Correct Factory Reset Procedure?

Aug 24, 2015
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I performed a factory reset a couple of times now and I wanted to reach out to those of you that have gone thru this process to compare experiences. First off, the official procedure in my opinion is lacking as it leaves you to guess when something is wrong. The official docs say that the lights under the Solo's arms will freeze and stop changing colors when the reset is done. Could there ever be a situation where the user initiates the reset correctly but the reset actually fails for some reason and could that result in a LED's showing a specific color to indicate a problem? The first time I tried to perform a reset, Solo landed on all lights being green which I believe I read somewhere was bad so I forced a reboot of the Solo by power cycling it. The gimbal motor seemed to be under stress too and the camera was pointing down so I second guessed the official procedure and powered off the Solo. In hindsight, if the reset was actually done then I suppose there's no harm done but again it does make you wonder what a reboot at that stage would cause. This should be addressed in the docs..

Once the Solo reset is done, its easy to wonder if you should restart Solo or not. The docs do not say to do this but I think it should be specified in the procedure so we're not guessing.

I actually started with the controller on my last successful attempt at a factory reset. Support gave me a condensed procedure which had the step for resetting the controller listed first. This is probably the better way since it takes one's mind off of Solo and its colors or lack of colors since you start with the controller and while its doing its thing, you move onto Solo and initiate the reset process on it. Then you can go back to the controller and watch the progress and by that time Solo should have beeped and the colors under the arms should be stopped on a random color.

Once the controller was done I looked over at Solo and its lights were no longer cycling so I moved onto the pairing part. I hit the pair button under solo and waited for the controller to see a new Solo and then I held down the A and B buttons as requested on the display until they were paired. Once that was done I connected to Solo wifi, opened the app, applied the latest update and waited for the Controller and Solo to do their thing and just followed along with what the app tells you to do.

I'm thinking of creating a video tutorial on this at some point but wanted to get feedback from those of you that have a lot of experience with performing the reset so I can address common pitfalls.

The only real problems with this process that I've noted are the following:

* The docs need to be updated so that the troubleshooting aspects of the procedure is in a separate section and not part of steps 1, 2, 3, etc. This way it's easier to follow.

* Need more emphasis placed on the LED colors during the Solo reset. The bit about the colors freezing and not necessarily landing on a specific color at the completion of the reset should be part of the main procedure steps and not a final paragraph at the bottom of the page.

* The docs need to be clear on when and if a reboot should be performed by the user of either the Solo or the controller. For example, should you proceed with the pairing step without power cycling Solo once it has completed its reset? What are the implications of a restart of Solo after the reset or in the middle of the reset for that matter?

* The docs need to be clear on the importance or unimportance of the sequence in which the factory reset is performed. (Controller first, Solo first, doesn't matter, etc? )

* A stronger emphasis should be placed on the fact that the controller will reboot and the screen will go dark long enough to cause the user to second guess what's happening and attempt to power it on themselves.

* Clearly define what in the world this statement on the top of the procedure page is supposed to mean: "A premature Factory Reset can cause software compatibility issues"

In closing, some might argue that the above might be the reason why the customer is advised to contact support. However, I've found that support responses aren't always timely unless you call or catch them via web chat and you might need to resolve the problem yourself after hours. I think a factory reset should be a safe option and should be easily initiated by the majority of users as long as the docs are super clear.
May 6, 2015
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A factory reset should be the "last resort".
There is a golden rule: don't touch it unless a severe problem forces you to do it.

3DR support is currently advising this to people almost as a standard procedure for any kind of problem. Likely because their support staff doesn't know how to or doesn't have the time to track down some individual users problems.

This is a huge issue in my view. From my experience, 99% of all such problems can be resolved w/o doing a factory reset.

It's like an restore procedure on your PC, if you interrupt the process before it's completed you can easily create an inconsistent state and your Solo is bricked.

So yes, "a premature Factory Reset can cause software compatibility issues"

If you have to do it, take greatest care.

In case it screwed up, and Solo doesn't respond at all anymore, you can put a new image on the SD cards in Solo and Controller. The procedure is described by Kevin Finnisterre in the Solo Hacks group on Facebook. Note this is no more beginners stuff but may prevent you of sending back your Solo to 3DR.
Aug 24, 2015
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Phoenix, Az
I agree it's confusing. Looks like it was written by somebody who is very familiar with the procedure and Solo and thus, some information was left out. Probably because the author knew what to do but didn't get all the details on paper. Sometimes it's hard to have the viewpoint of someone new to Solo because after a while you can't remember what you didn't know.:confused:
Jul 4, 2016
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When I got my Solo I did all the updates, changed the Solo name and the password - and then 2 days later when I picked it up again, promptly forgot my password. Read the manual (yes, I do that for all my gear) and it said (to paraphrase...) do NOT do a full factory reset under penalty of death - or at least contact CS before ever getting the crazy idea to do a reset.

So it was Saturday afternoon and chat was closed until Monday I think (originally thought they were open on weekends). At any rate, after submitting a ticket and then finally chatting, CS told me that the only way to reset the PW was a full Solo reset, and to go ahead and do it. Wasted more than an entire day for 3dr to tell me to do something I could have done immediately, on my own, and then gotten back up in the air.

Never (knock on wood) had any particular kinds of problems (except slowish GPS) before or since the reset. Everything works as advertised! My good fortune could, maybe, perhaps... have something to do with actually reading the entire manual before ever touching the Solo and my general ability to read and understand the written word. Dunno...

One thing I always do is shut down a Windows PC with Shutdown - though I've seen plenty of people simply disconnect power or turn them off. Same idea for Solo and any other digital device requiring FW or SW upgrades - NOTHING gets touched in the middle of those upgrades until I am darn certain that the device is finished beeping, flashing, and turning itself off and on a few times. That wait is time well-spent if you consider the mess you may have from a partial and interrupted FW (or SW) upgrade.

ETA: BTW, I agree the manual is severely lacking in detail.
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