Cell Phones

[Solved] Samsung phones erasing on sim install questions

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  • Jan 17th, 2021 8:00 pm
[OP]
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Jul 16, 2003
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Edmonton, AB

[Solved] Samsung phones erasing on sim install questions

Hey guys. I just got around to putting a sim in my Samsung Galaxy A5. I've been using it without a sim for 2 months now and still using my old phone for calls and whatnot and just using this for gaming. I was about to switch over to this phone and put in a sim card and the phone reset to factory defaults as soon as a sim was put in. Now I've been talking to Samsung live support and apparently it is a new "feature" common to all Samsung phones as of the S7. They say there is no way to turn it off. Is this now standard on all phones or is it just Samsung? If So I'm never buying another Samsung.

Based off my conversation with the live chat, it would happen every time I switch sim cards which would make traveling problematic. But I've just switched from telus to virgin to bell sim cards and the phone didn't reset again. Maybe it's just the first time you install a sim card. Problem is there is no warning and no way to stop it. So what if it does it again when I switch to a local sim card in Brazil?

Anyone have experience with this? Also is this just a Samsung thing or are all manufacturers doing it now?
Last edited by titaniumtux on Jan 24th, 2018 10:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Marked as solved
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29 replies
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Sep 27, 2003
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It only happens once, the first time you insert a SIM into the phone. You do not need to worry about it happening again when you switch SIMs again.
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Dec 28, 2007
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x2. Have been swapping between my Telus, T-Mobile and Rogers SIMs with no problems on my S8.
[OP]
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Jul 16, 2003
591 posts
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Edmonton, AB
Well that's good. At least it doesn't happen anymore. They really should have some sort of a sticky on the phone explaining this would happen. I always set up my phones over a few weeks transferring stuff over making sure I got everything, testing out the phone before I switch. This time it was actually a couple months because I was too busy and away from wifi. I guess I just wasted a bunch of my time. But at least now I know that I can actually use my phone once it's set up now.

Also do you know if this is just a Samsung thing or if every phone does it now?
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Jun 1, 2008
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Richmond Hill
The first time you insert your sim into the device it will read your sim card and download the CSC settings for that carrier. It will configure your device for that carrier. It only happens once.
Deal Guru
Dec 10, 2004
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Kanata
I've only had it happen on the recent samsung phones.
I do exactly what you do (set the phone up, then put sim in) on my xiaomi phones and they don't do this. Mind you, that is Xiaomi so it's not really indicative. Perhaps it happens if you get a phone that is locked to a carrier? I don't recall this happening on the ZTE Axon 7.
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Mixam wrote: Hey guys. I just got around to putting a sim in my Samsung Galaxy A5. I've been using it without a sim for 2 months now and still using my old phone for calls and whatnot and just using this for gaming. I was about to switch over to this phone and put in a sim card and the phone reset to factory defaults as soon as a sim was put in. Now I've been talking to Samsung live support and apparently it is a new "feature" common to all Samsung phones as of the S7. They say there is no way to turn it off. Is this now standard on all phones or is it just Samsung? If So I'm never buying another Samsung.

Based off my conversation with the live chat, it would happen every time I switch sim cards which would make traveling problematic. But I've just switched from telus to virgin to bell sim cards and the phone didn't reset again. Maybe it's just the first time you install a sim card. Problem is there is no warning and no way to stop it. So what if it does it again when I switch to a local sim card in Brazil?

Anyone have experience with this? Also is this just a Samsung thing or are all manufacturers doing it now?
Your Sammy just flex-locked. Grab the sim unlock code from Samsung.ca online chat. Your A5 came out before the free unlocks rule. To use the A5 in Brazil, you'll need to carrier-unlock the phone.

Even without region-unlocking, the device should work on a Brazilian carrier (after sim-unlocking the device). I'd recommend making a phone call of minimum 5 minute duration to region-unlock the Sammy prior to take-off.
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Nov 17, 2006
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WorldIRC wrote: It only happens once, the first time you insert a SIM into the phone. You do not need to worry about it happening again when you switch SIMs again.
Not in my experience. Got my A5 from Zoomer - spent a couple of hours setting everything up on the phone. Then removed the Zoomer SIM and put in a Virgin SIM to find the phone factory reset itself and install all of the Virgin mobile crapware. Not a positive first experience with Samsung.

I haven't tried swapping SIMs since - because why would I? I have no idea if the phone will reset itself again, and if it does it will be without warning / unavoidable. Cool feature Samsung.
Deal Addict
Nov 21, 2008
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Mine reset on first SIM insertion. Changing SIMs after that didn't reset the phone.
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Dec 12, 2009
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Crap like this is a real turn off. I don't see why people put up with Samsung. If iOS users are in a walled garden, Samsung users are placed in solitary confinement.
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Sep 27, 2003
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slickdealer wrote: Not in my experience. Got my A5 from Zoomer - spent a couple of hours setting everything up on the phone. Then removed the Zoomer SIM and put in a Virgin SIM to find the phone factory reset itself and install all of the Virgin mobile crapware. Not a positive first experience with Samsung.

