Mobile Web/Tech

Kindle Scare: White Screen of Death

Kindle Error Collecting InformationAll I did was swipe to wake-up … and my paperwhite Kindle presented this ominous message in plain Courier-like type:

“Collecting information. May take a min…Will restart when done…Please wait…”

As I waited (more than a minute), I started a search: <Kindle collecting information restart wait>.

I expected an corporate page to be at or near the top. (Or even a sponsored ad.)


Amazon’s forums top the returns. In the category “Kindle Died.” Yipes!

Dear Amazon, I tweeted, this ain’t good.


Scary messages should have a corporate response.

The “best” message in this nine-message thread (the first search result with a variety of terms/phrases) is dated 2011:

If you have your device in a Amazon unlighted leather cover, remove it and call Amazon for a refund. Now try a reboot. After disconnecting from all external power sources, hold power switch for at least 20 secs.(count them) to no more than 30 secs. Your Kindle should respond but will take a couple of mins.

Next hit for “Collecting information. Please wait…” in Google is from late 2012:

After trying everything the tech support advisor asked me to do, he regretfully declared my kindle ‘dead on arrival’.  And told me I’d have to package her up and send her through the valley of the shadows of death, all the way back to the Amazon Returns Center.

But there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Since this is apparently a battery-charging defect issue, Amazon is sending me a replacement kindle, free of charge:)

The third “please wait” hit (another Forum) is also related to a paperwhite Kindle and dated January 2013; Amazon tech support again provides a replacement.

I did a reset and so far the problem has stopped. Amazon told me though that I don’t need to return the defective Kindle. To make things even better, I have a Wifi Paperwhite with Special Offers and they’re sending me a non-SO as a replacement. Love how they handled my case and they definitely have me as a customer for life

At (where experts are paid for answers), earlier this month someone asked the same question. The answer: perform a hard reset (with instructions on how to do that).

A forum participant in Ireland linked to the best Amazon forum thread, one with an official moderator joining the discussion. The thread began in November and is still ongoing in March. Thread title: “collecting information may take a few minutes” — Dear Google, is there a good reason you didn’t return this thread for any of my searches?


Attention, customer service folk

Problems like this one need an official answer. Forum posts are helpful but don’t inspire confidence in your company.


How to perform a hard reset on an Amazon Paperwhite Kindle

  • Press and hold the power button for 30 seconds
  • Release the power button and wait for the unit to reboot. This could take two minutes. You should see the progress bar making progress underneath the Kindle tree.
  • On my paperwhite, there were no other steps. The unit was “on” after reboot.





By Kathy E. Gill

Digital evangelist, speaker, writer, educator. Transplanted Southerner; teach newbies to ride motorcycles! @kegill

2 replies on “Kindle Scare: White Screen of Death”

Thanks for you article. I’m beyond hope apparently. I have the “white screen of death”. 20 second, 30 second, and 15 second button holds aren’t doing anything. I refuse to believe my 2 year old kindle is useless.

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