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Samsung Galaxy Note 5 experiences black screen of death (BSoD) after a firmware update [Troubleshooting Guide]

  • Read and understand a high-end device like the #Samsung Galaxy Note 5 (#Note5) experiences the most dreaded Black Screen of Death (#BSoD) and learn how to troubleshoot your phone so it would be easier for you to fix the problem.

Galaxy Note 5 black screen of death

While not so common, the black screen of death (BSoD) issue with smartphones often occur when there’s a serious problem with either the hardware or the firmware and the phone cannot fully initialize and load necessary services.

It may seem like a serious issue, but not all are really that serious. There are cases wherein owners were able to bring the phone back to life even if it stopped working for some reason. It is imperative you try troubleshooting your phone when this problem happens as you may save yourself from the trouble of explaining everything to the tech.

In this post, I will tackle this issue so that you’ll understand why this problem happens and what needs to be done to fix it. Read on as this troubleshooting guide may be able to help you.

But before we jump right into our troubleshooting, try to visit our troubleshooting page if you happen to have a problem that’s not the same as the one we’re trying to fix here. We have already addressed hundreds of problems since the phone was released and odds are that there are already existing solutions to your problems. Find ones that are similar with yours and use the solutions and/or troubleshooting guides we suggested. If they don’t work for you, then contact us by completing our Android issues questionnaire.

Troubleshooting Black Screen of Death in Galaxy Note 5

The purpose of this troubleshooting is for us to know why this problem even happens, what its causes are and what needs to be done. But before we move on to the steps, here’s one of the messages we received from our readers that best describes the problem…

Problem: Hi guys! I have a problem with my phone and I badly need your help since I can no longer use it. It’s a Galaxy Note 5 and I don’t know what happened because it doesn’t turn on anymore no matter what I do. It just turned off on its own and won’t turn on anymore but it seems like the lights inside the screen or behind it still turn on but I just can’t bring the phone to turn on. What can I do to fix it? Or, is there something I can do at all?

Troubleshooting: It’s not the first time that we’ve encountered this problem so you may actually find posts that are similar with this one in our site. This troubleshooting guide, however, will be based on the possibilities that we know about and they are as follows:

  • Some of the apps may have crashed and affected the normal operation of the system
  • The firmware keeps crashing and left the phone unresponsive
  • The phone is experiencing hardware related problems due to liquid or physical damage  

Now, based on these possibilities, this is what you gonna do:

Step 1: Do the Forced Restart procedure

The forced reboot procedure is necessary in troubleshooting this kind of problem because it’s very effective in addressing system crashes. And the fact is, we really can’t do anything as of this time since the phone doesn’t turn on. To do this, just press and hold the Volume Down button and the Power key together for 15 seconds. Provided that the problem is due to a system crash, the phone should reboot normally.

This procedure actually has the same result as with the battery pull, which we do with smartphones with removable batteries. Your Note 5 has a fixed battery so it’s virtually impossible for average users to pull it out.

Step 2: Charge the phone and try the forced reboot procedure again

Do this in case the phone won’t respond after the first step. There’s still a chance that the system just crashed leaving the phone unresponsive but it could be that the battery is totally drained and lacks enough power to bring the phone back to life.

So, plug the phone in and leave it be for five minutes and then try the forced reboot procedure again to see if you can turn the phone on. If it still refuses to turn back on, try to leave the phone charging for a few minutes more and do the same procedure. If it’s still not working, then do the next steps.

Step 3: Attempt to boot your Note 5 in Safe Mode

Another possibility is that one or some of your apps may have crashed for some reason and affected the phone’s normal operation. We can’t tell for sure if it’s third-party or pre-installed that’s why we have to isolate the problem by trying to boot the phone up in Safe Mode:

  1. Press and hold the Power key.
  2. Once ‘Samsung Galaxy Note5’ shows, release the Power key and immediately press and hold the Volume Down button.
  3. The phone will restart but keep the Vol Down button pressed.
  4. Once the phone has finished restarting, ‘Safe mode’ will be display in the lower-left corner of the screen.
  5. You may now release the Volume Down button.

If the phone booted up successfully in this mode, then it’s confirmed that one or some of your third-party apps is causing the problem. You need to find it and try clearing its cache and data and if that won’t work, then you have no other choice but to uninstall them one by one until the problem gets fixed.

