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Stuck in Safe Mode Due To Liquid Damage

Samsung Galaxy S3 Problems, Errors, Glitches, Solutions and Troubleshooting [Part 56]


Hello to our valued readers! I can’t believe we’re already on the 56th part of our Samsung Galaxy S3 problems troubleshooting series. Judging from the number of emails we received from S3 users, it looks like we can reach up to 100th part. If you’ve been following us, you may have noticed there were problems that we already addressed several times. It’s because we want to provide our readers personalized support and this is our way of responding to hundreds of emails we receive each day.

If you have an S3 and currently bugged by a problem or two, I suggest you visit our Galaxy S3 Troubleshooting page as we already addressed more than 600 problems ever since we started supporting the device in 2012. Most likely, you problem has already been addressed before so try the solutions or the troubleshooting procedures we provided before. If they don’t work for you, feel free to contact us via [email protected] and provide all necessary details as possible. We also have Facebook and Google+ pages that we use to help our readers. You may post your concerns there, too.

The following are the problems I addressed in this post. Click on a link to jump to a problem:

  1. Stuck in Safe Mode Due To Liquid Damage
  2. Screen Completely Blank / Black
  3. MicroSD Card Problem
  4. Won’t Turn On
  5. Can’t Send MMS Messages
  6. Screen Issues
  7. Won’t Work After Factory Reset
  8. Locked Out
  9. Battery and MicroSD Card Issues
  10. Shows Not Enough Space Error
  11. Soft Bricked
  12. Auto Brightness Not Working

Galaxy S3 Stuck in Safe Mode Due To Liquid Damage

Problem: Hi, I got your email from the internet. My phone fell in the toilet and I quickly retrieved it. I took out the battery, cleaned it, dried it. Had a few issues so I took out the little screws and took the back off and cleaned with alcohol. Everything seems back to normal except it wont sleep. I set it to shut down after 15 seconds but it blinks at the set time and comes right back on. Next problem is I cannot get it to come out of safe mode which it went into by itself during the ordeal. I tried suggestions about using power button and volume button but it brings up a warning screen that is difficult to get rid of. I also tried to restart but that doesn’t work. I would greatly appreciate your help. Regards, Regina.

Troubleshooting: Hi Regina, the problem with liquid-related damages or problems is that you wouldn’t know which components are still damp or wet but for certain, if there’s a trace of liquid inside the phone, it would cause complications ranging from minor issues to more complicated ones.

Based on your description, I believe the problems you’re experiencing are caused by a trace of liquid that may still be present inside the phone messing with electronic components. I suggest you remove the battery and put the phone in a bowl of rice to absorb remaining water remnants in the phone. Leave it there for a couple of days. That should fix the problem. If, however, the phone still refuses to sleep when the Power button is pressed, then it must be corroded and a general cleaning of the phone will fix it.

Galaxy S3 Screen Completely Blank / Black

Problem: I have a Galaxy S3, the screen has gone completely blank (black) I can receive calls, and hear msg indicator so I know there is msgs but since I can’t get screen on I can’t retrieve msg, make calls etc. It also doesn’t seem to want to turn off, every time I try and turn it off it turns itself back on. Any advise would be appreciated. Thank you, Cindi.

Troubleshooting: Hi Cindi. It is apparently a screen problem but I know it just didn’t happen without apparent cause, at least, I haven’t encountered one that wasn’t caused by physical or liquid damage. This information wasn’t included in your message.

About the issue that the phone turns back on, if it wasn’t caused by liquid or physical damage, then there’s a possibility wakelocks are causing it. Download the Wakelock detector from the Play Store and use it to determine wakelocks and remove them. If it weren’t wakelocks, then the Power button may be stuck. Try press the Power key many times to try to get it from being stuck. If it doesn’t fix the problem, have the phone checked by a technician.

MicroSD Card Problem with Galaxy S3

Problem: Good evening! I had problem with my 32 gig sd card.. i transfer all of my photos and music on my micro sd. One day i was about to play my music and when I’m searching for it i noticed that i only had 12 music and i decided to check my sd card and i found out that all my photos are gone and few music are still in. And I also noticed that there are some files in my sd card that i did not store and i decided to delete it but it said that I cannot delete it. I try to connect it with my laptop to check if it will appear there and there is nothing. Please help me im using Samsung Galaxy S3.

