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I'm asking on behalf of a family member who has a Samsung Galaxy S5. The phone is unrooted and has been updated but not to Android Marshmallow. The OTA had not been released for Marshmallow for this phone by our carrier.

There were many previous issues months ago but permanently removing the SD card and a firmware update through Samsung Kies solved those. The phone has had no significant issues for the last 5 months.

Recently, the phone was put on Ultra Power Save mode to save battery life. Immediately it shut itself down and kept restarting into Ultra Power Save mode and has done this for 3 weeks.

When it starts there are a few seconds before it restarts again. The screen is grey (no color) and most apps are disabled or not shown. The settings menu has very limited functionality and there is no way to disable Ultra Power Save Mode.

Going into safe mode does not change anything (the phone just restarts again in a few seconds). I've gone into Recovery Mode and cleared the cache but that did not do anything. I have not done a factory reset as I would be losing a family member's numerous wedding pictures if I did that.

The phone has not had any physical damage. It is out of warranty but locked to a 2 year contract. The only solution to stop it from restarting is to remove the battery.

Is there any way to get it out of Ultra Power Save Mode? Would a factory reset help at all? We really would prefer to do that as we would lose the many pictures. I read about bootloaders but I don't understand that well enough (also note that I've permanently removed the SD card -- if I would need that in order to use this feature). I read something about trying commands through Google Now but I can't do that unless I am doing it wrong. I tried connecting the phone to a PC and starting Kies but Kies does not recognize the device (as the device is not on long enough). The PC itself only recognizes the device for the few seconds that it is on. I've tried charging it, removing the SIM card, and also leaving the phone off for days but nothing has worked. I use Ultra Power Save Mode often on my own phone but had not used it on this phone before.

Thank you for helping.

  • Seems like a really tricky situation. You might have luck with reflashing the stock firmware - this should not delete your user data. You can check sammobile for a matching firmware - country does not have to match though. Please use the exact product number of your Galaxy S5. Instructions for flashing can be found on the download page of these firmwares. If you have further questions, don't hesitate to ask :) – benjamin May 3 '16 at 10:16
  • @benjaminS Just as a warning (and as an unpleasant experience as well), I once flashed the stock firmware for my device via Odin, and I discovered that my internal storage had been completely wiped out, and "set up" with the default Samsung folders. Pay extreme attention before flashing a stock firmware. – Death Mask Salesman May 3 '16 at 18:56
  • Thank you both for your comments. Should reflashing be my last option then? Would there be any other options to try or does it seem like this is the only option at this point? I am guessing this is a software issue but is there any reason to be concerned about the phone eventually failing or "short circuiting" itself if it keeps turning on and off? I recently experienced my own phone completely shutting down and not turning on (hard brick) and I posted about that separately on StackExchange. I fear that will happen with this family member's phone too. – nopogalaxy May 3 '16 at 22:44
  • I guess this is the only option which might help. Flashing your phone via Odin should not erase your data. There should'nt be any problems aslong as your phone runs stable on Download Mode without rebooting - you can try it ( Power off the Phone, then press Volume Down + Power Button ). If you don't see random reboots happening for like 10 minutes then you should be good to go and you can flash your firmware. Make sure to charge your battery >80%. – benjamin May 4 '16 at 6:06
  • Thank you for all the suggestions. I tried this now and unfortunately it didn't change the problem (initially installed and optimized apps but then back to the grey screen and cycling on and off). Right now the phone also does not turn on any more. If it does start again, one forum suggested rebooting to bootloader and then "am enable com.sec.android.emergencylauncher" . I can't get this command line with the phone connected to the computer. There were other forums that suggested other options (like dragging or removing apps). Thanks again and hopefully the phone starts up again. – nopogalaxy May 6 '16 at 1:39
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You can always backup all of your photos and everything else to a Google account (here tells you how), and then factory reset the phone.

If this does not solve the problem, it may be worth taking it into a shop to see if they could do anything, or contacting Samsung directly.

Hope this helps

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