Seeing this screen probably means your new Fire TV is broken


When I powered on my new 2nd generation Fire TV, the first thing I saw after the Amazon and Fire TV boot logo was the above software update screen. I knew something wasn’t quite right because it couldn’t have downloaded a software update yet since I didn’t have an ethernet cable connected, nor had I enter my wifi password. After a minute, the “update” finished and the regular welcome screen appeared. I synced my remote, selected a language, configured my wifi connection, and then the new Fire TV began checking for software updates, only to end up displaying an error saying it couldn’t update the Fire TV. Nothing I did would move the setup process further along. This Fire TV was a dud.


Before you ask, no, I did not have updates blocked through my router. I cracked open the second Fire TV I ordered, which is a gaming edition, and was able to set it up without any issues. The second Fire TV did not display a software update screen at the very beginning like the first one. The image above shows the three software update screens I’ve seen. The leftmost version with the words “This update will finish soon” is the one that appeared on the first broken Fire TV. The center one is the one that appeared on the second gaming edition Fire TV after it found a software update. The rightmost version is the one which appeared when the second Fire TV rebooted while installing the software update it found.

I haven’t messed with the first Fire TV much or contacted Amazon support yet, because I’m eager to answer your questions. I’m sure Amazon will be more than happy to ship me a replacement if my first new Fire TV is in fact irreparable, once I get around to contacting them. Just know that if you’re shiny new Fire TV tries to “update” right off the bat, you’re in for a bad time. Let me know in the comments if your new Fire TV has the same issue.


10/6/2015 2:00pm Last night I was contacted by someone at Amazon who saw this post. They asked for the faulty 2nd-gen Fire TV’s serial number so that someone on Amazon’s engineering team could look into the issue. Moments ago I was told to reboot the faulty Fire TV and try completing the initial setup again. Sure enough, I was able to get past the “checking for updates” step and now have a fully functioning 2nd-gen Fire TV. What’s most interesting is that the fix was done on Amazon’s end without me doing anything different to the faulty Fire TV. I’ve asked for clarification on what was causing the issue in the first place and will post another update if I find out anything.

10/6/2015 2:25pm I’m told by Amazon the issue is rare, but customers who encounter it should be able to contact Amazon customer service and have the issue resolved without having to replace their 2nd-gen Fire TV.

  1. Dustin says:

    No bueno

  2. trojan4evr says:

    Did you order the one that isn’t working from Amazon or from somewhere else?

  3. Christopher Hearn says:

    Do you have the update URLs blocked on your router? Maybe that is causing the issue?

  4. Michael McDonald says:

    Nice that it’s a fire tv. Can always return it.
    I block my updates. My screen will say checking for updates and after about 20 mins. It lets you finish the registration process.

    • trojan4evr says:

      Do you mean blocking updates on this new one released today,… and that it lets you finish registration after 20 min?

  5. LordBusiness247 says:

    I ordered 5, I better not have any duds! looking forward to your review.

    • trojan4evr says:

      Did u order them from Amazon? If not for personal use, I hope you chose the gift option at checkout which does not register them to your amazon account.

  6. Ken says:

    Received my new firetv and no issues getting the update. I have a 4k tv but I cannot get youtube to play in 4k? Prime 4k works fine? Anybody have this issue?

  7. Mitch says:

    What software version is on the good one?

  8. uradox says:

    Ugh I hope I don’t have any problems with mine. Pain in the ass as I had to go through a freight forwarder to get it to Australia.

  9. MrG says:

    So I actually got that same message “Your update will finish soon” and it did!

    So don’t panic if you see that message, with mine it just took a few minutes showing that screen then it finished the process and it works fine for me. Having to wait a really long time tho for my apps to load but I suspect it’s due to server load with so many FireTVs being booted.

    • MrG says:

      The wait for my apps we’ve already had with our other 1st Gen FireTVs took too long so I just rebooted and they appeared in like a few seconds on the 2nd Gen.

    • AFTVnews says:

      It’s not that it won’t finish updating. It does finish. It’s that it began updating upon initial boot, before it had an internet connection. It does this every single time it boots. First it shows the white amazon logo, then it shows the colorful Fire TV logo, then it shows the “bad” update screen”, and then it gets to the screen where it searches for a remote. Then later when it looks for an update after establishing a network connection, it always fails and stops at the “Unable to check for an update” screen.

      The other Fire TV did not do that. It went as you’d expect, which was: Amazon logo, Fire TV logo, Remote search, language, network connection, update search, find update, install update (showing the two “good” screens back-to-back), then completing the initial setup.

      • MrG says:

        Understood. I should also say that I connected mine via a wired connection because I read this post first before I connected mine. And I guess my point was that the initial trying to update upon initial boot and seeing that first screen is not necessarily a kiss of death.

        But it does suck that you got one when you are our main source of info. If anyone deserves 100% working boxes it’s you.

    • Ken says:

      My fire tv2 also had the updating screen. I had to wait for a while but eventually it finished and worked as well.

    • Jim says:

      I had the same experience with mine. I had it plugged into Ethernet before I even turned it on. It went through the update just fine. Got KODI installed through the USB port and ES Explorer with no problems. Now just waiting for an update to the Fire Starter. The difference in the speed is very noticeable to me. Love it so far.

  10. Elcanto73 says:

    Im just having an issue with firestarter.

