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What to do when your Samsung Galaxy J5 (2017) shows “An error has occurred while updating the device software” [Troubleshooting Guide]

There is an error that only shows when you’re trying to update the firmware of your phone and it says, “An error has occurred while updating the device software. Use the Emergency recovery function in the Smart Switch PC software.” This error may show up the moment you update your phone or it may occur halfway through. The point is that it’s difficult to determine the reason why your phone cannot continue updating its firmware but this problem can easily be fixed.

In this post, we will tackle this problem with the Samsung Galaxy J5 being the subject of our troubleshooting. We will try to look into every possibility and rule them out one by one until we can fix the problem. This isn’t the first time we’ve encountered this problem so we already know a thing or two that would work and allow your phone to continue updating. So, if you own a phone like this and are currently bugged by the same issue, then continue reading below as this article may help you.

Before anything else though, if you have other issues with your device, then visit our Galaxy J5 troubleshooting page for we have already addressed several common problems with this phone. Odds are that there are already existing solutions to your problems so just take time finding issues that are similar with yours. If you can’t find one or if you need further assistance, feel free to contact us by completing our Android issues questionnaire. Please provide us with as much information as possible so that it would also be easier for us to troubleshoot the problem. Don’t worry as we offer this service for free, so all you have to do is give us sufficient information about the problem.

How to troubleshoot Galaxy J5 that shows an error while updating the firmware

Problem: Hi guys. I am hoping you can help me with my problem. I have a Galaxy J5 phone and just recently there was a notification saying that there is an update available. So I downloaded it, followed on-screen instructions carefully but halfway through the update process, an error showed up saying that an error occurred while trying to update the software. Now, it’s stuck on that screen and won’t start properly. Can this still be fixed? Thanks.

Troubleshooting: There are three potential solutions to this problem and those are the things I want to show you in this post. When this problem occurs, it’s clear that your phone is experiencing some kind of firmware-related issue since it only shows up when you try to update your phone and it doesn’t show all the time. Now, here are the things you can do about it…

Solution 1: Use Smart Switch to restore your phone’s firmware

For this method, you will need a computer to run Smart Switch. What it does is actually restore your phone’s firmware if there’s no available update but if there is, the program will automatically update the phone. Here’s the step-by-step guide to help you how to restore your phone’s firmware using Smart Switch:

  1. If you haven’t installed Smart Switch yet, get it from here.
  2. After downloading the file, install it to your computer.
  3. After the installation, open the program.
  4. Now connect your phone to your computer using the original USB cable.
  5. Click MORE on the upper-right portion of the Smart Switch interface and choose  ‘Emergency software recovery and initialization.’
  6. On the next screen, click ‘Device initialization’ tab.
  7. Now, you will need to enter your phone’s model number and then hit Search.
  8. You will now be prompted to enter the serial number which can also be found in the box.
  9. After you’ve entered the serial number, hit OK.
  10. You will be prompted again about the initialization process, so hit OK to confirm.
  11. Let Smart Switch do its job and all you gotta do is wait until the initialization is finished and don’t unplug the cable from your phone.
  12. You will be prompted when the initialization is finished. Your phone will be restarted by the Smart Switch and you can actually see the progress bar moving on your phone’s display.
  13. Unplug the cable the moment the screen turns black or when the logo is displayed and allow the phone to boot up successfully until it reaches the setup screen and that’s pretty much it.

Your phone should now be running the new firmware but downside is that all your files and data that are stored in your phone’s internal storage should have been deleted and there’s no way around this. However, if the error showed up before or shortly after the download started, then the next method might help you fix the problem without compromising your files.

Solution 2: Delete the system caches

You may still be able to boot your phone in Recovery mode even if this kind of error shows up shortly after you started the update process. In which case, the problem might be due to some corrupt caches and if you can get rid of those files, then your phone may start normally and you can try to update its firmware again.

  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.

If the problem is due to some corrupt caches, then your phone should be able to boot up normally now that you’ve already wiped the cache partition. If there’s an available updated, you just have to try to download it again to see if it goes through this time.

Solution 3: Master reset your phone via Recovery mode

You should do this if the second solution didn’t work or if you don’t have a computer you could use to update your phone. I understand you already tried updating your phone but got stuck on the error and you can no longer use the phone to backup your data and files. So, at this point, you really don’t have much of a choice but to reset your phone.

For failed updates, files that were downloaded will be deleted together with your personal files and data. After the reset, you can then try to download the update again and there’s always a higher probability the update will become successful after the reset. So follow these steps to reset your phone:

  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.

After the reset, don’t install anything on your phone yet, instead, try to update it to the new version of Android so that you don’t have to backup your data and files.

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One Comment

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  1. Best,

    I have a Samsung Galaxy SM-J500FN that was stuck on the Samsung-logo while starting the phone, so I’ve done a factory reset. Now the following problem appears:

    When I start the phone, I can choose a language. Next step I can connect to my Wifi-network. During all these steps, error-messages such as “Unfortunately, Google Play services has stopped” appear but after clicking ‘OK’ on them, I can proceed. But it’s in the next step that the real problem starts.

    The next screen is “Terms and Conditions”, where I can thick off the box for ‘Diagnostic data’ and click ‘next’. If I do that, I click agree on the popup-screen, and the phone takes some steps such as ‘Checking connection’, ‘Software update’, ‘Loading’ and ‘Checking info’. Then the message “Unfortunately, Google Play services has stopped” pops up and it brings me back to the screen of ‘Terms and Conditions’.

    So I can’t pass the screen ‘Terms and Conditions’. I hope you can bring a solution since I’ve spent already hours trying to find out what to do and since Samsung doesn’t seem to be willing to help me out.

    Best regards,
    Jim Du Pan

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