Being a geek can be hard. Most of the time you’re on the crest of a wave, setting up wireless security for non-techie neighbours, configuring automated backups of your home network, retuning the toaster — I take all of these in my stride. But occasionally you slip up and your technology trousers take a backward step.

Only yesterday I was waxing lyrical about the joys of owning a Three Mi-Fi (aka the Huawei E5830 — catchy). It is indeed a very natty bit of nerdy kit, but of course to uber-geeks like me that’s not enough. Oh no, I’m not content with getting online as easily as pressing a button — I need more. What was laughably called the manual in the box was as thin as a sheet of loo roll. What about all those important unanswered questions like, what is the unit’s powersave policy, how long is the default wireless auto-disable timeout, what is the range of the Wi-Fi signal, what is the Micro SD slot for? I needed to know, so as any geek would I headed to Google for answers. I found plenty of unhelpful nerdy, newbie forum posts, and in desperation I even visited the manufacturer’s website. OMG! This has to be one of the hardest-to-navigate sites I’ve ever seen. Go to and try to find anything about the E5830. I dare you.

Then, just as I was about to give up, I learned (on another forum) that there is a firmware update available that will open up more of the unit’s magic secrets. So obviously I downloaded it and ran the program. All looked fine as the progress bar “Updating Firmware…please wait” crept up to 100%, but then disaster struck: “An unexpected error occurred. The update did not complete successfully”.


Desperately I rebooted the modem. The power light came on but that was about it. The buttons no longer do anything, the PC doesn’t recognise it, and the only way you can turn it off is to remove the battery. Oh, and it doesn’t work either.

Now I have to take it back to the shop tomorrow and play innocent: “I bought this two days ago and it’s never worked.” Wish me luck.


About Chris Neal

Personal Technology Consultant. Tailored services and advice for people who want more from their technology.
This entry was posted in Rants, Technology, What The Hell? and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to My-Fi-Died

  1. Try taking out the battery for a few mins, taking the sim out, then turning it on OR starting it in maintenence mode, plugging it in to USB and running firmware.

    I fiddled about like this and it came back on. Still not managed to update firmware though.

    • Chris says:

      Thanks for the advice, but I already had it exchanged for a new one, so now I’m living with the default Three firmware.

  2. Joshua smith says:

    Hello Josh from the uk here did you find out what the micro sd slot was for in the end ?

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