1. jamicar's Avatar
    Hey everyone,

    Having issues with my Galaxy S7 32gb, 2.5 years old, whereby the screen is completely black and unresponsive, and I’m unable to switch it back on, or enter recovery mode. No previous issues with this, and no drop or water damage.

    **Background to the issue
    Unplugged my phone from an overnight charge and was browsing on Chrome, when the phone hung and wouldn’t respond with any buttons. No external stimuli to cause this, aside maybe heat - have been travelling around Asia for 3.5 months whereas I usually reside in the UK. No hotter on this particular session than normal though - was in an A/C room.

    After a little while of no response the screen eventually went black, as if switched off, and wouldn’t respond.

    **Steps I’ve tried
    1. Holding the power button - no response
    2. Vol down + power - no response
    3. Vol up + home, then + power - no response
    4. Plug in phone to charge - no lights and no response

    All in all it seemed like the phone was dead and unresponsive, despite having almost 100% battery when I was using it. However, I left the phone for the day to see if anything changed when I’d let the battery run down. After a few hours I tried again and steps 1-3 still didn’t work, however plugging my phone in caused the Samsung Galaxy S7 splash screen to show. Next what happened:

    1. Blue screen ‘Installing system update’
    2. Followed by a blue screen, with a yellow warning sign and white android logo, with text ‘No command’
    3. Recovery screen then showed
    4. Performed a clear cache partition
    5. Phone reboots and gets to my unlock screen, but shows 0% battery and dies again despite being plugged in
    6. Reboots to unlock screen again and then freezes
    7. Phone now back to its original problem - black screen, unresponsive buttons, unresponsive to a charger

    **Where I’m at
    I’m now back to having an unresponsive black screen phone. It feels like if I leave the battery to drain again I might get another shot at getting to the recovery menu when I plug it into charge.

    If I do, is there anything else I can try? A factory reset perhaps? Or does anyone have any similar experience or ideas as to why the phone is behaving this way? Could it just be getting too old and dying?

    I need to try everything I can to self-troubleshoot and fix myself as I’m still travelling for another 3 months and can’t realistically send the phone anywhere for repair.

    Thanks in advance!
    Jamie
    02-16-2020 07:57 AM
  2. VidJunky's Avatar
    The age of the device may be playing some part in this but it seems odd that it would go out like this... My initial thoughts were a voltage difference between your travel area and your home area.

    What charger are you using? While much of the smart tech that keeps your phone safe while charging resides in the battery and the device, there are also components in the charging brick, the part that actually plugs into the wall. If you are using a native charger, one that you picked up during your travels to avoid using an adaptor, there may be voltage differences affecting your device.

    Have you skipped the charging brick and tried pugging into something else that will take a USB? Using a USB device to device should be safer because device USB out put is pretty standard and depending on the generation of USB connection the USB is limited. These limits don't necessarily apply to charging bricks.

    Even though you say you've been on this trip for several months overcharging a device may not have immediate effects but with each occurrence the issue can progress. Seeing as how you had success with allowing it completely die and then giving it some charge. I would try this;

    Allow the device to sit, as before, but try to turn it off after about half the time. It's stressful for devices to run until the battery turns them off. It's like pulling the plug on your PC, which if you ever done you would know leads to the PC wanting to defrag the disk, warnings of corrupt data and all of that. The same is true of phones. I would try to turn it off intentionally when the battery is low.

    See if the phone will turn on when the battery is low, or if you are able to get any response from it at all.

    Do not charge the phone to 100% or if you are going to watch it and unplug it in the 90's or just when it reaches 100%. If this is a case of some issue tied to charging you want to be vigilant about not overcharging it.

    As for factory resetting the device and all of that... It might help if there is corrupt data, but then you have to start over setting up the device and all of that. Instead once you've reached a responsive state I would power the device on for a half hour or so, Then intentionally power it down and back on again. I wouldn't use restart either. I would power it down, let it sit for a few minutes and then power it back up and maybe do this two or three times. Powering down the phone uses its natural start up and shutdown procedures, where caches are cleared, apps are stopped and data is properly saved.
    02-18-2020 02:11 AM
  3. jamicar's Avatar
    Thanks @VidJunky.

