System update resulted in data loss

I have a Moto G7 (XT1962-1) which has not been rooted. On Monday evening a notification appeared at the top saying that I needed to restart my phone to apply updates. I restarted my phone. The phone displayed the blue screen with Moto and Lenovo logos, then went to the screen with the animation of earth and rapidly changing bright color background like it normally does. Then after a few seconds it went back to the logo screen. This behavior repeated a few times, then a screen which resembles the recovery screen appeared. It stated that it cannot load the Android system and that the data may be corrupt. It said I could try again to start or erase the data. I can’t remember the exact wording and naturally I was unable to get a screenshot. I tried restarting a few times and it still went back to this screen after a few tries. I tried the recovery menu and I tried to use Android Device Bridge to try to back up my data before having to reset the phone but I was unable to access any text messages or other data on the phone.

My phone was left in an inoperable state by the update until I did a factory reset. My phone was previously updated from Android 9 to Android 10 without issue. I’ve never experienced this problem before. I had no recourse but to reset my phone and lose everything, none of which was backed up. I lost all my SMS messages some of which had great sentimental value as they included converations with someone who was very important to me and is now deceased.

I was negligent in not making backups as I had placed too much confidence in my phone and learned the hard way: don’t keep anything on your phone that you’re not prepared to lose.

Why did this happen? Is my phone defective? The tests in device help test the peripheral components only such as sensors. There are no tests for components on the main logic board such as the DRAM, flash memory, CPU, etc. Was this the result of malware? Does the phone need a rootkit detector, a virus scanner or other malware detection tools?

If there exists the risk of an update or a restart of the phone potentially rendering it inoperable as a matter of course, then a warning should be displayed such as “Your phone needs to be restarted to apply system updates. WARNING: This may cause your phone to become inoperable and a device reset may be required to restore it to working condition. It is strongly advised that you back up all data before restarting.” along with a confirmation dialog asking if you’re sure you want to restart now and are ready to do so. I was not aware that restarting the phone to apply the update was unsafe. If I had known, I would have done a backup first.

So if updates or restarts of the phone are known to sometimes render the phone inoperable until the data is wiped, who do I complain to? Motorola or Google? Is the software buggy? I don’t know why this happened and I never anticipated it and was completely unprepared.

Ouch … that has to sting

  • As it is a Motorola device, and any updates would come through them, I would reach out to Motorola
1 Like
Message an
Expert customer