Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Xperia S MTP USB Device Driver Issue [FIX]

If you're only here for the fix, scroll down :-)

I recently managed to get hold of a brand spanking new Sony Xperia S. I have got to say, so far I'm totally blown away by it. Whilst it does have it's quirks, overall it's a damn good phone - and VERY fast! This is all for another day however.

Today, I wanted to highlight the resolution (or what has worked for me) for one of the most painful smartphone problems I have ever come across in my life. It's also worth pointing out that, in my research over the past 24 hours, this is not a problem restricted to Sony Smartphones. Infact, it's not even restricted to Android (with iPhone Users suffering the same issue) as well as digital cameras also experiencing this issue.

This solution however, is only applicable to Android smartphones. It's entirely possible that it's also restricted to Sony smartphones, however unfortunately my testing only stretches so far as Sony, so test away and if it works for you on another brand, let me know!

The Problem

OK, so I've had this phone a few weeks now. The majority ALL of my PC related communications so far (i.e. first time setup, restoring stuff backed up from my arc S, etc) have been done on my work PC. Yesterday, I finally found some time to sit down and go through my music. Choose what I wanted, and put it on my phone. Only, I couldn't. I plugged my phone in and launched Sony Ericsson PC Companion, to which it  popped up asking for an update. So off it went and updated to the latest PCC version. The events following however, were but traumatic to say the least.

Having installed the latest PC Companion, I plugged my phone in, and the phone/PC started doing their thing in installing the device drivers for the first time. I was expecting this to take some time, that's fine. About five minutes later however, an error popped up - it wasn't an offensive error, or at least not at this point. It simply advised that there was a problem connecting to the phone, and to try restarting. I did this. I followed the instructions it gave word for word, only to be faced with the same problem. Further down on the warning, it then advised trying to connect in Mass Storage Mode.


So heres the thing, the way the new Xperia devices are built, there is no external storage. Without external storage, there is nothing to mount as mass storage, and therefore the new devices cannot connect in Mass Storage Mode. Having remembered similar issues from previous models, I was almost certain that something like this would resolve the issue, however I was unable to try it.

And Then....

I won't bore you with all the details, but I'll say this went on for hours, trying multiple fixes, looking up similar issues (to which I've seen there have been a few, hence this blog post) and going so far as replacing the driver files within the PC Companion installation directory, forcing the driver install and much more.

Eventually I gave up for the night. This gave me some time to sleep on it, and having done so I was fresh the next day (today) to try some new troubleshooting. Eventually, I fixed it!

The Fix

So what did you do?? I hear you ask. Here's the fix that worked for me, step-by-step.

It's worth pointing out before hand, that earlier on today I had updated PC Companion on my work PC and was able to replicate the issue there. Since then, I have fixed the issue on both PCs.

Also, some of these steps are very likely un-necessary, however I will walk you through it step by step as I done it, as failing to get this to work could ultimately end up with a few phones going through a few windows. And I don't want to be responsible for that :-)

1. Start off with the device unplugged from the PC.
2. From the home screen, tap Settings, Applications, Developer, and enable Debug Mode.
3. Next, go back one stage so that you are at Settings, Applications, and this time go into Manage Applications.
4. On the top row of tabs, select All.
5. Scroll down the list (alphabetical) until you locate MtpApp. Tap on it, and then tap Clear Data.
6. Plug in device (at this stage it failed to connect again, but bare with me here...)
7. Drag the notification bar down from the top of the screen.
8. Tap on debugging mode to open the developer screen again, and tab debugging mode to dissable it.
9. With luck....... PC Companion should connect. If it still takes a minute, let it do so and don't deem this as a failure until you have received the failure message. Remember, new devices can take a while to connect depending on your envionment.

I was also able enable Debugging Mode after this, and connect into debugging mode just fine, and then come out of debugging mode and connect in normal mode fine, too. So it looks to have done the job.


So there it is. That's the job that fixed the issue for me, and I really hope it does for you, too. However, please bare in mind that, whilst I have posted this in hope that it will help others that have experienced the same issue as me, I am unable to guarantee I can provide any further help if it does fail.

I will happily try and provide any suggestions if I get the chance to do so, however I work full time and am studying part time towards a degree, and therefore providing fast responses isn't something I am able to do with ease.

Again, hope this worked! =)