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S4 Lollipop Update Problems - Dummies GuideSupport

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  1. ironass

    ironass Well-Known Member

    #1.0 This guide is for use on un-rooted and rooted phones.

    The following procedures from #1.3 onwards can also be used on non Lollipop firmwares. Please take the time to read post #1, #2 and #3 through, carefully and thoroughly, before posting.


    Without a doubt, the upgrade to Android 5, Lollipop, is one of the biggest things to happen to Android since its launch. Make no mistake... this is a major firmware upgrade and it introduces a number of new features, not the least of which is ART, (Android RunTime), that replaces Dalvik and which, from my own experience, improves battery life and performance considerably. In a nutshell, Dalvik is a JIT, (Just In Time), compiler that operates on each app as it is needed whilst ART does it all just the once, Ahead Of Time, (AOT). This is why, after the initial update, the first boot will take a lot longer than usual whilst ART optimizes each app for the first time. This saves both battery and improves performance. For more information on ART see, Android Runtime.

    #1.1 The 3 important things to do NOW, before any update are... BACKUP, BACKUP and BACKUP everything on your phone's internal and external, memory. You have been warned! For more information on backing up, see #2.1

    (Don't come crying on here if you have failed to take this very, basic, sensible precaution with your valuable data... you've only got yourself to blame! ;))

    #1.2 Why you may be experiencing problems

    ART does not come without a price and that price is space on your phone's internal memory. Since ART compiles in advance it requires, roughly, about 10% more memory than Dalvik. Therefore, if your phone's internal memory is already chock-a-block full you should make some space as I predict that lack of space will cause more than a few problems initially with this update!

    Also, when you upgrade not only is the firmware changed but all your app's and settings have to be reconfigured and integrated into the new upgrade during the process. This is in an attempt by Samsung to retain everything on your phone so that you do not have to set it all up again after the change.

    If you stop and think about the millions of app's and the myriad of settings that this has to take into account then maybe you can understand why there are sometimes problems with phones after new firmware is installed.

    Some of these problems are caused by app's or settings that are not suitable for the new firmware. Remember, not all app's/games on the Play Store may be compatible with your new firmware yet. This is down to the developers of those apps who have had 6+ months notice to update them. Most have, some have not. Other app's, that work on your existing firmware, have to be updated for the new one, if possible, during the change over. No mean feat... particularly if you've moved apps to your SD card as the system folders for these apps will usually remain on your internal storage and this can cause big problems with separated app and data.

    These problems can manifest themselves in all sorts of ways, such as...

    Boot loops
    App's continually running
    High battery usage

    Over heating
    Storage being eaten up
    Forced Closes

    Screen lags
    High RAM usage
    Screen freezes

    These can all occur because the user app's or data have not, or can not, be integrated successfully into the new framework automatically during the change over.

    Also, the downloaded firmware update itself may have been corrupted. This can easily happen with OTA, (Over The Air), updates where an interruption has occurred with the download. This has also been reported by some who have used the Samsung PC suite, Kies.

    Steps #1.3 -> #2.7 can be carried out by users, as they will resolve most update issues, prior to posting.

    #1.3 Wiping the Cache Partition

    Wiping the cache partition is a useful option to use, particularly after a firmware update as it will clear out any rubbish left over from the previous firmware. It can also get you out of problems if you are experiencing a boot loop. This is, again, very simple to do and does not affect any user data on your phone. See video...

    Wipe cache partition error on Samsung Galaxy S4

    Step #1 Turn your phone OFF.

    Step #2 Boot into Recovery Mode:- Press and hold, simultaneously, the Volume UP + Power buttons until you see some small, blue, writing appear in the top left hand corner of the screen and release immediately.

    Step #3 You will then see the small, stock, Recovery menu. Using the Volume UP and DOWN buttons, navigate to the menu item, "wipe cache", or, "wipe cache partition", depending on your model.

    Step #4 Once the option is highlighted you can use the Power key to enact the wipe and reboot your phone.

    #1.4 Safe Mode: Is it Firmware or User App problems?

    Safe Mode on your phone is roughly the same as on you PC. It will boot your phone up and load only the default apps that came with the firmware. It does not install your own downloaded apps. Can also be useful for getting out of a bootloop and allowing you to un-install a problem app.

