Galaxy S5 lost EFS folder and keeps rebooting, other power boot issues

Galaxy S5 root

Rooting and ROMming are fine as long as they work. Sometimes, they can lead to unforeseen consequences, just like any other software/firmware modification if not done properly. Our article today tackles one such issue here together with the usual power/boot issues on a #GalaxyS5.

These are the specific topics mentioned in this article:

  1. Galaxy S5 black screen issue
  2. Dropped Galaxy S5 won’t start normally
  3. Dropped Galaxy S5 with display problem
  4. Galaxy S5 lost EFS folder and keeps rebooting on its own

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 S5 black screen issue

No previous issues with apps or the OS on the S5 owned since November 2014 when I upgraded from S3. After a couple of hours usage of the app, I eventually left phone and the screen timed out after the 5 mins. However upon using the power button, the screen stayed black but the phone vibrated once. Then blue light came on then key lights came on but screen always black. No response from home key either. So I took the cover off and removed battery to force it to restart. once battery is reinserted and power button pressed down to start power up sequence, phone did turn back on ok but after a while once screen manually turned off did the same.

After repeated attempts I noticed that phone would stay black and vibrate once then pause then vibrate once again. Nothing else would work. Eventually did a factory reset but that didn’t seem to cure it and screen still not working. So once it was resetting again removed battery and left it out for several hours and then later that night but it all back and it came back on into the clean factory reset state like new. Worked ok Friday although I had put SIM back into S3 so I could still take calls and texts. Friday night swapped SIM back into S5 all fine and used all day Saturday until the evening when screen went again exact same problem. The micro-SD card that was in S5 was removed Thursday night and has not been put back in since. Any ideas before I go to the Vodafone store to see if they can send it off for repairs? — Paul

Solution: Hi Paul. An intermittent issue like this can be caused by a lot of things. The first thing that you can do to identify if the problem is due to bad software or malfunctioning hardware is to boot the phone in safe mode for at least 48 hours. If your phone works normally while in safe mode, that suggests that a third party application is the cause. Here are the steps to boot your S5 in safe mode:

  • Turn the device off.
  • Press and hold the Power key.
  • When ‘Samsung Galaxy S5′ appears on the screen, release the Power key.
  • Immediately after releasing the Power key, press and hold the Volume down key.
  • Continue to hold the Volume down key until the device finishes restarting.
  • Safe mode will display in the bottom left corner of the screen.
  • Release the Volume down key when you see Safe Mode.

You can also do another round of factory reset and leave the phone free of any third party apps for 2 days. This should also tell you if an app is creating this mess.

If the issue remains even when in safe mode, or after doing a factory reset without any third party app installation, a hardware malfunction is more likely to blame.

Problem #2: Dropped Galaxy S5 won’t start normally

Ok..i will start from the beginning. I have been using my Samsung Galaxy S5 since one and a half years now.. It was working perfectly until i dropped the phone accidentally which caused the screen to crack. The screen does not light up anymore….but i can feel that the phone is fully functional. During boot-up, I can hear the usual startup sound, notification sounds, screen lock sounds and so on. So that proves that the phone is fully working except for the broken screen. So i thought i would just change the full display part which is quite expensive and everything will be fine. But i was wrong.. One day, i booted the phone up. Everything was normal during startup. The screen was black (as it was broken) but i could hear the startup sound , see the blue light at the top of the phone and so on….but then immediately after startup, the phone started to act strangely. The touch buttons were flashing (i mean that they were lighting up and then off and then they re-light up and then re-turn off). Also, when i lock the screen it makes the usual lock screen sound but after the screen has been locked it continues to make that lock screen sound repeatedly…really weird. Also i have noticed that the left back side of the phone is overheating. So i wanted to know if the phone was acting like that only because of the cracked, damaged screen or is it a sign that its motherboard is dying? Please i really wanted to know before i change the whole display. Thanks for taking the time to read all this. Any help or advice will be greatly appreciated. — Harry

Solution: Hi Harry. It’s difficult for us to tell if the symptoms you described are only confined to the screen area. Dropping an electronic device can lead to all sorts of issues depending on the component/s damaged. The best way to tell if the motherboard is still okay is to have it checked, which can be a long and costly process as well. Since you are experiencing multiple issues at once at this time, we recommend that you simply have the entire phone replaced instead of having to try and fix component or components at a time. Replacing the whole display won’t guarantee a fix for the problem as well, especially if other parts are also malfunctioning right now.

