Last night I went to bed, got cosy, opened my Kindle Fire 6 and discovered that the ebook I’d been reading the night before was nowhere to be found. What the…?
This morning I discovered that missing ebooks are a known problem with a couple of solutions/workarounds. I could:
- De-register and re-register my Kindle, or
- Reset my Kindle to factory defaults
Not having a Wi-Fi modem* and remembering how hard it had been to register my Kindle Fire when I bought it [I had to go into work and ask to use their Wi-Fi connection], I quickly decided that the first option was not for me. Instead, I chose option 2 – resetting the Kindle to the factory defaults.
<<cue ominous music>>
This is where my geek friends roll around in fits of laughter, and my reputation as a baby geek takes a nose-dive. Let’s just say I should have known better. In my own defence, I have to say I did know that resetting the Kindle would mean losing all the ebooks I’d downloaded from Amazon, but in my wisdom I thought it would not matter because :
a) I’d already read those books anyway, and
b) I could always download them again from my Amazon account if I wanted to re-read them.
It did not even occur to me that there might be an option ‘c’ to consider. 😦
So…I did the deed. I’m not providing pictures because I don’t want to make this too easy in case someone does it by mistake, or in a drunken fit. Anyway, the steps are detailed below:
With the Kindle Fire 6 turned on, swipe to unlock, tap Apps, tap Settings, tap Device Options, and finally, if you’re brave [or foolhardy] tap Reset to Factory Defaults. You’ll be given one chance to change your mind, but once you tap OK you won’t be able to stop the process; everything currently on your Kindle Fire will be erased.
Sadly, it was only when the screen prompted me to register my newly empty Kindle that I realised I’d done the very thing I had not wanted to do – i.e. I’d erased the registration data along with everything else. Ut oh….
I won’t detail the choice words that flew around my office at that point. Suffice to say I was not happy. I did consider asking my neighbour if I could use her Wi-Fi connection to re-register my Kindle Fire, but embarrassment stopped me before I could dial her number. I hate having to explain that I’m not really a complete luddite, just a scrooge. [I built my house with Cat 5 cabling in the walls so my network is hardwired. I don’t need Wi-Fi…except at times like these.]
Anyway, that was when desperation made me remember something I’d read about using a mobile phone as a Wi-Fi hotspot. Could I do it?
Much research later, I finally found a video clip that detailed how to turn a Samsung Galaxy S2, Android version Jellybean [exactly what I now have] into a mobile hotspot. And this is it:
It’s a great video, but it does go very quickly so I’ve provided a sort of step-by-step transcript below:
- Make sure your S2 is fully charged
- Turn it on and swipe to unlock
- On the home screen tap Apps
- Then tap Settings
- Then tap …More settings
- Then tap Tethering and portable hotspot
The next bit involves a slight change of technique.
When you see an option called Portable Wi-Fi hotspot, don’t tap it. Instead, tap-hold-slide the slider bar from ‘O‘ across to ‘I‘ as shown below:
Now tap Portable Wi-Fi Hotspot. You will get a warning message that says turning the portable Wi-Fi hotspot on will turn the phone’s Wi-Fi off. Tap OK.
Next you will get a message saying ‘enabling Wi-Fi Hotspot’. When it’s finished doing what it needs to do, the display changes to show the ‘I’ lit up in green:
Tap the Portable Wi-Fi hotspot option to display the configuration options as shown below:
Your phone will have a default name and password. At this point you have two options, you can either change the default name and password on your phone, or you can leave it as is and simply connect your Kindle to the phone’s default hotspot settings. Either way, your Samsung Galaxy S2, Android version Jellybean is now an active mobile hotspot.
Now to connect your Kindle Fire to the Wi-Fi.
Keep your phone set to portable Wi-Fi hotspot.
Turn the Kindle Fire on.
Swipe to unlock.
At the top of the screen, tap Apps.
Tap the Settings option.
Tap Wireless and VPN.
The next Wi-Fi option is set to ‘Off’. Tap it once to change ‘Off’ to ‘On’.
You should now see the name of your mobile phone in the list of available hotspots. If it’s not there, tap ‘join another network’ to make your Kindle sense the mobile phone’s presence.
Once you see the name of your mobile phone on the list, tap it to select it.
You may now be asked for the phone’s password. This will be the password shown on the configuration screen of your mobile phone!
Tap in the password and the Kindle should show a connection to your mobile hotspot. Yay!
Now, follow the Kindle Fire onscreen prompts to complete the registration of your device.
Note: The email address required to register your Kindle will be the email address you use to login to Amazon. Similarly, the password will be the normal password you use to log in to Amazon.
Once you’re done, your Kindle Fire should sync with your Amazon account and display your most recent purchases. I downloaded my two missing ebooks via the mobile hotspot but doing so does chew up quite a bit of the data allocation – i.e. it’s expensive so be warned.
Finally, when everything is ticketty boo again, close Wi-Fi on your Kindle Fire.
Now to fix up your phone.
If the screen has gone black, just tap the ‘On’ button at the side of the phone to wake it up. It should still be showing the configuration screen for the portable Wi-Fi hotspot.
Turn the portable Wi-Fi hotspot off by moving the slider bar from ‘I’ back to ‘O’.
Your mobile hotspot is now off but you are not finished yet. Go back to Settings/Wireless and networks and turn the [ordinary] Wi-Fi option back to ‘I‘.
[Do not get confused, this is the setting your phone uses. It is not the portable hotspot setting].
And that is that. A lot of work to fix a silly error. The only good thing to come out of this is that I’ve got my new ebooks back and I’ll have something to read tonight. Oh and I’ve learned some new stuff about my phone. 🙂
*Normally when I buy ebooks from Amazon, I download them to my pc and then sideload them onto my Kindle device[s].