    This is very useful for determining whether the firmware is to blame for your problems or if it is down to your own apps and settings.

    This is not a dangerous procedure and can be done very easily. See the following video...

    Galaxy S4 Tips and Tricks Android Safemode Boot

    If you encounter the problems whilst in Safe Mode this would indicate that you probably have a bad update and should refer to #2.7 in post #2.

    #1.5 User Apps: Wiping cache, data and uninstalling

    Sometimes a particular app or apps that you have installed, are causing problems and are shown to be doing so, on the phone. In the first instance, you can go to...

    Settings > More > Applications > Downloaded (The route may vary depending on your model of phone and firmware).

    Step #1 Navigate to the user app, (see *** for System apps), that you believe is the problem and open it and select, "Clear cache". This will clear the apps temporary cache and you can see if that has helped. See video on cache clearing...

    Wipe cache partition error on Samsung Galaxy S4

    Step #2 If not, you can repeat the above steps and this time select, "Clear data". This will clear your user settings for this app and you will need to re-enter the settings again. Check to see if this has solved your problem.

    Step #3 If not, repeat Step #1 but this time, "Clear cache", "Clear data", and, "Uninstall", the app. Reboot your phone and, if desired, re-install the app from the Google Play Store and re-configure the settings.

    *** WARNING! Step #1 can also be used on System apps but be very careful about using Step #2 unless you know exactly what you are doing and Step #3 and/or, "Disabling", apps can be extremely dangerous and render your phone a brick on System apps.

    #1.6 Battery re-calibration

    Sometimes, after receiving an update, users complain that their battery is being eaten up. This is quite common as the update can affect the battery chip in the phone, causing it to give unreliable readings. These readings usually self correct over a number of charge cycles however, you can re-calibrate your battery by downloading, free from the Play Store, Battery Calibration and following the simple instructions in the app. This should not be used on a regular basis as the battery should never be fully discharged normally.

    #1.7 Uninstall any Task Killers

    You do not need to run task killers on Android and they can cause more problems and a lag in performance...

    Putting to rest the myths about Task Killers/RAM Optimizers and the like

    Android Task Killers Explained: What They Do and Why You Shouldn't Use Them

    #1.8 Speed up a laggy, slow, phone

    Whilst I do not consider this a fix as such, much in the same way as an aspirin is not a fix for a broken leg, it does help to compensate for any phones that may experience an undue lag in performance, particularly some of the heavier carrier branded models. It requires that you unhide the hidden, "Developer options", menu and alter some of the settings and is very easy and safe to do.

    Step #1 Go to... Settings > System About device > Build number.

    Step #2 Tap on Build number 7 times and, "Developer options", will be turned on. Use the, "Back", key to exit and you will now have, "Developer options", turned on and showing before, "About device".

    Step #3 Go down the list in, "Developer options", until you see..

    Window animation scale
    Transition animation scale
    Animator duration scale

    By default, these are set to *1. However, to speed things up, you can select 0.5* on all of the above. This will double the speed of your various animations and make the phone feel snappier.

    See a video on this...

    Samsung Galaxy S4 Developer Options Menu

    If you have tried all the above and your phone is still not right, you will need to do a Factory Data Reset, as shown in the next post, #2.

    Last edited: Mar 16, 2015
  2. ironass

    ironass Well-Known Member

    #2.0 Factory Data Reset

    As mentioned in post #1, this update includes a switch from Dalvik to ART. If during the upgrade there is any rubbish left over from the old Dalvik cache, there is, for un-rooted users, only one way to clear it... a Factory Data Reset. Yes, I know, its a lot of hassle because you have your phone set up the way you like it on your existing firmware but it's a lot more hassle if things go wrong, as we can see from this forum. Besides, this is the very reason that Android include the Factory Data Reset feature. Also, if you take your phone to a Samsung Service Point, this is usually the first thing they do. For alternatives to Factory Data Reset, see #2.8.

