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Galaxy S5 won’t install OTA update, other issues

Despite having been released over 2 years ago, millions of #GalaxyS5 are still in circulation around the world. That’s a sign that many people still recognizes the reliability of this once amazing Samsung flagship. We hope that this material can help S5 users who may be experiencing similar troubles.

Below are the specific topics that we cover in this post today:

  1. Galaxy S5 stuck in Odin mode
  2. Galaxy S5 won’t install OTA update
  3. Galaxy S5 cannot move apps to SD card after Marshmallow update
  4. Cannot free up space in Galaxy S5 to install Android update
  5. AT&T Galaxy S5 can’t install OTA update from T-Mobile network | Galaxy S5 battery drain issue
  6. Galaxy S5 screen is not responsive

If you are looking for solutions to your own #Android issue, you can contact us by using the link provided at the bottom of this page, or you can install our free app from Google Play Store.

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: Galaxy S5 stuck in Odin mode

I know very little about cell phones. I have an unlocked Samsung Galaxy S5. Last night I brought it in to a store to activate it on a new cell phone plan and transfer my number over to it from another phone. As the sales rep started it up and changed my number over it I could hear it begin to receive texts. He then seemed to have problems swiping the screen to open it. Told me that he was having “accessibility” issues. He asked another sales rep about it and I think she said to hold all three buttons to do something. I didn’t hear it all the conversation. The next thing I see the screen was black with the green Android symbol showing the message “Downloading…do not turn off target”. The message in the top left corner now reads in red “odin mode”… with the following lines white: Product name:SM (can’t read all the numbers)…Current binary: Samsung Official…system status: Official…Reactivation lock :off…Knox Warranty: Void 0x0…and the following line in grey: Qualcomm secureboot: enable (csb)…Hp Swrev: S1,T1,R1,A1,P1… and the next line in blue: Secure download: Enable… and the last line in red: UDC Start.

The rep said it needed to download & to come back in a while. I left for 45 minutes and upon return the same screen was showing. The store was closing and so I took it home as it was. He suggested I plug the charger in overnight and it should finish the download. It has not & is still locked on the screen I just described. What should I do now? I have two other phones on this new plan and will call the cell company to call forward my number to another one so I can take it to work today…but help!! I am lost with this issue. Thanks. — Pati

Solution: Hi Pati. The best people that can help you with the problem is the guys from the store. We have no idea what they did and right your phone is stuck in download mode. They may have forced to install an incompatible software causing the device to stop working altogether.

On your end, you can try to check if wiping the cache partition and/or doing a factory reset will help. We strongly suggest that you try wiping the cache partition first and if that won’t work, a factory reset. Here’s how to do it:

  • Turn off the device.
  • Press and hold the following three buttons at the same time: Volume Up key, Home key, and Power key.
  • When the phone vibrates, release the Power key but continue to press and hold the Volume Up key and the Home key.
  • When the Android System Recovery screen appears, release the Volume Up and Home keys.
  • Press the Volume Down key to highlight ‘wipe cache partition.’
  • Press the Power key to select.
  • When the wipe cache partition is complete, ‘Reboot system now’ is highlighted.
  • Press the Power key to restart the device.

Remember, if wiping the cache partition or factory reset won’t work, bring the phone back to the store and demand for a replacement.

Problem #2: Galaxy S5 won’t install OTA update

I am experiencing difficulty getting the latest update for my Samsung Galaxy S5 (AT&T network). I’m not sure why but it doesn’t seem to update automatically. I only knew to check for an update because my husband told me his phone (also a Samsung Galaxy S5 with AT&T) had just went through an update. As of yesterday (Aug. 30, 2016), I was able to download the update by going to settings, about device and software updates. It took over an hour to download the whole thing then I was prompted to restart which I did. As it was restarting, I got an error that the update failed. The phone still turned on and works as usual but no new update. If I try checking for updates this same way I now get a message that says no firmware. I tried using Kies from my computer by connecting with my USB cable. It recognizes my phone but does not show any available updates even though my phone is still only running on Android v5.0.

I have also tried freeing up space on my phone or moving some apps to my SD card but this made no difference. I get the same no firmware message and Kies shows no updates. Since nothing else seemed to work, I tried restarting it several times and tried the soft reset by turning it off and removing the battery. No luck with that either. Please let me know what I can do to fix this. Thank you! — Ashley

Solution: Hi Ashley. Carrier-initiated updates (OTA updates) follows a schedule of sorts when pushing an update. We don’t know how AT&T’s algorithm that determines what device needs an update works so you must seek their help directly.

The only thing that you can do right now is to try doing a factory reset before attempting another Android update. If that won’t work either, contact AT&T to get help.

For reference, here are the steps on how to do a master reset:

  • Turn off the device.
  • Press and hold the following three buttons at the same time: Volume Up key, Home key, and Power key.
  • When the phone vibrates, release the Power key but continue to press and hold the Volume Up key and the Home key.
  • When the Android System Recovery screen appears, release the Volume Up and Home keys.
  • Press the Volume down key several times key to highlight ‘wipe data / factory reset.’
  • Press Power button to select.
  • Press the Volume down key until ‘Yes — delete all user data’ is highlighted.
  • Press Power button to select and start the master reset.
  • When the master reset is complete, ‘Reboot system now’ is highlighted.
  • Press the Power key to restart the device.

