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Note 5 became rooted without user knowing it, Air Command menu keeps popping up, other issues

This post welcomes both #GalaxyNote 5 and non-Note 5 users. We bring you 5 more reported issues about this device. We hope that our solutions can help our ever-growing Android community. If you want to visit our main Note 5 troubleshooting page, just click on this link.

In the meantime, here are the topics we cover for you today:

  1. Rooted Galaxy Note 5 running on Darth Vader ROM stuck in bootloop
  2. Galaxy Note 5 Air Command menu keeps popping up
  3. Galaxy Note 5 can’t send and receive MMS | Galaxy Note 5 sends and receives distorted videos
  4. Galaxy Note 5 became rooted without user knowing it | Galaxy Note 5 stuck in bootloop
  5. How to stop system update notification on Galaxy Note 5

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: Rooted Galaxy Note 5 running on Darth Vader ROM stuck in bootloop

Hi Droid Guy. First off thank you for offering free help. I really appreciate it! I am a normal girl and I don’t know anything about phones but a friend rooted my Galaxy Note 5. He’s in jail now I think so I can’t get him to fix it. It’s been working fine for the last few months on the “Darth Vader” ROM but today the battery wouldn’t charge. I thought it was a battery issue so i went to T-Mobile and they said it was actually something else. The employee got the phone on a screen that was called “teamwin” but he factory reseted it and I haven’t seen that screen with the file icons since. It is now what I think is called boot-looping. But I got it on the screen that says “downloading… do not turn off target.” I don’t know what to do now. I don’t have a PC either, just a Macbook. I’ve reached out to a couple people for help but I think they are reluctant or unwilling. I hope you can help. Just in case this helps– the upper left of the downloading screen says  ODIN MODE DOWNLOAD SPEED: FAST PRODUCT NAME: SM-N920T CURRENT BINARY: CUSTOM SYSTEM STATUS: CUSTOM FAP LOCK: OFF SECURE DOWNLOAD: ENABLED  KNOX WARRANTY VOID: 1 (0X0304) AP SWREV: B:2 K:0 S:0 Thanks, hope you get around to me soon. — Jessica 

Solution:  Hi Jessica. We understand the reluctance or unwillingness of some people to try and fix the issue. Any root-related issue is difficult to fix as often times, the solution is specific to the root software running on the device. In other words, the problem is probably a configuration error that only the developer of said root software can fix (if they can at all). This is the main reason our blog is unable to provide solutions to issues like yours. You must reach out to the developer of the root or custom software installed on the phone, or seek assistance from other users that run the same software on their phones.

Otherwise, consider flashing stock (official) firmware on your phone to bring all software settings back to default.

Problem #2: Galaxy Note 5 Air Command menu keeps popping up

I have a Samsung Galaxy Note 5. My issue lies with the Air command and/or S Pen. Randomly, throughout the day my phone will react like I have removed the S Pen by flashing the air command screen and then quickly disappearing. It will do that about 3-4 times very quickly then stop, then anywhere from 10 minutes to 3hrs later it will do the same thing, and this repeats endlessly throughout the day until I power it down.

Once I turn the phone back on, same thing starts again. There is no rhyme or reason to it, sometimes I am on the phone, sometimes it’s in my pocket, sometimes it just lying there charging, etc. etc. I have changed the settings on the S Pen and air command with absolutely no change. It’s driving me crazy! I love this phone and the S Pen, but it would be nice if it wasn’t acting possessed! — Shirleybob915

Solution: Hi Shirleybob915. The cause of the problem may either be software or hardware in nature. The Galaxy Note 5 is designed to show the Air Command menu once it detects that the S Pen has been removed from its holder. If the detection mechanism inside is damaged for some reason, that may be the reason why the Air Command menu pops up but then disappears right away. In this case, the only permanent solution for you is phone replacement. Contact Samsung and see if there’s something that they can do to give you a replacement unit.

Prevent Air Command menu from popping up

As a remedy, you can also try to force the phone not to show  Air Command menu if it detects that the S Pen is absent from the its holder by doing the following steps:

  • Tap the Apps icon.
  • Open the phone Settings app.
  • Tap on S Pen.
  • Go to Air command.
  • Turn off Detach S Pen to turn on.

Wipe the cache partition

If you’re lucky and there’s no hardware malfunction involved, the problem may be solved permanently by doing some software troubleshooting. Try wiping the cache partition first to see if that will help. Here’s how:

  • Turn off your Samsung Galaxy Note 5 completely.
  • Press and hold the Volume Up and the Home buttons first, and then press and hold the Power key.
  • Keep the three buttons pressed and when ‘Samsung Galaxy Note5’ shows, release the Power key but continue holding the other two.
  • Once the Android logo shows, release both the Volume Up and Home buttons.
  • 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.
  • Use the Volume Down key to highlight the option ‘wipe cache partition’ and press the Power key to select it.
  • 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.
  • The reboot may take a little longer to complete but don’t worry and wait for the device to become active.

