Lost two phones in one day. Well, “lost” is a relative term. I was carrying two, one, a Nokia Lumina 1020, for its camera and for what a phone used to be used for. It had my Cricket SIM card. The other, my Nokia 520, for music, since it had a slot for a memory chip, which I appreciated since the 1020 was getting a bit full.

I’d been experimenting with Windows 10 on both these devices (I wrote “machines”, which they are–why did that seem wrong?). I doubt this had anything to do with anything. I like Windows 10 (build 10166, currently the latest) on the 520–a bit sluggish, but it’s an underpowered phone and an unfinished OS. So I decided to try it on the 1020. (Impatience had something to do with it.)

To be fair, the 1020 was having problems–“issues,” as we would say where I work–already. Bluetooth wasn’t working. I couldn’t connect it to my Band, had to use the 520 for that, and that works only where there’s wifi connection since the 520 doesn’t have a SIM, and apparently the band needs Bluetooth and internet to connect. Partly to see if it would make Bluetooth come back, and also because I was impatient, I put the 1020 on the Windows 10 mobile fast ring and got that installed. But that didn’t improve things, and in fact made things worse, I don’t remember exactly how. My wife complained my phone went straight to voicemail (at least it went to voicemail) but that may just have been my inattention.

So I set the 1020 aside, took out the SIM card, and opened the 520. It had Windows 10 build whatever on it, and was a bit sluggish, as likely from being underpowered as from the beta software. But I screwed up the SIM transfer and broke some of the connectors on the SIM card carrier trying to fix it. So now the 520 works fine, game, email, internet, music, just not as a phone.

Trying to fix things

I tried to fix the 1020 by rolling back its software, various things, I forget all the details, but including using the Nokia Windows Phone recovery tool. In short, that didn’t work. It seemed to, allowing me to restore a saved image and all, but when I got done the phone function didn’t work. I know a phone’s supposed to be a phone, and even though to me the 1020 was more a camera and a screen for Facebook and Netflix and a game machine (Pegs and Holes an obsession), I wanted to fix it, if I could.

I trolled around on the internet, found a similar problem from another phone user (on a 920 I think) that suggested an antenna might be loose (and I thought, that might explain the Bluetooth problem also) and easy to snap back together. I’m not much with a screwdriver (worse with a soldering iron). I tend to break things when I take them apart. But I thought I’d try. I went to Home Depot to get some Torx screwdrivers for those tiny star headed screws that hold these phones together, found some disassembly instructions on the internet, and took the thing more apart than I felt safe with.

1020 split open
1020, laid out on the table

Of course, as it turned out, that little adventure didn’t lead anywhere, and now the Nokia Recovery tool has trouble finding the phone at all.

So next I tried to fix the 520. I love that phone, its size and its price. And its expandable storage. And you can still get them.  But it was my working machine (not phone without the SIM), and I felt reluctant to take it apart.

What had happened to it was that I got a SIM card adapter jammed into the slot (the 520 takes a micro SIM, and my SIM from Cricket is a nano SIM–makes me think of coffee sizes at Starbucks–and I was careless). It took work to get it out, and it didn’t come out safely.

So there I was, phoneless in fact. Attentive reader of this blog will remember I had a Nokia 920 also, but that phone’s in use by another member of my small family now.

I did, eventually, order a part to replace the broken SIM carrier on the 520 (it was $2.99, including shipping from England in an envelope with a Customs declaration on it) but I fear it will require soldering, another chance to fumble.

520 part
Part for the 520, not much bigger than a dime.

Give me bad code to fix any day.


I got the 520 as an AT&T Go Phone, from the Radio Shack on the corner before it became a Sprint house. I decided to replace it–my backup phone I called it–with a Lumia 640 Go Phone, this time ordered from the Microsoft Store. I think I paid about the same in both cases, around $80. Still I knew it wouldn’t have the camera the 1020 had, not even close, so I thought I’d at least look at the used phones on Amazon. I took the risk on an unlocked 1020 priced a bit under $200, kind of a bargain. I was phoneless for a weekend, then both phones arrived on Tuesday.

Inventory:  So now I have a working 1020, a dead 1020, a 640, and a 520 which sort of works and runs the latest beta build of Window 10 mobile. I also have a Moto-E, but I’m not sure that’s actually a phone.

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