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Cellular Phones/samsung SGH-A177 PHONE LOCK



We have a thrift store where I live and I've volunteered to do what I can to ready donated cell phones for sale.  I'm quickly discovering how little I know!

My current problem is a Samsung SGH-A177 (for ATT.  Unlike other Samsung cellphones, this one will do NOTHING without a sim inserted.  Well, not much more than say INSERT SIM.  I bave some old ATT chips, a cojple don't work (POP UP MESSAGE READS:   SIM CRASHED)  and it appears a couple do, althojgn this is where I am stuck. And an odd thing about it is on ly one of the sims that appears to be working is an att cbip; the otrher is a different somewhat obscure service provider.  Would thjs be a hint that the phone might be unlocked?

With either of the two "working" sims inserted, there is a pop up message that reads, 'PHONE LOCK" and on the left hand side "OK" and the right hand side "SOS".   I pujt the cursor in the field .  The only keystrokes that register are numerals and thehy appear on the screen as * (asterisk).  If I enter less than 4 numerals I get a messatge saying "Password too short" and entering four it reads, "wrong password".  

Can this be fixed, that is the phone reset or restored to a time prior to someone creating a LOCK PHONE password?   Is there a default password  (like routers and modems have?)

Thanks for any info you think might help.

So basically, you need to start with an active AT&T SIM card, meaning that you have to have current service with AT&T to use the phone. Once you have that active service and you insert the SIM card, you can then just type in a password about 10 times and it should eventually tell you that it is going to erase everything and reset. If this doesn't work, you can take the phone to AT&T and ask them to reset it, which they can do for you. Then you will be able to put in your own password to unlock the device. I hope this helps!

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I can answer questions on cellular phones, the physical device, the network, contracts, billing, ordering, porting and what to look for when purchasing cell phones. I am located in the United States. I am an expert on BlackBerrys, Treos, HTC devices and iPhones as well as cellphones and aircards. I have over 15 years of experience in both the wireless and wireline world with the carriers. I have a lot of knowledge regarding the wireless providers - their services, prices and policies, both GSM AT&T and T-Mobile) and CDMA (Verizon, Sprint/Nextel). I am very familiar with the individual devices and their specifications. I can also answer questions regarding BlackBerrys, iPhones and other PDAs, both Palm-based and Windows-based. I can troubleshoot most any problem someone is having with their cellular device or with the provider.


Over 20 years in the Telecom industry working for the carriers with individuals, small business, medium business and large corporations(Fortune 500). Also worked as a professor in Maryland for 10 years teaching telecommunications.

I belong to several organizations

Master's in Telecommunications

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Received several awards for papers that I have published over the years

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