1. GThanasis's Avatar
    Hello android peeps. got a prob and maybe one of you can help me solve it. here's hoping!

    My S4 is stuck in boot loop. This happened two days ago, very suddenly. It will start as normal and then after 10 seconds restart. And so on in a continuous loop. A few points that may prove helpful.

    *This happened maybe 8 months ago, same problem. A local shop suggested a hard reset which I didn't want. Another shop suggested it was a problem with the power button. He replaced it/fixed it and the phone worked.

    *I went back to the same guy yesterday and he checked the power button but says it is fine. I still think it could be the power button because this issue happened before.

    *I started the phone in safe mode. But the restarts continue.
    *I also wiped the cache partition. But restarts continue.
    *I understand the only other step is a hard reset. I really don't want to do this because I still have data, photos on the phone and I don't want to lose them.

    *One other element that could be relevant. This seems to have started around the same time as a spam text arrived. I opened the text to delete it but didn't click any links. The same spam text, from a clothing company, has arrived before, no drama. At the moment, when I switch on the phone, the same text arrives. Every time it restarts, the same text arrives. I've had 30 texts arrived one after the other until I took out the battery. I have switched off wifi and put the phone into airplane mode, but text still arrives each time it is restarted.

    Thoughts? I would really like it to be the power button, but the technician says it is fine. When I started the phone in safe mode and the problem continued I thought it was the power button.
    But then I started the System Recovery screen and the phone did not restart, suggesting it is something else. But my reasoning may be off.

    I really thank you for your help, in advance. Gregor.
    07-25-2016 12:49 AM
  2. nahoku's Avatar
    Well, it seems like you already know what you have to do. Unfortunately, if you didn't make it a habit of backing up you data, you'll stand to lose it. I would think that if the power button was bad, it would also crash in recovery mode. Doesn't sound like the power button to me.

    Hows the battery level? What happens if you let the phone charge fully, leave it plugged in, and then try safe mode again.
    07-25-2016 01:12 AM
  3. GThanasis's Avatar
    nahoku thanks for the reply.

    I tried your suggestion now. battery recharge is fine, I charged it yesterday no prob. Now at 45% and charging fine. Switched on the phone with the charger plugged in, into safe mode. No difference.
    07-25-2016 01:24 AM
  4. nahoku's Avatar
    Ouch! Forgot to mention pulling the Sim and SD out of the phone and seeing if that helps with normal or safe mode start. It really sounds like a corrupted OS if even safe mode won't run though. Of course, Google apps have been having problems of late, and in safe mode, Google stuff does load (although I don't know if they're running).

    If nothing works, you're probably looking at a factory reset or a reflash. There's a chance that a reflash won't destroy your data, but no guarantees. I can't remember because I haven't reflashed my devices in ages.
    07-25-2016 05:19 AM
  5. jcwilliams1989's Avatar
    You'll prolly have to Odin. You may be able to fine a Odin tar that won't wipe everything yet still install system to make the phone boot.
    07-25-2016 05:25 AM
  6. GThanasis's Avatar
    thanks nahoku. already tried without sim and SD, no difference.

    jc, i had to look up what you mean by Odin. I still don't fully understand. I was going to do a master reset as described here:

    would that not be enough? nahoku, I looked up reflash. looks complicated. will master reset not work?

    one last thing. i still have access to the phone - 10secs at a time - so I can still check whataspp for example. is there any way to backup data, maybe using something like this:

    thanks to all. G
    07-26-2016 02:14 AM
  7. nahoku's Avatar
    jcwilliams1989 and I are talking about the same thing when we say "Odin" and "reflash the OS". It means you would need to download the phone firmware and use Odin to reflash the OS. Basically, reinstall the operating system on the phone.

    It's not complicated, but it's also NOT without risk. That said, I've had no problems flashing phones with Odin. There is criteria though...
    1) the firmware must be for your exact phone model
    2) it must be for your carrier
    3) it must be for your country
    4) DO NOT flash any firmware that is not specifically for your device

    As jcwilliams1989 stated, there may be a firmware that won't totally wipe the phone, however, this normally applies to rooted phones and may be a special package that someone came up with. I can't recommend you attempt it without a lot of investigation. It's safer to flash the stock firmware.

