HUDL bricked after factory reset and how to fix it

Tesco HUDL
Posted by  on February 17, 2021

I did a factory reset on my Tesco HUDL

It turns out that was a mistake. The HUDL is getting on a bit now and while it may not be able to run the most recent apps it still can be used for some basic functions.

Tesco HUDL

I blew the dust from my old HUDL tablet with the intention of installing PlayZX and using it as an input source for my Sinclair ZX Spectrum. PlayZX is an Android app that connects to 1000s of Sinclair Spectrum games. The app plays the audio of the cassette as if it were loading games from a cassette deck but digitally and, therefore, no chewed tapes.

I decided to do a factory reset to start fresh with just PlayZX. That’s where things went horribly wrong.

I powered the tablet back on and connected to my WiFi network but it presented an error message about not being connected to the internet. I then clicked ‘Try again’ and the WiFi disconnected. My first thought was to try a different WiFi network but the same thing happened there. I was unable to progress any further through the setup.

After a bit of network investigation I figured out the HUDL was trying to connect to https://device.mobile.tesco.com. My first thought was that the domain no longer existed so I checked from my PC. Now the problem became clear. Tesco had let the SSL certificate expire on the 26th June 2020. At least it gave me an idea what to do next, I needed to change the date on the HUDL to a date in the range that the certificate was valid.

The fix

I spent a bit of time messing about trying to launch settings and, with the help of the internet, I found a way via Google Keyboard Settings. For anyone that has an old HUDL they may just want to use for some reason here’s how to get it working…

  1. Power up the HUDL until you get to choose a WiFi network. Tap ‘Start’ but DO NOT connect to a network yet
  2. Tap ‘Other network…’
  3. Hold down the microphone key and tap ‘Google Keyboard Settings’
  4. Scroll down to the bottom and tap ‘About Google Keyboard’
  5. Tap ‘Open-source licences’
  6. Select any part of the text and do a web search
  7. Start typing ‘settings’ into the search bar and tap on the Settings app icon when it appears
  8. Scroll down and tap ‘Date & Time’
  9. Deselect ‘Automatic date & time’
  10. Set the date to anywhere between 27 June 2019 and 26 June 2020
  11. Hold down the power button, tap ‘Power off’ and then ‘OK’
  12. Power the HUDL back on
  13. Tap ‘Start’
  14. Now connect to a network
  15. Go through Setup but skip any setting up of accounts (you won’t be able to connect to anything but https://device.mobile.tesco.com right now)
  16. Go back into Settings and reset the date to the current date/automatic.
  17. Setup any accounts via the Settings app.

…and you’re done.

You should now have a working HUDL once again, just don’t do any factory resets because I don’t know how long Tesco will keep that domain live.

Potentially this should also work for the HUDL2 although the route to change the date and time might be a little different.