Unless you found this article using a search engine, which means you’re probably having the same problem I did, you’re very unlikely to be interested in its solution, so you can stop reading now and get on with your life.

Certain SIM cards have to be unlocked by typing in a PIN every time you turn your phone on. For example, the Fonic SIM I’m using here in Germany. If you type the PIN in wrong three times, you get put into “PUK lock”; to get out of it, you have to type in the much longer “PUK code”, which is printed on the carrier the SIM card came in.

Only on a Nexus One (one running Android 2.2, anyhow) you can’t. There’s some toxic interaction with the unlock screen, and various settings reconfigurations couldn’t fix it, nor could the telephone company‘s tech support.

So here’s the answer: Take the SIM out of your Nexus One, find someone with another kind of phone (a primitive no-frills Nokia worked just fine) and have them cycle the power: You’ll be able to type in the PUK and your phone will come back to life.

“Wait,” you cry, “how on earth did you screw up your PIN three times in a row?” Clever of you to notice that I left that part out.


Comment feed for ongoing:Comments feed

From: Hub (Sep 07 2010, at 21:37)

Now take a hockey stick and beat up the people responsible for this....

(only kidding on the beat up with a hockey stick part. use a trout ;-) )


From: Serdar Kilic (Sep 08 2010, at 07:35)

My 3 year old tried a few too many times to guess my unlock pattern on my HTC Magic. Once locked, the way to unlock the handset is to enter your gmail credentials.. except that it didn't work. The workaround is to ENTER your gmail address and as a password enter the word "null". I kid you not.


From: Harald Wagener (Sep 12 2010, at 05:13)

You can enter the PUK on the Nexus One using GSM codes on the emergency dialer. It's not intuitive nor does it provide a UI, but it works.

The disadvantage of this arcane method is that it is undiscoverable and has no UI. The advantage is that it works the same for all GSM providers (unless they willfully break it) since it's part of the GSM specification.

Here is a list of GSM codes: http://www.cellular.co.za/gsm_hash_code.htm


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September 07, 2010
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