May 5 2010

T-Mobile G1 Forgot Pattern Locked Out how to Buffer Overflow

The problem (…The Solution below…):

Yesterday I was playing with my wife’s G-Mobile phone.  She has the good old G1.  Being the curious person that I am, I decided to see what happens when you press “Forgot security Pattern”.  What a freaking mistake!!!  Even though I knew what her security pattern was, it was out of pure curiosity.  I found a lot of people were having this problem and needed a clear solution as I almost lost hope.  So here it is, I hope you find it.  If your child, friend, or locked yourself out of you Android G1, here’s a how to guide to get you passed it.

So when you do that the phone goes into locked state asking for your G-mail username and password.  Well, guess what? She didn’t know or remember what she used as she only did that to setup her phone when she got it.  Now backup email accounts, not security questions, no username.  Take a trip down Google support leads nowhere in figuring out the username since she never setup any backup emails.

Do not RESET you phone. This is NOT the only option.

Most of the solutions online were to reset the phone to factory settings.  This does work, however you lose your data and if you can’t find your Gmail acccount then you also lost all of your contacts, calendar, etc.

Here are the steps  to reset the phone and WIPE ALL OF YOUR DATA.  Calling T-mobile leads to the same solution:
But wait, there’s hope.  You have to be diligent, but there is definitely hope.  Thank god Google for overflows.

The Solution:

After doing some research online, this is what worked for me:

1) Reboot the phone – Even though you are locked out you can perform basic function like turn the phone on/off and accept incoming calls, we’ll take advantage of this.  Go ahead and hold the Power Button and proceed t turn the phone off.  Then Turn it back on.  You should be welcomed by that little gmail logon screen again.

2) From another phone, call the locked Android phone and answer the call.

3) While in the incoming call, flip the screen open and closed as fast as you can, while pressing the home key.  A good rate to do this is about 2 cycles per second on the flip, and 4 button presses per second.  I placed the phone on my lap, and held the base with my thumb and middle finger.  Then, with my left hand I did the flipping, and with my right index finger I tapped the Home key.  The home key is the one with the picture of the house.

4) You won’t get this on the first try.  You might get some errors on the screen, ignore them and keep going.  If the screen goes black, this is a good sign.  After about 3 minutes of this crap, stop the flipping but keep tapping the HOME screen until you see the background.

5) Once you get to your background, it’s time to work fast and disable the lock screen:

From the manual:
  1. HOME, then press MENU and select Settings.
  2. Select Security & location , then scroll down to the Screen unlock pattern section.
  3. Unselect the Require pattern check box.

6) Now turn off sleep:

  1. Press HOME, then press MENU and select Settings.
  2. Select Sound & display.
  3. Scroll down to the Display settings section and select Screen timeout. Select a time or “never timeout” from the menu.

OK, at this point you have access to your phone again.  If the Gmail Screen comes back, opening the phone will get rid of it.  I messed up here and deleted the email data and created a new account.  The problem here is all of the contacts, calendar, email, etc are tied to he old Gmail account.  The good news is now you can go into your Gmail application settings and grab the username.  Now you can work with Gmail Support to retrieve your account here:

GMAIL password recovery page.

If it tells you to keep your account idle inactive for 24hrs, do it.  Bite the bullet, be glad you can get into your phone.  Once you reset your Gmail password online, you can then delete the Gmail data on the phone and re-add the existing account using the wizard.

To clear out the Gmail data go into:

Settings->Applications->Manage Applications
Gmail->Clear Data
Gmail Storage->Clear Data
Google Apps->Clear Data

After this is done, enter you username and new password at the lock screen and goodbye lock screen.  Enjoy.  I was thinking of uploading a video, so let me know if it will help anyone.