    #2.1 Backup, Backup, Backup

    Over the course of this one update we will see circa 60 million phones updated. It only needs for, say, 1 in a hundred to fail and you have 600, 000 phones that will require a Factory Data Reset. If you are, unfortunately, one of those unlucky ones and you have not taken the simple, sensible, precaution of backing up your phone... tough! If your phone had been lost, stolen or damaged, you would have lost that data anyway and if you have not backed it up, then it probably wasn't important enough to you in the first place.

    There are numerous methods of backing up your phone and external SD card. Here are just some of them...

    Ensure that you have Backup and Restore enabled in Settings on your phone.
    (Use this in conjunction with one or more of the methods below as the backup is limited to apps, Contacts, Calendar, etc: )

    Sync your phone with the Samsung Kies PC Suit or Samsung Smart Switch

    Use Helium or Helium Pro backup from the Play Store

    Use My Backup or My Backup Pro from the Play Store

    Send important files to DropBox or Google Drive

    Connect your phone to a PC and copy your important files across

    How to Backup Android in 5 Easy Steps

    (Personally, I believe in the belt and braces method and use at least 2 or more backup methods)

    When to backup your phone?.. Now! It's too late if your phone will not boot and needs to be reset.

    #2.2 Factory Data Reset. Short version

    1. Press Factory Data Reset button and Format internal storage and external memory.

    2. Check out your firmware for problems prior to re-installing your app's and re-doing your settings.

    3. Set your phone up from scratch by re-syncing to your Google account and restoring previously saved files.

    #2.3 Factory Data Reset. Full version

    Settings > User & Backup > Backup and reset > Factory data reset (may vary depending on model/firmware). See video...

    How to Factory Reset your Samsung Galaxy S4

    If your phone is stuck in a boot loop and you cannot access the above method, turn your phone off and just boot into Recovery Mode, see #1.3, (Step #2), and select Factory Reset.

    The object of the
    Factory Data Reset is to return your phone's memory back to the out-of-the-box state with no user app's or data from your old firmware to cause problems. Make no mistake, if you are on, say, Lollipop, this does not revert you back to KitKat.

    If you have any passwords or Wi-Fi codes, etc; you should make a note of these before the Factory Data Reset.

    #2.4 IMPORTANT. FULL WIPE. You should also be formatting your internal storage and external SD card in Settings > Storage if you have moved app's to them as when you move an app part of it stays in the phone memory and part is moved to your storage. As you can see, this can cause problems in itself, especially with Knox Security file restrictions.

    #2.5 IMPORTANT You should take the time to check out your phone prior to re-installing your app's to ensure that you are not experiencing any problems with the firmware itself. See,

    #2.6 Providing you took the obvious and sensible precaution of using Googles Backup and Restore, mentioned in #2.1, your apps, Contacts and Calendar, etc; can be automatically restored after the Factory Data Reset and your subsequent sign in to your Google account.

    Since your app's are all sync'd with the Play Store, they will start re-installing automatically, one-by-one after signing in with your Google account details, email/password. Your paid app's are still there as paid app's, so you do not lose them. The restore from the Play Store will take some time and should be done via Wi-Fi as there will be a lot of data downloaded. You may find that you have to, "set-up", some of your app's again or that there are updates for a number of app's or that you will need to manually re-download some again. This is no bad thing as it was probably these very things that were causing problems in the first place.

    #2.7 If, after a Factory Data Reset and prior to installing any app's, you find that your phone is still misbehaving this could be because of a corrupt download or installation of the firmware update originally. You can either take it to a Samsung Service Point, (recommended), or re-flash the firmware yourself using Odin and the instructions in #1.5 of, 29 Galaxy S4 models - know yours?

    .#2.8 As I said, this may seem a lot of hassle but the alternatives are:-

    1. Put up with your phone the way that it is.

    2. Take it to a Samsung Service Point and get them to re-flash it for you... in which case you will lose everything anyway.

    3. Downgrade to your old firmware using Odin, if possible, which may not solve the problem, and lose everything.

    The choice, as they say... is yours. ;)


    Tips for using this Dummies Guide.

    I have tried to keep this, "Dummies Guide", as simple and easy to understand as possible for absolute beginners, with no prior knowledge of Android and the Samsung Galaxy S5, whilst trying to cover the most commonly asked questions about firmware updates and problems.

