1. Grumpy Old Tom's Avatar
    Hello, all.

    We got the Note for my (autistic) son a couple of years ago - Christmas, 2013. He takes pictures with it ALL the time. Lately we've had an issue with camera use, Google Earth, and photo editing, and occasionally the login screen. The display begins to flicker, then goes black and displays SDCARD MODE in the upper left corner, with options to press the volume up key for normal reboot, and volume down for "download mode". But neither option works (and I've tried a bunch of possible combinations, power + volume up, etc.) ; we simply have to wait for the battery to drain, then on recharge it will boot normally. It works for a while and then it flickers and goes into SDCARD MODE again.

    A little history: He has dropped it twice and made the display go black. I fixed it by following a procedure I found on YouTube, where you pry the back off and disconnect the display & battery ribbons for a few seconds. When this started, I did this again to be sure the display cable was seated properly; nothing seemed awry.

    Samsung support chat has had me clear the data and cache on the camera app; but as other apps triggered the problem I wasn't surprised when it didn't help. Their next step was to have me do a factory reset. This was a nightmare as it took quite a few tries to get through the optimization stage - including going to SDCARD MODE and waiting for the battery to drain (not good for the battery, as I understand).

    Now they want me to send it in, and put a $330 hold on my card for any possible repairs. I think if it cost this much I'd almost be better off getting him a new tablet.

    So what's up with this SDCARD MODE? It seems to have nothing to do with an SDCARD, though I have one I could put in it. I figured at first that it was so I could have a "rescue" copy of the operating system on the SDCARD and use it to fix the one in internal memory, but Samsung didn't answer any of my questions to that effect, and maybe my Google abilities simply stink, but I couldn't find anything out about it. And like I said, volume up or down has no effect, no matter how short or long I hold them, combine with the power key, etc.

    With the drops, it could be a hardware problem, I understand that. But I was wondering if anyone else has seen this problem (Yes, I searched the forum first!). And if anyone has any other ideas. There seems to be a dearth of hardware diagnostic software out there, but it passed everything on Dom's Diagnostic Tools.

    Thanks to all who posted about their repair issues on the other threads. Makes me wary! And thanks to any who may have feedback or help; I know I'm one of those who just post when they have a problem; life is a bit hectic, and while I've been at computers since punch-card days, & even done some hex-level real-time stuff, I know very little about Android "under the hood."
    03-02-2016 10:56 PM
  2. Always-Helping's Avatar
    trust and believe i know exactly what you are going through only with the galaxy s4 i9500. i have been searching the web for solutions and came across your question. so far what i get from this that it might be able to get passed the sdcard mode by making an sd-card bootable. at the moment i would need to buy an sd card as all of mine are full of my backups of all electronics that i own. lol but if you have found something other than what i have search please reply to my message so i can do the same.

    here is the link where i am currently learning how to boot an sd card....
    Boot Android from SdCard - linux-sunxi.org
    05-04-2016 08:36 PM
  3. Grumpy Old Tom's Avatar
    Thanks, I'll have a look. I'd about given up on this. I bought him new tablet, but they've stopped putting flashes for the cameras in most all of them, and this one isn't as nice.
    07-04-2016 10:09 PM

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