  11. chris says:

    Every time I update my 1st Gen fire TV, I get the bad screen after the update is completed and reboots. Sometimes it takes 10+ minutes for it to stop and fully boot, but it always boots after ten or so minutes at the most. If i unplug it when its on that screen it goes right back to that screen when i plug it back in, and i just have to wait till its done doing whatever its doing. It has done it since I first updated after buying.

  12. fassfa says:

    So the efuse was set off at the factory and then shipped…. heh

  13. David says:

    I had the same bad screen on my initial setup. Had updates blocked, unblocked them, no joy. Rebooted a couple of times, (unplug) and it’s updating now.
    Tried the fire tv stick, disconnect Internet once connection successful trick and it didn’t work. Just took the update.

  14. Matt says:

    Glad I canceled my pre-order for 2nd gen fire TV.
    Bought a shield TV instead , it’s awesome.

  15. Kevy Kev says:

    My new FireTv 2 (Gaming Edition)
    Almost immediately began an update. I was wired to a network.
    The update took around a minute or two and things continued on as they should. Games and apps installed properly and no visible issues.
    Did I miss something? Is there something going on in the settings that I don’t know about causing trouble?
    Or if it works, does it work and all is well?
    Thanks again for all the energy and info you pump into this site. You’re just awesome.

    I would also like to add.
    I was very unaware that the gaming edition does not come with a standard remote but only the game controller.
    Pretty bummed when I found that out but luckily when the first GEN remote was on sale for $19.99 I got it then.
    I know it’s not the new Wi-Fi version but it’s better than using the gaming controller every time I want to control it.

  16. Tony says:

    I wonder if anyone can help I purchased a new fire TV I installed Kodi and every time I log into Kodi and every time I try to install any addon The system would kick me back to launch application every time I change from one version of Kodi to another and same results?

  17. Grinder says:

    I had exactly this when I rolled back the Dev Preview. Rebooted and waited, and it all came good.

    I’ve found a few times not to give up, but to leave it thinking for a good twenty minutes.

    Make sure you have the Lan cable plugged in.

  18. Byrd says:

    Mine had the same problem and the remote had issues like it had bad batteries. I pushed the big button repeatedly on the remote and it did a hard reboot and then loaded properly. Also the entire time it looked like your “Bad” screen the white light on the front pulsed.

    Now it seems to be working fine and also the remote.

  19. Tech-Ed says:

    I just bought the 2nd gen fireTV, i already own the 1st and a stick.
    I too noticed the update screen on powering on which was only the start of my problems…The remote worked intermittently, the box would only connect via 2.4ghz,it then updated and restarted. after the reboot i couldn’t connect via 2.4ghz or 5.0ghz.I couldnt even connect via ethernet!! I logged into my Asus router to see what was going on and saw the box would connect then disconnect instantly over and over again. Needless to say it went back to the store for a full refund. Thinking i might hold off for a while.

  20. Ted says:

    Yep – got the same problem. Gaming FireTV pre-ordered from Amazon, plugged it in and waited, and waited, and waited… I couldn’t figure out how to call Amazon until I decided simply to return it, then I HAD to call them. Did the phone tree and waited again. Then spoke with a rep who suggested I do the normal things before she gave up and said she’d call me back at some point. I asked if I could just return it and get another one to which the answer was no. Not impressed Amazon!

  21. Martin says:

    Same problem here. Update doesn’t go through. Amazon shipped me a replacement.

  22. Bill says:

    I saw both updates and thought it curious as well. However, my FireTV did update fully and then work properly as far as I can tell so far.

    The only curious thing I’ve seen so far is searching for the Hulu app in recommended or apps or by voice searching for “Hulu” “Hulu Plus” or “Hulu App” did not find the app listed so I could install it.

    I was able to find a TV show on Prime which had Hulu listed under other ways to watch. I was then able to download the app that way.

  23. Jim Herlihy says:

    I hooked up my AFTV to a wired network before turning it on. I noted the first update and it appeared to work OK. I was surprised that shortly after it went though another update, which also appeared to work OK.

  24. Dave says:

    A couple of observations about the FTV2/Fire OS5 that I haven’t seen mentioned.

    Launching SPMC or KODI is once again a nuisance. Firestarter currently doesn’t work. Llama installs and I can change the icon on the dummy app (IkonoTV or whatever), but it won’t run the dummy app any more. I was able to get KODI to launch automatically on startup by telling Llama to launch it when the FTV connects to my network, but have yet to find a way to successfully launch the app manually without digging into the Applications folder. This is exacerbated by another issue, which occurs on the FTV 1 as well, but wasn’t a problem because of the alternative launchers available. I use the Harmony Smart Control, which I love, but it insists on going Home every time the Watch FireTV activity is started. This means that if I turn my TV off or switch to another input, I now have to dig into the applications folder to launch KODI. There seems to be no way to edit that event out of the startup activity. Yuck.

    Another new issue is that if I don’t have either the factory game controller or the factory remote active, I get a message complaining that there is no remote or game controller found each time I launch almost any app.

    All in all, I’m not really all that enamored with the new box. Most of these problems probably will disappear once there are updates, but meanwhile I’m going back to the FTV 1.

  25. kinseki says:

    After updating with the GOOD screen saying “…in 10 minutes”, my version is Fire OS (531006320). I blocked on the router in advanced. Hope this is good for future root.

    • kinseki says:

      I also went to “Check for System Update”, it says Installed Date as September 29, 2015. I bought today October 10, 2015 :)

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