Galaxy S4 showing “No SIM card” error plus other battery power issues


Hello Android Community! Here’s another post that deals with #GalaxyS4 power issues. As expected, the problems mentioned here are taken from emails and letters sent by some of our readers.

These are the topics discussed in this article:

  1. Galaxy S4 initially freezes and eventually stopped turning on
  2. Galaxy S4 drains battery faster while charging
  3. Galaxy S4 with new battery drains power fast
  4. Galaxy S4 showing “No SIM card” error and loses saved music

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.


Problem #1: Galaxy S4 initially freezes and eventually stopped turning on

I am not sure the software I clicked above is accurate. This is my daughter’s phone. She bought it two weeks ago and it is glitchy. We are missionaries in Zambia, Africa and there are not tech stores here to take it to, and the man we bought it from is out of town until July 20th.

Here are our issues. For starters, it has a gray battery icon on the front with what looks like a loading circle, but it never does anything.

If we press the power button after seeing that, then it changes to a battery icon with a green stripe across the bottom, and a series of dots underneath that look like they are moving to the right.

We have had success twice in getting it into recovery mode and doing a factory reset, but with no luck.

The lock screen freezes, we’ve had the Touch Wizard say it’s not responding. Then we’ve had the Program error not responding, and now it won’t turn on at all. The white Samsung logo appears for a millisecond before disappearing, and we can’t get it to do anything else.

HELP!! 🙂 — Julie

Solution: Hi Julie. First of all, we are not sure if your daughter’s S4 is running the stock Android operating system so we don’t know whether or not the standard software troubleshooting that we provide will work. Since you are unable to power on the phone normally and factory reset via recovery mode won’t work, the last thing you can do on your end is to boot it download mode, which is a special runtime environment that will allow you to update the current operating system, or change it back to the original. If you are able to boot in download mode, the tricky part would be to determine what the correct ROM or firmware this S4 had.

For now, try to verify if download is accessible by doing these steps:

  • Turn off the phone and remove the battery for at least 10 seconds.
  • Re-insert the battery.
  • Press and hold Volume Down, Home, and Power buttons.
  • Press Volume Up button to confirm that you want to access download mode.

If you are successful, that’s a sign that the issue may be caused by a firmware glitch. This means that you may be able to fix the issue on your level without asking for assistance from a proffessional. If you want to reflash or install the stock firmware to your S4 yourself, try to use Google for the steps.

If download mode will not be accessible though, consider having the phone checked by a local shop for more advanced troubleshooting.

Problem #2: Galaxy S4 drains battery faster while charging

My battery has been draining whilst charging. I started using another charger cable and it solved the issue. However, since today the battery drains quicker whilst charging and a pop-up message says I need to download a power sharing app to share power. I don’t want to share power, I only want to charge my phone. I saw another person with same issue was advised to uninstalling. I tried to follow those steps, buy the app is not even downloaded on my phone. As far as I know I have not recently installed an app. I have briefly used a power saving app, but uninstalled it again when a new charger seemed to work. Please help, as my laptop has also died on me today… 🙁 — Nienke

Solution: Hi Nienke. There are many factors that can cause a smartphone’s battery to lose power faster than a charger can restore a charge. One of the most common reasons is the deterioration of the battery itself. If you’ve been using the phone for over a year now, there’s high likelihood that the battery has simply lost significant capacity to hold power. This can be expected for Lithium-based batteries. After hundreds of charge cycles, the battery will lose its ability to hold a charge like it used to be. To verify if this is the case, try using a new battery and observe the phone for a couple of days.

If you’re positive that the battery is fine, start doing the basic software troubleshooting. Below are the things that you can do.

Boot in safe mode

If you installed many apps on this phone, there’s a chance that one of them is the reason for the fast battery drain issue, or the power sharing popup (although power sharing app may also be due to a persistent Samsung service running in the background). Try charging the phone while in safe mode and see the difference. If it charges normally, that means that it is indeed one of the apps that’s causing the trouble. Here are the steps to boot in safe mode:

  • Press and hold the Power button.
  • Once the Samsung Galaxy S4 logo appears on the screen (assuming the phone responds to Power key press), release the Power button.
  • As soon as you release the Power button, press and hold the Volume Down key.
  • Continue holding the Volume Down key until the phone has completed the reboot process.
  • If you can read ‘Safe Mode’ at the bottom left corner of the screen, release the Volume Down key. Otherwise, repeat the process until you can boot the phone to Safe Mode.

