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Why AT&T Galaxy S5 cannot update Android on Metro PCS network, other issues

Looking for solutions to your #GalaxyS5 issues? Our post today may help you. Below are 3 topics discussed in this article today:

  1. Why AT&T Galaxy S5 cannot update Android on Metro PCS network
  2. How to recover files from a corrupt SD card
  3. Galaxy S5 not charging properly after leaving it outside for a night
  4. Galaxy S5 stuck in Verizon error screen

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When describing your issue, please be as detailed as possible so we can easily pinpoint a relevant solution. If you can, kindly include the exact error messages you are getting to give us an idea where to start. If you have already tried some troubleshooting steps before emailing us, make sure to mention them so we can skip them in our answers.

Problem #1: Why AT&T Galaxy S5 cannot update Android on Metro PCS network

Unlocked – International version S5 G900A running 4.42 on MetroPCS in the USA.

I just purchased this phone to replace water damaged S5. I was told by seller that it would be no problem to use an international G900A (AT&T) unlocked phone on MetroPCS. Because it has an AT&T ‘personality’ built it, I cannot update Android. Samsung apps (Kies/SmartSwitch) say I’m at the latest version. Since I’m not on an AT&T network, I don’t think I will get the update. Everyone on the ‘net has their own opinion on this and most are dead wrong. Can you tell me if this is a usable phone in terms of receiving updates to the kernel/Android? Will I receive them from Metro automatically or do I have to do something manually? How? Or am I screwed.

I’m starting to think that everyone says ‘it works’ JUST because it supports the US frequencies and channels, but DOESN’T work in terms of functionality/updates etc.  Thank you for taking time. — Rich

Solution: Hi Rich. Those who said about your phone being unable to receive updates are correct. First of all, you are wrong to say that G900A is an international version (the correct version being SM-G900S). Your G900A, in fact, is a Galaxy S5 built by Samsung for AT&T network. This means that the built-in firmware or operating system is specially built for AT&T products, services, and network and there’s nothing that you can do to change that. It also means that unless you use an AT&T SIM card, or that this S5 is recognized by AT&T’s system, it will never get any official over-the-air updates. If you want to update to recent Android iteration, you have to manually install the firmware yourself. You can find many guides online on how to do this. The trick is to find the correct firmware to use. Using an incorrect one will transform your phone into an expensive paperweight in no time.

Secondly, those saying that your phone works because it supports radio frequencies commonly used in the US are also correct. The SM-G900A uses the following frequencies:


850, 1900 MHz – 2G/3G/4G (GPRS/EDGE and UMTS/HSPA/HSPA+)

700, 1700/2100 MHz – 4G (LTE bands 2, 4, 17)


Metro PCS, which is now part of T-Mobile, uses the following frequencies:


700 MHz (LTE band 12)

1900 MHz (LTE band 2) – 3G/4G (PCS/EVDO/LTE)

1700/2100MHz (LTE band 4) – 3G/4G (HSPA/HSPA+/LTE)

We highlighted the frequencies that are common to both carriers. This means that any smartphone with a compatible hardware that handles the said highlighted frequencies should work in these networks. That’s the reason why you can still use 2G, 3G, or even LTE even if the operating system on your phone is from AT&T, although you are in Metro PCS network.

Problem #2: How to recover files from a corrupt SD card

I’m trying to recover data from an SD card that must be corrupt. You probably get thousands of these requests, but I thought I’d send it anyway. 

The new android operating system software downloaded on my phone recently and I needed to get it installed.  However, something on my to-do list for a long time has been to back up the pictures (too many) that I’ve been keeping on my phone — they accumulate fast.  My knowledge base is low regarding where pictures are stored (camera, SD, or wherever). I decided to back them up before installing the software. 

I used Google Drive, it was already installed. As I was syncing my gallery, my phone would crash or just become generally unresponsive for short periods of time. The screen would go dark and when I pressed the home or screen lock keys nothing would happen for like 5 minutes until suddenly the screen would turn on again. Very annoying. I didn’t know if that was an issue related to the fact that I had delayed installing the software for almost 2 weeks or what…

Anyway, I got half of my pictures backed up before I mis-tapped once after I restarted the phone and I installed the software. Now, after the software update I get a notification that the device is “checking the SD for errors”” and that it is corrupt and needs to be formatted. It suggests backing up information prior to reformatting the SD card. The phone also regularly goes into its crash/unresponsive fits where it takes 5 minutes or so before finally responding to home/lock key action.  After the wait I get a pop up that says something was not working properly (possibly S-voice or this shitty antivirus software I recently installed?  I just uninstalled it.) and I have to click OK or wait.

So, I have three questions.

1) How can I recover pictures from this SD card?  When I plug the USB into computer there’s no SD or Card option? I seem to remember there used to be.

2) What else do I want to back up from the SD card?

3) What antivirus/security app do you recommend using?

Thanks for your time, and sorry for my rambling. — Bill

Solution: Hi Bill. The first thing that you want to do is to see if other SD card readers or other devices can still recognize the card (and hopefully read the data). Try using more expensive card readers as they usually don’t use generic hardware which often fail to read even non-damaged cards. This is your only salvation in this case. If other devices like laptops or card readers can no longer detect your SD card, that’s an indication that your files are good as gone. There’s nothing that you can do to resolve that, unfortunately.

