Mobility

Android update problem? Here's a quick solution

If you've received an error when trying to update Android on your smartphone, Jack Wallen has a solution that will fix the problem.

Recently, when I went to update my Verizon-branded Samsung Galaxy S4, I received a message that said, “Software update is temporarily unavailable” (Figure A). I reset the phone to factory defaults, connected to Wi-Fi, disconnected to Wi-Fi, but nothing seemed to work.

Finally, inspiration struck and I solved the issue.

Figure A

 

Figure A
 

The dreaded update error on display.

There are no apps or settings you can install or configure that will solve this issue. The only way to correct it is by replacing your phone's SIM card. Period. So, before you waste any more time trying to get your phone updated, call your provider and tell them you need a replacement SIM card. If they ask, tell them why. If they instruct you to reset the phone to factory defaults, inform them that solution will not work. If they don't seem to follow your logic, take the device to the provider and show them.

Once you have your new SIM card, you'll need to replace it with the one currently in your device. If you've never replaced a SIM card, it's simple. Every device will vary, but the basics are the same:

  1. Remove the back of the phone
  2. Remove the battery
  3. Press the edge of the SIM card inward to release the locking mechanism
  4. Pull the SIM card out (Figure B)
  5. Insert the new SIM card until it clicks in the slot
  6. Replace the battery
  7. Replace the cover
  8. Start the device

Figure B

 

Figure B
 

Replacing the SIM on a Samsung Galaxy S4.

Once you have the SIM replaced, check again for an update. This time around, the process should continue, and the update be available for installation.

I've heard that a large number of people are told (by nearly every provider) that the resolution for the update issue is a factory restore. However, that's simply not the case. The only way to resolve this issue is with a new SIM card. With that new SIM in place, the upgrade should go off without a hitch.

Do you have any tips for upgrading Android software? Share your experience in the discussion thread below.

 

 

About

Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website getjackd.net.

14 comments
Felix Rajan
Felix Rajan

Hi Jack. There is no response(No message displayed), when i go to  SETTINGS>>MORE>>ABOUT DEVICE>>SOFTWARE UPDATE>>UPDATE in Samsung Galaxy Grand Duos (i9082) using WIFI Connection. I can't update my mobile. Please help me. I'm eagerly waiting for your response.


Thanks a lot in advance.

T3CHN0M4NC3R
T3CHN0M4NC3R

I dunno but I somehow prefer booting the phone into recovery and flash via Odin. I don't have much to backup as most of my data are on cloud or SD card these days.

Gizmo Inc and Graphics
Gizmo Inc and Graphics

okay there's another way to fix it if you can't afford a new SIM card here's what you do what you it okay with your phone back to the home screen go to settings find your APP manager go in to your settings if its for the operating system just make it forget things and then you'll have the ability to properly update if it is an app then go to that app make it forget everything uninstall the app then reinstall the app the application will update without a problem because it's not always the SIM card

GSG
GSG

I had the same issue with my Samsung SIII, and I got around it by installing the KIES app from the Samsung store on my laptop, downloading the update, and then tethering my phone to the laptop and then installing from the downloaded installation file.  I've had several updates going through Wi-fi since without issue, so I can only speculate that the problem was with the ugprade itself.

EdK1
EdK1

Two things!

First; after reading this article by Mr. Wallen about getting updates, brought to mind how I was able to update a Samsung S3 over wi-fi, with no sim card in the phone. The phone is locked to Rogers here in Canada but I am using it for wi-fi purposes only so there is no sim card in the phone at all. I simply touched the check for updates while connected to the internet by wi-fi, it said connecting to update server and said there was an update. I downloaded and installed it with no problem. I compared it to my Bell S3 after and it’s the exactly the same update; same Kernel version, Build number, etc.

I don’t know if this will work the same in the US as in Canada but it’s worth a try. So just turn on your phone with no sim card at all installed, your phone will say there is no sim card installed emergency calls only, but just continue on anyway. Turn on wi-fi, make sure you are connected to the internet and try to download the update. Nothing to lose; but again if there is a wi-fi connecting problem, as it seems there is with the update, perhaps nothing to gain either.

Secondly; Wi-fi problem! I am on Bell Mobility in Canada and after updating my S3 to Android 4.3 I am having the same unstable-disconnect wi-fi problem, so it’s not just a Verizon problem. The phone seems to have a mind of its own, some days every few minutes it will say that wi-fi is unstable then it will go for days without a warning.  Surprisingly though, I have not seen the same problem with wi-fi, have never had the unstable wi-fi message, on the above updated Rogers phone with no sim card installed. Go figure!!

oleg_lap
oleg_lap

Strange advice, in such problem I do the following, go to Setting and Chang the place Application install to system choice ,(usually it setup to SD-card). The problem arises usually with system application update, gmail ....etc.

oldguardreindeer-techrepublic
oldguardreindeer-techrepublic

I'll take your word for it that the update was never going to happen. And the service providers are notoriously slow in getting the updates out in the first place. And then be careful what you wish for since the recent Verizon Jelly Bean 4.3 Update has produced the world's worst wifi "unstable" and disconnect problems for many (many) people. Not much sense in waiting a long time just to get a slap in the face. I can't believe that Verizon (or the others also, I hear) has had this faulty update out there for a few months. I wonder if this article isn't based on the temporary hold the had before resuming the faulty update.

rjsjr3
rjsjr3

Seems like a lot of trouble to go through. All I did was wait a bit and select  "check new'. It worked just fine. (S3-Verizon)

Gisabun
Gisabun

Sure. I have a bunch of SIM cards just lying around waiting for the phone to go....

tim.lovegrove
tim.lovegrove

Thanks for the information on HOW, but WHY does this method work? Is there a bit of information held on the sim that locks it to a certain OS revision, or does something get corrupted on the sim which prevents it being updated? Or is it something else entirely? Would be very useful to know, especially when trying to explain to your service provider.

rjsjr3
rjsjr3

@oldguardreindeer-techrepublic Thanks for mentioning the "unstable" issue. At first I thought it was just too many household wireless devices functioning at the same time + an oldish router. Then I realized it was the update. Probably just Verizon hoping you disable wireless so you'll use more data.

TanteWaileka
TanteWaileka

@rjsjr3 Oh don't be so paranoid! I run three laptops (all windows 8) and a linux server, plus THREE notepads and two roku device monitors all at the same time on AT&T's wireless broadband without issue. As for Verizon they have the best mobile service around, forget the rest. Also I just changed my droidx os to Cyanogenmod without issue and that phone I use basically to listen to my audible books AND the phone is 4 years old too, whereas I am closer to 70 than 60. Things do not always have a single solution. Ask any professional tester (or developer for that matter).

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