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TrumanClark
Contributor
Contributor

Android phones are randomly factory resetting

Greetings all,

We have a weird issue going on that I'm curious if anyone has seen this before as I'm running out of options as to where to look. We have some Android phones that get enrolled into our Airwatch environment as Work Managed phones. After approximately a couple days, the phone will randomly factory reset itself like someone issued a Device Wipe command from the console but logs in our console show no such command was sent. There is no specific time frame when this happens; we have had some as quick as 5-10 minutes of completing enrollment or it can be 5 to 6 days after enrollment. To this point we have not been able to connect any similarities to the devices that are doing this (assigned profiles, apps, configurations, etc.). Also, this is not every phone that does this, we can enroll 3 or 4 phones that never have this issue and then the next few will do this. For reference, we are using only Samsung S7 or S8 devices with Android 7.0 or Android 8.0 (the majority of the devices with the symptom are S8 with 8.0)

Any thoughts or help would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you
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MRFVMUser
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

I feel like this may be happening again - today, 6 January 2020, I'm getting reports from various Samsung phone users that their devices reset to factory settings overnight and are having problems re-enrolling the device into UEM.  Our devices are not Android Enterprise yet.  Not thinking this is VMware UEM related, but we did just have console 1912 version installed last night.  Maybe a coincidence.
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Antonopoulos
Contributor
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Are your devices on Android Enterprise or Device Admin (Legacy)?  I ask because MRFVMUser stated his devices are not on AE yet and I am getting reports of this from my Help Desk and we are on AE.  We are also a Samsung "shop" with S7s and S9s and it does not seem to matter if this is an OS update or minor security patch.

The only policy we have that will wipe a device is our passcode policy, but our users facing this issue are stating it's occurring after a software update.  We can't seem to make heads or tails of what is happening because there doesn't seem to be any commonality between the users that have had this happen.  Do you have any more incite on this since your original post?

Thanks

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Antonopoulos
Contributor
Contributor

We are also on console version 1912.  Do you have more than just Samsung devices in your fleet and is it only happening on the Samsungs?

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MRFVMUser
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

We are still managing with Android Legacy.  While the 1912 console update did cause some problems for us, it was not related to any Samsung device resets.  We had a few reports that day, but not on a large scale.  I think the "device resetting" issue is non-VMware UEM related and is most likely an Android update/patch installation issue.  That's my educated guess at this point.  I have not had any additional reports of Androids factory resetting since, but I do see a large number of Android devices that seem to re-enroll for apparently no reason.  The re-enrollment also uses a new UDID, so I end up with duplicate devices (same serial numbers) with different UDID values.  Strange.  My guess on this is that a reset of some sort took place on the device, the user did not report it, and simply enrolled the device again to get back to normal operational mode.  I do struggle understanding the nuances of the Android OS.

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