Boot in safe mode

We haven’t heard of a third party app interfering with Air Command or causing a problem like yours but that doesn’t mean it can’t happen. To see if a third party app is to blame, boot the phone in safe mode for at least a day and see how it goes. Safe mode prevents third party apps from loading so if the issue won’t occur during the observation period, you are one step closer to a solution. To identify the real cause, you must then remove apps one by one. Make sure that you observe how the phone works after each uninstallation. Once you’ve noticed that the issue has stopped, then that’s your clue that you just removed the cause of the problem. Below are the steps how to restart in safe mode:

  • Turn off the phone completely.
  • Press and hold the Power key.
  • Once ‘Samsung Galaxy Note5’ shows, release the Power key and immediately press and hold the Volume Down button.
  • The phone will restart but keep the Volume Down button pressed.
  • Once the phone has finished restarting, ‘Safe mode’ will be display in the lower-left corner of the screen.
  • You may now release the Volume Down button.
  • Observe the phone for at least 24 hours.

Reset all software settings to default

Finally, if both software solutions above won’t improve the situation, don’t hesitate to do a factory reset. This will revert all software to their known, working state so if a bug has developed that results to Air Command menu to act erratically, factory reset should fix it. Below are the steps on how to do it:

  • Turn off your Samsung Galaxy Note 5 completely.
  • Press and hold the Volume Up and the Home buttons first, and then press and hold the Power key.
  • Keep the three buttons pressed and when ‘Samsung Galaxy Note5’ shows, release the Power key but continue holding the other two.
  • Once the Android logo shows, release both the Volume Up and Home buttons.
  • 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.
  • Use the Volume Down key to highlight the option ‘Yes — delete all user data’ and press the Power key to select it.
  • 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.
  • The reboot may take a little longer to complete but don’t worry and wait for the device to become active.

Problem #3: Galaxy Note 5 can’t send and receive MMS | Galaxy Note 5 sends and receives distorted videos

I’ve had my Samsung Note 5 for a year now. I’ve recently started having problems receiving and sending pictures. It says “failed” when someone sends me a picture and when I send them a pic I can see it but they say it says failed on their end also.

Also, when I first got the phone I could send videos and now when I try to send a video even if it’s just 2 seconds long or 2 minutes long, it’s so distorted on my end and on theirs. Oh and my mom, dad and sisters all have certain Samsung Android phones too and they are having the same problems. I also sometimes can’t receive text or other people aren’t getting my text at times. If anyone can help me with this it would me AMAZING! — Kat

Solution: Hi Kat. If you really want to get to the bottom of the problem here, you must seek help from your carrier. Armchair technicians like us can only help so much, especially for an issue like this. The cause of the problem may be network- or mobile service-related so there’s nothing much that we or you can do about it. The most that you can do is try basic software solutions in the hope that the problem is phone-specific. In most cases though, a problem like yours is due to poor network service, or even network problems of the recipient. There may be an on-going service interruption in your area, or your carrier’s network is having some technical problems with their systems. For the distorted video issue, the problem may be caused by your network’s file size limitation. These are just some of the reasons why you need to involve your carrier in trying to find the solution for your troubles.

Before contacting them, make sure that you try these simple software solutions first. Below are the things that you must do (in this order):

  1. wipe the cache partition (refer to the steps above)
  2. boot in safe mode (refer to the steps above)
  3. install all available app and system updates
  4. wipe the cache and data of the messaging app
  5. factory reset (refer to the steps above)

For reference on how to wipe the cache and data of your messaging app, follow these steps:

  • Open the Settings menu either through your notification shade (drop-down) or through the Settings app in your app drawer.
  • Navigate down to “Apps”. This may be renamed to something like Applications or Application Manager in OEM skinned versions of Android 6.0.
  • Once in there, click on an application.
  • You’ll now see a list of stuff that gives you information about the app, including Storage, Permissions, Memory Use, and more. These are all clickable items. You’ll want to click on Storage.
  • You should now clearly see the Clear Data and Clear Cache buttons for the application.

Problem #4: Galaxy Note 5 became rooted without user knowing it | Galaxy Note 5 stuck in bootloop

Hi. I bought a Samsung Galaxy Note 5 last summer. After a short period of time (approx. 2 months after the purchase) the phone started to turn itself off or freeze. Over time it happened more and more frequently and the phone also sometimes got stuck in a reboot loop (i think that´s the correct term) and the screen became quite hot. The service center refused to do anything since the Knox warranty void was changed from 0 to 1 and they claimed that I had rooted the phone, thus voiding the warranty.

I have not rooted the phone but no one believes me – not the service center, not the operator, nor Samsung. I have browsed the Internet and have found a few others that have experienced the same problems as I have.