I haven't tried swapping SIMs since - because why would I? I have no idea if the phone will reset itself again, and if it does it will be without warning / unavoidable. Cool feature Samsung.
There is no "Zoomer" CSC on the phone, so it would not have branded itself in that case. Rest assured, your phone will not wipe itself again when inserting another SIM (now that you've had a supported SIM in the phone).
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Jul 16, 2003
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WorldIRC wrote: There is no "Zoomer" CSC on the phone, so it would not have branded itself in that case. Rest assured, your phone will not wipe itself again when inserting another SIM (now that you've had a supported SIM in the phone).
This seems to be correct. I have an A5 too. After my phone first reset when i inserted public mobile sim, I've switched to virgin sim, knowroaming sim, and back to public movile without a reset.

It's still stupid for your phone to wipe without any chance for you to cancel or and without any way for you to know it will till it's too late. Last time I ever buy a Samsung phone.
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Mixam wrote: This seems to be correct. I have an A5 too. After my phone first reset when i inserted public mobile sim, I've switched to virgin sim, knowroaming sim, and back to public movile without a reset.

It's still stupid for your phone to wipe without any chance for you to cancel or and without any way for you to know it will till it's too late. Last time I ever buy a Samsung phone.
Just wondering whether this issue will become a thing of the past without carrier locking. @WorldIRC do you think that Sammy phones will still factory reset upon inserting the first sim, in order to flash the carrier bloat/branding upon boot? That means even if the device is unlocked out of the box, it'll load Bell bloatware when booting first time with a Bell sim (even if that Sammy phone was acquired from Rogers or TELUS).
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titaniumtux wrote: Just wondering whether this issue will become a thing of the past without carrier locking. @WorldIRC do you think that Sammy phones will still factory reset upon inserting the first sim, in order to flash the carrier bloat/branding upon boot? That means even if the device is unlocked out of the box, it'll load Bell bloatware when booting first time with a Bell sim (even if that Sammy phone was acquired from Rogers or TELUS).
This already happens on Network Unlocked Samsung devices in Canada; they still brand / customize themselves to the first SIM inserted that matches a CSC that's been loaded onto the device resulting in that "wipe".
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[OP]
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Jul 16, 2003
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titaniumtux wrote: Just wondering whether this issue will become a thing of the past without carrier locking. @WorldIRC do you think that Sammy phones will still factory reset upon inserting the first sim, in order to flash the carrier bloat/branding upon boot? That means even if the device is unlocked out of the box, it'll load Bell bloatware when booting first time with a Bell sim (even if that Sammy phone was acquired from Rogers or TELUS).
Two things, my phone was unlocked out of box and the rep I talked to says it was on ALL Samsung phones. I was asking if I could just buy the international unlocked one or hey one from another country. She said it didn't matter, it's on all their phones since the S7
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WorldIRC wrote: This already happens on Network Unlocked Samsung devices in Canada; they still brand / customize themselves to the first SIM inserted that matches a CSC that's been loaded onto the device resulting in that "wipe".
Mixam wrote: Two things, my phone was unlocked out of box and the rep I talked to says it was on ALL Samsung phones. I was asking if I could just buy the international unlocked one or hey one from another country. She said it didn't matter, it's on all their phones since the S7
Thank you for confirming!
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Can also confirm this one-time only reset... Recently got a Note 8 directly from Samsung... friend had warned me of this first time reset (he learned it the hard way w/ Note 7) so I knew to insert my Freedom Mobile SIM first and sure enough it rebooted and reset and looked like it grabbed the Freedom Mobile APN's etc (though still think the reset was unnecessary). After that I put in my Fido tablet SIM and it worked without reset. Didn't notice any specific branding stuff though - maybe Freedom Mobile didn't have any.
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gobbledygoo wrote: Can also confirm this one-time only reset... Recently got a Note 8 directly from Samsung... friend had warned me of this first time reset (he learned it the hard way w/ Note 7) so I knew to insert my Freedom Mobile SIM first and sure enough it rebooted and reset and looked like it grabbed the Freedom Mobile APN's etc (though still think the reset was unnecessary). After that I put in my Fido tablet SIM and it worked without reset. Didn't notice any specific branding stuff though - maybe Freedom Mobile didn't have any.
It's probably subtle. Home page in Google Chrome? Although I imagine that can change after a sim swap. Honestly, the carrier branding isn't what it used to be. At most, it may pre-load a self-serve carrier app. Though Google map know to change that after the sim swap as well.

Gonna mark the thread as solved, since it appears that OP's (and others') questions have been answered on this topic.
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I'm traveling to middle East, I'm currently on S9 with Fido. However, I bought the phone from Koodo. I just want to make sure I can travel and insert local sim there and it wont factory reset my phone when I put the new sim right?
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Aug 18, 2018
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Mixam wrote: Two things, my phone was unlocked out of box and the rep I talked to says it was on ALL Samsung phones. I was asking if I could just buy the international unlocked one or hey one from another country. She said it didn't matter, it's on all their phones since the S7
I know this is from a year ago but thought I'd set the record straight. The rep is wrong. What she described is the behaviour for Canadian "W" models, but this most definitely does NOT apply to the US "universal" (U) and "factory unlocked" (U1) models.

On the US phones, the "U" model reconfigures the APN/bands/aggregation and loads the carrier bloat that corresponds to your SIM each time you swap SIMs, whereas the U1 simply does the reconfiguration but never loads any carrier bloat ever. If you don't care for certain carrier specific features, the U1 is the firmware you want since bloat is kept to a minimum.

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