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T-Mobile Original Galaxy S3 (T999) Problems and Solutions

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There are two versions of the Samsung Galaxy S3 carried by T-Mobile: the Original Galaxy S3 with model number T999 and the LTE version with model number T999L. This is the first of our T-Mobile Galaxy S3 Problems and Solutions series and based on problems we received from our readers, we may be publishing more articles like this as we address emails we received.

If you own a Galaxy S3 from T-Mobile and has problems that you don’t know how to solve, please browse this post to see if I already addressed your concern. There are 10 problems cited here and their solutions are provided as well. If you can’t find your problem in this post, feel free to email us at [email protected] and be as detailed as possible so I would know where to start.

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#1. Downloaded items reappear on notification panel

Problem

Hi guys, I am Darren and I own a Samsung Galaxy S3 under T-Mobile. I recently updated my phone to Android 4.3 JB version and now I’m facing a somewhat bizarre problem; the items I downloaded last year reappeared on the Notification Panel and it seems they’ve been re-downloaded. I can dismiss them from there but soon they would reappear back and I think my phone redownloads them because when I checked by data usage, it was doubled or even tripled. So guys, I need your help on how to fix this problem. Thanks, Darren.

Solution

You’re not the only one experiencing this problem, Darren. We’ve received a lot of emails containing this very same problem. But don’t worry, it’s nothing serious. And yes, some of the items may have been downloaded but others may have just reappeared in the Notification Panel. To solve this problem, follow these steps:

  1. Go back to the Home screen.
  2. Tap the Menu key. (The key on the left side of the Home button.)
  3. Choose Settings.
  4. Tap on the More tab.
  5. Find and tap Application Manager.
  6. Swipe the screen going to the left until contents of the All tab are displayed.
  7. Scroll to and tap Download Manager (if you can’t find it, look for Downloads instead).
  8. Tap the Clear Cache button.
  9. Tap the Clear Data button, and then OK.
  10. You may reboot your phone to refresh its memory.

#2. Phone stuck on Samsung logo during boot up

Problem

Hello The Droid Guy, I am on T-Mobile and while I’m a few months from the end of my contract with the company, I want to be able to continue using my Samsung Galaxy S3. My son said he had to download and update my phone because there was a notification saying an update was available. However, my phone now is stuck on the Samsung logo and won’t completely come on. What can you possibly advice I do to fix this problem? Thank you for your time. — Melody

Solution

There is a possibility that the update wasn’t complete or was interrupted resulting to this issue. But for this problem, I would assume your son successfully updated your phone to the latest version. This is a common issue, actually, and many have experienced this even if the update was successful. Wiping the cache partition often solves this issue:

  1. Press and hold the Volume Up, Home, and Power buttons.
  2. When the phone vibrates, release the Power button but continue holding the other two until Android System Recovery screen appears.
  3. Use the Volume Down button to highlight ‘wipe cache partition’ and press the Power button to select it.
  4. Highlight ‘reboot system now’ and hit the Power key.

#3. Music app stops playing randomly

Problem

Hello guys, good job on syndicating problems. You guys are making our lives easier by compiling problems in one page and providing solutions. That said, I have a minor problem of my own. It seems like after the 4.3 update, the stock music app randomly stops playing. Yesterday, it stopped at least 5 times within 2 hours. While I like listening to music and I love this phone, I’m a noob when it comes to technology. I’m afraid I would mess my phone’s settings when I do something I’m not familiar with so I need your advice. Thanks. — Matilda

Solution

There was no reported bug with the music app after the 4.3 update, so it could be just a very minor problem with the app. I am positive the simple clearing of the cache and data would solve the problem. But I must warn you, clearing the data would delete all your playlist and personal settings with the music app.

  1. Go back to the Home screen.
  2. Tap the Menu key. (The key on the left side of the Home button.)
  3. Choose Settings.
  4. Tap on the More tab.
  5. Find and tap Application Manager.
  6. Swipe the screen going to the left until contents of the All tab are displayed.
  7. Scroll to and tap Music.
  8. Tap the Clear Cache button.
  9. Tap the Clear Data button, and then OK.

I hope this helps, ma’am.

#4. Wi-Fi connection disconnects when screen turns off

Problem

I don’t know if the recent update is problematic but before I updated my phone, I can continue downloading files even if I left my phone at home to sleep. After the update, I can’t seem to do that. I tried downloading a torrent, then I went to the mall to buy something. When I returned home and turned my phone’s screen, it said the download was not completed because the Wi-Fi was disconnected. I tried downloading the same file and turned off the screen, the download was interrupted. Basically, when the phone’s screen turns off, Wi-Fi also turns off. Do you know how to fix this? — Danny

Solution

There’s just one setting that may have been messed up during the update. Actually, the Galaxy S3 has an option to keep the Wi-Fi connected even if the phone sleeps or becomes idle. Here’s how:

  1. From any Home screen, tap the Menu key.
  2. Tap Settings, and then tap Wifi.
  3. Tap the Menu key and select Advanced.
  4. Tap ‘Keep Wi-Fi on during sleep’ and set it to ‘Always.’
  5. Now tap on Auto-connect and make sure the box is checked.

