Galaxy S9 won’t boot up after installing system update, keeps restarting when SD card is mounted

Welcome to another #GalaxyS9 troubleshooting article for the day. This post will answer some issues reported by some S9 users after installing the most recent update for Android Oreo. If you have your own issue on your S9, be sure to check this post out for solutions. Or, you can contact us instead so we can find solutions for them and post them in our blog.

Problem #1: Galaxy S9 won’t boot up after installing system update

I’ve tried to download the latest update 4 times now and it gets to 30% and then comes up with ERROR! with a yellow triangle and an exclamation mark in the middle of it then the little android guy with x’s for eyes. I have gone through all of the troubleshooting tips, and nothing seems to work, and I even did a factory reset of my phone which the troubleshooting guide said would work. Please help, I’ve only had this phone for a couple months and I’ve never had this problem before today. — Jennifer Uccardi

Solution: Hi Jennifer. If your phone was working properly before you installed an update to it, the reason why it no longer boots up must have something to do with with its bootloader or firmware. Bootloader is a special software that prepares all the necessary stuff in order for Android to work. In other words, it’s a code that’s not necessarily part of the operating system but is an integral part of the entire system. Sometimes, the bootloader may be corrupted during an update, especially if a user interrupts the installation by restarting or shutting down the device. Some update installation may take hours to complete depending on the number of apps and device so it’s not uncommon for impatient users to mistakenly turn off their phone. That’s a big no-no and one of the surest ways to kill a device. At other times, installation progress may be interrupted because a user failed to charge the phone before doing the update. If any of these things occurred during the update, you may or may not be able to fix the issue.

Another reason why your phone does not boot up anymore is a corrupted firmware or Android operating system. Like the bootloader, Android may get corrupted if you interrupt the update installation intentionally or unintentionally.

Re-flash the bootloader and/or firmware back to stock

To see if you can fix the issue on your end, you can attempt to re-flash the bootloader and/or firmware. Flashing is a term used to refer to the process of installing the bootloader or firmware manually, as opposed to letting the device do it on its own, like when you download and install an update over the air (OTA update). Flashing is not for everyone and it requires some level of computer and Android skills. It’s not recommended for most Android users because it’s risky and can potentially damage the device for good. It also involves some amount of research like looking for guides and firmware.

We don’t usually provide flashing guides in our blog as they can vary by phone model. If you want to try it out, we suggest that you start your research by going to XDA Developers Forum and ask some users for the correct way to flash your phone. As we’ve said, flashing is risky so be sure that you’re ready to accept the fact that your phone may die in the process. In general though, majority of careful users tend to do it successfully so it’s your choice. Just remember, your goal in doing this is to install the stock or official Samsung- or Carrier-provided firmware on your device, preferably the original firmware version that came with your phone.

Get professional help

The easiest way to fix your issue is still be going the Samsung route. Just bring your device to your local Samsung Service Center and let them handle the rest. This may or may not be a paid repair depending on the current state of your phone. They’ll most likely end up re-flashing the device with stock firmware but at least you’ll know that trained personnel does the job for you.

Problem #2: Galaxy S9 keeps restarting when SD card is mounted

I have a Samsung S9 which was updated to Android 8 Oreo on the 23 June 2018. Since installation the phone continually restarts so I cleared the cache and also removed lots of apps but there is no shortage of space. currently 30gb on internal storage and 68gb on SD card. However when the SD card is unmounted the phone is fine absolutely no continual restarting. as soon as the card is remounted the problem reappears. I have a Samsung SD card installed. This is a really frustrating problem I do hope that Samsung pull their fingers out quickly to resolve this for all their disgruntled customers. — Hugh

Solution: Hi Hugh. Does the problem occur only with the current SD card or with any SD card? To know the answer to that, try to use another SD card by borrowing one or by testing one from a store. If your S9 only becomes problematic when using your Samsung SD card and not with others, that means that your current SD card is interfering with Android. It may have become damaged or corrupted. To see if you can fix it, try to reformat it using your S9. Here’s how:

  1. Open Settings app.
  2. Tap Device maintenance.
  3. Tap Storage.
  4. Tap SD card.
  5. Tap More settings at the upper right (three-dot icon).
  6. Select Storage settings.
  7. Tap SD card.
  8. Tap Format.

If you cannot reformat the card due to constant reboot, use a computer or another phone to do it.

If your S9 has a problem with all SD cards though, you should reformat it to fix possible operating system bug. Here’s how to do that:

  1. Create a backup of your data.
  2. Turn off the device. This is important. If you can’t turn it off, you’ll never be able to boot to Recovery Mode. If you are not able to shut the device off regularly via the Power button, wait until the phone’s battery is drained. Then, charge the phone for 30 minutes before booting to Recovery Mode.
  3. Press and hold the Volume Up key and the Bixby key, then press and hold the Power key.
  4. When the green 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 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.

Problem #3: Galaxy S9 Instagram won’t post photos or videos

Hi! So my problem is with Instagram. It just stopped publishing photos/videos on my stories and apparently now on my feed too… On my instastories it says ‘Posting…’ and it says like that for 24h and then it disappears. I uninstalled the app and installed again, I logged out and in, turned the phone off and on again, looked for the last updates (for the app and my phone too), tried to use only wifi, only mobile data and both at the same time, I cleared the cache and the data and it still not works… Then I remembered to try to post it using my old Asus tablet and it worked…. Can it be just an issue with my phone? It as been working super fine, the app never crashed before. I didn’t do the soft reset because I can’t take the battery out… Any other suggestion? Thank you! — Mariana

Solution: Hi Mariana. There has been an issue with Instagram app in Samsung devices a couple of weeks ago but we believe it’s already been patched. Make sure that you install updates for all your apps including Instagram to see if that will work. If the problem returns after installing all app updates, then you should consider contacting the app’s developers for an answer. You can use the app’s Report a problem link under the app’s settings menu.

Problem #4: Galaxy S9 contacts messed up after installing Oreo update

Hi! My Dad recently installed the most recent update for Samsung Galaxy S9  and now in his contacts the letter A and all of the contacts under it are missing while an ampersand takes the letter As place. My Dad swears he didn’t change any settings however i do not believe him as he does it all of the time even when i have warned him not to touch his settings. I trying googling this situation but couldn’t find anything remotely close to this issue. Can you help resolve this so i can get my Dad off my back to fix it? Thanks! — Jessica_sousa

Solution: Hi Jessica_sousa. We are not aware of any setting that might had been changed to cause the situation you’re in right now. If you want to return everything to normal or their defaults, we suggest that you factory reset the phone. Before you do so, be sure to back everything up, especially your dad’s contacts using Samsung Smart Switch.

For steps on how to factory reset your S9, follow the instructions above.


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