    If you've never flashed a phone, there are Odin tutorials like THIS. Youmobile may also carry your firmware. A major source of firmware is also Sammobile... just enter your exact model number.

    I'll state here that every single time I flash firmware, I'M NERVOUS! If for some reason the flash doesn't take, or an error occurs, there's a chance the phone can be softbricked, or worse hardbricked. Like I mentioned, it's NOT without risk, so proceed with extreme caution. Hate to make you worry, but it's justified... especially since you seem to not have experience with flashing.
    07-26-2016 03:03 PM
  8. GThanasis's Avatar
    nahoku. this is helpful, totally. thanks for writing it. it sounds kinda daunting. on the up side, it does mean i can get rid of all those apps that came preloaded.

    1, whats the difference between flashing the phone and doing the 'master reset' I mentioned in the post above? Also, if I pay a mobile phone shop, which will they do? They've asked for around 100dollars to "wipe the software and reinstall". Is that a reflash?

    07-27-2016 05:17 AM
  9. nahoku's Avatar
    Let me try to make this a little clearer. When you or someone else reflashes the OS, your phone will get returned to the condition it was in when you first pulled it out of the box. This means you will need to go through the phone's setup wizard all over again because the phone is like a brand new phone you just pulled out of the box. All preloaded apps that are included with the OS, will also be loaded onto the phone because they are part of the OS. There is no "upside" like you mention about getting rid of preloaded apps.

    whats the difference between flashing the phone and doing the 'master reset'
    A master reset or more commonly termed "factory reset", utilizes the OS files that are currently on the phone to reset the phone. You don't need any additional software to do a factory reset because all files are already present on your phone. A reflash of the OS is accomplished by using a flashing utility (Odin), which flashes your phone using a downloaded firmware file to "replace" the current OS. In your case, a factory reset may clear your problems negating you having to get the OS reflashed on your phone.

    Whenever a problem like yours comes up where the phone won't even operate in Safe mode, a factory reset is the recommended action. If that doesn't work, then the last resort is to reflash the OS, thereby replacing a possibly corrupt OS that's already on your phone. The only reason I mentioned reflashing the phone was not to have you do it (or even consider it) but rather to give you both the factory reset option and the reflash option... at the same time. I would never actually recommend a reflash unless it's absolutely necessary and that's only if a factory reset didn't cure the problems.

    I mentioned "reflash" and jcwilliams1989 mentioned "Odin" and your thread started moving toward reflashing your phone. I didn't want it to do that, but it did, so I had the obligation to disclose all I knew about reflashing the OS including the warnings I gave you. I am in no way recommending you even consider reflashing your phone at this point in time. We are not there yet.

    Also, if I pay a mobile phone shop, which will they do? They've asked for around 100dollars to "wipe the software and reinstall". Is that a reflash?
    You would think that they would reflash the OS if they're charging that kind of money, however, there's no way to tell. For certain, they will attempt a factory reset first, and if that works, they'll return the phone to you, charge you the same $100, and send you on your happy way! Better you do the factory reset yourself and save that $100!

    As for the factory reset link you supplied... yes, this will work. Choose the "Master reset from settings menu" if you think you have time. It will take much longer than 10 seconds to accomplish this so if your phone reboots while this process is in-progress, things might get worse. Personally, I would choose the second option >>> "Master reset with hardware keys". However, this option negates the possibility of a back up, so you'll lose all your data (unfortunately), but your phone will probably not reboot due to the 10 second limit you currently have when it's booted up.

