Help! My Galaxy Note Won't Charge!!!

This evening I decided to take a short nap before dinner, and since the Galaxy Note battery was low, I slid it into the cradle. When I got up I noticed that the Galaxy Note battery level was LOWER than before! I checked the charger with my Nexus One, and it was providing power properly ... Uh oh ... this is not good.

I tried the Galaxy Note with a few other chargers and also a USB cable connected to my PC, and it was behaving weirdly -- sometimes it would indicate it was charging, but then even when I pulled the charger cable out, the display would still indicate it was charging. And all this while, the battery level was going lower and lower. I tried with my spare battery, and it was the same problem. This looks like a hardware issue ...

I got a panic attack just thinking about having to send it in for warranty claim and go back to my Nexus One for a few days. It is at times like this that you really realise how dependent you are on these gadgets, and also how unprepared you are to lose the data inside it.

I spent an hour googling "galaxy note won't charge" and found a few reports, and also similar reports for the Galaxy Nexus. There were horror stories of Samsung claiming "water damage" to the USB port and refusing warranty. Some suggested cleaning the usb port, and also bending the little tab inside it (it may be to close to the edges and getting a short circuit). The ideal tool someone suggested was a shaved down matchstick -- who has matches in the house these days?

If indeed there was some physical dirt somewhere in the usb port causing the short, I just needed something to dislodge it. It's kind of narrow in there so randomly poking around might make things worse. Then I had a crazy idea ... whenever you need a tool, a power tool is always more fun. I took a fresh brush head for my Braun power toothbrush, and stuck the bristles into the usb port and gave it a good whirr for about 10 seconds or so.

Plugged the phone into the wall charger ... and it powers up ok, and the battery is now charging properly! It's currently at 20% ... and if I unplug the cable, it immediately indicates "discharging" and goes back to charging again when I plug in the cable. Back to expected behaviour.

Hopefully ... it stays like that.
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