    **To answer your questions:

    The charger combo I use varies depending on where I am, but is one of either: 1) original Samsung charger brick plugged into universal adapter (MyTravelPal), 2) usb connection direct into the universal adapter (without the Samsung charger brick in between) or 3) via a portable power bank. Until recently (about 3-4 weeks ago) I was also using the original Samsung charger cable but this had become damaged (loose wires around the neck of the cable) so replaced with a new 3rd party fast-charge enabled cable from a market stall in Malaysia (red flag? Brand is called Moxom). When using the power bank I use the USB cable that came with that. Also occasionally use this cable in conjunction with either the power brick or direct with the universal adapter.

    Unfortunately I don’t think I have any other devices to test plugging in USB to USB. Don’t have a laptop with me and no cable to link to the iPad I’m currently using


    **Before I saw your reply there were some developments which might help diagnose further:

    - Leaving the phone for a few hours (presumably in some sort of black screen yet switched-on state which wouldn’t let me interact with it or switch it off) allowed me to get a response from it when plugging in again

    - After getting stuck in a boot loop for a few minutes, the phone eventually switched back on again and let me use it as normal!

    - However the phone crashed several times during normal usage (sometimes freezing before, sometimes cutting or suddenly) before not letting me interact with it again

    - After leaving a few more hours it then responded to a charge but only as far as the ‘installing system update’ and ‘no command’ screens, without bringing up the menu with clear partition/factory reset etc, and certainly getting nowhere near letting me use it as normal again

    - After some time I managed to get it to the cache/factory reset menu (no idea how!) so decided to factory reset. This allowed me to start setting the phone up again and seemed promising

    - Sadly about 10 mins into setup the phone crashed again and was black-screen unresponsive once more

    - Left it overnight and tried again in the morning. Phone proceeded to setup again however oddly this time started making the ‘moisture detected in charger port’ noise, with the accompanying message. No water exposure to the phone overnight however about a year and a half ago I did have some water damage though the phone started working again after 24 hours. Hasn’t been an issue since then.

    - Current state: I haven’t tested the phone since the moisture detection message. My presumption is that if that message doesn’t appear again, it will let me start to setup the phone though will start crashing again.



    Does that help shed any more light? Does it change the advice you’ve given of things for me to try? Sounds like if I’m able to get it past setup without crashing, then I should shut down the device and power back up a few times?

    Thanks again!
    Jamie
    02-18-2020 07:22 AM
  4. methodman89's Avatar
    It's an S7, with a old battery, having classic battery problems.
    I'd buy a new battery, making sure it isn't old stock that's been on the shelf for 3 years.
    Good luck
    02-18-2020 09:12 AM
  5. jamicar's Avatar
    Thanks man. So you think it’s most likely an old battery problem rather than any other kind of hardware/mechanical issue? Happy trying to buy a new battery - cheaper than going through diagnostic tests and fixes I think?
    02-18-2020 10:58 AM
  6. VidJunky's Avatar
    While some of it could be old battery, given the age of the device, I truly believe your charging combos haven't helped. If you're able to get anywhere with it, yes I would try letting it work things out on its own with a few restarts, over time. Then I'd stick with the factory brick in the adaptor method of charging since that sounds the safest of all you mentioned.

    The moisture detection could be a sign that the battery is finished. It could also just be a symptom of what's going on. However usually when the battery starts to go bad it just does quickly or out of no where. I haven't heard of the screen going blank.

    So,
    Only charge with the brick and adaptor.

    Don't over charge, or overnight charge, at least not until it starts acting right.

    Get some regular restarts under your belt.

    If you get it running well enough, there are battery testing apps on the play store. I can't vouch for any one but I've seen them recommended around here so you'd have to use your best instincts on that.
    02-18-2020 11:16 AM
  7. mustang7757's Avatar
    Thanks man. So you think it’s most likely an old battery problem rather than any other kind of hardware/mechanical issue? Happy trying to buy a new battery - cheaper than going through diagnostic tests and fixes I think?
    Hi , welcome!
    I think do to the age it be more easier approach with battery replacement then going into more complicated things .
    02-18-2020 11:37 AM
  8. jamicar's Avatar
    While some of it could be old battery, given the age of the device, I truly believe your charging combos haven't helped. If you're able to get anywhere with it, yes I would try letting it work things out on its own with a few restarts, over time. Then I'd stick with the factory brick in the adaptor method of charging since that sounds the safest of all you mentioned.

