Few electronics problems are more disheartening than a device that doesn't power on. Other issues have workarounds. You can connect external keyboards, mice, speakers, and even displays. But a device that won't power on can't be circumvented. It feels so final, like there are only so many things you can try before you write its death certificate and toss it in the trash. In truth, resurrecting a dead tablet is more like a mystery novel. A few good clues can make all the difference.
Before undertaking any of the more time-consuming solutions below, here are a few fundamentals to get you started.
- Charge it. If you get a battery logo onscreen, it needs more power before it can boot. Leave it connected for at least fifteen minutes, but an hour is best. If the battery is severely discharged, there may be no indication of power for longer than usual.
- Force a restart. Press and hold Power and Volume Down for 15-20 seconds. If your tablet is hung somewhere, this could sort it out.
- Remove all accessories and peripherals. These can interfere with wake functions or cause crashes before anything is on screen. Accessories containing magnets can be especially problematic if they align with an internal Hall Effect sensor.
- Listen for typical system sounds, or signs of heat. Connect to an external display to confirm this is a no power issue. If you get normal display output, check out the Samsung Tablet Black Screen page instead. Note: Most Samsung tablets support video output via adapter.
Faulty Power Source
Samsung tablets have long featured largely universal charger types. This is convenient, but opens up a wider array of charger qualities. It could just be your cable has worn from everyday use.
- Try a different cable. Even if your wall adapter is good, a bad cable will still result in no power. An OEM Samsung cable is best, but any USB cable of the type your tablet accepts will likely work.
- Use a different USB adapter. Tablets require more energy to run than a phone. That old 5 Watt iPhone charger you've been using, might not cut it. You'll want something that is at least 10 Watts.
- Verify the outlet the charger is plugged into is providing power. Connect a known good device and see if it powers on.
Faulty Charge Port
Like all mobile devices, the charge port is especially susceptible to damage and wear. It is more exposed than the rest of the tablet's circuitry, and crevices in a device will always attract things you don't want them to.
- Verify the port is clean. Does a charger sit flush against the edge of the shell? The port may be clogged if it sits at an angle or has a loose fit. Use a flashlight to inspect.
- Check for bent pins or other damage inside the port in addition to debris.
- Remove anything caught in the port. Use compressed air and a toothpick (shaved to fit). Other non-conductive tools can be used in place of a toothpick, but avoid inserting anything metal.
- Once the debris has been removed, give charging another go.
Stuck or Failed Power Button
It stands to reason that if your power button is not working properly, your tablet may not power on when it's pressed. Luckily, this is often an easy fix.
- Check the button's "action" or ability to be depressed. If it doesn't feel like it's moving when you press it, start with a cleaning. Debris can get into gaps in the housing, gumming up the mechanism. There should be a tangible click.
- Inspect the area around the button for damage and give it a good clean.
- A cotton swab with isopropyl alcohol goes a long way in removing grime. Use a toothpick or an old toothbrush to get into crevices.
- Pro Tip: A weaker alcohol solution is preferable here (70% isopropyl alcohol rather than 90% or higher). The higher water concentration will help to dissolve sticky or crusted-on debris.
- Cleaning didn't help? This is where you'll need to get your tablet open and do some inspection. Check for proper button alignment, internal gunk, or cable damage.
- If parts of the mechanism are physically broken, you'll need to replace them.
Batteries are nefarious. Although they typically die slowly and with diminishing power on time, a bunk battery could fail suddenly, or prevent power on.
- Check for visual signs of battery swelling. This may manifest as areas of discoloration on the display (swelling exerts pressure on the display from the inside). The display may also bow outward, or separate from the housing.
- Internal signs of battery age or failure could include leaking or lumpy battery cells.
- Disconnect the battery and try to turn it on. Use the relevant Samsung tablet guide for procedures. If it powers up, your Samsung Tablet Batteries is likely your issue.
Other Component Failure
Aside from faulty storage media, failure of any component could potentially prevent power on. These issues are more time-consuming but can usually be rooted out when approached methodically.
- Use process of elimination. Disconnect everything from the board aside from the display and power input. Does it turn on now?
- If yes, begin reconnecting components until you can recreate the failure. If you connect a daughterboard with other parts attached, any of those parts could also be at fault.
- Once you find the faulty component, replace it.
The motherboard is the hub for most of a Surface's functionality. Any of the small components on the board may have failed or become damaged. Motherboard fault is a safe assumption of cause if nothing else on this page has worked.
- Check for signs of a board issue - burned or cracked components, liquid residue, corrosion, or bend. If there are signs of liquid, there's still hope your tablet can be resurrected.
- Replacing the motherboard is often the most practical solution for a DIYer whose Samsung Tablet Motherboards has failed.
- Board repair is possible, but requires skills in microsoldering and board diagnostics. It is an art unto itself, but a worthy endeavor. If you're curious and want to know more about getting into micro soldering, here's some good reading and some good watching to get you started.