#5. Phone uses 85% of the RAM

Problem

After the update, my phone became very slow. When I checked the RAM, the phone uses 85%. I tried doing searches online to find a solution for this problem but I found your post. You were open to questions or problems, so this is mine. Please help me solve this problem. — Miru

Solution

After the update, the phone would actually optimize apps that were previously installed and keep their settings to avoid disruption in the usage. The problem is, some data may become corrupt during the update process due to dependency issues. Nonetheless, the phone would still attempt to load all the settings the owner previously used and if the app won’t respond or run properly, the phone would attempt even more to run it. Now, imagine if there are 5 or 10 apps that act the same; it’s enough to make the phone as slow as a snail. To solve this problem, follow these steps:

  1. Boot to safe mode so you can isolate what the problem really is. If the phone performs way better when in safe mode, then it confirms our suspicion that third-party apps are causing this problem. You can trace which apps cause the problem and cleared their caches and data; if that won’t work, uninstall and re-install them.
  2. In case the phone is still eating more RAM even when in Safe Mode, there’s no other option but to perform factory reset after you backed up your data.

#6. Stock Gallery app crashes

Problem

About a couple of days ago, I received a notification that there was an available update for my phone. I downloaded the update and installed it. Everything worked fine after the update except for one; the gallery app. I keep getting the error message, “Unfortunately, Gallery has stopped.” every time I launch it. I have hundreds of photos saved in my phone’s memory and I can’t view them. How do I solve this problem? — Lady

Solution

The most common remedy to this problem is to clear both the cache and data. If you have Paper Artist on your phone, you need to check if it has been turned off, if it was, then turn it on.

  1. From the Home screen, tap the Menu key.
  2. Tap the More tab.
  3. Tap the Application Manager, then swipe to display the All section.
  4. Scroll to and find Gallery.
  5. Tap Clear Cache
  6. Tap Clear Data and hit OK.
  7. Now go back to the Application Manager, then swipe until you get to the Turned off section.
  8. Scroll to and tap Paper Artist.
  9. Tap the Turn On button if it was turned Off.
  10. If it’s On, turn it off and then turn it back on.

If all else fails, perform factory reset.

#7. Email app says it has -1 unread message

Problem

Talking of unusual problems, I have one. The stock email app says I have -1 unread message in my inbox. I checked it and I have no unread message. But even if I had, why would it say -1? At first, I let it stay there but over time it became very annoying because it just wouldn’t go away. How do I get rid of this notification? — Carlos

Solution

It’s just a minor glitch in one of the services and it can be fixed easily, try this:

  1. From the Home screen, tap the Menu key.
  2. Tap the More tab.
  3. Tap the Application Manager, then swipe to display the All section.
  4. Scroll to and find BadgeProvider.
  5. Tap Clear Cache, and then Clear Data.
  6. Reboot the phone.
  7. At this point, the notification (provided you don’t have unheard voice messages) should be gone.

The BadgeProvider service handles many functionalities of the phone including notification counters for various applications. So, consider this as a broad spectrum troubleshooting.

#8. Settings stopped working

Problem

The recent update messed up my phone. I don’t what to say only that after the update I started getting the error message “Unfortunately, Settings has stopped.” I can’t do anything except to tap the OK button and the error goes away but comes back after a few seconds.

Solution

I always say not all updates are perfect and you are one of those unlucky owners who have their phone messed so bad but don’t worry, there are always solutions for almost all problems including the one you’re experiencing. For this problem, try to boot to safe mode to see if the error message still pops up.

  1. Turn the phone off completely.
  2. Press and hold the Power button.
  3. When the Galaxy S3 screen appears, release the Power button.
  4. Immediately after releasing the Power key, press and hold the Volume Down key until the phone finished restarting.
  5. “Safe Mode” will be displayed on the lower left corner of the screen.

If the problem persists even in safe mode, backup your important data if possible and perform factory reset. If this doesn’t solve the problem, you need to flash the previous Android version back to your phone then perform the update again.

In case the error message won’t come up in Safe Mode, it means a third-party app has contributed to the problem. You need to find that app and uninstall it, then try booting to normal mode to see if the error message still shows up.

#9. Computer cannot detect the phone anymore

Problem

Immediately after I updated my phone to 4.3 I connected it to my computer to copy all my pictures and videos but my PC, a Windows 7 desktop, couldn’t detect my phone. I rebooted my computer then my phone and then reconnected it; it was detected but not recognized. I have Samsung Kies installed on my computer. I don’t know if the recent update did it but I am sure prior to the download and installation of the package, the phone could be detected and recognized because I was able to add a few music tracks on my phone. Do you have a solution for this, please. — Marlon

Solution

If the phone was detected but wasn’t recognized, then it’s a driver issue. I am also not sure if it was the update that messed the phone app but perhaps the recent update brings along a new set of data that needed a specific driver. You said you have KIES installed on your PC, so please try to open that app and see if you can find an update for the application. If there’s none, then try to uninstall it, download a fresh copy of installer and install it into your computer. That would probably solve the problem, if not try downloading just the drivers from Samsung website.

#10. Cannot find available networks

Question

A few days after I updated my phone, a Galaxy S3 from T-Mobile, my phone lost coverage of mobile data. It couldn’t find any available network. Prior to updating my phone, I was able to connect to the internet with mobile data because I used it to download the update. What could be the problem? — Jay

Answer

Jay, your guess is as good as mine. But this is what you’re going to do: call T-Mobile tech support hotline and inquire about outages or network problems in your area. If there’s none, then perform factory reset (after you backed up your data) to narrow down the problem. If it resolves the problem, then it was a minor firmware glitch, however, if the problem persists after the factory reset, bring your phone to any T-Mobile store and have it checked. It could be a hardware problem triggered by recent update.

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