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Too Many Pattern Attempts
If you use the lock screen pattern, and someone tried too many incorrect patterns, the Captivate will prompt you for your Google account username and password before letting you back into the phone. Unfortunately some users have reported this not working, even when they know they're entering in the proper credentials. This appears to at least sometimes result from not having a Gmail account set up on the Captivate for the associated Google account.
One thing you can try first is this:
- Power down and reboot
- As soon as the phone loaded, hit the home key as fast as you can repeatedly.
- Eventually you should get through to the home screen before the "lock" has a chance to load.
- Once there open the Gmail app
- Typed in my email and password there.
- Next time your phone locks the "too many attempts" will still show but now your email and password should work to clear it out
If that doesn't work, you can try these steps to brute force in a factory reset (you will lose all your data and settings if you have not performed a backup earlier.
- Have someone call you, answer it and try to write a memo (it'll will take a few tries)
- From the memo screen you can pull down notifications and finagle your way back to the home screen (open browsers, apps and then go to home)
- Plug your phone into your pc and select the Kies option in the USB connect screen
- Turn off your phone
- Turn it back on and then tap (you need both hands) the menu and return buttons rapidly and more/ less simultaneously. This should bring you to your beloved home screen.
- (Optional: Back up all of your media onto your pc)
- Immediately go to your location/security settings, you should be able to turn off the pattern function without having to enter the previous one.
- (Optional: Go to settings and then "sd card and phone", unmount the internal storage, format it. It should automatically remount itself)
- Go to Privacy settings and hit Factory data reset.
For other possible options, see the discussion here.