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How to fix Samsung Galaxy A3 that has a black screen and won’t respond but soft buttons are lit [Troubleshooting Guide]

It may appear like a black screen of death (BSoD) but it’s a different variation and it occurs on a Samsung Galaxy A3. Usually, BSoD causes the screen to become blank, unresponsive but with notification light flashing but in this case, it’s the soft buttons that are lit from time to time. Based on the report from our reader, pressing the Power and the Volume Down button results to a vibration, which could mean the phone turned off.

Continue reading this post if you own a phone like this and are currently bugged by the same problem. I will walk you through in troubleshooting your device so we could try to fix it and bring it back to life. Of course, there is no guarantee that this problem will be fixed but at least we’ll do what we can. So, go on, read our troubleshooting guide below.

Now, before we jump to our troubleshooting guide, if even you found this post because you were trying to find a solution to different issue, then I suggest you visit our Galaxy A3 troubleshooting page for we have already addressed some of the most commonly reported issues with this device. Try to find a problem that’s similar with yours and use the solutions or workarounds we suggested. If they don’t work for you and if you need further assistance, then fill up our Android issues questionnaire and we will include your concern in our next posts.

Troubleshooting Galaxy A3 with a black screen but soft buttons are lit

Problem: Hello I have a Samsung galaxy A3 2017 and I have a black screen but the two lights at the bottom the back button and the other one light up every now and then and when is hold the power and volume down buttons together it vibrates, just wondering if you could help. Many thanks. — Natalie

Troubleshooting: Hello Natalie. This troubleshooting guide will be based on how you described the problem and it may also work to all BSoD issues you may encounter with your device. While we know our procedures are safe, thing might still happen while you’re troubleshooting so proceed at your own risk.

Step 1: Do the Forced Restart procedure

Natalie, I understand you already tried this but your phone just vibrates each you press the Power and the Volume Down buttons. This combo will perform the forced reboot on your device only if done correctly. There’s a very small detail you’re missing here and I think that if you can do this correctly, it might be the only thing that you have to do. So try this…

  • Press and hold the Volume Down key first and without letting go of it, press and hold the Power button and keep these buttons held for 10 seconds or until you see the screen turns on.

Please note that you have to press and hold the Volume Down key first and then the Power key. Pressing and holding the Power key first will just turn your phone off and that’s the reason why you’re getting the vibration instead of the phone turning on its screen.

Your phone won’t respond if you held the Volume Down button but if you did that to the Power key, there would be a different result.

I really think that this problem is due to a minor glitch in either the firmware or the hardware, it might even just be a system crash. Just do the Forced Reboot procedure and this problem might be fixed, otherwise, move on to the next step.

Step 2: Try to start your phone up in Safe mode

There’s only so much we can do to a phone that won’t boot up or turn on. Assuming the first step failed, it’s time to try to start the phone up into a different environment and the first thing I want you to try is the safe mode. While in this state, all third-party apps and services are temporarily disabled so if the problem is due to an app or two, your phone may be able to boot up successfully. Remember, all we want to see here is your phone booting up or turning on its screen so that we can verify that the hardware is fine. So, follow these steps to try to boot your Galaxy A3 in Safe mode:

  1. Press and hold the Power key until the phone vibrates to make it’s powered down.
  2. Press and hold the Power key past the screen with the device name.
  3. When ‘SAMSUNG’ appears on the screen, release the Power key.
  4. Immediately after releasing the Power key, press and hold the Volume down key.
  5. Continue to hold the Volume down key until the device finishes restarting.
  6. Safe mode will display in the bottom left corner of the screen.
  7. Release the Volume down key when you see ‘Safe Mode’.

If your phone boots up successfully, then it’s confirmed one or some of the apps you installed is causing the problem. Find that app and uninstall it:

  1. From any Home screen, tap the Apps icon.
  2. Tap Settings.
  3. Tap Applications.
  4. Tap the desired application in the default list or tap Menu icon > Show system apps to display pre-installed apps.
  5. Tap Uninstall.
  6. Tap Uninstall again to confirm.

If you don’t have any idea which of your app is causing the problem, then reset all settings of your phone. It’s equivalent to the factory reset but none of your files, data and apps will be deleted. It might be the one that could fix this problem:

  1. From a Home screen, navigate: Apps > Settings > Backup & reset.
  2. Tap Network settings reset.
  3. Tap Reset Settings.
  4. Tap Reset Settings to confirm.

If, however, your phone failed to boot up in this mode, then you should try doing the next step.

Step 3: Attempt to start your phone up in Recovery Mode

The Android system recovery menu is actually the fail-safe of almost all Android devices. This would allow owners to do some troubleshooting procedures that are direct impact on the firmware. Even if this problem is caused by a serious firmware issue, your phone may still be able to start in this mode. Therefore, it’s logical enough to try to start your phone up in this mode. If successful, at least we know that the hardware is fine plus we can do a couple of things to try and fix the problem like wiping the cache partition and doing the Master Reset. So, try to follow the steps below…

How to start Galaxy A3 in Recovery Mode and wipe cache partition

  1. Turn off the device.
  2. Press and hold the Volume Up key and the Home key, then press and hold the Power key.
  3. When the device logo screen displays, release only the Power key.
  4. When the Android logo displays, release all keys (‘Installing system update’ will show for about 30 – 60 seconds before showing the Android system recovery menu options).
  5. Press the Volume down key several times key to highlight ‘wipe cache partition’.
  6. Press the Power key to select.
  7. Press the Volume down key to highlight ‘yes’ and press the Power key to select.
  8. When the wipe cache partition is complete, ‘Reboot system now’ is highlighted.
  9. Press the Power key to restart the device.

How to start Galaxy A3 in Recovery Mode and do the Master Reset

  1. Turn off the device.
  2. Press and hold the Volume Up key and the Home key, then press and hold the Power key.
  3. When the device logo screen displays, release only the Power key
  4. When the Android logo displays, release all keys (‘Installing system update’ will show for about 30 – 60 seconds before showing the Android system recovery menu options).
  5. Press the Volume down key several times key to highlight ‘wipe data / factory reset.’
  6. Press Power button to select.
  7. Press the Volume down key until ‘Yes — delete all user data’ is highlighted.
  8. Press Power button to select and start the master reset.
  9. When the master reset is complete, ‘Reboot system now’ is highlighted.
  10. Press the Power key to restart the device.

If your phone is still not booting up in recovery mode, then you have no other choice but to bring your phone to a tech and let him take care of the problem. As far as you are concerned, you’ve done everything you could to try and fix the problem to no avail. It’s time to the professional to handle the problem. I hope this helps.

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