Problem #3: Galaxy S5 cannot move apps to SD card after Marshmallow update

Since I upgraded my software on my Samsung Galaxy S5 (which I absolutely regret) to android version 6.0.1, I can no longer move apps to SD card. It is an older phone and has limited internal memory. I contacted Samsung and T-Mobile about this. I had looked into the changes that would occur with the upgrade and this was not included. This makes my phone nearly useless to me as the memory is completely full and I can’t update any apps because there is no room. T-Mobile and Samsung said there wasn’t anything I could do about it and that they did not allow the feature in 6.0.1 to format SD card as internal memory on Samsung devices. It seems like I am out of luck but was hoping you may have a suggestion besides buying a new phone (which I think is Samsungs and T-Mobiles ulterior motive). Thanks so much in advance for any help you can offer. — Aimee

Solution: Hi Aimee. Android Marshmallow operating system allows the conversion of an SD card to either as a portable storage or as an Adoptable storage or an extension of the primary memory. Adoptable storage, which should allow apps and their data to be stored in the SD card, is not supported by Samsung. That’s a fact and we don’t know what their motives are (and we really don’t care). If you want to try a workaround for this issue, you must be ready to do some advanced software hacking procedures using your computer via ADB. We don’t support this procedure so you must find your own guide on how to do it. Just like any unofficial software hack, this procedure can potentially cause problems if not done correctly, or if something gets corrupted during or after the process. Do it at your own risk.

Also, since this is not a Samsung-supported feature on their hardware, performance of your phone especially when loading apps may be significantly affected. If you are willing to trade off performance for more storage, then go ahead.

Another potential solution that you can try is reverting to a previous firmware or operating system version. This can be done by manually flashing Android Lollipop to your device. Like the first procedure, it has inherent risks so you must do it at your own risk. We also don’t support it so kindly look for a guide via Google on how to do it.

Problem #4: Cannot free up space in Galaxy S5 to install Android update

There’s a new software update waiting to be installed on my S5, but it told me there’s insufficient storage space. I went through and deleted seemingly everything that could be causing the problem. Removed several apps that were taking up space, cleared out junk files with Clean Master, and deleted the vast majority of videos and photos I had stored on my internal memory. I checked my storage, and it turns out that didn’t do anything! Upon closer inspection, my application data seemed to be the culprit. But no matter how many apps I deleted or moved to my SD card, my applications still took up the same amount of space as before (in one case it even INCREASED!) I rebooted my phone to see if that would change the readings, but it didn’t. Since I’ve already deleted almost everything I had in internal storage, or otherwise moved it, I’m at a loss as to how to delete anything else! Any help you can give on this issue would be greatly appreciated! — Aaron

Solution: Hi Aaron. Do a factory reset and see how it works. Refer to the steps above.

Problem #5: AT&T Galaxy S5 can’t install OTA update from T-Mobile network | Galaxy S5 battery drain issue

I’ve got two problems/questions. 1. My screen often, but always, is difficult to turn on. When hitting the power button, I see a flicker, but the screen goes dark. I’ve found that removing the battery and rebooting seems to always work most of the time. Eventually, I can get the phone to work, but can take a lot of tries. Anything I can do to solve this problem? 2. My phone is an AT&T phone. Now, I’ve switched to T-Mobile (the phone was unlocked). I can’t seem to upgrade to Marshmallow–I think the phone still wants to go to AT&T to do that, but of course I no longer have an account there. Any way that I force the phone to get its upgrade? Also, my phone seems to use a lot of power. I charged it overnight and 45 minutes after going on battery–with no calls and no data usage–the battery is only 85%. Any thoughts? Thanks. — Steve

Solution: Hi Steve. The first issue may be hardware-related. Have the phone checked by Samsung or a third party technician to see if the screen assembly or a component is defective. Alternatively, you can check if it’s an operating system issue or being caused by one of your apps via factory reset. Make sure to observe how the screen works after a factory reset (and without any third party apps) for a day. If the issue stays, do ahead for repair or replacement.

There’s nothing that you can do about the second issue, unless you want to manually install a firmware via Odin. OTA (over-the-air) updates are determined by the carrier that originally owned the phone. Unlocking the device won’t change that fact so there’s no way you can get OTA update from T-Mobile on an AT&T S5. if you want to go the manual installation route, find a guide online on how to do it.

Finally, battery drain issue requires more effort to remedy as there are many factors that can cause it. In general though, you must simply use smarts to minimize its impact. Try this brief guide on how maximize battery power, or find more in-depth tips and tricks from other blogs.

Problem #6: Galaxy S5 screen is not responsive

Hi. I’m having issue with my s5. 1) my PC cannot read my phone when connected via USB 2) bigger problem than no 1 is my phone’s screen is not responsive to touch many times a day. Before it went that way, the screen will dim to yellowish colour but all contents can still be read via the screen. The only way to regain back is to take out the battery and restart and it tends to occur every hour. I had the same problem when using s3 before, and have my screen replaced but that did not settled the problem. The repair guy said it had issue with motherboard thus I changed to S5. But it seems I’m having the same problem again after 2 years of using. FYI, similar problems occurred every 2 years with my S1, S3 and now S5. So I did factory reset to my phone yesterday, but same thing occur again (I did soft reset before that). Could this be another motherboard problem? I just want to be sure before I embark on buying a new phone. — Hani

Solution: Hi Hani. If factory reset did not fix the issue, then you probably have yourself to blame for the problem. If your phone has a habit of falling or getting in contact with water, you can expect to experience hardware problems sooner or later.

We’ve been Samsung users here in TheDroidGuy as well and we still have a 4-year old Galaxy S3 that runs pretty fine (along with S4s, S5s, S6s, and S7s) so we can testify that these devices are reliable. We are yet to encounter reports similar to yours as well — that screen turns bad after two years. The cause of your problem is either the way you handle the device or the environment the device is constantly in. If you think that it’s a faulty Samsung hardware though, we strongly recommend that you contact the right people and not us. Provide a feedback to Samsung and provide proof so they can double check their product.

Could this be another motherboard problem? Maybe, but we are almost certain you have a hardware issue. Repair or replacement are your choices.


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