Solutions to Galaxy S8 stuck in boot loop issue, S8 turns on but screen remains black

Some #GalaxyS8 owners have started contacted us about issues in their new phone. Some of these issues are power- or boot-related like the ones mentioned below. We hope that this post will become a good source of information on what to do when you’re faced with similar situations.

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.

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: Solutions to Galaxy S8 stuck in boot loop issue

Hi. My Galaxy S8 is suddenly acting weird. This morning it suddenly started “installing system update,”as if I was trying to reboot it, even though the new update was installed several days ago. I left it but it continued for a good two hours. After that I had noticed it buzzed and tried to boot up and then the “no command” screen turned up. After that it has gotten stuck in the Galaxy S8 boot screen. Tried the soft reset but it then just looped to the first screen. It is not responding when I attempt to get it started in safe mode. Basically it is just stuck in the first start-up screen or looping the same after a soft reset. Is there anything I can do, or is it time to get it to a repair guy? Thanks for your outstanding troubleshooting and support! Adam

Solution: Hi Adam. If you didn’t set automatic update to off under Settings, it’s possible that the phone did receive an update and installed it on its own, as it’s supposed to do. However, said update may be problematic as the now is now stuck in a phenomenon many Android users call boot loop. Basically, what’s happening is that your S8 is unable to load Android operating system normally. This issue usually occurs if you try to tamper with the software by flashing, or if there’s a problem with an official software update. To troubleshoot the issue, below are the steps that you should try.

Solution 1: Wipe the cache partition of your Galaxy S8

Cache partition is a location in your phone’s storage that keeps the system cache. System cache is a set of temporary files that Android uses to load apps quickly. It also includes installation files for system updates and app updates. Sometimes, a system cache gets corrupted, which in turn can cause problems including the one you’re experiencing right now. To ensure that the system cache is in good shape, it’s recommended that you wipe the cache partition regularly, like once every few months. In your case, it can also be a solution. Clearing the system cache might unclog the system and allows Android to boot back up normally again.

To wipe the cache partition, follow these steps:

  1. Turn off the device.
  2. Press and hold the Volume Up key and the Bixby key, then press and hold the Power key.
  3. 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).
  4. Press the Volume down key to highlight “wipe cache partition.”
  5. Press the Power key to select.
  6. Press the Volume Down key to highlight “yes” and press the Power key to select.
  7. When the wipe cache partition is complete, “Reboot system now” is highlighted.
  8. Press the Power key to restart the device.

Solution 2: Reboot to Recovery Mode and perform a master reset

The next logical troubleshooting step following an unsuccessful cache partition wipe should be master reset. Like the cache partition wipe procedure, master reset requires booting the device to Recovery Mode first. Its effect though is more drastic. While cache partition wipe only deletes temporary files, master reset will erase everything such as photos, videos, documents, customizations, etc. Software-wise, your phone will be returned to its factory state so all of your unsaved files will be gone forever. Unfortunately, there’s no way you can back them up before doing a master reset since Android won’t load at all in the first place.

If you haven’t tried master reset before, here are the steps to do them:

  1. Turn off the device.
  2. Press and hold the Volume Up key and the Bixby key, then press and hold the Power key.
  3. 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).
  4. Press the Volume Down key several times to highlight wipe data / factory reset.
  5. Press Power button to select.
  6. Press the Volume Down key until Yes — delete all user data is highlighted.
  7. Press Power button to select and start the master reset.
  8. When the master reset is complete, Reboot system now is highlighted.
  9. Press the Power key to restart the device.

Solution 3 (optional): Flash the bootloader back to stock

Samsung Galaxy devices has other software environments where a technician can perform diagnostics. These alternate software modes are Recovery Mode and Download Mode. Both of these modes run independently of Android so even if Android won’t load, any of them should still work. However, in some rare cases, Recovery Mode, also known as bootloader, becomes corrupted or stops working as expected causing the phone to enter boot loop. To fix the problem, you should try to boot the phone to Download Mode and reflash the bootloader. This procedure is useful when a Galaxy device is stuck in a boot cycle, or if you can’t perform master reset.

Flashing the bootloader in your Galaxy S8 is a risky procedure though and if not done correctly, there’s a chance that you’ll brick the phone further. It’s important that you find a good guide that can give you the right steps on what to do.

Before you do the procedure, make sure that you have the following:

  • A working PC that’s connected to the internet.
  • Latest Samsung Odin application (Samsung firmware flashing tool) and a complete driver suite. Odin, while officially used by Samsung to flash their devices, is not officially released. It was not originally meant to be used by end users and was designed to be used internally by its technicians only. That said, you’ll not find Odin from any official Samsung website. However, most flashing guides should provide a source where to get it.

