How to fix a Galaxy A5 that has spotty or no signal [troubleshooting guide]

Today’s troubleshooting article will answer three cases about #GalaxyA5. The topics in this post will cover three common networking problems for this device so be sure to browse through each of them.

Problem #1: How to fix a Galaxy A5 that has spotty or no signal

Dear Droid Guy,  A little background – I bought my Samsung Galaxy A5 phone off of Amazon, specifically for Verizon. When I brought the phone to the Verizon store for the Sim card, the associate verified that this device is compatible with the company’s wireless service.  Recently, I would lose signal in places I used to be able to receive 4G LTE. For example, I was on the way home with my parents when all of a sudden my LTE service dropped. However, my mom still received LTE and could use her apps. In addition, I cannot make calls or receive calls in certain areas of my parent’s house. My mom tried to call me once, and I did not receive any notification nor any missed call notification; what was even more weird was there were 4 bars of connection service. To make matters stranger, I get spotty signal in my workplace. Once I leave the building, my phone does not automatically detect 4G LTE or service. I have to either turn off the WiFi setting or restart my phone.  I did some research online. I tried to look for the PRL update under the Updates section in Settings, but it does not exist. I also tried to find the PRL Update under the About section, but it wasn’t there either. I also tried dialing *228, as suggested for Verizon phones. I immediately receive a popup stating “A Verizon Wireless SIM card has activated your service and updated your phone’s roaming capabilities. Your phone number is …” Currently, here are some of my specs: Signal strength ranges between – 99-105 dBm Model number: SM-G930V Hardware version: REV0.6 Baseband version: G930VVRS4CRG2 Please let me know if you need any other information. Thank you!

Solution: If the phone was originally built for Verizon (shows Verizon loading screen and logo at the back), you should work with Verizon’s technical support team to diagnose the issue. Before doing that, you can try some basic device troubleshooting. Here’s what you can do.

Clear the cache partition

This must be the first troubleshooting step that must do. This will address any possible cache-related issues on the phone. To wipe your phone’s cache partition, follow the steps below:

  1. Turn off the device.
  2. Press and hold the Volume Up key and the Home key, then press and hold the Power key.
  3. When the device logo screen displays, release only the Power key
  4. 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).
  5. Press the Volume down key several times key to highlight ‘wipe cache partition.’
  6. Press the Power key to select.
  7. Press the Volume down key to highlight ‘yes’ and press the Power key to select.
  8. When the wipe cache partition is complete, ‘Reboot system now’ is highlighted.
  9. Press the Power key to restart the device.

Reset network settings

Another must-do troubleshooting step that can be done in this case is by resetting the device’s network settings. This should be done if nothing changes and the issue remains after wiping the cache partition. By resetting your device’s network settings, you are effectively deleting all cellular settings, wifi lists and passwords, Bluetooth setup and pairings, as as other essential network configurations. The changes will not be permanent and once you restart the phone, cellular setup will be refreshed, as long as the SIM card is active and properly provisioned.

To reset your A5 network settings:

  1. From the Home screen, swipe up on an empty spot to open the Apps tray.
  2. Tap General Management > Reset settings.
  3. Tap Reset network settings.
  4. If you have set up a PIN, enter it.
  5. Tap Reset settings. Once complete a confirmation window will appear.

Install Android and app updates

Some network issues can only be fixed by updates. Carriers may sometimes release inefficient codes for Android or for modem firmware and unless they patched them up, problems may continue to exist. Be sure to check if there’s any available system updates for your device at this time and to install them right away.

The same is true for your apps.

Observe in Safe Mode

Third party apps may sometimes interfere with Android. To check if you’ve installed one problematic app, you can reboot your device to safe mode. Here’s how:

  1. Turn the device off.
  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.

Once the phone has been booted to safe mode, let it run for a few hours so you’ll know if there’s any difference. If the issue is absent on safe mode, that means you have an app problem. To identify which of your apps is causing the trouble, you should boot the phone back to safe mode and follow these steps:

  1. Boot to safe mode.
  2. Check for the problem.
  3. Once you’ve confirmed that a third party app is to blame, you can start uninstalling apps individually. We suggest that you begin with the most recent ones you added.
  4. After you uninstall an app, restart the phone to normal mode and check for the problem.
  5. If your A5 is still problematic, repeat steps 1-4.

Factory Reset

Should nothing change at all, even when the phone is on safe mode, make sure that you wipe the device and restore all its software information back to their defaults. Factory reset is usually effective in dealing with bugs that develop after the initial setup. If the cause of the problem is anything that’s caused by an app you added, or by misconfiguration, factory reset will most likely help. Be sure to back your files up before doing it.

To factory reset your A5:

  1. Turn off the device.
  2. Press and hold the Volume Up key and the Home key, then press and hold the Power key.
  3. 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).
  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.

Get professional help

If the problem refuse to go away after the phone has been wiped and restored to factory defaults, it means that it can’t be fixed on your level. Make sure to talk to your network operator as the issue is most likely on their end.

Problem #2:  Galaxy A5 has no signal after updating to Android Oreo

We own two Galaxy A5s.  We converted many months ago to RedPocket Mobile, the first phone on their AT&T network and the second on the Verizon network.  No problems at all until the recent Oreo update. After that update we no longer have Mobile Network connectivity, on either network.  We contacted RedPocket support and tried switching SIM cards, no luck. We installed the CDMA SIM into an older S3 Verizon phone and it worked fine using Android version 4.1 (I believe). I cleared the cache on both phones, no luck.  I did two resets on the second phone, no luck. Something is stopping the Oreo update from connecting to either Mobile network. Any advice on settings to try? Two hard resets is as far as I can take it. Thanks in advance for your assistance.

Solution: If the phones are carrier-branded and originally built for another carrier (other than your current one), the update must have changed the software environment of the phones and thus, disabling or erasing the network unlock codes that allow them to connect to RedPocket Mobile (or to AT&T and Verizon networks). This is the same reason why it’s not advisable to factory reset an unlocked device. Network unlock codes are temporary software modifications so any drastic software changes, such as a major Android upgrade, can remove it. Have the phones unlocked again so they can work fine on their current networks.

Problem #3: Galaxy A5 MMS stops working only in one particular location

Hello. My Galaxy A5 has been having issues sending and receiving MMS messages for MONTHS now and getting worse by the day. I’ve Googled and tried everything I can find on the internet for so long it’s getting stressful. I have no issues when I’m at work in Manhattan, but it happens all the time when I’m at home in zip code 11357. Everything else runs fine on our home internet BUT my cell phone. 🙁 Please help me?? Thank you!

Solution: If MMS only stops working at a particular area, that means there’s an issue with your network service but your device is fine. You have to talk to your network operator so they can help you troubleshoot it. Keep in mind that MMS requires cellular data. If you also have a problem with mobile data connection in the same area, there may be a network interruption in that particular place. Make sure to mention that to your carrier’s representative.

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