Galaxy Note 4 cannot format an SD card, won’t save files, other issues

Today, we cover more #GalaxyNote4 issues. As usual, the issues mentioned in this article are taken from requests for assistance from some Note 4 users in the past. If you’re looking for a solution to your own Note 4 issue, you may find this material useful. We also covered other Note 4 issues for at least a year now so make sure to check previous articles in this link.

Below are the topics we discuss for you today:

  1. Galaxy Note 4 won’t turn back on after screen assembly was replaced
  2. Galaxy Note 4 cannot format an SD card
  3. Galaxy Note 4 won’t boot up
  4. Galaxy Note 4 mobile data not working
  5. Galaxy Note 4 won’t turn on after accidentally dropped
  6. Galaxy Note 4 keeps restarting on its own, won’t work if not connected to charger
  7. Galaxy Note 4 won’t save files to SD card, not detecting correct remaining storage space

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 Note 4 won’t turn back on after screen assembly was replaced

Hello. This is Tyler Shiflette from South Carolina. I’m having a big problem with my Note 4. Sometimes ago I dropped it on some rocks and cracked the front glass. The phone still worked. It was just at the bottom left corner. I decided to change just the glass, MISTAKE. needless to say, I messed up the digitizer/LCD screen. So I bought a new screen/LCD/digitizer, the whole set up. I watched several Youtube videos, read over your website several times. Got the new LCD, screen in mail and started to replace. I got everything put back together and to my surprise, nothing works. No LED, no charging screen, and where the SIM card goes under neath where the processor is gets really hot when the power button is pressed. Still no lights, no screen on, no charging indications, just nothing at all but that processor getting hot. When I depress the power it cools back down. I have 2 batteries that I have switched out, still nothing. Maybe you will have some insight on what is happening. Thanks. — Tyler

Solution: Hi Tyler. If the phone gets hot when you try to boot it up, there may be some connection problems that must be addressed. There may be a loosely connected metal contact, or a wrongly connected one somewhere. This often happens if you heat up the phone too much when disassembling it. It’s also possible that the flex cable that connects the digitizer to the logic board may have been damaged so you also want to check on that. Discussion of possible causes for this issue is beyond the scope of this article. If you can’t figure out the cause of the problem, we suggest that you let a professional go over your work.

Problem #2: Galaxy Note 4 cannot format an SD card

Hi. I stumbled across you page about SD cards not working in an Android device. I’m having one of the problems you listed and I wanted to see if you could help me out with some more info so I can prevent/ prepare for it in the future. Here is the link:

I’m am having the SD card won’t format problem. I was just on vacation, and to be honest I have no idea what happened. I turned my phone on one of the days and got the message in the upper corner “SD card not readable” something like that. I pulled down the menu then clicked on it and it told me I need to format it… so I did. It got to 20% then gave me the “Command ‘(x) volume partition disk: 179,64 public failed with ‘(xxx) (x) command failed” message. I did some research and one of the first processes of diagnosis is to plug the SD card into another device to see if it reads it. So I did, I plugged it into my Gopro and it did not read. At this point I’m assuming its toast and I won’t be able to recover any of the photos. I was going to buy an SD card computer reader so try the “CMD” method. But since my Gopro didn’t read it I’m thinking that is out of the option. Any thoughts?

I would really like to recover the items on my SD card but if not I will have to cut my losses. I have my go pro SD card that I will most likely use in the mean time. But what do you think caused this to happen?

Also, what steps can I take to be prepared for if this happens again. I was figuring backing up the phone and SD card to a thumb drive so I could restore it if it happened again. Any of your thoughts would be greatly appreciated. Thank you. — Mark

Solution: Hi Mark. We won’t go into details how an SD card can get corrupted but the fact about it, or to any digital storage device in general, is that they can fail any time. With today’s smartphone system, there can be tens of thousands of potential point of failures that can affect an SD card. Frankly, we can’t tell you exactly what happened, or what caused the card to fail. Assuming there was no physical damage to the card due to heat or cold exposure, the most likely cause must be software initiated. This means that a software glitch or error may have occurred while it’s trying to read or write on the SD card. Android is a sophisticated software environment that any failing point can affect a functionality severely. For example, if an app was trying to write to the SD card but was interrupted all of a sudden, it may result to file corruption.

Keep in mind that any storage device can’t run forever. An SD card is limited by its write/delete cycles. It can wear off over time. Modern SD cards are now equipped with a system, to manage wear-leveling to spread out writing of data over a large portion and avoid frequently written and overwritten sectors, but it’s still not perfect. A lot of SD cards still fail simply because a particular page or sector keeps getting used more often, and thus fails prematurely. We think this is what happened to your SD card. Unfortunately, once this situation develops, there’s not much a user can do. Most of the time, it manifests out of the blue and it’s too late to do something about it. In some cases, an SD card may work again after it’s been reformatted so you should attempt to reformat yours too if you want to find out if it can still be saved.

