Fingerprint Scanner Gradually Dying
    Question posted December 6, 2011 by jag304Telegraph, last edited December 22, 2011 
    961 Views, 12 Comments
    Question Title:
    Fingerprint Scanner Gradually Dying

    Somewhat similar to some fingerprint scanner issues seen in:

    which still seem to have no answers.

    I have a 4G Atrix that was running 2.2.2 for a long time and everything was great. I use the fingerprint scanner to unlock and never had any problems.

    After a few months, the fingerprint scanner took a few swipes to even register. I didn't install any crazy resource hog apps. I changed nothing.

    Time went on and the scanner got worse. I swipe and swipe but don't even get a 'bad swipe' error message sometimes. I end up logging in with my password often.

    Reboot phone. No Change.

    Remove battery and reboot phone. No Change.

    Upgraded to 2.3.4 in hopes it would fix the problem. No change.

    Cleaned sensor with rubbing alcohol. No Change.

    Factory reset after upgrade to 2.3.4 is where I am now. The problem is just as intermittent as before. Sometimes it works, sometimes I can saw my fingers back and forth across the sensor and it doesn't even yell at me for a bad reading. It just asks me to swipe.

    If anyone has any thoughts, they would be greatly appreciated. I am at a loss at this point.

    The phone is fairly barebones at this point since the reset, and I have uninstalled as much bloatware as I can.

    Just want easy access to my phone again!




    • mathcaou11

      I'm in the same boat as you. Won't even register a swipe anymore.

    • ZevHadash

      yeah, but it isn't something Moto will even comment on.  Waiting my my new iPhone because of this an many other issues they won't even try to fix.

    • ebulldog1

      My issue is the same as all of you but I think, at least with my phone, that its a hardware issue. If I turn the screen off and then press the area just below the scanner kind of hard and then turn the screen back on SOMETIMES the scanner will work. I have done all the same BS things that I have read on all the other sites, turn off and on, clean scanner, take out battery. I think its just a part of the phone that over a period of time wears out due to how some people run there finger over the scanner. At this point I just live with putting in the pin but it sucks not having the scanner working, and NO way am I even going to aggravate myself in trying to deal with the idiots at AT&T over this issue either.

    • marcschlenker

      I've found that cold temperatures adversely affect the reader and if the phone is in a holster and its cold outside it helps to hold your finger against the reader of 15 sec to warm it up before swiping. Also some people have said cleaning the reader with alcohol and a Q-tip helps. And if all else fails try resetting the finger-print reader from the settings.

    • Itsallgood

      Just another reminder, we have to make sure that our hands/fingers are clean too. You wouldn't believe the kind of stuff we pickup.

    • ebulldog1

      I live in nice sunny So. florida so cold doesnt exsist here!!!!.

      And like I said I have read all the post's about cleaning the reader and so forth, its all BS. It may make sense in some cases if it does in fact get gummed up

      The reader worked fine with NO issues for 6-8 months and then all of a sudden it doesnt. If Motorola

      left if off the Atrix 2 then that would be a good indication that there is something more than a software


    • jag304

      As said in the original post, I meticulously cleaned the sensor with no change. And I'm not exactly using this thing in my fridge. I'm at work right now. 72 degrees in my office. Barely works.

      It may seem minor, but the bottom line is the product does not perform as intended. At this point I'm ready to go to the store, air my grievances and maybe get a new one.  If this can't be solved, they are only going to lose money and customers. Their loss.

    • ebulldog1

      Its a hardware issue I am sure. GOOD LUCK in dealing with the stooges at your local ATT store or for that matter customer service. If you are out of your 30 day return window you will more than likely just end up aggravated. I have just learned to deal with the pin code. I try the reader here and there and if it works I get a little smile! I just pray that being as the reader and the power button are one in the same that the button just one day decides to crap out on me!!!

    • mathcaou11

      I'd suggest phoning Motorola, they were able to take mine in to fix/repair it.

    • marcschlenker

      I feel your pain, my fist Atrix developed an unresponsive touch screen area after a few months and the refurb they (ATT) sent has the reader not centered in the power button bezel so I suspect that it had been a turn-in for a finger print reader problem. Than said it does work, only not very well when its (the phone) really cold (I live in the Mojave Desert and it gets down into the 20's during the winter). And ebulldog1 you are right on about the Atrix2, wasn't worth the trouble putting the reader on for the little gain in sales.

    • ZevHadash

      I live in South Florida too.  I have noticed that during humidity spikes, right after a rain, it can be worse.  Other times it just won't initialize.

    • dezzo

      At first, my fingerprint scanner worked pretty well.

      Then, it started to complain about some swipes not being good enough.

      Next, it started to whine at me about every single swipe not being recognized.

      Finally, it stopped working entirely, and swiping has no effect whatsoever.

      So, for the last couple of months I've not been able to use the fingerprint scanner at all.

      I've just accepted that it's dead and I may as well forget about the phone having that function.

      Now, perhaps it will start to work again on the next factory reset, but I'm not holding my breath, and I won't do another reset until I am forced to for other reasons.

      I even tried cleaning it with a q-tip and some isopropyl alcohol, but it had no effect.

      This will more than likely be my last Motorola product.  Mostly due to the poor support from Motorola when it comes to fixing bugs and releasing updates.  Also, extremely poor tech support staff.   Motorola has also proven repeatedly that they have no understanding at all of how to treat customers well, and retain them.

      If the Atrix doesn't recieve Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, and if the well documented bugs don't get corrected in an update in the next several months, this will be my last experience with Motorola products of any type.