    #2.9. Please take the time to read posts #1 and #2 carefully and thoroughly before posting a question as they should contain most of the answers you require.

    #2.10. If a reply to a question states, "See, #1.5". It means that the answer to your query is already contained in post #1, item #5. Re-read that item again, carefully, and it should answer your question and saves the time and trouble of having to repeat things all over again.

    #2.11. When posting a question you must include your phone model version and firmware details, see #1.2 and #1.3 of
    29 Galaxy S4 models - know yours?, to avoid confusion and help others reply correctly to your query. Also, please mention the steps, above, you have taken so far to correct the problem.

    #2.12. Please, please, please, help keep this thread on topic. It is designated for attempting to solve firmware update problems and not for debating the merits of Samsung's firmware updates or questions about specific app compatibility, backing up your phone, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Network connections, rooting, etc; etc. There are other threads on the forum for that or you can start one of your own.

    #2.13. Please do not PM me with questions. I will not reply. Ask them on the forum so that others may benefit from the questions and answers and offer their suggestions.

    Whilst I have taken every care in compiling this guide, I cannot be held responsible for any damage that may occur through its use, or mis-use, and the decision to use this guide lies with you, the owner.

    This guide is written solely for, and on behalf of, Android Forums and may not be reproduced, in part or whole, without permission.

    Last edited: Nov 7, 2015
  3. EarlyMon

    EarlyMon The PearlyMon Moderator

    By ironass' request, I'm taking this slot with a few words on the factory data reset.


    Here's the thing about a factory data reset.

    It cleans all junk files (that you can do with some other apps) and those don't affect power.

    It also cleans your main cache and the Dalvik cache.

    Android = real time embedded Linux + Dalvik virtual machine + apps that run in the Dalvik or ART and use Linux services

    (Dalvik is pre-Lollipop, ART is Lollipop and later.)

    Dalvik is a stack engine, ART is its replacement, they both use the Dalvik cache to operate, just like your browser uses its cache, and also just like your browser, that can get screwed up. That can affect power. You can also clear it without a factory data reset.

    Then comes the tricky bit.

    You've probably noticed that when you bring up your dialer you have access to your contacts and from there to email, sms, etc.

    That's pervasive in Android and none of it is hard-coded (or you couldn't choose replacement apps).

    Apps signal one another with systems called intents and defaults. And rather than do all of the complex connectivity every time you run, that's set during app installs and uninstalls into a lookup called the Dalvik cache.

    If that's screwed up, you will often get weird bugs that make no sense (English turns into Spanish on your keyboard when you use the microphone for something else, that happened to me) and those bugs can definitely eat power.

    Unless you are rooted, the only way to clear the Dalvik cache is by a factory data reset.

    Rooters know to clear it at the first sign of trouble and with every operating system change.

    Manufacturers and carriers send out changes and NEVER clear the Dalvik cache. I've complained to them in writing, it's only less than a half dozen extra statements in update instructions that number in the hundreds or even thousands but they just don't.

    What you have with updates - unknown states on your cache and Dalvik cache - and more often than not - they're all screwed up.

    But please don't be persuaded about what a factory data reset can do based on a vote of opinions.

    If your Dalvik cache gets scrambled and you're not rooted, your three choices are to live with a screwed up phone and chase snake oil solutions, factory data reset, or the other popular choice, give up and buy a new phone. There are no other choices.

    Now you have the facts, how you use them is up to you.

    And btw - really? Seriously are you one of those cats rocking with no backup plan?

    Phones get lost, stolen, dropped or just die from bad silicon every day, and some get scrambled by a power surge during charging.

    And that's not even counting what a great idea a backup is for when a developer hands out an update you hate, or your carrier hands you an update that scrambles your Dalvik.

    It's your phone, it's your decision.

    I have too much invested in my apps and critical data to take chances but that's just me.

    And roll with what ironass says up in here, he's got it wired right.