Depending on the problem, you may or may not be able to recover your files from the card. The only way to find out is to insert the card to another device like another smartphone or computer. If a second or third device fails to read or access the card, you’re out of luck.

In today’s world, the only way to prevent losing important digital memories and data is to create a backup. If you don’t back your files often, you only have yourself to blame if a storage medium fails out of the blue. Although many storage devices have greatly improved in reliability over the years, they are still not 100% foolproof. Make it a habit of always creating a copy of irreplaceable files to avoid heartaches when your SD card or phone fails. If you want lesser hassle in backing up, try to use remote cloud services to let your phone save copies of photos or videos when it’s connected to the internet. Such system is limited by internet availability of course, like when you’re vacationing in a remote island, but you really have to other option other than to manually copy your files to another device.

Problem #3: Galaxy Note 4 won’t boot up

Hello. I have a Note 4 and it died on me last night. I noticed a bit of lag which then became a freeze. then the phone rebooted on its own. it allowed me to back all my info and save my media to the SD card but then it froze again. I rebooted in recovery, wiped cache data; rebooted the phone and it came on only to freeze again and shutdown within 5 minutes. I then took the battery out, removed chip and reinstalled. Rebooted again in recovery and reset to factory; then rebooted and it again froze and shutdown. Took it to the store and had it checked by tech who tried reflashing on PC but it failed. Now device only boots to “Firmware upgrade encountered an issue. Please select recovery mode in Kies & try again.” which I did but seems that the device isn’t supported by Kies or Smart Switch. How can I restore my phone? Any ideas will help since nothing is working on it so far. — Kaos809

Solution: Hi Kaos809. We can’t know what may have happened exactly but we think that the only effective solution to this problem is by dealing with the firmware. To do that, you must make sure that your computer is equipped with the right drivers so it can interact with the phone via Smart Switch. Be sure to download the needed drivers from Samsung’s site. Once your PC has installed the right drivers, try to update the firmware again via Smart Switch. Keep in mind that updating the firmware via Smart Switch may not work if your phone already runs the latest firmware version. In that case, you should then try manually installing stock firmware via Odin. The exact steps on how to do this is beyond the scope of this article so make sure to use Google to find a good guide to help you.

Problem #4: Galaxy Note 4 mobile data not working

Hello. Based in London, UK. Just before Christmas last I retired my trusty Galaxy Note 3 and purchased a used in perfect condition, unlocked Verizon Galaxy Note 4, SM-N910V, Android Version 6.01. I hadn’t realized it was a Verizon Note model until getting it home. I am on the EE 4G network. I had to do some tweaking but thanks to your site and instructions I got the phone up and running and for my needs it works just fine. Most of the tweaking was done under APN+ settings. I have just discovered my Mobile Data button/toggle is not working, I can see it, I can press it and turn it on but I can’t connect to sites such as Google, Amazon UK, You Tube via mobile data. Connecting using the Wifi button there are no issues. Can you help me, Thank you. — Craig

Solution: Hi Craig. Unlike wifi functionality, mobile data uses a wireless carrier’s service so you must first become a subscriber for it in order to use it. Kindly contact your carrier so you can subscribe to their mobile data service. Once that’s done, you can then ask them for instructions on how to configure your phone.

Since you have a Verizon phone, there’s a chance that not all features will work on your carrier’s network. For example, your phone’s hardware may not support your carrier’s mobile data frequency so before you subscribe, try checking if your phone will be compatible with their system.

Problem #5: Galaxy Note 4 won’t turn on after accidentally dropped

Ok so check this out. I dropped my phone and then screen turned black after the fall. I tried restarting it and when it restarts I see the “Samsung Galaxy Note 4 powered by Android” screen. After that the screen goes black and the LED goes light blue and then dark blue pulsating continuously. I’ve tried removing the battery and restarting the phone. I also tried putting the phone in recovery mode by holding the power button and volume down button, and I even went as far as to buy a new screen with digitizer and reconnect it but still no progress. Help me droid guy. You’re my only hope. — James

Solution: Hi James. Unnecessary shock can lead to all sorts of problems, just like what happens when you expose a phone to liquid. If the phone fails to boot up normally after you dropped it, the logic board may have been damaged. Our blog does not provide hardware fixes so we recommend that you let a professional physically check the device first. Only then can you know if the damage is extensive or not.

