Google Chromecast update fail and other issues

Fix – Update stuck or hanging? Can’t connect? Read this troubleshooting guide.

We have used Chromecasts since the first ‘model’ came out, and generally they have run without an issue.  Our first Chromecast appeared to have died, it would no longer connect,  so we bought a new Chromecast 2 and spent an evening trying to set it up.  Everything appeared to be working OK until it tried to fetch an update, at which point it just stayed at 0% (zero percent).  Here’s what we tried and how we eventually fixed it:

  • First we tried switching it off and waiting 30 seconds or so before switching back on.  This has worked for some but not for us, it just went straight to the update screen and stayed at 0%.
  • Next we tried resetting it to factory settings, another online suggestion, by holding the reset button for 25 seconds or so until it rebooted.  We went through the setup procedure again, it tried to fetch an update annnnnnnd stuck once more at 0%.
  • We recently upgraded our broadband and BT had kindly sent us a new Home Hub.  Now I don’t know if other routers have this functionality but when you log on for the first time with a new device you are redirected to a set up page where you can set parental controls etc.  Possibly the Chromecast was being treated as a new device when it tried to get an update, being redirected to this page would certainly confuse it.  To switch off this feature do the following:
    • In your browser go to http://bthomehub.home/
    • Select ‘Advanced Settings’
    • On the next screen enter your username and password and on the following screen select ‘continue to advanced settings’.
    • Select ‘Home Network’ and then ‘Smart Setup’
    • Change ‘Enable Smart Setup’ to ‘No’ and click the apply button.
    • Reset the Chromecast to factory settings once more and try again!
  • Now this didn’t work for us initially but we did discover that our old Chromecast 1 was now able to connect and function correctly once more and I think this was part of the solution to getting the Chromecast 2 up and running also.
  • The final key to the puzzle for us was to ……..

    Change to another HDMI port, I don’t know why that worked but suddenly the update was fetched and we’ve been streaming without an issue ever since.

Android Market Download Issues

Are downloads and updates from the Android Market hanging on your Android phone?

I had this problem a few weeks ago when on holiday.  Notifications that updates were available for for my HTC Magic and I could access the Android Market but after being taken through the usual installation screens the download would hang immediately with the progress bar static.

I initially put this down to poor reception but when I returned home the problem continued even over my WiFi connection.  I then discovered that people in the UK that had switched their google mail account from to were experiencing the same problem.  I had done this! I went immediately to my account and switched back.

As you can see from above in ‘Settings->Accounts and Import’ there is a link at the end of the ‘Send mail as:’ section which allows you to toggle between the two. I did this and the downloads began working correctly virtually instantly.

In fact switching seems to serve no purpose at all you can still receive and send emails as either gmail or googlemail no matter what your settings. Google are working on the issue but for now they recommend switching back.

HTC Magic – Review

The Android Smart Phone with Google

HTC MagicI became the owner of a HTC Magic at the beginning of the summer.  Although an ‘I.T. Professional’ I have never owned a smart phone before. Bearing this in mind I can’t make any comparisons with other smart phones. However this device has become one of my favorite pieces of techno-kit, surpassing my beloved Zen Xtra, which has served me well for many years and equaling my Squeezebox Boom, which I may write about some other time.

The HTC Magic appealed to me for a couple of reasons.  It wasn’t an iGadget which tied me into irritating iSoftware and I was already a user of GMail, associated calendar and other apps.  I should say at this point that this is the ‘with google’ version of the phone I am using.

The HTC Magic comes with the obligatory charger and mediocre in-ear phones, plus an uninspiring white pouch to keep it safe from scratches.  I bought InvisibleSHIELD to further protect the finish although I would not recommend it as it is in 9 extremely fiddly to fit pieces and could not, by any stretch of the imagination, be called invisible.  In retrospect I would go for a good quality screen protector instead.

Switching on the HTC Magic for the first time you are asked for your Google account credentials and within minutes, Internet connection permitting, your mail, calendar and contacts are all synchronised with your on-line account. I also installed Google Calendar Sync at work which means that my Outlook calendar syncs with my on-line Google calendar and thus with my phone, perfect :).

The touchscreen is clear and responsive, even with a protector glued to it, and I have never felt the need for a stylus as the keyboard can be used precisely even with your thumbs.

The HTC Magic interface is clean looking and easy to use.  It has three ‘desktops’ which can be accessed by swiping the screen left or right.  Shortcuts and widgets can be placed here, wallpaper and themes changed etc. and by turning the phone you can either work in portrait or landscape.  An application tab resides at the bottom of the screen and opening this reveals all your installed software.  One criticism here is that although you can have folders containing icons on your desktop there is no way to further organise your apps within this tab.

Making a call is easy and the dial pad is always within reach should you be put through to an automated system. Another easily accessible tab allows you to hold, switch from or to a bluetooth device or turn on the speaker phone.  Sending texts and emails  is also a doddle with suggested words appearing at the bottom of the input screen for you to select should you wish.  The keyboard is qwerty, simple to use and quick to access numbers and special characters.

All in all I think this is a great phone, it comes with a number of good quality applications and by using Google’s Market Place you can search for, by name or via category, for thousands more.  Most of the applications are free but even those are not are of minimal cost  and if you uninstall within 24 hours you get a complete refund. There is also an option to allow the installation of non verified software should you be happy to do so.

The device also comes equipped with a compass, GPS, WiFi and decent camera all of which are made good use of by the huge variety of available software.

Finally, should you wish, you can develop your own apps using the free SDK and Eclipse Software suite.