I got an Alexa in 2016 as a birthday present and I used the thing almost daily! We ended up with 3 in the house, one in the Kitchen and two in different bedrooms. I also installed a Sonoff smart switch in the ceiling light in my bedroom which meant I could easily turn off the light right from the comfort of my bed (using sonoff-tasmota). It was great until one day my £50, 4-year old 2nd generation echo dot stopped working.
I went into my room and said ‘Alexa, turn on the light’ and was met with blunt silence. I looked over at my echo dot and it had its blue “I’m working, leave me be” blue light with single white light rotating around it, I walked over to it and after a considerable amount of minutes (7 or 10) I decided it had been this way for a longer-time than it should have been and was stuck in a boot loop or something, I opted for a switch-it-off-and-on-again approach. It booted into its solid blue bootloader, and then sat there spinning its blue and white light again in silence.
I left it for hours to no avail, I tried resetting it by holding down its mute and volume down buttons and nothing. I’ve tried all manner of combinations of button-pressing, uber and volume down with mute, all at once, a combination of one another. I gave up after about an hour of pressing and pushing buttons on it and decided that it was a software issue and would not wake up from its blue spinning trance.
I decided to search online and can’t find anyone with the same issue, there seem to be a few people who used the wrong power chord but I’m not one of them and I tried a new led and power-brick anyway. I posted on amazon’s digital devices forum and was met with standard troubleshooting that as I expected, but followed with optimism, did not work.
I also briefly looked at seeing if I could re-image the echo using fastboot, I knew it ran android but after reading online and trying for myself (uber and usb to PC, echo showing a green light) I saw that the echo is fairly locked down and not able to be accessed this way.
Which is where we come to why I’m mad. It’s for two reasons. In the first generation echo dot there was a physical and separate reset button that if I were able to use on the second generation echo dot I’m sure would allow me to hard reset the echo dot, but because the thing is stuck in some software upgrade or something, its only good as a bad police light, a paperweight, landfill.
And the second reason I’m mad is not allowing me to do this with another PC, ADB and Fastboot I’ve only used a few times but allowed me to extend the lifetime of my devices and customise them to my heart’s desire.
You let me down Amazon, now I have to get up and turn off the light like everyone else.