    Hope this helps! :)
  4. dynomot

    dynomot Well-Known Member

    Thanks Fe posterior, nice one. I'll post a link in the "Shire" for we Hobbit tablet owners. :)
  5. ironass

    ironass Well-Known Member

    Have amended title from, "Firmware Problems - Dummies Guide", to, "Update Problems - Dummies Guide", as some people didn't understand what firmware was.
  6. jdCaptivate

    jdCaptivate Well-Known Member

    Me? I called AT&T and ripped them a new one.

    They're sending me a new phone. I went as far as factory data reset and I was PO'd to have to do that. I lost a lot of data. I'm beyond ticked off, that Samsung and AT&T took my perfectly good, working, running... still the 2nd best phone on the market and destroyed it, with their stupid update.

    I won't ever accept another Android upgrade from AT&T again, until I've seen that thing running in the wild for at least 6 months.
  7. speedlever

    speedlever Well-Known Member

    Awesome guide, ironass.

    I have not yet updated to KK on my 4.3 i337. But if/when I do, I plan to do a FDR before I update. I don't know if that actually makes a difference or not, but fully expect to have to do a FDR after the update and figure doing a pre-emptive FDR before the 4.4x update may be optimal.
  8. ironass

    ironass Well-Known Member

    Doing an FDR prior to updating means that you can tell immediately if the update download has been corrupted or not. Especially so, when using OTA, (Over The Air), updates as these have been shown by far to cause the most problems. If you have no choice but to use OTA, then make sure your phone is fully charged and connected to a solid Wi-Fi signal.

    After the update and prior to installing your apps, check out the new firmware for any problems. Particularly important when using the heavily carrier branded and amended firmwares put out in the U.S.A. Then, over Wi-Fi, redownload your apps but not the settings, and reconfigure them afresh. This ensures that they are completely compatible with your new firmware, (not all apps on the Play Store have been updated to KitKat yet), and that your old Jelly Bean settings are not causing a problem.

    "Better safe than sorry", as they say. ;)
  9. Straydog

    Straydog Well-Known Member

    I Have a problem that does not seem to be covered here.

    Last year I upgraded to 4.3 with Kies3 without any problem. Now I wanted to upgrade from 4.3 to 4.4.2 te same way. After connecting, Kies3 offers to upgrade. I accept, Kies3 becomes greyed out and starts by downloading the firmware components. When the download ends the downloading window goes away, all stops and Kies3 remains grey. It is blocked and after a long wait I have to kill it with Task Manager. I restart the procedure and it is all over again and again. I cleaned temporary files on PC and rebooted both phone and PC, but no way. Un-installed Kies with Revo and re-installed. All original apps are on the phone memory.

    What is stopping Kies3 and what can I do to upgrade, please?
  10. ironass

    ironass Well-Known Member

    Hi Straydog!

    Shouldn't you be using just Kies and not Kies3?

    I only ask because I do not even have Kies installed as at best it is, "flakey".

    If all else fails... follow the advice in #2.6...

  11. Straydog

    Straydog Well-Known Member

    I tried a few things. One of them was to replace Kies3 with Kies only to find that things changed since last year's. Presently, Kies no longer works with S4, and when it is connected sends an error message saying so and to use Kies3 instead.

    What is strange is why Kies3 stops after downloading and before starting the upgrade. It becomes blocked because it is supposed not to do anything else while that operation lasts. Thanks

    Edit: While on safe mode there are menu positions to apply an update from different sources. Is it possible to do that with 4.4.2 without resetting the phone, as an option?
  12. ironass

    ironass Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the info Straydog. I didn't know that about Kies and Kies3

    In all honesty, I have never tried to mess around with that setting. Preferring instead, to flash my firmware using Odin which, providing that you are using the correct firmware for your CSC code, leaves your data intact... although, I have to say, that an FDR before upgrading a platform like 4.3 to 4.4.2, is preferable.
  13. Straydog

    Straydog Well-Known Member

    I tried everything I could remember or came to my mind. I also read on this thread that there could be problems with downloaded apps, but 4.4 came out some time ago and the app. developers had probably had time enough for new releases. Even so, I unmounted my SD card, where I have almost all the downlosded apps. Didn't work, but I kept tying from time to time as before. Then I noticed that this model mounts the SD card back when it is dismounted but stays inside and we reboot it. So I dismounted the SD card. After so many trials I can't know for sure, but then it went on with the upgrade to the end, nice and slow.