PS: I also attached photos that appeared on my sd card that I did not save or something and take nog I cant delete those. Please reply ASAP! Thank you!

Troubleshooting: It happens all the time when a microSD card stops working deleting all its contents. If the laptop can’t read from it, then it was most likely became corrupt. I’m not sure how old the card was but the best thing to troubleshoot it is to reformat it using FAT32 format. Once finished, mount it on your phone to see if it can still be read. If not, then it’s time you bought a new microSD card.

In case the card can’t be reformatted, it might have been write protected. There are two ways to get rid of write protection:

First Procedure

This is the easy procedure and you need the help of a tape here. Here’s how you do it…

  1. Hold your card reader and put it on lock.
  2. Now, put a tape on the lock so that it won’t slide down when you inserted the microSD card.
  3. Insert the microSD card.
  4. Now, format it into FAT32 format.

Second Procedure

Now, this one’s a little complicated and you still need the help of a card adapter.

  1. Insert the card to the reader.
  2. Plug reader to a laptop computer.
  3. Click “Start” on the taskbar to open “Run” and type in “regedit”.
  4. Hit “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE” to expand “System”.
  5. Find “Current Control Set” in “System” list to click “Control”.
  6. Check whether there is a key named “Storage Device Policies” to change the digit in the “DWORD value” box into “0” and press “OK”.

Galaxy S3 Won’t Turn On

Problem: Hey I have a Samsung Galaxy S3 and it wont turn on at all. I’ve tried to press the power button, ive tried to hold the power button with the other buttons, but it still will not turn on. when i take the battery out and place it back in, the phone will vibrate and show the samsung logo but then quit after 5 seconds. please help! — Alex

Troubleshooting: Hey Alex. It sounds like the power button is stuck, at least, based on your description. It could have been more helpful if you mentioned when the problem started and how. But anyway, try to press the power key many times to see if you can get it out from being stuck. It doesn’t really matter how many times you press the key as long as it would be released, otherwise, there’s a possibility that it’s already damaged and you need to send the phone in for repair.

Galaxy S3 Can’t Send MMS Messages

Problem: I have the S3, I don’t know what update did it but I can not send a picture with a text message. Textes go through but if I to include a picture. My service is with Boost Mobile. — Angelo

Related Problem: So ever since my phone prompted me to upgrade, my mobile data hasn’t worked! I can only use the internet when I am connected to wifi! What about my 3g and 4g? Help! — Melissa

Troubleshooting: Hey, Angelo. If the problem started right after an update, it is very much possible that the APN settings in your phone have been changed. You need to retain the correct APN and while there are a lot information you can find online, the sure way to get correct ones is by calling Boost Mobile and ask the rep for it.

Once you already have the correct APN, try to follow the simple steps below:

  1. From the Home screen, tap the Apps icon.
  2. Touch Settings to launch it.
  3. Under Wireless and Networks section, tap More Settings.
  4. Scroll down and tap Mobile networks.
  5. Tap Access Point Names.
  6. You may add a new one or edit the existing one.

Galaxy S3 Screen Issues

Problem: Hey there I have been reading through your fixes and haven’t found one that I think can help me yet. I have a Galaxy S3 and it was working fine this morning, I put it on charge and came back to it and it would not let me unlock it, I unplugged it and removed the battery for 30 seconds and put it back in and now the screen will not come on correctly. The device will power on and make sounds but the screen itself will stay black except the top half will flash white every few seconds until the screen locks again.

I have played with it and got it to light up in a variety of colors suck as pink and purple and green but never come on so I can do anything. If I press the lock button repeatedly and stop and it will act like it will work I can see the screen for a brief frozen moment and it still won’t let me unlock the screen before it goes black. I have tried to do the hold of power, volume up, and home key but I still can’t see anything to get to those options. Once I could see a small piece of it but that’s it. I didn’t drop and the screen is not busted or anything because when it does light up there is no discoloration or anything. Could you offer any guidance or help I would appreciate it so much. Thank you, Jason.

Troubleshooting: The consolation is the phone still boots up correctly so we can troubleshoot it. Based on your description, I think the problem is more on the hardware side than anything else. The firmware can manipulate the display but not to the point that it overlays different hues randomly. The first thing I want you to do is boot it up in safe mode:

  1. Turn the phone off completely.
  2. Press and hold the Power button.
  3. When the Galaxy S3 screen appears, release the Power button.
  4. Immediately after releasing the Power key, press and hold the Volume Down key until the phone finished restarting.
  5. “Safe Mode” will be displayed on the lower left corner of the screen.