Do you know if this i quite common among Samsung phones? Is there anything I can do except letting the service center replace the mainboard for a 500 USD fee? Right know I am stuck with a useless phone. Best regards. — Fredrik

Solution: Hi Fredrik. To help fix the issue, we have a couple of questions for you.

  1. Did you get the phone as a brand new unit? If not, then the previous owner may have attempted to root and/or install custom firmware on it, thereby tripping the Knox counter. 
  2. Are you getting persistent ad pop ups, noticed some unusual app behavior, or noticed apps you never install? If you have a brand new device, then something must have changed some core operating system files including the Knox security feature. So far, only very few Android malware are documented capable of rooting the phone in order to take control of the device. One such malware is Hummingbad, which can gain root access of a phone so its developer can do virtually anything he/she wants to do. Another known malware that behaves similarly to Hummingbad is Godless. It can also root the phone without the user knowing it. Once the phone has been rooted, its developer can then install other apps that can serve different purposes for the developer. The common trends among malware developer nowadays is not to destroy or damage the software environment of a device but to monetize. This is done by forcing the victim device to regularly show ads, that way a developer can gain financial rewards via illegal product marketing. Another motivation for some malware developer is to steal information so they can sell them for a price.

If you noticed apps you did not install before, or if a certain app no longer works as expected, that can be a sign of a malware infection. Some malware developers can build two versions of an app — one is clean, while the other is malicious. This is done by giving the two app versions the same developer certificate. First, they’ll allow you install a clean version of the app but after some time, that clean app will be upgraded to a malicious one without your knowledge. Thus it is very important to know the source of your apps. Avoid installing apps from unreliable or shady developers. Try to do some research before you install anything to avoid malware infection.

If you suspect that your phone has been infected by a malware, try to install a free antivirus app and scan your phone. There are many free AV apps out there like Lookout, AVG, Avast, Zone Alarm, Trend Micro’s Mobile Security & Antivirus, among others.

Of course, we know that your main problem now is the bootloop issue. This may or may not be the direct result of a malware infection. To see if you can  make the phone stable so that you can perform some software solutions, try to see if you can boot it to other modes. Here’s how:

Boot in Recovery mode:

  • Charge the phone for at least 30 minutes.
  • Press and then hold the Home and Volume UP keys, then press and hold the Power key.
  • When the Samsung Galaxy S7 shows on the screen, release the Power key but continue holding the Home and Volume Up keys.
  • When the Android logo shows, you may release both keys and leave the phone be for about 30 to 60 seconds.
  • Using the Volume Down key, navigate through the options and highlight ‘wipe cache partition.’
  • You can either wipe the cache partition or do a factory reset when in this mode.

Boot in Download Mode:

  • Charge the phone for at least 30 minutes.
  • Press and then hold the Home and Volume DOWN keys, then press and hold the Power key.
  • When the Samsung Galaxy S7 shows on the screen, release the Power key but continue holding the Home and Volume DOWN keys.
  • Wait until the Download screen appears.
  • If you can boot the phone in download mode but not in other modes, that means that your only way out may be to flash a stock or custom firmware.
  • Use Google to look for a guide on how to do it.

Boot in safe mode:

  • Charge the phone for at least 30 minutes.
  • Press and hold the Power button.
  • Once the ‘Samsung Galaxy S7’ logo appears, release the Power key and immediately press and hold the Volume Down button.
  • Continue holding the button until the phone finishes rebooting.
  • Once you see the text “Safe mode” at the bottom left corner of the screen, release the Volume Down button.
  • The only difference of safe mode from normal mode is that the former prevents third party apps from running. If you can boot the phone in safe mode but not in normal mode, uninstall all apps until the issue (that prevents you from booting normally) is eliminated.

Remember, your main task is to keep the phone stable enough first so you can attempt some software solutions. If bootloop persists, then the problem may involve hardware. That means that you need to send it for repair if you plan on using it again.

Problem #5: How to stop system update notification on Galaxy Note 5

Well, i bought my Note 5 on the internet; swap my old phone’s number to the new one and it all worked good and dandy. Well, it did until the message application appeared. It gave me the option to update at the moment, later or overnight. i chose right at that moment, waited and the phone did what it got to do. Immediately after the phone ended rebooting, however, the phone asked me to update once more. I accepted to do it again finding this strange, but the phone just did the same thing. It’s not quite a problem though, just annoying because the phone is constantly reminding me to update. The update to install is that is an Indonesian firmware (because the phone is from there probably) but I live in USA. — Josh

Solution: Hi Josh. The option to delay or to manually stop the phone from showing system update (Android operating system) notification varies by phone variant and carrier. In general, this option can be found by going under Settings>Software update. If you don’t have this option, then there’s no way for you to stop that persistent update notification.

 


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