While Amazon hasn’t explicitly said anything about why some of its Fire HD tablets have been spontaneously factory resetting themselves, eBook Evangelist notices it has posted a message advising users how to check their device’s registration status.
If you’re having trouble finding your photos, apps, or other content on your Kindle Fire HD 8.9”, please check your current registration status by swiping down from the top of the screen, selecting More, and then selecting My Account. If your device is not registered, tap the Register button and then enter your Amazon account information. After you register your device, you may need to download your content again. To learn more, go to http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=201730090.
The link leads to “Sync Across Fire & Kindle Devices and Apps page,” which seems to have to more do with syncing information via Whispersync than doing an actual device backup. That’s nice for people who need to know how to re-register, but it’s not going to do a lot to help the folks who’ve lost content.
In our previous article on the issue, I had said that Amazon didn’t offer a way to back up devices to the cloud the way Google did. However, it turns out that’s not correct. The Digital Reader notes that there is, in fact, a way to back up your Fire device to the cloud, at least on more recent versions of FireOS. If your Fire has the option available, you will find it in the “Device Options” –> “Backup & Restore” menu under the Fire’s “Settings” application. (Like the traditional Android “Settings” app, it’s shaped like a gear.)
The menu screen says it backs up “device settings, network settings, bookmarks, installed apps, and more to the Cloud.” It’s not clear whether this includes user-created documents or downloaded content like magazines and e-books, though I would hope that it does. The option seems to be enabled by default on the newest versions of the Fire, but it’s possible that older versions that upgraded to the new OS might not have switched it on automatically.
It’s probably too late for people who got clobbered by this firmware update, but it might be worth switching it on now, if it isn’t already, to protect against a similar incident in the future.