How to clear app cache and data on Note 5

  1. From the Home screen, tap the Apps icon.
  2. Find and tap Settings.
  3. Under the ‘APPLICATIONS’ section, find and touch Application manager.
  4. Swipe to the left or to the right to display the appropriate screen but to display all apps, choose the ‘ALL’ screen.
  5. Find and tap Email.
  6. Touch Clear cache to delete its cached files.
  7. Touch Clear data and then OK to delete downloaded messages, login information, settings, etc.

How to uninstall apps on a Note 5

There are two ways to uninstall apps you don’t want to use anymore. The first procedure is via the Play Store while the second is through the Application manager.

Uninstalling an app via Play Store

  1. From the Home screen, tap the Apps icon.
  2. Find and touch the Play Store app.
  3. Touch My Apps.
  4. Tap on the app you want to uninstall.
  5. Touch Uninstall, then OK to confirm.

Uninstalling an app via Application Manager

  1. From the Home screen, tap the Apps icon.
  2. Find and tap Settings.
  3. Under the ‘APPLICATIONS’ section, find and touch Application manager.
  4. Swipe to the left or to the right to display the appropriate screen but to display all apps, choose the ‘ALL’ screen.
  5. Find and tap the app that has issues.
  6. Touch Uninstall, then OK.

If the phone failed to boot up in Safe Mode or if none of these steps worked, then

Step 4: Attempt to boot up in Recovery Mode

After everything else is done and the problem still persists, then it’s time you tried booting your phone up in Recovery Mode just to know if it’s still capable of doing so. When in this phone, the Android interface won’t be loaded so as long as it’s a firmware related issue, the phone should be able to boot up without any issues. If you can reach the Recovery Mode, then you can try wiping the cache partition to delete the system caches or doing the Master Reset to delete all data that have been accumulated since you started using the phone. This is how you boot your phone in Recovery Mode….
Press and hold the Volume Up and the Home buttons first, and then press and hold the Power key.

  1. Keep the three buttons pressed and when ‘Samsung Galaxy Note5’ shows, release the Power key but continue holding the other two.
  2. Once the Android logo shows, release both the Volume Up and Home buttons.
  3. The notice ‘Installing system update’ will show on the screen for 30 to 60 seconds before the Android system recovery screen is shown with its options.

How to wipe cache partition on Galaxy Note 5

  1. Turn off your Samsung Galaxy Note 5 completely.
  2. Press and hold the Volume Up and the Home buttons first, and then press and hold the Power key.
  3. Keep the three buttons pressed and when ‘Samsung Galaxy Note5’ shows, release the Power key but continue holding the other two.
  4. Once the Android logo shows, release both the Volume Up and Home buttons.
  5. The notice ‘Installing system update’ will show on the screen for 30 to 60 seconds before the Android system recovery screen is shown with its options.
  6. Use the Volume Down key to highlight the option ‘wipe cache partition’ and press the Power key to select it.
  7. When the process is complete, use the Volume Down key to highlight the option ‘Reboot system now’ and hit the Power key to restart the phone.
  8. The reboot may take a little longer to complete but don’t worry and wait for the device to become active.

How to perform Master Reset on Galaxy Note 5

  1. Turn off your Samsung Galaxy Note 5 completely.
  2. Press and hold the Volume Up and the Home buttons first, and then press and hold the Power key.
  3. Keep the three buttons pressed and when ‘Samsung Galaxy Note5’ shows, release the Power key but continue holding the other two.
  4. Once the Android logo shows, release both the Volume Up and Home buttons.
  5. The notice ‘Installing system update’ will show on the screen for 30 to 60 seconds before the Android system recovery screen is shown with its options.
  6. Use the Volume Down key to highlight the option ‘Yes — delete all user data’ and press the Power key to select it.
  7. When the process is complete, use the Volume Down key to highlight the option ‘Reboot system now’ and hit the Power key to restart the phone.
  8. The reboot may take a little longer to complete but don’t worry and wait for the device to become active.

Step 5: Seek assistance from a technician

There are problems that are beyond our ability to fix despite doing what needs to be done. So, if your phone couldn’t boot in Safe and Recovery modes or if the problem remained even after successfully performing the steps, then it’s time you seek assistance from a technician who can perform further tests.

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One Comment

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  1. My screen stays black if I lock while using navigation always. When just using maps, my screen stays black if I lock sometimes. The phone is still on, but there is no LCD. Any ideas?

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