How to fix a water damaged Galaxy J7, opens Download Mode on its own

The #GalaxyJ7 does not enjoy IP68 certification like the Galaxy S7 and S8 so even a tiny amount of water can potentially damage it. Today’s troubleshooting article deals with how with a wet Galaxy J7 and how to minimize damage to it. We also address one curious situation raised by a user as his J7 appears to boot to Odin Mode on its own. We hope you’ll find this post helpful.

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Problem 1: How to fix a water damaged Galaxy J7

My phone got wet yesterday (but not submerged totally) and i didn’t notice until like 20 minutes after it got wet. I took it apart and wiped it out and then when I put the battery back in the flashlight lights up but the phone won’t power on. Does that mean my phone is totally fried? I had it in a bag of cornmeal (didn’t have rice) and it seems to be more dry (no more condensation beads inside the camera lenses) but it still does the same thing when I put in the battery and wont power on. Do you think I should plug it in to warm it up and help it dry? I don’t know what to do. Is there any hope for my phone? I really don’t want to have to buy a new phone. Please help. BTW I don’t know the android version below. — Hopeferguson30

Solution: Hi Hopeferguson30. A Galaxy J7 and its variants do not have water-resistance protection so they are more vulnerable to water exposure than, say, the Galaxy S7 and S8. If your J7 was working normally before you got it wet, water must have damaged one of the components. Usually, if a phone fails to power on after being exposed to water, it’s usually the result of a damaged battery or shorted power IC. It’s not a good sign and a case like that tends to end up with repair. We’re not very optimistic with your case since the phone is already exhibiting signs of hardware malfunction at this time. Obviously, you can’t fix, say a broken battery, with a software solution. If battery was damaged by water, the least that you can do is to get a new one and swap the damaged one with it. The same principle applies to other damaged components and even the motherboard.

For the benefit of other users who may have similar circumstances, we’ll try to discuss the things that you can do if a smartphone gets wet. We’ll also include the DON’TS in these situations as they are just as important as the DOs.

What NOT TO DO if your smartphone gets wet:

  • Turn the phone back on. Never attempt to power on a wet electronics unless you’re planning to quickly deliver a killing blow. A wet motherboard can cause electricity to take shorter routes to other components they’re not supposed to be directly connected to. If a short occurs in a motherboard, a number of components may get damaged permanently. Basically, you want to avoid activating the circuits of a wet board which may lead to permanent issues later on. If your phone is already off, leave it as it is.
  • Attempt to charge your phone. Like turning on your phone, charging a wet electronics can damage components when a short circuit occurs. Never do it.
  • Place the phone near an oven, direct sunlight or heat source. There’s a proper way to dry out a wet phone. Never take the shorter route of drying it up too quickly. Doing so will most likely be a death sentence for the hardware rather than a saving act. Like water, too much heat can kill electronic components.

What needs to be done if you have a wet phone

Promptly doing the right steps when dealing with a wet phone is very important in preventing damage or minimizing it. Remember, water and electronics don’t mix. Even water-resistant phones are not meant to be exposed to water intentionally. The steps we provide below are more of a “first aid” application rather than cure. If your phone has already suffered hardware damage following its initial contact with water, the most that you can do is to minimize further damage. You’ll still need to send the phone in later so a technician can repair or replace the damaged component.

Step #1: Take the phone out of the water immediately

This is common sense. Any normal smartphone user will even have the reflex to do so. Unless you want to torture your non-water resistant phone a little longer, taking it out of water is a must-do.

Step #2: Check the What NOT TO DO section above.

Step #3: Disassemble the phone

Ideally, the phone must be taken apart right after taking it out of the water but since that’s easily said than done, we suggest that you limit yourself to user-removable parts only. If your phone is in a case, make sure to remove it. Take out the SIM card and SD card if you have them. The same is true for the battery (for units with removable batteries only). Remember, going beyond user-removable parts may void whatever warranty your phone has at the moment. Once you’ve broken the warranty of your device, Samsung may or may not fix the device for a fee. Unless you are confident that you can handle to open the phone further up and dismantle a non-removable battery and disconnect it from the motherboard (and of course ready to pay for out-of-warranty repair should you’ll fail to make your device work again afterwards), don’t even attempt it. Opening up a phone is complicated, especially for first timers.

