Restoring Send, Menu, Home keys on your HTC mytouch android phone

I had this frustrating experience before on my android phone (HTC MyTouch 3G). This usually happens after powering on the phone after some time, it does not respond to the physical keys like "Send", "back", "home", "menu". The keyboard lock pattern is gone and you just cannot seem to lock the phone and you need to use the dialer application to make a call! The last time this happened, the factory reset fixed it. But it's a pain trying to reinstall all of your apps and settings back on the phone. So this time I was determined to fix this somehow.

I called the customer service and convinced them to ship me a new phone. Which is nice, but I will still need to reinstall all the apps again. I just searched the forums to see if there is a solution and it seems there is! Unfortunately, many people still seem to have the issue, so this hopefully helps someone.

Basically you need to fool your phone to run the setup wizard that is automatically run when you get your phone. Somehow this kicks out the bug that disables these buttons! But there is no way you can find that wizard (maybe it is possible to launch it somehow from the filesystem, but I don't know how to do that). But this is a way to do that:

  • Go to android market and search for the application Anycut and install it. (This application allows you add a shortcut to any activity on the home screen, so it is good to have it anyway.) (Or scan this QR code: Anycut Android Application
  • On the home screen, long press and add  "Shortcuts" to add to home screen. Choose Anycut from the list.
  • Choose Activity and scroll through the long list of activities.
  • Select "Setup Wizard". I had three of them in the list, third one worked for me. (Thanks Mr. Murphy). You might want to try all of them. (First one is for enabling Google Location, second for "Backing up settings to google account and third for Initial Setup)
  • It will prompt you to edit the name of the shortcut, you can just accept the default and select it from the home screen and complete through all the screens (use the same google account as you are using).
  • Your keys should now be magically working!

The problem might be happening because of some hardware issues (bad internal flash?), but its good to know that it's possible to fix it without factory reset.

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