For the second question, the answer depends on you. We don’t know what kind of files you have there. The general rule of thumb though is to save whatever is important.

Lastly, we don’t really recommend any antivirus at all. Most of the time, antivirus apps only slows down the system. If you are concerned on how to prevent virus infection, there’s no better way than old-school prevention mentality. Simply put, never open a file or install an app that you are not 100% sure to be clean. Stick to apps from known or trusted developers. If you are dying to install a game or app, make sure to research the app or its developers before installing it. We recommend that you only install mainstream or official ones. For example, if you are fond of online shopping, be sure that you only use apps from reputable companies like Amazon or eBay. In general, no antivirus app can prevent virus or malware infection if a user is not responsible enough to prevent it from happening in the first place.

Problem #3: Galaxy S5 not charging properly after leaving it outside for a night

Well yesterday I left my phone outside and it got cold last night and the dew set. my phone was sitting face up.

well this morning I brought it in, wiped the dew off of it and tried to turn it on but it wouldn’t so I took precautions and opened the battery cover to make sure everything was dry. I checked the stickers on the battery and my phone and they were still white. so I closed my battery cover and put the battery back in and tried to turn it on and it still wouldn’t. so I plugged it to my charger and the battery icon showed up on my screen for about 2 seconds and then a yellow caution triangle showed up below it, under the triangle it said ” this charger is incompatible with this device. to stop any further damage this device has stopped charging.”

so I found you guys and looked at your page on tips about the Samsung Galaxy S5 and I tried everything that it said about my phone. the first thing I did was put my phone in safe mode and plugged it back in to my charger. it now says it’s charging but it says it’s a really slow charge and the percentage of my battery is still at zero after leaving it alone for almost 20 minutes. So then I did a soft reset on the phone and it is still saying slow charge. Please help sincerely. — Tawana

Solution: Hi Tawana. We have no idea how cold the night was when you left the phone outside but it’s never a good idea to expose any electronic device to elements and temperature extremes. Moisture or any liquid is never good for any gadget. Neither is exposure to temperature extreme — too much heat or cold. Most of the time, hardware malfunction like the one you’re experiencing often happens not long afterwards. We don’t think any software troubleshooting can help you fix your problem but in this case, we don’t think doing a factory reset will hurt. Here’s what you need to do:

  • Power down the Galaxy S5.
  • Press and hold the Volume up button, the Home button, and the Power button together until you see the Android on screen.
  • Use Volume down to highlight the wipe data/factory reset option and press the Power button to select it.
  • Use Volume down again to highlight Yes – delete all user data and press Power to select it.
  • Use the Power button to select Reboot system now.
  • When the S5 restarts it should be completely wiped and ready to set up again.

If the charging problem continues, the best thing that you can do right now is to call Samsung so you can ask for a repair or replacement. If that’s not possible, bring your device to a reputable third party repair shop so the hardware can be checked.

Problem #4: Galaxy S5 stuck in Verizon error screen

I got a new Samsung S7 the other day and wanted to prepare my old S5 to give to my son. It had been working ok, the memory was getting low.  I was going to delete some apps, pull the pictures from memory and remove the memory card.  When I plugged it into my computer, the Verizon utility popped up and said update or repair your phone. So, I hit update and it said it was already up-to-date. That was fine…

So, I go the repair assistant because it said it would speed up the phone, etc. It also said it would transfer programs and pictures to my computer, fix the phone, then transfer everything back to the phone. Well, something happened and I am left with a screen that says “Software Update Failed”  then below, “your device didn’t update successfully. Use the Verizon Software Repair Assistant on a computer to repair your device and complete the update.” 

Well, with this screen stuck on, it won’t recognize the phone now. So, it won’t initiate anything at all. I have tried to hard boot it by holding down the power button for 10 seconds. I have tried the reset where you hold home button, volume up and power button, all with no luck. The screen will not move away from that saying, even if I take out the battery.  Help, I have a ton of info stored on this phone that isn’t on the external memory card. 

Any suggestions? I can email or text you a picture of the screen if needed… — Dan

Solution: Hi Dan. We don’t think an Android operating system will simply crash without any prior changes to it. The system may been interrupted while doing something like saving a file or changing its core files. The same thing can happen after a failed rooting procedure or installation of a ROM. Whatever the real reason for the crash, it’s clear that you are left with little wiggle room now.

There’s also no way for us to know what the real situation is when it comes to the state of the primary storage device. It may be corrupted at this time, or the device is unable to complete the boot sequence. If you can’t boot the phone in recovery mode (home button, volume up and power button), try to see if you can restart the device in safe mode. Here’s how:

  • Turn the device off.
  • Press and hold the Power key.
  • When ‘Samsung Galaxy S5′ appears on the screen, release the Power key.
  • Immediately after releasing the Power key, press and hold the Volume down key.
  • Continue to hold the Volume down key until the device finishes restarting.
  • Safe mode will display in the bottom left corner of the screen.
  • Release the Volume down key when you see Safe Mode.

If you can boot your S5 in safe mode, there’s a chance that you will still be able to recover your files. Otherwise, you can kiss those files goodbye as there’s no other way to access the storage device unless your phone boots up.

In order to use the phone again, you will have to manually install the stock firmware. Use Google to look for a guide on how to do that.


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