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Samsung Galaxy S2 WiFi Issue

July 10, 2012


The Samsung Galaxy S2 (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!

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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 and Google+.

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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.

  2. Mar 23, 2014

    yeloo says

    my phone samsung s2 wifi not working whats tis solution?

  3. Nov 21, 2014

    Z says

    Good Morning All.

    I had the same problem with my Galaxy S2 (727 AT&T USA version). I has same BAT500 near wifi chip just like international and other versions.
    My wife would connect sometimes and after a few hours, I see that it is "trying to turn on" but not successful. After a while, the semi-green wifi button become grey. I didn't think it was a software related problem. I was pretty sure it was hardware related. Based on this post and other posts, I looked inside and the BAT500 (battery/capacitor) looked just fine. There was no acid leak or anything. But the problems with these capacitors is that they can short inside, and still look good from outside. Anyways, I decided to take it out. I just used a screw drive I used to open the phone, took out the BAT500, infact, broke the metal contacts around it. Now, in my phone, I don't have BAT500 at all. I don't think it's really needed b/c as soon as the phone boots up, the time/data is synced via Air by AT&T. In any case, I didn't feel any difference. Wifi started working. It's working since then without any issues. I still need to understand the function of the BAT500 a little better. But for now, I am happy that wifi is working fine.

    As always, do it at your own risk :) Be very careful when trying to rip apart the BAT500 from motherboard. Just one slip of the screw drive (or whatever tool you are using) can damage the mother board. But in reality, it's a pretty easy job.

    • Nov 21, 2014

      Shaiful Borhan says

      Thanks for sharing your experience, my man!

    • Dec 24, 2014

      Jozd says

      Thanks man! My wifi problems disappeared after removing the battery. Amazing solution but it works.

  4. Dec 4, 2014

    Dan Kessler says

    My Galaxy S2 doesn't want to turn on anymore since yesterday.

    I opened it up and saw that the battery BAT500 has leaked.
    I have had no WIFI issues.

    I will try to remove the battery tomorrow and see if it helps.
    It is good to know the that phone can work without the battery installed.
    I hope there is no permanent damage.

    I just hope to get it turned on so I can retrieve all the data from the internal memory and then maybe buy a new phone.

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