaster: after receiving a small bump (a few cm drop on its back. Imagine you laying your tablet on a table with a bit more energy than usual), the Nexus 7 switched off.

Trying to turn it on by pressing the power button gave no results. Holding the power button for 20/30 seconds neither. Holding the power button and the volume button for the same time did not work either.

I then connected the Nexus 7 to the power cable and the Google logo appeared. That gave me hope. Too bad that, after a few seconds, all that i could see was some red, green, white and blue dots quickly appearing and disappearing randomly on the black screen.

Unplugging the device made it switch off completely again, and unable to turn on.

I understood that something went very wrong. Sigh.

Nexus 7 Not Turning On
Asus Google Nexus 7, Samsung Galaxy Nexus and Street by 50

Nexus 7 Not Turning On – Phase 2: The Symptoms and the Cure

I consider myself experienced with electronics. I think i am capable of distinguishing a software error from a hardware failure.

This case seemed to me like a clear hardware problem that concerned the battery.

These were the symptoms:

  1. The Nexus 7 would not turn on, at all, if unplugged from a power cable.
  2. The Nexus 7 would turn on only when connected to electricity.
  3. When connected to a power cable, the device would only show colored pixels quickly appearing and disappearing on the screen after the Google logo.
  4. The operating system would not load.
  5. As soon as the Nexus 7 would be unplugged from the power source, it would turn off.
  6. Leaving the device connected to the battery charger for a while and then trying to activate the device would have no effect.

My feeling was that something might have happened to the battery: the small bump it received could have dislocated the battery or ruined a connection to it. This could explain the Nexus 7 not turning on when not connected to a power cable, while turning on when directly connected to a power source.

This is only a theory, though. I could have opened the back of the tablet to give a look inside, but i owned the Nexus 7 for only 5 days. Afraid of warranty void, and since the device presented no signs of damage at all, I decided not to open it and to go back to the shop where I bought it from and return it.

Nexus 7 Not Turning On – Phase 3: “This has already happened”

At the shop (Mediamarkt, The Hague, Netherlands) the employee simply plugged in the device and saw that the tablet wouldn’t turn on. He mentioned that a Nexus 7 was returned the previous week with the same symptoms. He printed out a new receipt and simply told us to go and pick up a new one from the store for free. This happened, probably, because the product was so new (just a few days out of the box, not even a week). Nevertheless, in less than 24 hours I was again with my Nexus 7 and happy.

Nexus 7 Not Turning On – Phase 4: All is good, but…

I must admit, I was a bit disappointed by the fact that the Nexus 7 would die so easily. Once again I would like to stress the fact that the bump my device received was really a slight one and it fell flat on it’s back. A device that travels in a bag during a trip would receive much worse bumps.

Nevertheless, I am really happy with my Asus Google Nexus 7 and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to everyone, just be really careful with it!

Update 17/03/2013: My Nexus 7 died again a few days ago. Same dynamic and same symptoms, but this time the Nexus 7 was protected by a cover. I took it back for repairs and it took a week or so. I could have fixed it myself, but it was still in warranty, so no problems. It is annoying, thought, that even with a thick, good cover, the Nexus 7 remains so delicate.

Giulio Menna
Lover of: all things digital, humanities, and medieval manuscripts. I created Sexy Codicology and the DMMmaps Project and run them both with passion and love in my free time. I am an MA graduate in Book and Digital Media Studies at Leiden University. Still happily living in the Netherlands.