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Solution to Samsung Galaxy S3 firmware upgrade failure [phone freezes or crashes during startup]

This article is aimed at helping those who need help in fixing their Samsung Galaxy S3 that freezes or crashes during startup while attempting to upgrade to the latest firmware update released.

Main Problem:

The problem emerged after doing the OTA update on the Galaxy S3. The phone will not get past the startup logo. In addition, an error prompt saying "the device cannot be upgraded" shows up when attempting to use Kies to reset the firmware.

Read on to learn how to fix Samsung Galaxy S3 problem on crashing or freezing.

Understanding the issue:

There are several factors that could trigger the phone to crash or freeze during startup. Among the possible reasons would include:

1. Low internal memory on the device.
2. Memory card issue.
3. Third-party app conflict or incompatibility.

This problem is often associated with other issues like when the device crashes during startup, freezes on logo screen while starting, frozen at start up screen and gets stuck on bootloader.

If you happen to experience the same problem as mentioned above, then we recommend you to follow the steps below, to get it fixed.

Troubleshooting steps for a crashing or freezing device as it turns on:

1. Remove the battery from the phone.

2. Remove the memory card from the phone.

3. Wait for about a minute, and then re-insert the battery. Do not insert the memory card yet.

3. Turn the phone back on.

If the phone starts without any problem, re-insert the memory card and then power it on. If it fails to start with the memory card insert again, it simply indicates that the memory card is causing the problem. Proceed with method a.
  • a. Format the memory card from a computer or other phone, if available. If formatting the memory card does not help, then you may consider replacing the memory card with a functional or new memory card. Proceed with step 4.
4. Wipe the cache partition on your phone.

5. If problem continues after you wipe the cache partition, turn on the phone in Safe Mode.

6. Once in Safe mode, delete or uninstall all recently downloaded and updated apps.

7. Restart the phone to exit Safe mode.

8. Now check if the problem persists afterwards.

9. If the phone still won't get past the startup screen, then perform a master reset using the hardware keys.


If prompted with a message "to restore saved settings from" before the reset, select decline. It is likely that the issue is due to incorrect settings configuration.

10. Wait for a few minutes for the phone to turn on. It may take longer for it to boot after the reset, or the device may appear to be frozen while it is just taking a while to reset and restart after the cache clear and reset. Just wait for it to complete the reset process.

If the phone successfully starts, then the phone is not defective. To avoid similar issue to occur in the future, be sure to regularly manage memory on your Samsung Galaxy S3 smartphone.

A device may close apps, slow down or cause errors when the internal memory or RAM is low. When ROM or device storage is low, problems on saving and reading files, as well as some apps not functioning correctly may occur on your device.

Memory (RAM) management tips to avoid crashing or not responding problem

Be sure to restart the phone at least once a day. Just turn it off and back on. Turning off the live wallpaper and removing all unused home screens also help reduce memory use on the device.

If a problem starts after a new app is installed, uninstall the app. Also keep your apps updated. However, we highly suggest you should read reviews of your apps in the Play Store to see if they are causing issues for other users. Please note that not all apps work well with all phones.

In addition, only install apps one at a time to prevent the device from not responding or crashing. If the problem returns, it indicates the most recently installed apps are likely causing the problem to occur.

If the issue persists immediately after the hard reset or the phone cannot be reset using the hardware keys, we recommend you contact your phone/service carrier for further assistance.


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