Problem #6: Galaxy Note 4 keeps restarting on its own, won’t work if not connected to charger

I recently have had issues with the phone turning off and on and not able to reboot correctly unless it’s plugged in. So weird. The battery says 100% charged. I have to remove the battery in order for this to stop. So my phone stays plugged in or connected to a portable power device. I reset the entire phone about 3 months ago and the problem went away. Now the problem has come back. I hate to keep resetting and downloading everything again. I am trying to hold on till another device comes out. iPhone 8 or Note 8. I actually liked this phone. Any suggestions? If I go to Verizon they will say….UPGRADE. — Craig

Solution: Hi Craig. The first thing that you want to try here is to wipe the cache partition. This will ensure that the phone is using a fresh system cache. A corrupted system cache can sometimes lead to all sorts of problems so keeping it up-to-date is a must. Here’s how it’s done:

  1. Turn off the Galaxy Note 4 completely.
  2. Press and hold the Volume Up and the Home keys together, then press and hold the Power key.
  3. When the Note 4 vibrates, release both the Home and Power keys but continue holding the Volume Up key.
  4. When the Android System Recovery shows on the screen, release the Vol Up key.
  5. Using the Volume Down key, highlight the option ‘wipe cache partition’ and press the Power key to select it.
  6. When the wiping of the cache partition is finished, highlight ‘Reboot system now’ and hit the power key

Once you’ve cleared the cache partition, the next step would be to retrain the operating system to detect the true level of the remaining battery power. This procedure is called battery calibration. Battery Stats, an Android operating system feature that tracks battery capacity can sometimes be mistaken. It may at times give the false reading causing the phone to automatically shut the system off. To rectify this, calibrating the battery must be done. Here’s how it’s done:

  1. Use the phone by playing games or doing tasks to hasten power discharge, until the phone turns itself off.
  2. Turn the phone on again and let it turn itself off.
  3. Charge the phone without turning it back on.
  4. Wait until the battery says it fully charged to 100%
  5. Unplug the charger and turn the phone on.
  6. If the phone says it’s not 100% anymore, turn it off, plug the charger back in and wait until 100% charge is reached.
  7. Unplug the charger the turn the phone on again.
  8. Use the phone until you drain the battery down to 0.
  9. Repeat the cycle once.
  10. If there’s something wrong with how the phone’s operating system manages power usage, battery calibration should fix it.

If battery calibration won’t help fix your issue, do a final round of factory reset.

If factory reset won’t solve the problem either, that’s probably because of a bad battery. Try a new battery and see if that will make any difference.

Problem #7: Galaxy Note 4 won’t save files to SD card, not detecting correct remaining storage space

Hi. I have a Samsung Note 4. I have no idea what Android version it is but i had to select one so i randomly guessed. A couple of weeks ago i finally got around to uploading approximately 1200 photos off my phone SD card onto my computer & deleted the photos off my phone to create space again. I continued to take photos but when i got to roughly 100 photos it said there was no more space on the SD card & started saving the photos i took to a new folder (also called camera) that was just on my phone. I uploaded & then deleted the photos i had on my SD card & tried to select the few photos (approx 10) that were in the ‘camera’ folder on my phone & move them to the folder named ‘camera’ that was on my SD card. It said there was insufficient space to do so & that i needed to delete downloads, photos etc to create space. I had not knowingly downloaded anything big in those few weeks & when i looked at the properties of my 16GB SD card it said there was approx 7GB remaining. How do i convince my phone that there IS space on the SD card & how do i convince it to save my photos onto my SD card rather than onto my phone where i can’t retrieve them? Your advice would be very much appreciated!!! — Liz

Solution: Hi Liz. There may be a bug causing the phone not to be able to read the SD card properly so make sure that you reformat the card again. Here’s how to do it:

  1. From a Home screen, navigate: Apps > Settings.
  2. From the Device section, tap Storage.
  3. From the Portable storage section, tap SD card.
  4. Tap Format.
  5. Tap FORMAT (located in the lower-right).
  6. Tap DONE (located in the lower-right).

If the same problem occurs, consider doing a factory reset to wipe the phone clean and eliminate a possible software issue. Here’s how:

  1. Turn off the Galaxy Note 4 completely.
  2. Press and hold the Volume Up and the Home keys together, then press and hold the Power key.
  3. When the Note 4 vibrates, release both the Home and Power keys but continue holding the Volume Up key.
  4. When the Android System Recovery shows on the screen, release the Vol Up key.
  5. Using the Volume Down key, highlight ‘wipe data / factory reset’ and press the Power key to select it.
  6. Now highlight ‘Yes — delete all user data’ using the Vol Down key and press the Power key to begin the reset.
  7. When the master reset is complete, highlight ‘Reboot system now’ and hit the Power key.
  8. The Note 4 will restart but it will be longer than usual. When it reaches the Home screen, then begin your setup.

NOTE: Factory reset will delete data stored in the phone’s internal storage device. Make sure that you create a backup before you do it.

We suggest that you use Samsung Smart Switch to create a backup.


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