Once everything is prepared, you can then begin the flashing process. Flashing a bootloader is very similar to flashing the firmware so most of the steps below are identical. We can only provide general guidance in this case as some flashing process may vary a bit, depending on the phone model. Be sure to consult other guides to get a more accurate picture on what to do. The steps below are for demonstration purposes only.

  1. Look for the correct firmware for your phone model and download it. Make sure that you select the right one. It should be the same exact firmware that ran previously on your device. We assume that you list down the firmware version somewhere. If you did not take note of it before, there’s a chance that you may pick the wrong one. As you may know now, using an incorrect firmware can cause complications so good luck with that.
  2. Let’s now say that you have identified the correct firmware. You then want to download it to your computer. The firmware file should have a bunch of files in it like AP_, BL_, CSC_, etc.
  3. Look for the file that starts with a label BL; this should be the corresponding bootloader file for this firmware. Once you’ve identified the bootloader file, copy it to your computer’s desktop or to any other folder that you can easily access.
  4. Proceed with the rest of the flashing procedure using the Odin program.
  5. In Odin, click on the BL tab and make sure to use the bootloader file you’ve identified earlier.
  6. Now, make sure that the “Device Added” status and its “ID:COM box” has turned blue before hitting the START button. This will initiate the flashing of your phone’s bootloader.
  7. Restart the phone once the procedure is finished.

Problem 2: Galaxy S8 turns on but screen remains black

Hi! I was browsing Facebook when my S8’s screen went black. However, the vibration whenever I unlock it via fingerprint can still be felt. The background lights on both side of the home button were on. Prior to that, I was using mobile data and I received a notification that I was already consuming my cap limit. My phone was also charging in Sony’s Powerbank but using CDR-king’s cord. I tried to press the power button and volume down together but only vibration can be felt. It was 60% battery when it turned black. — Sherwin Mondia

Solution: Hi Sherwin. Unless the phone was accidentally dropped or physically impacted (which means that your S8 has sustained hardware damage), the reason why the screen stays black may be software in nature. That means you should be able to fix it on your level without sending it in for repair. Below are the steps to troubleshoot the problem:

Fix #1 for S8 turning on but screen stays black issue: Let the phone drain the battery

If you are unable to turn the phone off or restart it normally, letting the battery go all the way down to zero should be your only option. We don’t know how long the battery will become empty but once you notice that the lights on the Navigation buttons (Recent and Back keys) are no longer lit, that’s your cue. Once the phone is off, charge it again for 30 minutes and see what happens.

Remember, if your phone’s screen remains unresponsive after charging it for 30 minutes, you should check again if you can turn it off normally. You should also check if you can restart it by pressing Power and Volume Down buttons for 7 seconds.

Fix #2 for S8 turning on but screen stays black issue: Try to restart the phone to safe mode

While restarting to safe mode is often done if one suspects that a third party app is causing a problem, it can also be a good way to test if you can jumpstart the operating system or disable the bug that causes the glitch. To restart to safe mode, kindly follow these steps:

  1. Turn the device off. If you still can’t turn the phone normally, do the first suggestion above.
  2. Press and hold the Power key past the model name screen.
  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.
  8. Uninstall apps that are causing a problem.

Fix #3 for S8 turning on but screen stays black issue: Reboot the phone to other alternate boot modes

Aside Safe Mode, you can also run the phone into two other modes name Recovery Mode and Download Mode. Each of these modes don’t need Android so if the cause of the problem is due to an Android-related glitch, your screen should work once you’ve successfully booted to any of them.

How to boot your Galaxy S8 to Recovery mode

  1. Turn off the phone.
  2. Press and hold the Volume Up key and the Bixby key, then press and hold the Power key.
  3. When the Samsung Galaxy logo shows on the screen, release the Power key but continue holding the Bixby and Volume Up keys.
  4. When the Android logo shows, you may release both keys and leave the phone be for about 30 to 60 seconds.
  5. You can either wipe the cache partition or do a factory reset when in this mode.


How to boot your Galaxy S8 to Download Mode:

  1. Turn off the phone.
  2. Press and hold the Volume Up key and the Bixby key, then press and hold the Power key. When the Samsung Galaxy logo shows on the screen, release the Power key but continue holding the Bixby and Volume DOWN keys.
  3. Wait until the Download screen appears.
  4. 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.
  5. Use Google to look for a guide on how to do it.

 


 

2 Replies to “Solutions to Galaxy S8 stuck in boot loop issue, S8 turns on but screen remains black”

  1. Can’t even enter recovery menu. I can’t turn it off but pressed bixby, volume up and power button through a couple of cycles and nothing…….

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