I am sure you can have the phone boot up in this state because it can boot up normally. Once in safe mode, observe the screen if it still shows the same issue and if so, at least, we know now that none of the third-party apps caused this. After safe mode, it’s time you try booting the phone in recovery mode (again) and this time, please follow these steps:

  1. Turn the phone off completely.
  2. Press and hold the Volume Up, Home, and Power
  3. When the phone vibrates, release the Power button but continue holding the other two until Android System Recovery screen appears.

If the screen still shows the same issue, then it must be caused by a hardware glitch or something. There’s even a chance that the display connector is loose. But the point is, there’s nothing much we can do when it comes to hardware issues. It’s time you sent the phone in for repair.

Galaxy S3 Won’t Work After Factory Reset

Problem: Hi, I just got a Galaxy S3. After going through the initial set up, when I try to download an app the download begins but eventually stops partway through. There’s no error message and no matter how long I let the download finish no app will fully download. I’ve tried restarting the phone, clearing the cache, data, uninstalling any updates to the play store app (all suggestions from your website) and none of them worked. So I tried doing a factory reset on the phone but that wont even work, it just keeps saying “shutting down” without ever shutting the phone down (I’ve even let it sit that way for a couple hours just in case that process takes some time). Any suggestions? — Drew

Troubleshooting: Hey, Drew. Let’s set aside the app-related problem because apparently, we need to make the phone work and boot up normally before we can go there. In fact, I think the download problem can be fixed after you solved the issue that occurred after the reset. I am, of course, assuming that you did the factory reset through Settings. Sometimes, the process can’t be completed (I’ve already seen a lot of cases like yours) and it will lead to the “Shutting down” screen. The best way to fix this problem is to do the full hard reset through recovery mode:

  1. Turn the phone off completely.
  2. Press and hold the Volume Up, Home, and Power
  3. When the phone vibrates, release the Power button but continue holding the other two until Android System Recovery screen appears.
  4. Use the Volume Down button to highlight ‘wipe cache partition’ and press the Power button to select it.
  5. When finished, use the Volume Down button to highlight ‘wipe data / factory reset’ and press the Power button to select it.
  6. Still use the Volume Down button to highlight ‘delete all user data’ and press the Power button to select the option.
  7. Once the master reset is finished, highlight ‘reboot system now’ and hit the Power button one more time.

I believe this procedure alone can fix the problems you were having.

Galaxy S3 Locked Out

Problem: My teenage grandson kindly helped me devise a screen lock on my Galaxy S3 using a pattern. He told me the password I was asked to create would be a backup in case I forgot the pattern. Well, unfortunately, this old woman forgot the pattern!! And there is no password backup option. I now have only 6 (I think) more tries to get the pattern right before factory reset deletes all my data (I assume this means phone numbers, pictures, text conversations – everything!!) Is there any way around this pattern lock? Very much looking forward to your response. Thank you. — Karen

Troubleshooting: Hi Karen. As to your pattern lock, no one knows about it so we can’t help you remember it. But you know what, there’s always a way around this and fact is the phone will not be automatically reset even if you’ve used up all your pattern tries.

My advice to you is keep on trying until you’ve used up all the tries because the phone will prompt you to unlock it in a different way. Once you’ve used up all the tries, there are bypass options below the screen: Forgot pattern and Backup PIN.

If you know what the backup PIN is for your device, then use this method to get into the phone and disable or change the pattern to something you could remember. However, if you don’t know the backup PIN, then try the other option, which will prompt you of Google username and password that is linked to your phone. If you don’t know these either, then there’s no other option but to reset the phone.

Galaxy S3 Battery and MicroSD Card Issues

Problem: I’m having issues with my phone draining it goes unused and dies after 5 hours. It’s also having issues accessing files on my sd card. It mounts but will not access pictures or apps on the sd card and tips on how to fix this would be appreciated. I also used the cool down app and it isn’t helping with my battery issue. — Chelsie

Troubleshooting: Hi Chelsie! I think the battery and the microSD card issues are related, the latter being the cause and the former the effect. If the card unmounts and mounts automatically, it means there are times when the phone cannot detect it. When it happens, the device will try and try and try until it can read from the card but as what you’ve said, you can’t still access your files or apps that were stored in it. It could be that the card is already corrupted or damaged. During the entire process, the phone will need more power and based on reports from other users who had the same problem, it is the cause of quick battery drain.