    Everything seems to be OK now and all apps. are working as before. There are a few differences, but not all that many for so much ado.

    It would be useful and interesting rooting my phone, and I could do many more things with it, but I haven't done it not to have much work. I believe the guarantee cannot be revoked in Europe. I also don't have dozens of apps. on my PC as I used to with a lot of great customization. Got lazy... So it was very annoying that the upgrade gave me too much work.

    By the way, the upgrade did not do any better about the two enormous issues with this phone.
    1. The sound is of very low quality, worse that any of my old phones.
    2. The network is the weakest I have tried on already weak areas.
    From what I have read I surely am not the only one complaining about these two points; this is not from the OS, but from Samsung themselves because I also have a cheaper Sony Xperia which does not have those problems.

    Thank you for the ideas. It was good to learn that flashing the correct firmware using Odin leaves the data intact.
  14. ironass

    ironass Well-Known Member

    Have added to post #1...

    #1.6 Fix Performance lags

    Whilst, as I explain in the item, I do not consider this a fix as such but rather a means of compensating for any lags in screen animations and menus that some people may be experiencing.
    Podivin likes this.
  15. lcook0825

    lcook0825 Member

    Thanks Ironass for a great reference guide for firmware and app problems.
  16. EarlyMon

    EarlyMon The PearlyMon Moderator

    QFT! :)

    PS to ironass - finally got caught up lol sorry for the delay. :eek:
  17. ironass

    ironass Well-Known Member


    Thanks EarlyMon for post #3.

    For those of you that do not know, I saw a similar post by EarlyMon which explains in more detail why a Factory Data Reset, post #2, is sometimes the only answer when a phone starts misbehaving and all other avenues have been tried by non-rooted users. I contacted EarlyMon and asked him if he would please add a similar post to this thread.

    Hopefully, with the advent of the new ART, (Andriod RunTime), which will be replacing Dalvik in, the, "L", release, the need for FDR will diminish. I have been using ART on Android 4.4.4 and the indications are looking good. :)
    smitty543 and EarlyMon like this.
  18. EarlyMon

    EarlyMon The PearlyMon Moderator

    That's great news about ART. :)
  19. Straydog

    Straydog Well-Known Member

    That's really "great news" indeed, but where is that Post #3 that I cant find it, please? And where can that app be downloaded from for installation, because it is not avasilable from the usual places?
  20. ironass

    ironass Well-Known Member

    The third post down from the top with the #3 in the top right corner.

    Which, "app", are you referring to?

    If you mean ART, then that is explained in the hyperlink in my last post, (#17), along with Dalvik and they are both runtime machines built into the Android firmware...

  21. ironass

    ironass Well-Known Member

    I have completely re-vamped posts #1 and #2 in preparation for the forthcoming launch of Android 5.0, Lollipop, on the Samsung Galaxy S4.

    For all those eagerly waiting for the update to Android 5.0, Lollipop, you should be spending this time backing up your phone, as per #2.1 above. You have been warned! ;)
  22. ironass

    ironass Well-Known Member

    Have added, "#1.8 Speed up a laggy, slow, phone", to post #1 which should help some of you get a snappier feel to your phone particularly if you have one of the slower, carrier branded, models.
  23. specialist004

    specialist004 New Member

    Thanks Ironass for a brilliant and crystal clear solution.
    ironass likes this.
  24. Abe911

    Abe911 Member

    IMPORTANT. FULL WIPE. You should also be formatting your internal storage and external SD card in Settings > Storage if you have moved app's to them as when you move an app part of it stays in the phone memory and part is moved to your storage. As you can see, this can cause problems in itself, especially with Knox Security file restrictions.

    Thanks for the great writeup.

    Question; Format internal storage and SD card prior to Full wipe or after Full wipe?

    Also, I have many apps the I haven't updated as the reviews of them may not be good, should I update them before the Lollipop update?

  25. ironass

    ironass Well-Known Member

    A FULL WIPE = Formatting internal and external storage + Factory Data Reset.

    You could switch to running ART, (enable Developer option and select ART), and update apps prior to Lollipop.

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