MiFi Blue Light of Death

May 9, 2011Posted by csandy


Novatel MiFi 4510L with blue light of death error

Blue Light Meaning Can’t Be Found In Manual

If you are unfortunate enough to encounter this error, here’s a little insight.  The documentation for the Verizon Novatel 4510L MiFi 4G Hotspot makes no mention of what I’m calling the Blue Light of Death.  You will find mention of a red LED, yellow, green, purple, white, and various flashing combinations of the above – but not one sentence about a blue light!

Well here’s the deal – a blue light is bad.  Really bad.  The first 4G MiFi I picked up from the Verizon store was DOA.  I should have been a a little more wary when the sales agent who activated my 4510L said, “a blue light?  That’s strange.  I wonder what that means.  I don’t see it in the manual.”  After taking is home, here’s what I discovered:

  1. The hotspot would not connect to a 4G network at all.  Ever.
  2. 3G would work.  Sort of.  The longest uptime I would get was about 10 minutes
  3. The blue light indicates the system has crashed
  4. You can’t turn the device off if the Blue Light of Death appears.  Your only recourse is to remove the battery.
  5. No manner of resetting will fix the device.
  6. Verizon had no clue what the blue light meant and the solution is not in their CSR database.
  7. This is the first blog about this matter and hopefully will save you some frustration by cutting short your search for the meaning of this undocumented “feature”.

So if you see a blue light when you’re still in the Verizon store or when you get it from the courier – immediately refuse it and send it back.  It’s no good.

Now for the good news.  This device, when you have a working one, is awesome!  I’ve been conducting various speed tests around Washington, DC and the speeds while connected to the 4G network are incredible.  The device even works well when moving, though I did once experience signal loss when crossing a bridge between counties in a DC suburb.

I am also impressed with the WiFi side of the device.  It puts out a very strong signal that rivals that of my Airport Extreme Base station and my Verizon Actiontec wireless router.  The battery life is also very good.  For a device that is smaller than a cell phone, I’m surprised it can send and receive a 4G LTE signal while simultaneously sending and receiving a WiFi signal for several hours without having to recharge.  Incredible.

The one major drawback is the USB implementation.  You can’t tether the device to your laptop and use it like a USB cellular device.  You also can’t use the included USB cable to charge the device.  Hopefully a firmware update will make that feature available in the future.

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3 responses to “MiFi Blue Light of Death”

  1. Renea says:

    It only happens once in a blue moon.

  2. crystal says:

    Thank you do much dear for taking your time to post this info. I have been working on my laptop for the past week trying to figure out what the hell was going on. My system would act as if it were going to connect then that blue light would turn on and it would not display the page. I’m really ticked! I called and could get no one who seemed to be able to answer any questions or suggestions as to what maybe wrong and the sad news is i only got to use the thing two days after purchasing it before thishappened. I sure hope they give me a full refund because now I’m very reluctant to get another one from this carrier…I mean seriously they didn’t know or they didn’t want to tell the truth.

  3. DeeDee says:

    “Blue Light of Death” just happened to me today, and Jetpack and Verizon guides had no clue or help on this. Thanks for the very helpful info.

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