You may try to fix this issue by letting your laptop read the card. If the computer can read from it, backup all your data and reformat the card using FAT32 format. Once finished, mount the card again and see if the phone can read from it. If not, it’s time you bought a new one.

Galaxy S3 Mini Shows Not Enough Space Error

Problem: Hi, Please help!!! If I had the money, I would buy myself a new phone(NOT Samsung!!), and then take a hammer and hit my Samsung galaxy S3 mini to pieces…as small as possible. Unfortunately I cant do that. Anyway….please help.

My device is saying “Storage space is running low.” I have downloaded my pictures from my phone to my pc. I have tried everything possible to delete the pictures on my phone.

Gallery wont open. When I try to open gallery, it gives my a message saying” Not enough space. Delete unnecessary items, such as downloaded software, pictures, videos and documents.”

I have deleted everything I can. Even if it mean loosing valuable stuff. I don’t care. I just want to be able to open gallery again to be able to manage gallery. Please advice. Thank you. — Gerdine

Troubleshooting: Hi Gerdine. If the phone says there’s not enough space left, then most likely the internal storage ran out of space. Try going to Settings > Storage to verify if the phone is, indeed, running low on storage space. If there’s few GB of space left, the problem may be caused by a glitch or a bug. Try rebooting your phone. If that didn’t fix the problem, boot it is safe mode and just reboot normally once it reaches the Home screen.

However, if the error message was true, then move all downloaded apps to the SD card if you have mounted one. If there’s no available microSD card, then you must clear the cache and data of some not so important apps and/or uninstall them. And then, clear the cache and data of the Gallery app. It usually works after that.

Soft Bricked Galaxy S3

Question: Hi, my T-Mobile S3 soft bricked the other day. I propped my phone up on my nightstand and was watching some videos on Youtube and charging the phone at the same time. My phone dropped, about two or three feet and the back cover fell off and the battery came out and the charging cable was still halfway inserted, albeit at a 45 degree angle to the right, and the phone was still on, frozen on the video, and was still charging. I put everything back together and restarted it by pressing the power button until it turned off. When it turned back on, it was stuck on the Galaxy S3 screen and wouldn’t go past it, even if left on the screen, it would stay there until the battery went flat. I am able to go into download mode, but not recovery mode. The phone recognizes when I plug it in to charge, and shows the empty battery with the circle on it, but will not charge past that, even though the phone gets warm. My question is, will I be able to make it work again by flashing the stock 4.1.2 rom back on the phone? Thanks, Adam.

Answer: Yes, re-flashing the firmware can fix this problem. If you could only get into recovery mode, wiping the cache partition often fixes problems like this. But then, of course, there is always a possibility that complications may arise so proceed at your own risk.

Galaxy S3 Auto Brightness Not Working

Problem: I’ve been using the auto-brightness control on my S3, and it was working just fine. But as of a few days ago, it suddenly stopped working. The screen stayed at a constant level no matter how bright or dim it was around me.

I can manually control the brightness using the slider when you pull down the notification menu, but that’s it. I’m sure in the past if I checked the “Auto” box, it worked, but it should respond to ambient changes.

I confirm that my proximity sensor is still working (it shows appropriate increase/decrease value depending on ambient levels), and I can see that the light sensor still sets variable values for display brightness values. My screen’s actual brightness does not change. I’ve powered-off and battery-pulled the phone, and that didn’t fix it. Your assistance is highly appreciated. Regards, Nisar.

Troubleshooting: When it comes to sensors, it’s very complicated and honestly, I don’t know where to start basing on your description. It could have been better if I could inspect the phone physically but that would never happen. But anyway, are you using any third-party apps that can manipulate the brightness of the screen? If so, please try to uninstall or disable it to see if the stock brightness service would function properly.

My question is did auto brightness work properly before? If so, when did the problem start and how?

There is also a possibility that the sensor is not sensitive enough. Unfortunately, there’s no way you could manipulate the sensitivity of the auto brightness using the stock service. So, I suggest you try the app Velis Auto Brightness (we are not, in any way, affiliated with the developer of the app) as it is one of the best apps out there that will give you access to the auto brightness feature in your phone.

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