What to do if Galaxy S7 Active has colored lines showing on the screen, screen is unresponsive

Screen or display issues is a common issue among smartphones. Even when sporting the high-end Corning Gorilla glass, the #GalaxyS7 screen is still a fragile component that can easily break apart when the device is dropped. This troubleshooting article will once again address this issue and hopefully help those who are facing situations similar to the ones in this post.

Problem #1: What to do if Galaxy S7 Active has colored lines showing on the screen

I have had many issues recently with my Samsung Galaxy S7 Active over the past few weeks, and I’ve been reading your articles about how to fix these issues. None of them have been helpful, mainly since I can’t go into any mode. Why? I cannot turn off my device due to the non-removable nature of the battery.   It started a few weeks ago when, while I was looking at the pictures on my phone, some odd lines appeared across my screen. They aren’t the ones that you’d see if there was an issue with the screen connection, I’ve had that issue before and crossed that bridge on a previous device. These lines seem like a corruption of the core code of my device. They are not connected, non-solid lines that are multi-colored and reach across the full length of the screen. These lines have since plagued my nightmares.

Moving on, After the lines appeared, my phone basically told me to go fly a kite. It shut itself off, and went into a boot loop. It would try to turn on, sometimes even getting to the screen where I put in my code to unlock it, before totally freezing up and starting all over again from the beginning. I was able to correct this once when I was finally able to get to some screen where I could factory reset the phone. I lost hundreds of pictures that day, due to my negligence of backing them up to my SD card. Then, maybe three weeks ago, those same kind of lines appeared as I was taking photos, and it happened all over again. Somehow the problem was solved when I removed my SD card and sim card, so I thought it was a corrupted SD card and I have yet to put the SD card in the phone since.  

Now we come to this moment. It’s one in the morning, I just wanted to sit in bed and read on my phone … and I was! I’ve been fine for weeks with no sign of issue! Then I plugged in my phone and a few minutes later I almost had a heart attack as those damned lines appeared again!!!!! I don’t want to factory reset my phone, I really don’t. This time around, I’m stuck going between “Recovery booting….” and “Installing system update” with those lines going across the circle that goes along with the later. They appear in random locations each time, and I have no idea what the cause is….   I think it might be some water damage, I’ve been using this phone a lot including while in the shower and such, but the device was designed with stuff like that in mind so I don’t understand how this could happen! I can’t really think of any other possible cause. I never downloaded any shady apps or anything like that…. I’m staying calm for the moment, but that hammer is looking like a great stress relief and my phone is looking more and more like a nail. — Glen

Solution: Hi Glen. Discoloration, lines, or other abnormal behaviors a smartphone screen  display because of hardware malfunction are usually persistent. Based in our years of experience dealing with broken Samsung Galaxy screens, hardware damage is usually permanent so its symptoms won’t go away at all. For example, if your device had its water resistance protection compromised and some moisture penetrated the motherboard or the screen assembly, the symptoms or issues should have been apparent day in and day out. That the symptoms you describe here appear to come and go means that the problem is probably software in nature. By software we don’t mean it’s necessarily an operating system bug. It can in fact be anything within the software aspect of your device — apps, services, or the operating system in general.

We understand what a hassle it can be to do a factory reset but at this time, it’s the best way to kick start your troubleshooting. There’s no software tricks that you can do in this situation. Checking for coding irregularities is obviously out of the question because you need time, money, tools and, most importantly, expertise for that. User-level software troubleshooting at most involves doing a factory reset, observation, and, if necessary, app deletion.

If you are unable to turn your device off at this time, we suggest that you wait until the battery runs out. Once the battery is empty and your S7 Active is off, charge it for 10 minutes, then boot the device to Recovery Mode. Here’s how:

  1. Press and then hold the Home and Volume UP keys, then press and hold the Power key.
  2. When the Samsung Galaxy S7 shows on the screen, release the Power key but continue holding the Home and Volume Up keys.
  3. When the Android logo shows, you may release both keys and leave the phone be for about 30 to 60 seconds.
  4. Using the Volume Down key, navigate through the options and highlight ‘wipe data / factory reset.’
  5. Once highlighted, you may press the Power key to select it.
  6. Now highlight the option ‘Yes — delete all user data’ using the Volume Down key and press the Power button to select it.
  7. Wait until your phone is finished doing the Master Reset. Once completed, highlight ‘Reboot system now’ and press the Power key.

Now that you’ve factory reset your S7, set it up again but this time, be sure not to add any apps to it. Let it run for 24-48 hours without any apps whatsoever so you’ll know if there’s a change. In this state, you’ll only be able to use apps that came with the operating system package so be sure to try and use the phone to replicate the issue. 48 hours should be long enough to give you an idea if you have a software issue at hand. If the problem won’t return at all during this time, you can bet one of the apps is behind the trouble. On the other hand, if the screen becomes problematic again even when there are no third party apps, it’s most probably a hardware issue. In this situation, you should get professional help. Contact Samsung to setup repair and let them handle the situation for you.

Problem #2: Galaxy S7 freezing after an update, becomes unresponsive

S7 began freezing after update. It locked up and became unresponsive to all button commands. Had it looked at byba cell phone repair place here, their techs checked the battery, display, power and volume buttons as well as the charge port and motherboard. They found nothing wrong physically with the phone. Once the battery was reconnected it woke up and ran until it died. They charged it and let it die again just to be sure. They returned then phone in working order free of charge. It worked until yesterday when snap chat crashed and it became unresponsive again. It eventually fired up log enough for me to factory reset it.now it won’t stay on long enough to finish the setup. It just freezes eventually and turns off. — Caleb [email protected]

Solution: Hi Caleb. Just like in many Android issues, there are two possible causes in this situation — software and hardware. If the hardware check by third party technicians yielded nothing, then you should consider checking the software angle. We don’t know much about your system so the main task falls on you to figure it out. Like what we tell Glen above, start by booting your device to Recovery Mode so you can do a master/factory reset or cache partition wipe. This is usually effective in dealing with software bugs that developed after some time.

If you happen to be using a rooted device, consider unrooting it before doing a factory reset. Root software are community developed and not all of them work properly. Making sure that you remove any unofficial software from the device is one important thing to do in this case. The same is true if you’re using custom ROM. Custom ROMs may not be as stable as carrier-provided software builds so flashing a stock firmware should be your next task, if that’s applicable.

If you’re not using root software or custom ROM at all, try to see if you reflashing the bootloader will help. Some users were able to fix software problems like the one you’re having by doing this solution. Keep in mind though flashing procedure is risky and can potentially brick your device if not done properly.

Problem #3: Galaxy S7 screen went black after it was accidentally dropped

I dropped my S7 and the screen went black. The light is blinking and my volume works. However the factory reset does not work( i tired all the methods the volume, home, and power button and nothing happened) Do you think maybe just replacing the screen could work? Or do I need to invest in a new phone? — Kaila [email protected]

Solution: Hi Kaila. If your S7 screen was working normally right before the moment you dropped it, then yes, you need to have the screen replaced. The Galaxy S7 may have a durable Corning Gorilla Glass 4 display but it still is one of the most easily broken parts. Your phone is obviously not dead because it still makes a sound and the LED light is still working so hopefully the motherboard is still intact and working fine. If your device is no longer covered by the standard one-year warranty from Samsung, we still recommend that you let them repair the screen for you. You may be able to save a few dollars by letting a third party technician repair the phone for you but if something goes wrong with the repair (yes, like doctors, technicians also make mistakes), Samsung will not even take a look at your device if the hardware has been tampered with by non-Samsung techs.