1. vjrorrer's Avatar
    So, a few days ago, the SGS7 Gremlin struck again! Much to my ire and chagrin, it stopped accepting my fingerprint and secondary password, and subsequently did a factory reset. This is not the first time this reset event has happened with the SGS7, with two different carriers, (so it's obviously a Samsung issue), only this time, it wiped my SD card! 😬

    Anyway, I turned to Google and Samsung for a full phone restore - settings as well as content. On the last occasion, everything was restored exactly as I had it. Despite having auto backup enabled, I only got MOST of my Contacts, apps, messages, and a large amount (but not all) of my pics restored. (I plan to do a complete phone backup on my PC once I get everything tweaked the way I want it). When the apps restored, and I configured my settings as close to the way I could remember I had them, I encountered this plague of a charging screen, with nonstop ads, prompting me to download some useless app I have absolutely NO interest in. This screen has a different ad each time you wake up your phone, and it prompts you to SLIDE TO UNLOCK, which brings you to your true lock screen. Judging from the number of posts I've seen on this particular issue, it's not unique to any specific model of phone or carrier.

    I tried updating software and firmware, shutting down and rebooting, clearing browser history, updating apps, clearing app caches, resetting app permissions and notifications, and begrudingly I
    installed another app to identify what app(s) may be causing the issue (there were about a dozen, but none looked overtly suspicious), and uninstalling a few apps (that were most recently installed, including the app adware detector called All-In-One Toolbox: Cleaner and Ad Detect Plug-in which also have in app ads!) that I thought may be the culprit. NOTHING WORKED.

    On several occasions, when trying to slide to unlock (to clear it for access my own lock screen) I would be sent to the Google Play Store to install the advertised app. It was then that I noticed that EVERY app in the ads was from the Google Play Store. So, I thought it only made sense that I contact Google. I went into my Google Play Store account > Help and Feedback > Contact Us > Chat and opened a chat session with a Google Support rep. After describing my issue, they promptly emailed me steps to take to remove pop-up ads that may appear in different places on your phone. There were several scenarios presented in the email. The particular course of action I instituted was:

    "FOR POP UPS OR ADS OUTSIDE OF CHROME BROWSER OR THE NOTIFICATION TRAY"

    The pop-ups or ads might be caused by a third party app. (Yeah? No kidding...)

    To find the app that's causing the ad or pop up, wait for the ad to appear on the home screen.* (I didn't have to wait, it happened every time my phone went, or was placed, into sleep/standby mode).

    *NOTE: DO NOT CANCEL/CLOSE THE AD WHEN IT POPS UP!

    Tap the OVERVIEW button (the illuminated double square in the lower left corner of the SGS7 screen, that brings up all recently opened and still running apps appearing as a stacked deck of cards, and gives the option to individually or collectively close the apps).

    The name of the app should be at the top of the first/lowest preview card (which would be that annoying charging/ad pop-up screen).

    UNINSTALL THE OFFENDING APP: Settings > Apps > (Offending app) > Uninstall. (Mine was an app that let you customize the appearance of your keyboard - namely 'Black & White Keyboard Theme by Kika Theme Dev'. Their recent ratings are poor because of this issue and I wasn't heartbroken over losing their app).

    BELIEVE IT! Something THAT simple, requiring no remote access, no resets, or downloading of more extraneous apps...WORKED!! THANKYOU GOOGLE SUPPORT! 🤘

    Now, if I could just get to the bottom of this Samsung lock issue! I don't feel comfortable walking around with an unsecured phone. This is the third reset event, same model phone, two different carriers, that has occurred in the last year, and my phone wasn't fully restored this time! I would love any advice or resolutions!
    odalisthemisfit and granwin like this.
    05-17-2017 07:21 AM
  2. b.mike's Avatar
    Not sure if blaming Samsung is correct. This might be an app problem, or even something picked up from a website.
    05-17-2017 08:44 AM
  3. vjrorrer's Avatar
    You are correct. After the hour-long chat with Google who deferred me to Samsung, over an hour chat with Samsung who deferred me to a 'Samsung Experience Expert' at BestBuy, and about 15-minutes at BestBuy...here is the gist of what I was told and how I understand it as it was explained to me:

