More and more Nokia Lumia 1020 motherboard failures

Worrying news for those that still cherish their Nokia Lumia 1020 - like I do. It seems more and more people are getting serious software issues. I ran into a discussion on Twitter this morning, where Ana Puzar noticed her shots were captured as gray squares. Next, Richard May jumped in saying his all died totally eventually, which I have seen mentioned on Twitter a few weeks ago as welll, like from Marja K. I asked Richard to share his experiences with me.

Richard writes: My 1020 had been getting ever slower for a while. Opening the camera app was taking ever longer and a shutdown was taking an age - sitting at the goodbye screen for about 5 minutes. Finally a week and a half ago when I was playing with a pic in Photoshop express the phone rebooted and never came back to life. I got an "ERROR: Unable to find a bootable option. Press any key to shutdown" message and that was the end of my phone.

I was working in our office in Eastbourne which has a "Nokia" care centre (they still have the nokia sign outside rather than MS) around the corner so I dropped it in there. They checked and confirmed it was a motherboard failure and that it would have to be sent to MS for a fix/replacement. They also told me that proof of purchase would be needed - anecdotally they told me that under Nokia this would not have been the case but that MS had tightened up on this. As I had bought the handset on eBay I don't have such formal proof so am unable to give that. I could pay to get it fixed but they told me that it would probably be cheaper just to buy a replacement.

(picture from
I had been considering my options anyway. My contract has just elapsed so I was signing up to a new deal on a SIM only contract and had been thinking about waiting for a 1020 replacement to come out which I would look at potentially just buying out right. I do have a slightly battered 920 that I've been using with W10 and thought I'd try getting by with that but I then went away for the weekend and found it was simply not stable for main use so bit the bullet and bought a 640. I've been thinking that it will at least still see me through for a few months when I can make a better decision about what proper smart cam to get next.

I had thought nothing else of it until in quick succession Jon and Jullietta Stoencheva said that they had the same issue within a few days of mine. We have all been in touch with the @lumiahelp account and the @lumia twitter teams. Helps aren't particularly helpful. I think their aim is mainly to help new Winphone/Lumia users with basic queries. The Lumia team have not responded at all to any of the tweets we have sent. Seeing as they have retweeted a couple of my Lumia 640 images I know that they are seeing my tweets! Its a real shame that they have been so quiet.

(Picture by @Wajon68)
Jon's was a competition prize and as such also does not have a proof of purchase but is going to get his replaced on his insurance (which I don't have). Jullietta has proof so is able to get hers fixed which is great. My problem is not really therefore that my phone itself has died - I'm actually quite enjoying using the 640 for a bit - but rather that Microsoft seem so unwilling to help. BTW a Google search of the error message does indicate its not just the three of us (a lot of similar issues with the 520 by the look of it). If (and I really hope it doesn't) Ana's phone does end up the same way in a such a similar time line. I'm hoping that by keeping up some noise Microsoft may eventually respond but I'm not holding my breath

Well, I did a Google search, and found a thread at WindowsCentral from 2014 already. Several Lumia devices are mentioned with the same issue at Here's a cry for help from Germany from January this year. There are many more, of course, like the ones I linked to above. Many people suggest using the Lumia Software Recovery Tool, but I haven't found any proof it actually works in this case - the device is either "not supported" or not recognized at all.

(Picture by  Marja K)
So it looks like we have a few issues at hand: first of all, the hardware issue itself. Second: the fact there appears to be no solution at all (except for replacing the motherboard or buying a new device). Third: the fact that Microsoft doesn't seem to be acknowledging the problem and doesn't seem to respond to questions, not on the official Twitter channels that is. So far I've not experienced any problems with my Lumia 1020 - yet. If you have the exact same issue with your Lumia 1020 - or 520, 620, 820 or whatever Lumia, please share your experiences below. Meanwhile I will contact Microsoft and see if I can get any response regarding this issue.