Flash! My Kindle 3′s screen fails
Well, I’ve heard about this from other people, but I’ve never had it happen to me.
My Kindle 3′s screen just failed.
I’ve already spoken to Robert at Kindle Customer Service and they are sending a replacement. Before I get into the details, though, I want to show you what it looks like:
As you can see, what is happening here is that the top left part of the screen is showing part of the Ralph Ellison sleep mode picture (screensaver). The top right of the screen is blurry. The Ellison picture stayed, even after a few different attempts to remove it. I’ll go through all that shortly.
The picture itself is out of focus, and I apologize for that. I took a picture with my Flipcam. I did try doing a screenshot*, but oddly, it does not show the obstruction…the screen looks as it should.
So, here’s the story…
I went to update my Kindle 3G & wi-fi (D’Artagnan, by name) with the new Kindle 3.0.2 update. I hadn’t done it yet. When I picked it up, I believe Ralph Ellison was showing. I started it, and got the image you see above, basically…I could see the bottom part of the homescreen, Ralph Ellison, and the blurry part.
My first attempt was Alt+G, which refreshes the screen…no change.
Since the menu had the blurry overlay, I went right to the “hard reset”…holding the power switch to my right for a full fifteen seconds. It restarted as it should…with Ralph showing the entire time. No fix.
I decided to try installing the 3.0.2 update, to see if it might do a factory reset or something and fix it…I didn’t expect that, but hey, why not?
That would have been tricky, but I can turn on the Voice Guide audible menus without seeing them (I do that for the car, for one thing). I knew where the Settings choice is in the Menu, then you go to next page, and click. That worked. With the audible menus on, I could work reasonably well with the Kindle.
When I plugged it into the computer and it went into USB mode, by the way, Ralph Ellison still showed.
I updated the Kindle…still no change. I won’t be able to test the other parts like a possibly faster web-browsing experience…until I get my replacement.
While it was connected, I copied my documents, pictures, music, and so on off the Kindle. I do that regularly.
UPDATE: After I gotten everything off the Kindle and synced it (to send my latest notes to Amazon), I did a factory reset…still no fix. I turned it off to ship it back (seebelow)..still the same situation.
I went to
and clicked the Contact Us button in the bottom right. I logged in, and used the Call Me feature on the phone tab.
As it has the one or two other times I’ve used that, the phone rang in a second or so. I did have to hold for about a minute to get someone…that’s unusual.
I got a Kindle Customer Service rep named Robert. He was very professional and friendly…all of my experiences with Kindle Customer Service have been like that.
I explained what the situation was, and what steps I had taken. I let him know about the screenshot not showing the screen failure…he thought that was interesting.
They are sending me a replacement by one-day shipping…which gives it an arrival estimate of it Tuesday, the 21st.
I do have the original shipping container, and I’ll send it back in that. They gave me a link to print a shipping label, and I won’t be charged for the shipping since this is a device failure. If you return one just because you want to do that (you get a thirty-day trial), you pay the return shipping (it’s a few dollars in the US).
Oh, I’m not getting any special treatment, incidentally. They would replace everybody’s Kindle in the US the same way.
Am I “bummed”? Well, a bit, but I knew this was nothing I could do anything to fix myself. I expected to get the Kindle quickly. I can borrow back my Kindle 2 from my Significant Other (SO) for a couple of days, I’m sure…my SO’s sibling hasn’t picked up the K1 yet.
Like most things in life, it was an opportunity to learn something. I wouldn’t have known that the screenshot wouldn’t show the failure…and I’m guessing they didn’t know it, either.
Oh, and I can say that there wasn’t anything unusual done to the Kindle…I’ve always suspected that putting pressure on the screen might cause these failures, but that didn’t happen. It didn’t get wet or get exposed to unusual temperatures. I didn’t have any unauthorized modifications (“hacks”).
And the cat didn’t sit on it.
I’ll keep posting, but they won’t be based on experimenting with my K3 for a few days.
It may also give me the tiniest bit more motivation for a good pirate “Arr!” for International Talk Like a Pirate Day on Sunday. ;)
* When you do a “screenshot” or a “screengrab”, you have your device “take a picture” of what’s on the screen. With a computer, you use the “prt scr” button (Print Screen). With a Kindle, you do Alt+Shift+G (shift is the Up Arrow). For more information, see this earlier post.
This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.