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How to update Asus ZenFone 2 (ZE551ML) to Marshmallow

Asus released manual update to Marshmallow for Asus ZenFone 2 (ZE551ML) last year.  They released the second update last month.  I don’t think OTA will be available soon.  I decided to give it a try and hopefully the second update makes it more stable.

1: Check your phone have latest lollipop update. If not, please update it.
Setting > About > System Update > Check Update
2: Go to URL: https://www.asus.com/us/Phone/ZenFone_2_ZE551ML/HelpDesk_Download/
3: Please select OS > Android
4: Click Firmware.  I have Worldwide version and there are two updates available.
WW-4.21.40.223(andriod M) – 1.18GB
WW-4.21.40.184(andriod M) – 1.19GB
I don’t know if update is incremental or not. Therefore, I downloaded the first update: WW-4.21.40.184(andriod M) – 1.19GB.
5: Back up your phone data and settings with your favorite backup program. In my case, I used Wondershare Mobile Trans.
6: Use a USB cable to connect your phone to your computer.
7: Copy downloaded update (UL-Z00A-WW-4.21.40.184-user.zip) to the root of your phone.
8: A “System Update File Detected” notification should appear. Tap the notification and select the correct update package.
9: Make sure your battery is above 70% or is charging.
10: Once the update is done, the device should restart by itself. Optimization of apps will take time depending on how many apps are installed on your phone.
11: Check for update and it should tell WW-4.21.40.223 is available to download
Setting > About > System Update > Check Update
12: Download and install WW-4.21.40.223 update.
13: Enjoy Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow.

Note: It pops out a message to ask me remove then add gmail account back to enable protection when I click settings. I followed instructions and enabled protection again.

Here are issues I encountered so far.
1. Google Chrome can’t load any URLs. I have to uninstall and reinstall Chrome to make it work.
2. When I listen “Our Daily Bread” with Dolphin browser in background, there is lag but I don’t have this issue with Chrome browser.


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How to connect Nexus 7 to a keyboard and a mouse

Why do you want to connect Nexus 7 to a keyboard and a mouse?  Make a tablet as a “computer” but 7-inch tablet could be a bit small for its screen size.

My daughter recently broke the screen of our Nexus 7 2012 so the touch screen doesn’t work anymore.  I was debating to get a LCD Touch Screen Digitizer Assembly Replacement for ASUS Google Nexus 7 Tool OEM for $50 or just retire it?

It happens I have $50 microsoft store promo code lying around.  I went ahead to use it and one of items I ordered is StarTech Micro USB Male USB Female OTG Host Cable Adapter.  It costs $8. I connected its micro USB male to the broken Nexus 7 and a USB receiver for HP Z4000 wireless mouse to the other end.  Instantly the mouse is working on Nexus 7 and I could navigate around.  However, the on screen keyboard doesn’t pop up when I want to enter texts.  It looks like it is required wireless combo (keyboard + mouse) to work.  The budget Logitech Wireless combo (MK270) costs around $30.

I tried with Logitech MX518 optical mouse that has USB interface and I could see on screen keyboard pop up when I want to enter texts.   If you have an USB hub lying around, you could connect USB keyboard and mouse to the USB hub.  Then connect USB hub to the adapter.  That should work, too.


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Nexus 7 upgrade

Recently I bought my wife an Asus Memo Pad (ME572C-A1-BK) to replace her Nexus 7 2012. It has the same screen size and could run lollipop 5.1.1 more smoothly.

I spent lots time and tried to figure out how to transfer App data and saved games from Nexus 7 to Memo Pad 7. Here are things I tried.

1. Backup to google account is checked on Nexus 7 under settings > Backup & restore. It automatically syncs those from google account to Memo Pad when she log in to google account on Memo Pad.

2. Tried Wondershare MobileTrans. It could transfer contacts, messages, calendar, photo, music, videos and Apps. Installed applications on Nexus 7 are transferred to Memo Pad 7. However, it didn’t transfer App data and saved games.

3. My wife’s Nexus 7 isn’t rooted and only software I could find to support transfer App data and saved games in non-root is Helium. With Helium, I could back up App data and saved games but I can’t restore to Memo Pad 7. It always hang when I was doing restore on Memo Pad 7. According to Helium Wiki, Memo Pad 7 is a unsupported and problematic device so I am out of luck.

4. Since non-root isn’t working for transfer App data and saved games, I went ahead to root Nexus 7. I installed Wug’s Nexus Root Toolkit v2.0.5.
(1) Initial Setup – Full Driver Installation Guide – Automatic + Manual
(2) Backup – Backup All App’s
(3) Unlock Bootloader
(4) Root – I unchecked “Custom Recovery”.
(5) Restore the backup I did on step (2) but for some reason, I don’t see all installed applications were restored.