Problem #3: Dropped Galaxy S5 with display problem

Hi. I have an S5 that is about 1.5 years old and I’m having some issues with the screen. I can’t remember if they started directly after an update. I’m running Android v5.0. I have dropped my phone (more than once – it was always in a shock absorbing case), but everything always appeared to be intact. The issues don’t seem to have coincided with a drop.

The issues started with the bottom half of the screen flickering green/yellow at the lowest brightness setting. The issue was (and still is) intermittent. Raising the screen brightness seems to take care of the problem.

About a month after that issue began the screen started going black and having issues turning back on. It does go black while physically in use, it just won’t come back after the screen is turned off. Again, the problem is intermittent. It seems to have a more difficult time turning on after the screen has been off for a long period, though that is definitely not always the case. When this happens if I press the power or home button the two other touch screen buttons at the bottom (to the sides of the home button) will light up and vibrate. Sometimes the phone will also take a screen shot which will often show what should be seen on the screen. If I take the battery out the screen will work again, but the issue comes back quickly. Sometimes it will begin working again without taking the battery out. Turning the screen on by pressing the power and home button at the same time worked for a while, but doesn’t really seem to be doing anything (at least not consistently) anymore.

I tried a factory reset and it didn’t fix the problem. I removed the SD card and it didn’t do anything either (all my apps and files are saved to the SD card). It’s there anything else I can do or do you think the screen is going?

Thanks. — Claire

Solution: Hi Claire. Doing a factory reset may not have fixed the problem simply because the issue is not software in nature. Although an S5 can take a lot of beating (especially if enclosed in a protective case), there is no 100% guarantee that the device won’t eventually succumb to physical damage after repeated drops. As mentioned above, dropping an electronic device can lead to any issue because there’s no telling what component is damaged. If you don’t fix electronics for a living, there’s virtually nothing that you can do on your end right now to fix the problem. Have someone check the phone instead so any hardware issue can be diagnosed and fixed properly. If you have access to a Samsung store in your area, make sure to visit them first.

Problem #4: Galaxy S5 lost EFS folder and keeps rebooting on its own

Ever since I accidentally wiped my EFS folder off the planet earth, “strange things are afoot at the circle K.” (A ROM decided to wipe it before I knew what it was, I do not even know why it decided to wipe THAT folder, now I know what that folder contains.)

Apart from the factor that I now have NO IMEI and cannot make a phone call with this anymore, my WIFI is a little strange at times but the worst of it all is the following:

My Phone will reboot after 30 seconds of inactivity.I t does not matter if I have locked the device, or just left a program running. If I do not physically touch the device, it reboots. If my phone is unplugged from the power, the device will reboot within 25 seconds.

If my device is plugged in to the wall the device is fine. There is nothing wrong with the battery, it is a constant 20-25 second delay and then a hard-reboot and then the usual boot sequence.


ALSO, ANY ROM DOES THIS AFTER INSTALL. So there is an error someone in another software file that is not getting deleted after wiping everything, as in recovery it is fine.



(Is there anything else I need to clear out before adding a new rom)

I would love to hear from you how I can get this trouble fixed.

I would like to know if there is a way of repairing the EFS folder too, or any help toward this. Vodaphone and Samsung have sent my phone back to me saying that they will not fix the issue. I am currently taking them to court for calling me a liar and being abusing on the phone to me. But that’s a different story. No one wants to help me fix this.

Thank you for any help. — Thoms

Solution: Hi Thoms. Once an EFS folder is gone, there’s no other way to get back the contents of that folder again. You’re simply toast. As much as we would like to help you, there’s just nothing that we can do at this point as regards the lost EFS folder.

The other issue about automatic reboot after some period of inactivity may be bug at the firmware level. It’s also possible that a configuration file that handles a certain reboot trigger was lost or corrupted during one of your rooting sessions. If rooting a different ROM doesn’t fix the issue, that’s an indication that you have effectively bricked the phone beyond repair.



Engage with us

If you are one of the users who encounters a problem with your device, let us know. We offer solutions for Android-related problems for free so if you have an issue with your Android device, simply fill in the short questionnaire in this link and we will try to publish our answers in the next posts. We cannot guarantee a quick response so if your issue is time sensitive, please find another way to resolve your problem. 

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.

If you find this post helpful, please help us by spreading the word to your friends. TheDroidGuy has social network presence as well so you may want to interact with our community in our Facebook and Google+ pages.