Amazon Kindle Paperwhite (5th Generation) Model EY21 (Won’t charge or Deregister Solved)

This blog post about an Amazon Kindle Paperwhite (5th Generation) model EY21, tells you about how I managed to solve the problems of the Kindle not charging and it wouldn’t deregister.

Kindle Paperwhite 5th generation

Warning: I’m not suggesting you do what I did and if you follow any instructions, you do so at your own risk.

I purchased the Amazon Kindle Paperwhite ebook reader for £4 GBP at a car boot sale. I think it was originally made in 2012. It was sitting unprotected in a plastic box with lots of other items, had a brown mark and didn’t turn on. As they say in the UK, I decided it was worth a ‘punt’.

I gave it a clean and the brown mark, whatever it was, wiped off! I discovered along the way, the previous owner had sadly died four months previously (in 2019) and possibly hadn’t used the device since 2017.

After working through the two problems, I’ve given the ebook reader to my fiancée. This device on eBay has buy it now options from roughly £36 to £70 GBP. So for £4 and a bit of time and effort, a great saving!

Kindle Paperwhite won’t charge via USB
The Kindle I purchased second-hand didn’t come with a USB cable. The first three I tried didn’t show an orange light, but when I applied pressure the fourth did. I decided to gently clean the USB port connections, by blowing heavily on it and then using a bit of plastic. This didn’t have the desired affect! Thankfully trying a fifth cable, it charges perfectly.

The Kindle won’t deregister
After charging the Kindle we wanted to register it to my fiancée’s Amazon account. When I tried to deregister the device, the following error appeared:

“Unable to Connect. There was an error whilst deregistering your device. Please try again later.”

Kindle Unable to Connect error message

The next step was to try and update the Kindle’s firmware and try again. I couldn’t update the Paperwhite’s firmware via a wireless connection.

How to update a Kindle Paperwhite (5th Generation) firmware in 2019

Warning: Please make sure you’ve fully charged the Kindle before proceeding. Do not interrupt the device during the firmware update. The four steps mentioned below will likely deregistered a Kindle from an account, and you follow the instructions at your own risk.

  1. Download the firmware file from here.
  2. Move the firmware file to the device using a USB cable connected between the device and a PC.Kindle Paperwhite 5th gen firmware update file
  3. On the Kindle press the menu button and then select ‘Settings’.
  4. Again press the menu button, but this time. Select ‘Restart’.Restart Kindle
  5. During the firmware, please don’t interrupt the Kindle otherwise you could damage it.Kindle Software Update

Upon restart, the Kindle’s firmware was updated from version to I didn’t have to try and deregister it again, as it now was showing as unregistered.

Kindle Unregistered

I then selected ‘Reset Device’ and agreed to reset the device as we didn’t want the previous owners content on the device.

Kindle Reset Device

Obviously spending £4 GBP on a device that won’t turn on and is sitting unprotected in a box at a car boot sale is a huge risk. Fortunately the ‘punt’ was a good decision.

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