If you can dismantle the phone to its barest minimum though, make sure that you do to reduce the number of nooks and crannies where moisture can hide. Doing so will avoid damaging more components and will allow for faster drying out of the parts later on.

Step #4: Dry out the phone

There’s a few ways to dry out a wet phone. In our experience, any of them can work as long as you do it properly. Just make sure that you wipe the phone or components with clean soft cloth first. Once you’ve done that, you can then proceed to do any of the tricks below.

Dry the phone using the rice trick

Some experts suggest putting a phone or the dismantled parts in a bag of rice and let it dry for a few days. Many households has easy access to rice so it can be a handy ingredient to use. Assuming you’ve already wiped dry the components, you then need to put them in a bag of rice. Make sure that you bury everything in rice. Rice is good at absorbing moisture but it can take days to do this job. If you have time to kill, this should be the most handy option for you. Make sure that you use a sealed bag like a ziplock.

Dry the phone using silica gel

Silica gel is often found in boxes of electronics. Like rice, silica gel is effective in keeping its surroundings dry. Consumers from humid countries often encounter silica gel in their electronic boxes. If you don’t have any idea what a silica gel is, try to visit your local electronics shop or any electronic or electrical store in your area an ask for them. Buy as many as you need since you want to cover your phone or dismantled components with it. Like in using rice, make sure to leave your phone in a bag surrounded by silica gel packets for at least 3 days to dry out the parts completely. Use a ziplock to seal everything inside.

Let a professional dry your phone

Repair shops that handle wet electronics have a special tool that can dry devices in a matter of minutes or hours. If money is not an issue, let a professional handle the entire drying and repair processes for you.

Step #5: Attempt to power on the phone

After drying your phone for a few days, take it out from the bag and reassemble everything. Afterwards, turn the phone back on and see what happens. If everything is back to how they were before (no observable problems), then make sure to keep looking out for issues in the next few days. If you’re lucky, the phone should work out just fine.

Step #6: Send it in for repair

If the phone won’t turn back on, or if you’ll notice obvious signs of damage or problems, then you need to let a professional check the hardware to see what’s wrong with the device. Exposing a phone to water can lead to almost anything so there’s really no telling what might be damaged or not.

Problem 2: Galaxy J7 opens Download Mode on its own

I have a Samsung J7 max. This morning i went to check my missed texts and calls and my device is in a boot up mode and advising it is Downloading do not turn off device. The boot option it was on is “secure download enable”  the power ran down so after recharging the device i now find that it’s back to normal. What caused this? should i be concerned? has my phone been hacked? how can i tell? What should i do? — Gary Marshall

Solution: Hi Gary. “Downloading … do not turn off device” screen is what we call Odin Mode. It’s a separate software environment from Android in Samsung devices to allow technicians or users to make changes to the software. For example, if you want to use a non-official firmware for your device, you need to boot your device to Odin Mode or Download Mode first in order to perform a flashing procedure.

Accessing Odin Mode is arrived by doing the following steps:

  1. Press and then hold the Home and Volume Down keys, then press and hold the Power key.
  2. When the Samsung Galaxy logo shows on the screen, release the Power key but continue holding the Home and Volume Down keys.

As you can see, there’s a specific set of hardware button combinations that needs to be pressed to access Odin Mode. Without pressing the right buttons, your phone shouldn’t go to Odin Mode, unless there’s a software bug that causes it to do on its own.

We usually see Samsung devices go to Download Mode on their own after a failed flashing procedure, or if they’re using custom, non-official firmware. If you did make system changes to the software lately, then there the cause must be coming from that.

If your phone was never modified or runs custom software, then it may be a one-time bug. We don’t think your phone is hacked but if it is, that’s probably because you’ve installed a malicious app in the first place. Make sure that you know you’re only installing safe apps from verified, reputable developers.

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