Although I love Verizon’s super-fast LTE service, I’ve had no end of trouble with my Novatel 4510L MiFi device. On a whim, while traveling, I discovered a new software update that promise to fix many of the vexing issues I’ve had. But it caused one massive issue: the thing stopped working entirely. Happily, I found a solution online and I’m now back up and running.
My Novatel 4510 L MiFi was pick of the litter a few months ago, but now the bloom is off the rose. I’ve had many issues with it, including a refusal to connect to Wi-Fi devices in a vexing issue where it will not stay powered on while plugged in. Early on, I also had issues switching between CDMA and LTE but these were resolved in a previous firmware update.
While traveling in San Diego, I decided to have a look at the Verizon webpage to see if the new firmware version had been released in the last few months. Low and behold, a document described why and how to update to the newest version, 2.23. Happily, there was even a Mac version of the firmware updater (though this would be the group to all my trouble last night).
I followed the instructions in Verizon’s PDF file, apparently successfully updating the MiFi. Everything looked great until I powered the device back on and attempted to connect to the Internet. Although the status on the nifty e-paper screen showed normal, the green LTE LED refused to flash. The MiFi simply would not connect to Verizon’s network.
In a fit of whimsy, I decided to contact Verizon customer service about the issue. Although no mobile providers tech-support line has ever been able to help me with anything, the Verizon tech was surprisingly knowledgeable and friendly. But of course she was totally unable to diagnose or fix the problem, simply offering to mail a replacement device to my home.
That’s when I hit the Internet, and found the solution right there on Verizon’s own tech support forum. Apparently, the Mac updater always installs firmware version 2.23 incorrectly, “bricking” every device it comes in contact with. That’s some awesome software quality right there, I tell you.
The solution is to use an executable in the Windows software updater to reenable the modem and reflash the software. I followed the instructions of “JeffR” out of desperation, and amazingly enough everything worked. I now have a functional MiFi as well as the replacement in the mail. I now have to decide whether I should keep my original device (which has been flaky) or send it back and keep the replacement. But at least I can get online while I am in San Diego.