Solved! Immediate "failed to conect to network" error when attempting to connect to ANY wifi network. Can't tell if hardware or software issue.

Jan 17, 2021
Hello all,

Here are the specs of the trouble phone:

Pixel 3a XL
Android Version 11
Kernel 4.9.232-ga8a0fbc4fb8e-ab696031

So yesterday I dropped my phone a little too hard and the screen stopped working. No damage, just would not turn on. I've replaced the screen myself quite a few times so I thought the internal connection had disconnected. I reset the connection but it didn't seem to fix it, so I took it to a phone repair shop. They did a diagnostic but told me they couldn't work on the phone because some of the graphite coating on the phone interior was scraped off (I accidently did that a preivous time when I was replacing to screen). They told me that the graphite was needed for connections and the motherboard might be broken so they wouldn't test any new screens and I should just recycle the phone?? mind you the phone was still working, vibrating and making noise so that didn't make any sense to me. I thanked them for nothing and left the store.

I tried to reset the screen connection and whatever they did to diagnose my phone actually made the screen work again. I think it was some kind of reset, I noticed all my app preferences were gone and my lock screen changed but I still had all my apps and such. Everything seemed to work except that I could not connect to my WiFi network. Upon entering the password and attempting to connect I am returned with a "failed to connect to network" pop-up immediately. It doesn't seem to be trying to connect at all, it just immediately fails. I can still see all the wifi networks around me, and I can connect to LTE. I can't figure out what is wrong, I've gotten this error with multiple different WiFi networks, cleared the wifi settings, tried it in safe mode, restarted; all have had no effect. I even tried a wifi app and it just returned "failed to connect, enable and disable wifi and try again", which does not change things either.

I noticed that my google play update still shows October 2020, and says I need to restart my phone to finish to update. Restarting has no effect though. I think the restart was pending when I dropped my phone, so the repair store's diagnostic may have messed something up with the update. Should I do a factory restart worse case? I can't figure out if this is even a hardware or software problem, the antennas should be fine if I can still detect WiFi sources but I don't know. Any ideas?