How to register a Kindle DX in 2018

I recently repaired a Kindle DX for a friend. As part of that, I reset it to factory defaults. When I went to register it so it would connect to his Amazon Account, I received the following error:

Your Kindle is unable to connect at this time. Please try again later. If the problem persists, please restart your Kindle from the menu in Settings and try again.

I confirmed the Kindle was running the latest software. Some chatter on the Internet suggested Amazon had disabled (re)registration for older Kindles, but that turned out to be a bug that Amazon had already fixed.

Restarting didn’t fix the problem. Turning wireless on and off didn’t fix the problem. Downloading a free book didn’t fix the problem. Wireless was definitely working — I could browse the Kindle store.

I called Amazon support. They suggested changing the password. That didn’t work. The rep tried deregistering the Kindle and then manually re-adding it to my friend’s account. That didn’t work.

He promised a callback three days later (today). The callback never came.

I called Amazon support again. I explained the situation and asked for an update. The support representatives were anti-helpful. They suggested a factory reset (that’s what got me in to this situation in the first place). I asked for a manager. Twice. Neither supervisor was helpful. One offered me 15% off a new Kindle, which I did not want. The reps would not divulge a case number or ticket number. I eventually was told by “Dorothy” that “Murray” was the person I spoke to on Sunday and he’d call me back.

During the 45-minute call, I did some additional research. It turns out that in addition to updating the Kindle to 2.5.8, you need to install the Kindle Services Update. (See Kindle DX Software Updates.) You can do so via USB from your Mac or PC. (See Transfer & Install Software Updates Manually.)

  1. Download the Kindle Services Update
  2. Copy the update-caupdate-05.bin to the root level of your Kindle
  3. Disconnect your Mac from the Kindle
  4. From Home, press the Menu button, and then select Settings.
  5. Press the Menu button, and then select Update Your Kindle.
  6. Select OK.
  7. Wait for your Kindle to update and restart.

Assuming it’s listed in your Amazon account, your Kindle will automatically reregister itself. If not, register the device manually.

So what is this additional update? A new set of security certificates.

Problems

  • The Kindle gives a generic “unable to connect” error. Nothing about the error message indicates it was problem with certificates. The corrective action it suggested (wait, restart) will fail 100% of the time.
  • Instead of releasing a 2.5.9 update, Amazon released this as a supplemental update. This makes it hard for users to know if the update is installed.
  • Amazon support staff are exceptionally poorly trained and didn’t think to check if I had installed the CA Update.

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