Recently, my wife handed me her Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 that wouldn’t start. No matter how long she charged the device, it simply wouldn’t respond. Since I was aware of this issue, I decided to help her get back up and running without having to return the tablet.

The solution wasn’t exactly easy, but doable — and it does come with a warning, because you have to take the back off the device.

That said, before I managed to resolve the issue, I tried the following fixes:

  • Holding the power button down for sixty seconds: Nothing
  • Holding the combination of power button, volume up button, and home button: Nothing
  • Holding the power button down while touching display: Nothing
  • Charging with various chargers: Nothing

One of the things I’d previously discovered was that, sometimes, devices need a trickle charge to get back on their feet — so a charger with less than 2.0 amps or less is ideal (in other words, the Samsung Travel Charger).

In the end, what’s going on with a seemingly dead tablet is that the motherboard still has a charge and (for some odd reason) prevents the battery from charging. To fix this, you have to disconnect the battery from the motherboard. That’s right, you have to remove the back and pop off the battery connector. The only difficult part of this solution is removing the back of the device. I highly recommend using pry tools. I happen to have super-strength thumbnails, so I was able to pop the back off without the tools (I don’t recommend this to anyone with mere mortal nails). To pry the back off, you insert the tool into the seam between the glass and the side, and carefully pop it out. There are a number of connectors, so this will take some time.

Once you get the back off, locate the white plastic plug that connects the battery to the motherboard ( Figure A).

Figure A

The motherboard of a Verizon-branded Samsung Galaxy Tab.

Take another pry tool and carefully slide it under the wires of the connector and pry the connector off ( Figure B).

Figure B

The battery unplugged.

Wait about 30 seconds and plug the battery back in. The tablet should now charge and turn on. Replace the back, and turn the device on.

Why this happens is a mystery, and Samsung really should address it. Until then, just make sure you don’t allow your Samsung tablet battery to drain to zero.

Have you experienced such an issue? If so, what was your endgame with the device? Share your experience in the discussion thread below.

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