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Samsung Galaxy S2 WiFi Issue

July 10, 2012

By Shaiful Borhan

The SGS2 (GT-I1900 version) has a notorious hardware-related WiFi issue that requires a full replacement of the mainboard to fix. Coincidentally, users started reporting about this problem a few months after Samsung released the official Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) update for the phone. Naturally, this has caused early ICS adopters to put the blame on Samsung for releasing a bad software update to the public. This theory is further strengthen by users who are still on Gingerbread (GB) and not experiencing this problem.

My SGS2 was about 11 months old when this problem became serious; WiFi totally stopped working. The symptoms however started to show around the 9th and 10th month, that was about a month after updating my phone to ICS. It started off with WiFi connection becoming unstable and difficult to connect. A few weeks later, the WiFi itself became almost impossible to turn on both via the widgets and phone settings screen. Instinctively, you would try to fix this by restarting or switching off your phone. It only worked for a while. Then I resorted to "factory reset" the phone, rooting, installing custom kernels and ROMs but nothing worked because the WiFi is totally dead.

I finally decided to turn my phone in for repairs at Samsung service centre about 3 weeks later because the phone is still under warranty. They confirmed the mainboard needs to be replaced. The faulty component was the button cell (called BAT500) leaking acid on the circuit board and the WiFi I/C that happened to be located adjacent to the battery was affected.

The SGS2 mainboard with the arrow showing the leaky battery BAT500.

Close-up of the leaky battery BAT500 and the WiFi chip on its left.

My phone is back to normal now. As soon as I got it back, I flashed it to GB. Well, we'll see.

Ultimately, the main culprit is heat but what leads to the problem could be a couple of things; ICS, 3rd party apps, user usage behavior, poor battery built quality or maybe random defective products. Anyway, if your are one of those people with this problem and your phone is still under warranty, send it for repairs ASAFP!

Shaiful Borhan is the Dude of Stampede Design.

Not only a PHP dude on fire, Shaiful 'Holmes' is also very handy with his guitar and ukulele. Be careful ladies, this guy with a sweet drawl will be able to sweep you off your feet with his mesmerizing guitar pickings. Follow the homie on Twitter.

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  1. Nov 14, 2013

    Psvrl says

    Hello all,
    My SGS2 gone away (from some point at time did not powerup again) and at service they told me - there are signs of "luquid" and mainboard has to be replaced (too expensive). I took my phone from service and at home I found that I have problem wit "BAT500" too (leakage). Could that problem, with bat500, prevent to powerup my phone ? I mean when I try to remove that bat and clean PCB is there possibility that phone will be OK agan or I realy need to replace MB ?
    Thanks a lot.
    Pavel

  2. Mar 23, 2014

    yeloo says

    my phone samsung s2 wifi not working whats tis solution?

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