    Carriers (i.e., Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, etc.) receive various updates - I do not know the particulars of how these things work to know if the updates are carrier specific and generated by them based on their technology for the phones they provide service for; or if there are basic, standard, generic updates sent by Samsung to each carrier but the carriers send them out to their subscribers without first working out bugs caused by differences in service technology. I was told Sprint was the worst with this issue. Most of the updates sent out are innocuous, but those subscribers who happen to utilize any sort of lock feature, and unwittingly download and execute updates, do not anticipate the potential havoc they could wreak. Those updates apparently overwrite something in the security feature and therefore do not recognize the fingerprints or passwords originally set by the phone's owner. So when the phone reboots after the update, low-and-behold, it refuses to accept any lock fingerprints, pin, pattern, or password, and you're screwed...like it or not, a factory reset will happen. He said the best action for the user to take is: Before an update is sent, check if there are ways to change the settings that tell the phone to automatically do system updates or to ask before executing, as well as not auto-executing an update when the system is powered back on after a battery drain. I try not to let mine completely die. I have a charging case that keeps my phone live all day into evening, and I throw it back on for recharge every night, but there are times, especially with intensive use, that it does die. When an update alert is sent, disable any security feature that locks the phone, run the update, then enable whatever security you wish afterward.

    In regard to my SD card being wiped...he said to me that before a factory reset initiates, the phone should ask whether you want to erase just the phone, or the external memory/SD card also. Well, what should have happened and what did are two entirely different creatures. Not only was the reset not wanted, but it did not present any options as to what I wanted reset/wiped, otherwise I would I would have been punching that NO or CANCEL button for the SD card erase, like my life depended on it! I am still perturbed at this, but not as much as I was, because my documents are saved on jump drives and I had emailed them to myself to upload to my phone, and most of my photos were either uploaded from my Nikon (also saved on an external HD for my PC), or were uploaded to FB, or saved on Pinterest, where I can just download any I want to save back to my device again, or saved within an app backed up to Goggle Drive (for the most part). He suggested that in addition to disabling any lock feature before executing an update or reset, to remove your SD card. That makes sense if the reset/update is intentional. He said that carriers do not care about their subscribers when they send out these updates, so those who are not versed in the particulars of what's supposed to happen versus what could happen, end up learning the hard way and can only help others by spreading the word of what to do and what not to do to prevent a monstrous headache in the future.

    Finally, he advised that I take it to a Best Buy store that has technician on site that can actually do a hands-on system analysis of the phone to check if anything in the hardware or software is sketchy.
    cykodelik_75 likes this.
    05-20-2017 07:48 PM
  4. odalisthemisfit's Avatar
    i just typed a lengthy thank you letter but not sure where the heck it posted. i signed up on here just to THANK YOU. you are my hero... been stressing over this issue for the last couple of days wasting my time reading useless information & making all kinds of unnecessary changes. it was simple thanks to you......
    07-18-2017 07:36 PM
  5. djn1518's Avatar
    Working so far! THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!!!! This has been driving me nuts!!!
    07-21-2017 03:57 PM

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 2
    Last Post: 05-17-2017, 02:27 PM
  2. Phone won't unlock while on charge
    By AC Question in forum Android 7.0 Nougat
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 05-17-2017, 01:05 PM
  3. Replies: 1
    Last Post: 05-17-2017, 09:27 AM
  4. My Warranty Experience with Samsung
    By jbjtkbw007 in forum Samsung Galaxy S7 edge
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 05-17-2017, 06:40 AM
  5. Replies: 1
    Last Post: 05-17-2017, 06:26 AM
LINK TO POST COPIED TO CLIPBOARD