    The moisture detection could be a sign that the battery is finished. It could also just be a symptom of what's going on. However usually when the battery starts to go bad it just does quickly or out of no where. I haven't heard of the screen going blank.

    So,
    Only charge with the brick and adaptor.

    Don't over charge, or overnight charge, at least not until it starts acting right.

    Get some regular restarts under your belt.

    If you get it running well enough, there are battery testing apps on the play store. I can't vouch for any one but I've seen them recommended around here so you'd have to use your best instincts on that.
    Thanks @VidJunky - will attempt that, fingers crossed!

    One last additional question - is it not advisable to use a portable power bank to charge a phone, or is it just not recommended in this case due to my potential battery issues?
    02-18-2020 09:45 PM
  9. jamicar's Avatar
    Afraid the phone is still getting stuck at the ‘Installing system updates’ immediately followed by Android logo ‘No command’ screen. Looks like I’ll have to take it for battery replacement/diagnostic. Thanks all.
    02-20-2020 10:27 AM
  10. mustang7757's Avatar
    Afraid the phone is still getting stuck at the ‘Installing system updates’ immediately followed by Android logo ‘No command’ screen. Looks like I’ll have to take it for battery replacement/diagnostic. Thanks all.
    Good luck
    02-20-2020 10:30 AM
  11. jamicar's Avatar
    Hi all,

    So I’ve had the battery replaced and it has helped a little, in terms of being able to get the phone up and running again, however it is still freezing and crashing fairly frequently during normal usage which makes it pretty unusable.

    Any other ideas on what the problem might be, or is it a case of it just being on its last legs now?
    02-24-2020 11:08 AM
  12. methodman89's Avatar
    Hi all,

    So I’ve had the battery replaced and it has helped a little, in terms of being able to get the phone up and running again, however it is still freezing and crashing fairly frequently during normal usage which makes it pretty unusable.

    Any other ideas on what the problem might be, or is it a case of it just being on its last legs now?
    Now that you have a new battery, after charging, clear the cache partition and reboot.
    If you are still running into trouble, enter Safe Mode to further dx the problem.
    02-24-2020 11:24 AM
  13. jamicar's Avatar
    Thanks. Have already cleared cache partition again and still having issues. If I enter safe mode, what are the diagnostic steps? Do I have to manually remove each app one by one and reboot to see if it’s fixed, or is there an easier way of doing it?

    P.s. the shop I had the battery replaced in say they want to flash a different version of android to see if that works (think this is what they meant, I don’t really understand) but that there’s a chance it could brick the phone. Does that sound right?
    02-24-2020 09:37 PM
  14. mustang7757's Avatar
    Thanks. Have already cleared cache partition again and still having issues. If I enter safe mode, what are the diagnostic steps? Do I have to manually remove each app one by one and reboot to see if it’s fixed, or is there an easier way of doing it?
    Have you done a factory reset?
    02-24-2020 09:41 PM
  15. jamicar's Avatar
    Yep - cleared cache partition and factory reset multiple times. Will try another factory reset though.

    Just managed to get it started in safe mode and it froze and crashed again. That means hardware issue right? Seems to only crash when it’s being used rather than locked, and does seem to get quite hot...particularly along the right hand edge of the phone, and the top right portion around the lock/power button.
    02-25-2020 02:36 AM
  16. mustang7757's Avatar
    Yep - cleared cache partition and factory reset multiple times. Will try another factory reset though.

    Just managed to get it started in safe mode and it froze and crashed again. That means hardware issue right? Seems to only crash when it’s being used rather than locked, and does seem to get quite hot...particularly along the right hand edge of the phone, and the top right portion around the lock/power button.
    Looks like hardware issue ..you have to see if it's worth it to get it fix .
    02-25-2020 09:28 AM

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