Clean up phone firmware via factory reset

Factory reset is an effective solution for almost all power- or battery-related issues. This will not only fix the particular issue you are having but may also minimize future errors. Before proceeding, make sure that your personal data (photos, videos, contacts, etc) are copied to another device to serve as backup. To perform a factory reset on an S4, just follow these steps:

  • Turn the phone off completely. (Remove the battery and place it back in)
  • Press and hold the Volume Up, Home and Power buttons.
  • Release the Power button when the phone vibrates but continue holding on to the Volume Up and Home buttons.
  • When the Android System Recovery screen appears, release both the Home and Volume Up buttons.
  • Using the Volume Down key, highlight ‘wipe data / factory reset.’
  • Press the Power button to select it.
  • Using the Volume Down button again, highlight ‘delete all user data.’
  • Press the Power key to select it.
  • Once the reset is complete, choose ‘Reboot system now.’
  • Press the Power button to restart the phone.

Problem #3: Galaxy S4 with new battery drains power fast

Hi. So I’ve had my Galaxy S4 for about 8 months. Around 2 months ago, after upgrading to Lollipop (5.0) i started noticing that when my phone reached anywhere from 25% of battery to 40% of battery it would switch off by itself and drain all the battery. so the only way to switch it back on was to put it charging and it would start from 0%.

So I bought a new battery after reading forums but the problem continued. I decided to wipe the phone and flash a custom ROM thinking that it could be a software problem. But unfortunately the problem was still there. A few weeks ago I took it to a cell phone repair shop and they told me that the problem was the power IC (hardware)  or something like that.

Now being that the repair for that is nearly a $100, I wanted to know from you guys if this the problem, because I live in a country where getting ripped off is super normal and every cell phone shop I go to diagnosed it as something different.

Thank you for your time.

Regards. — Aime

Solution: Hi Aime. While there’s no way for an average user like you to verify if the repair shop’s diagnostic is correct, you can still do the basic stuff on your end to help identify what may be the cause of the problem. This means that you can try the troubleshooting that we usually recommend in our blog first, particularly in isolating if the issue is software in nature. Since you have already replaced the battery and reflashed the ROM, the only thing that you can try here is to check if one of your apps is to blame. This can be accomplished by doing either of these:

  • boot the phone in safe mode, or
  • do a factory reset and observe the phone for a few days without installing any apps.

Any of them will give you an idea if you’ve installed an app that drains the battery significantly most of the time.

Problem #4: Galaxy S4 showing “No SIM card” error and loses saved music

Hi! So I’ve had my Galaxy S4 for about two years but a few months ago it went haywire. When I was sitting in a class, I got my phone out to listen to music and BAM. All my music was gone. Later that day I took a screenshot of a picture but when I went to my Gallery, all my photos got deleted except the screenshot. Then about 2 months later, my phone gave me a messsage that said “No SIM Card” and gave me only one option: Restart. I did that and it worked just fine. But my phone has been doing the No SIM thing off and on for another month. I thought maybe I had a virus, so I downloaded the app “AntiVirus”, restarted my phone and it worked. As of now, it’s a game of chance whether or not my phone will work. Please help. — Anna

Solution: Hi Anna. The “No SIM card” message you got before may not necessarily be due to malware or any software. It’s possible that the SIM card tray be loose, of the SIM card is defective. The loss of your songs appears to be unrelated to the “No SIM card” error so it’s hard to get a pattern if the phone suffers from software or hardware problem. To help you identify which of them may be causing the troubles, we recommend that you perform the basic troubleshooting stuff like booting the phone in safe mode, wiping the cache partition, and doing a factory reset.

If nothing changes after doing all these procedures, that’s a clear indication that the software’s fine. Consider having the hardware checked by a professional if possible.


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