5. Nexus 7 is rooted. I used My Bakup PRO to backup data. You could use any other backup and restore program that requires root. i.e. Titanium Backup PRO. I like the migrate feature that My Backup Pro has. It allows you to move any and all support content directly from one Device to another over WiFi. I am able to transfer backup from Nexus 7 to Memo Pad 7. However, it actually didn’t restore because Memo Pad 7 isn’t root.

Since I already rooted Nexus 7, I install custom ROM Chroma to make Nexus 7 still usable.
1. Launch Wug’s Nexus Root Toolkit v2.0.5
2. Launch Advanced Utilities > Fastboot Flash > Recovery
4. Flash recovery to twrp-2.8.6.0-grouper.img TWRP grouper (Nexus 7 2012 WiFi) recovery
5. Download Chroma ROM, Banks Gapps, SuperSU, Franco Kernal r82 that supports F2FS and put them on the Nexus 7’s internal storage.
6. Boot to TWRP recovery, Wipe > Advanced Wipe > Repair or Change File System for /cache to F2FS.
7. In TWRP recovery, Wipe > factory reset to make it clean.
8. Flash ROM, GApps, SuperSU and Kernal
9. Reboot and enjoy.
10. Install Trimmer (fstrim) from google play store and schedule trim twice per day. TRIM is include for Android 4.3+. I installed the app and want it to run more frequently to improve performance.


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Nexus 7 first generation running slow after installing Lollipop

My wife has first generation of Nexus 7 and is upgraded to Lollipop a month ago. It is running very slow and especially when she travelled to overseas. I searched the web and performed the following:
1. clear cache partition
(1) Turn off your device.
(2) Press and hold Power and volume down buttons simultaneously until you see a large arrow at the top of your screen.
(3) Press the Volume Down button twice to highlight Recovery mode.
(4) Press the Power button to start Recovery mode. You’ll see an image of an Android robot with a red exclamation mark and the words “No command.”
(5) While holding down the Power button, press the Volume Up button.
(6) Press the volume down button to scroll to “wipe cache partition” then press the Power button to select it.
(7) When the cache is cleared, press the Power button on “reboot system now.”
2. Turn off animation and set background process limit
(1) Settings > About tablet > tap on the “Build number” entry seven times, which will unlock “Developer Options”.
(2) Settings > Developer options > Set WINDOW ANIMATION SCALE, TRANSITION ANIMATION SCALE and ANIMATOR DURATION SCALE all to ANIMATION OFF
(3) Settings > Developer Options > Background process limit > at most 3 processes

After I rebooted Nexus 7, I still felt slow but after a while the responsiveness is acceptable so I assumed it took a while to rebuilt its cache. Therefore, I didn’t go back to Android 4.4 Kit Kat by Settings>Backup and Reset>Factory Data Reset.


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How to copy photos from WeChat to PC

You could use “File Transfer” in WeChat to transfer images to PC. However, Nexus 7 don’t have back camera and can not scan QR code so I can’t find a way to enable and use Web WeChat in a computer to take advantage of “File Transfer” in WeChat.

Here are steps to copy photos received in WeChat from Nexus 7 to my computer.
1. Connect Nexus 7 to my computer using a USB cable
2. I could see all photos received in WeChat in the following directory: Computer\Nexus 7\Internal storage\tencent\MicroMsg\14c8af29a70804aa5463b58e499b9a95\image2
3. I drag and drop image2 directory to Pictures: C:\Users\Howard\Pictures\image2
4. It is really annoying to have images in all sub folders under images2 directory. Here is the command to run in Command Prompt to copy all photos into one directory.
for /r “C:\users\howard\pictures\image2” %i in (*.jpg) do copy “%~fi” “C:\users\howard\pictures\LA\%~nxi”


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How to update Asus ZenFone 2 (ZE551ML) to Marshmallow

Asus released manual update to Marshmallow for Asus ZenFone 2 (ZE551ML) last year.  They...
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How to connect Nexus 7 to a keyboard and a mouse

Why do you want to connect Nexus 7 to a keyboard and a mouse?  Make a tablet as a...
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Nexus 7 upgrade

Recently I bought my wife an Asus Memo Pad (ME572C-A1-BK) to replace her Nexus 7 2012....
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Nexus 7 first generation running slow after installing Lollipop

My wife has first generation of Nexus 7 and is upgraded to Lollipop a month ago. It is...
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How to copy photos from WeChat to PC

You could use “File Transfer” in WeChat to transfer images to PC. However,...
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