    I gotta hit the sack now as it's way past my bedtime. I'll check back in later.
    07-27-2016 07:17 AM
  10. GThanasis's Avatar
    nahoku. this is totally useful and big props to you for writing it all out for me. i’m a real newb at this so its super helpful. props!

    it’s looking like i’m gonna do a factory reset via the phone. i’ve been waiting because i was trying to discover a way to get some photos that are important off the phone. i might still try to do that by connecting it to my laptop and seeing if i can get a few off. but once i’ve tried that, i’m gonna do a factory reset cos there’s no other way.

    and then i’m totally deleting all those other apps that are useless
    07-28-2016 04:32 AM
  11. nahoku's Avatar
    *I also wiped the cache partition. But restarts continue.
    Did you enter into recovery mode to wipe the cache partition?

    Also, have you ever successfully connected your phone to your computer and moved files on and off the phone prior to the problems you have now?

    I really don't want you to do a factory reset until we can somehow get your data off the phone.

    and then i’m totally deleting all those other apps that are useless
    Are you referring to System apps that come with the OS, or apps you installed yourself from Playstore?
    07-28-2016 05:04 AM
  12. GThanasis's Avatar
    Yes, I wiped cache partition via System Recovery screen.

    Yes I've connected the phone before. I haven't tried yet.....what i'm doing now is moving important photos from phone memory to the SD card. seems to be working but very slow going.

    The apps i meant were those that came with the system.
    07-28-2016 09:07 AM
  13. nahoku's Avatar
    Ok, I was just checking if you went into recovery.

    How are you moving files... I thought the phone rebooted after 10 seconds of operation?

    You can't uninstall most System OS bloatware, but you should be able to disable a lot of them by using Package Disabler Pro.
    07-28-2016 01:34 PM
  14. GThanasis's Avatar
    Okay, this is kinda unusual. My phone is working again. But I’m not sure how.

    These are the steps I took...

    I was trying to move all the photos from internal memory to SD card. This took a long time because I only had 10 seconds each time to quickly copy across before the phone restarted. Took a long time but I deleted most of the folders of photos on my phone.

    At a certain point, the phone stopped restarting. Nothing was done differently. It just stopped restarting. Instead of restarting it manually to check, I used this chance to move and delete all the photos. I also deleted all the Whatspp pics and vids, and all my text messages.
    After maybe 1 hour of not restarting, the battery ran out normally. I plugged it in to recharge. Later, I switched the phone on. It came on and did not restart. I left the phone on overnight. Now I'm using it and no restarts.

    Who would like to guess some theories?!!

    I had one. That maybe by clearing some space on the internal memory the phone could work better. But I had around 2 GB clear before I deleted stuff. Now I’ve got like 3 GB. Not a big difference.

    08-02-2016 03:52 AM
  15. nahoku's Avatar
    It could be that clearing something "corrupted" may have solved the problem. Maybe the media scanner was glitching out on you and crashing the phone. Besides that, the phone requires enough space to run/store/update data, but I would think 2gb is way enough space for that. Just guessing anyways, but I'm glad you're up and running again. Good thing you were patient enough to do all you did in 10 second intervals! Good for you!
    08-04-2016 10:38 PM
  16. GThanasis's Avatar
    thanks man for all your help. you're a rockstar )))
    nahoku and jcwilliams1989 like this.
    08-05-2016 03:12 PM
  17. nahoku's Avatar
    All we did was talk... I didn't do much else!
    jcwilliams1989 likes this.
    08-05-2016 06:57 PM
  18. phapeee's Avatar
    I have the same problem. My phone is galaxy s4, too. It will start as normal and then after 10 seconds restart. I did everything such as wipe data/factory reset and put it into Safe mode. But it still restart and never stop. I used to wipe data/factory reset, so my phone is cleared and hadn't any data in there. So i just know to say someone help me, please.
    01-16-2017 08:11 AM
  19. jcwilliams1989's Avatar
    I have the same problem. My phone is galaxy s4, too. It will start as normal and then after 10 seconds restart. I did everything such as wipe data/factory reset and put it into Safe mode. But it still restart and never stop. I used to wipe data/factory reset, so my phone is cleared and hadn't any data in there. So i just know to say someone help me, please.
    Sounds like maybe a bad battery? Does it do the same thing if you leave it on the charger?
    01-16-2017 06:22 PM

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