ASUS Transformer ICS update leaves tablets unusable

ASUS Transformer ICS update leaves tablets unusable

Summary: Anxious to upgrade your ASUS EEEPad Transformer to Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich)? This time it doesn't pay to be an early adopter.


Late last week ASUS started rolling out an over the air update for the original EEEPad Transformer. If you haven't installed it yet, don't. It can cause random reboots and generally make your tablet unusable.

I installed the update over the weekend and have had nothing but problems ever since. The main problem is that every couple of hours it will decide to reboot itself, and then to add insult to injury, the reboot fails. The tablet hangs on the startup after rebooting, and you have to turn it off and back on to clear the problem. The Transformer doesn't have a removable battery, so to do a hard power-off you hold the power button for about 10 seconds. Luckily that works.

Dozens of frustrated ASUS customers have posted irate messages about the problems over in the XDA and Transformer forums. Besides the random reboots, some report intense battery drains and crashes of common apps. Here are a few of the threads tracking the issue:

Some people have reported no problems at all, so it's a bit of a crap shoot whether or not you'll be affected. Some say that factory resets, clearing and wiping everything has fixed the problem but it did not fix it for me or a lot of others. My advice: Don't upgrade until ASUS retracts this ill-fated update and puts out a better version.

Topics: Hardware, Android, Google, Laptops, Mobility, Tablets

Ed Burnette

About Ed Burnette

Ed Burnette is a software industry veteran with more than 25 years of experience as a programmer, author, and speaker. He has written numerous technical articles and books, most recently "Hello, Android: Introducing Google's Mobile Development Platform" from the Pragmatic Programmers.

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  • Something is causing it...

    It is likely an App that is causing it and dmesg might help if the users get a terminal... there are also other logs that can be used to debug it. Worst case, hook it up to adb aand check through it while it is stuck on the boot screen.
    • I agree "something is causing it". Still your possible solutions

      are a tad tech for the average user. Now if the user is a tech and or geek they'd be fine and likely enjoy that kind of stuff. However a person who purchases an item just to use it... Not to have a project in and of itself might not want to and or be able to.

      Pagan jim
      James Quinn
    • What? An app causing an entire device crash/reboot? And the reboot hanging

      and requiring a power cycle? Riiiiiiiiight. Keep telling yourself that. Sell it hard.
      Johnny Vegas
      • What are you talking about?

        I am not denying the issue... I am saying, they should be able to figure it out pretty quick.
  • Transformer: Less Than Meets The Eye

    I've had some problems since the ICS update. Some apps haven't worked properly, mostly not properly rendering the screen as it scrolls, or have crashed completely. Dolphin and Chrome have been especially troublesome. It also shut down unexpectantly while it was asleep. Overall, it's still a useful and dandy device. I will look forward to an update that clears up these problems and any others that I haven't noticed.
    R.L. Parson
  • just don't try to install M$ software on it

    and the community will take care of it.
    The Linux Geek
    • Too late!

      I already installed the Hotmail and OneNote Apps! But I won't be rooting it and installing Win8.
      R.L. Parson
    • Really?

      I think better advice is to wait for the Win 8 version and stay well away from Android tablets (no matter which version) until they can be replaced with a tested and stable Windows OS.

      I'm also interested as to which community has you as a member?
      • Really? Windows 8???

        Good luck with that. Android ICS is not the main issue here. I know people that have done this upgrade with varying results but in every case, at worst it was recovered and fully operational with a factory reset.

        I have never had to do a factory reset with any of my Android devices including my Transformer. This would be 2 different phones and 3 different tablets at this point while using all but the first phone still. On the other hand, I have been using Windows computers virtually my whole adult life. I have lost track of all the times I have had to fix severe issues or get to the point where I have to 'factory reset' it by doing a fresh install of the operating system.

        I have ZERO interest in a Windows tablet and it will be doubtful that Microsoft will get much of a market share when they finally get Win8 out the door in terms of tablets. Even where I work, IT hates open source solutions for many reasons and has always been a Microsoft based company but they are endorsing Android phones and tablets over anything else with no future plans of changing that opinion.
      • sounds great- when can I get XP stabilized?

        I'm not sure that mandatory multiple patches and reboots every several weeks has made my XP experience a whole lot more 'stable'. Why 'still' XP? Because my incentive to stay on the Windows path has been completely eliminated by a) the expensive miserable unpredictability and malware bullseye on all Win versions to date and b) SECONDARY- the availability of extremely well performing and useful Linux and opensource alternatives. One of my all time amazements is that one of Windows major accomplishments was to make Unix easier and friendlier- than Windows! Does Ripley still publish a Believe it or Not comic? I have a suggestion....
  • I guess there IS something worse than NO update for your Android device.

    I guess those schmucks still stuck on 2.2 years later don't feel so bad [i]now[/i].
  • Rushed OTA

    Guess they figured, the hell with you guys. You wanted us to rush the update/complaining here you go. You know it takes Android a year(s) to update, after the release of a new OS.
  • No problem here

    I have a transformer and I did a full wipe and install and I don't have any problems. I think the update is awesome.
    • Full wipe??

      Sounds like an MS Win apologists ..... wipe your hard drive and do a clean install to fix the problems.
  • Im shocked, shocked I tell you to hear that an android update is crashing

    and requiring reboots. Android lockups and reboots only happen on smartphones... daily...
    Johnny Vegas
    • Yeah right...

      Mine runs forever without reboot and the same with my tablet!
      • And in it's day there were some Yugo's that ran perfectly well.

        Same with at least a few Packard Bell computers I suppose. It's all a matter of odds really. Even the worst OEM with the lousiest components and using a poorly written OS with buggy Apps will have "some" level of success.

        Pagan jim
        James Quinn
      • I have an old Packard Bell computer that STILL runs

        An Intel 486DX 50MHz upgraded to a AMD K5 (x586 133MHz) . It still runs Win98 with most original parts.
  • works great

    Updated about 4 days ago... worked perfectly from the start... very pleased
  • works great

    Updated 3 days ago and it works perfectly.