FWIW, this thread http://www.android.gs/backuprestore-imei-and-nvram-on-any-android-device/ explains a liiittle bit about nvram, so now my theory is that while the "error X 10" is a mediatek-ism, we might have related problems about this nvram not being right. That doesn't give me a solution, but, uhm, not sure what it gives me :)
Also, not sure this is related, but for years I have an expired sim card in it and the device has seen long (months) periods of flight mode and/or never powered on.
EDIT: Seems, lots of xda and similar sites talk about nvram in relation to IMEI being zero (invalid/forgotten). Mine seems to be ok (at least not zero). How about you? You can see it in settings. Do NOT post you IMEI! Seemingly this is some super secret unique identifier for your device.