This problem appeared on (at least) Droid 4 with Verizon system update 98.72.18.xt894 in April 2013. When your power button seems to not work, hold down simultaneously the Volume Down and Power buttons for 10 seconds for a cold reboot.
I've been playing with this problem and can see it can be reproduced by a cold reboot, followed by the app installation of certain apps like YouTube's app. I believe the problem is also related to the graphics drivers on Android in use on the Droid 4.
It's not bricked or even half-bricked, in my experience with my Droid 4. If you are a person who installs a lot of apps, I believe you'll notice the problem much more than someone who doesn't install apps often. The holding down of the power button plus volume down keys for 10 seconds will take care of the issue when it appears.
The experience on other Droid models seems to be much worse than on the Droid 4. On other Droid models, a lot of folks report that even booting into the BIOS level startup* is not even doing the trick. (In other words, a true brick.)
For our model [Droid 4] I think you can expect to just use the 10 second cold OS reboot for a while, until Verizon rolls out a fix.
*different key sequence for BIOS level reboot; I have not described that key sequence here, because people should be careful with that boot operation
I'm sorry, you may feel that this isn't that big of a deal, I do. It's
disruptive and is preventing me from using the phone the way I want to. If
this isn't fixed by the end of the week I'm going to install a mod and
simply be done with verizon as soon as I can.
I find the fact that the power button doesn't work extremely disruptive as
it was working fine until the update. Second, the fact that any app
installation simply breaks it is beyond obnoxious. This includes an update
of an app, which I have no control over. I'm not going to simply do this
fix every time an app updates because Verizon Broke my phone. I bought the
phone because it worked a certain way. This isn't an acceptable customer
service response, especially since you aren't even a Verizon support rep.
>Second, the fact that any app installation simply breaks it is beyond obnoxious.
This has not been my experience. As I mentioned, I notice it being a problem only after the installation of certain apps. No app on my Droid 4 ever auto updates, because that is a controllable setting at the OS level.
>This isn't an acceptable customer service response, especially since you aren't even a Verizon support rep.
I have no idea why you think my response represents customer service, as 95% of post responses on this entire forum are by other users. Clearly, you need to take your concerns to a Verizon retail outlet - but I'm glad you have waited 5 days or so to try to become an informed consumer through the use of these user forums.
After the update happened and I figured out what happened with my phone I
posted a comment on here and then directly contacted the customer support
and chatted with a rep for some time. At that point the rep didn't know
what the root cause to my problem was. As I was unable to turn off my phone
to attempt fixing by clearing out a cache the rep left me directions on
how to do this and how to do a hard rest on the phone. I did both and my
phone isn't working.
I understand that you aren't a Verizon rep and I wouldn't expect there to
be a rep answering all of these posts. The poor response is more related to
the fact that they aren't addressing the problem and haven't mentioned any
fix on the way for the problem. Yes I want it fixed now, maybe that sounds
unreasonable, but I don't like when software updates breaks either
computers or phones, since this is a software issue, it would be nice if
Verizon enabled us to roll back to the older version of the software so I
don't have these issues.
I appreciate you responding to my post. I'm just dissatisfied with Verizon
and had planned on going to a store in any event.
I've been geeking on computers for 10 years (I mean building them, taking them apart again, experimenting with OS's, virtual OS, etc.) and my lesson has been to try and control as much as one can at the consumer level. This becomes all the more relevant with these OS and config updates that vendors try to roll out to a multitude of devices and device manufacturers at one time. It's cheaper for them to crowd source the problem discovery and the problem solving (i.e. what you and I are doing on these forums) than to try to properly develop branches of the code for the Droid 3 versus the Droid 4, etc.
I was disappointed on 04 April when I first had this power button problem, but I also knew what one thing had changed: I had chosen to manually update the YouTube app just before the problem appeared. This tweaked my suspicions that it was related to apps which make higher level use of the device's graphic drivers, like the YouTube app does. So for a day or so when I had time, I experimented with uninstalling the suspect app, then re-installing, to try and get a repeatable situation. Low level GUI apps such as browsers don't trigger the problem, but at least in my case, apps using higher level graphic driver functioning like YouTube or various weather apps, do trigger the problem.
For the above reason, the first thing I did when I got my Droid 4 a year ago was to turn off the ability for apps to auto update. Auto update just introduces another level of variability making it difficult to track down a given problem one step at a time.
If you go to Verizon store and get a rep who cares, you can tell them about the problem description. You'll see others posting that Verizon is giving out new devices/handsets because of the problem. Your mileage may vary because of the nature of the technical skills of the rep standing in front of you at the time. A rep with some technical skill will simply roll you back to the previous OS config - and the problem will be gone. (And they should tell you not to accept a Verizon update.) Verizon runs pretty slow on these things. I wouldn't expect them to develop all the branches for all their devices until late Summer, and then roll the fix out.
I went to the store and they decided to replace my phone even though it was
2 weeks out of warranty. I'll get a new phone by Tuesday.
I did explain it was a software issue with the update, but they simply
decided to go with the new phone route despite the fact they could have
done something like you're mentioning with the role back.