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GPS is not working

Was hoping someone could help! My GPS is not working. Anytime I go to use the navagation or anything that requires the GPS to find my location it just searches and never finds anything. Has anyone else experienced this issue? Any ideas on how to fix it?

  • 1. Re: GPS is not working

    Download and try one of the many apps from market that will fix it (or attempt to anyways). here's an incomplete list in my favorite order.


    GPS Test  by Chartcross

    GPS Status  by Andrea baccega

    GPSrestore Samsung



    needless to say, be in open sky area, near a window etc...and holding the phone vertical seems to make the antenna work better...

  • 2. Re: GPS is not working

    I used GPSFix and it worked great! Thanks to RockHead posting it on here. I tried to use GPSRestore by Samsung but it wouldn't work on my phone. The phone was updated by someone I knew and he used Odin. I don't know too much about that stuff, but now the phone shows up as a GT-I9000. So the Samsung fix stopped and said it wasn't the right phone. GPS Test and GPSFix are great apps.

  • 3. Re: GPS is not working

    Sounds like whoever re-flashed the Samsung ROM on your unit usng Odin, put the wrong one back on - the GT-I9000 identifier is the same phone (approximately, slightly older I think) that is sold internationally by Samsung, the Vibrant from T-mobile is identified as the SGH-T959....hence the GPSRestore did not do its job...


    but in this android world of many developer ROM's and kernels, i am not sure that the identifier makes much difference UNLESS

    - it is causing problems (force closes, sluggish, other bugs etc...) - (and your GPS is now working...)

    - you need to send it back into T-mobile for repair, exchange or something and need the original ROM in place


    To learn more, You can head over to the XDA developer forums and get a glimpse of the 52 odd ROM's and other goodies that there are out in the wild - see the "Bible" thread #1 in following forum which has a comprehensive listing.

    The XDA Vibrant forum is at -- http://forum.xda-developers.com/forumdisplay.php?f=711


    + i believe the last patch from T-mobile is the KB5 version (after KA6 the orginal Froyo version)...see post #2 by brian  in this forum

    "....The update is build number T959UVKB5 also known as KB5.  This is NOT an operating system upgrade to Android 2.3 (Gingerbread.)..."


    In short - if you are having problems that you think has to do with having the wrong base ROM or it simply irks you that its the wrong identifier or for the other 2 reasons mentioned earlier...

    ...then....head over to the forum, grab the right "stock" ROM and odin it onto your phone (or have your friend redo it)

    so you are back to the "T-mobile Vibrant" software....offhand i dont remember what the differences are between the I9000 and 959 model hardwares but  seem to remember the TV out was not (never to be) on I9000. oth, the GPS firmware on I9000 was better if i remember right..and probably other things are different like headphone sound etc....


    of course having the original ROM allows you to get t-mobile OTA updates and support if you have to send it back in...


    just fyi - I have the original 959 ROM but installed a different kernel (Bali) to get a boost on battery and speed and better accoustics for the headphones...since I depend upon my phone to be working all the time (business), i dont muck with it much. Instead for playing I have a cheap Viewsonic gTablet which has really awful original froyo software so its much easier to justify spending time replacing, bricking and  cajoling it to play angry birds without rebooting...;-))

  • 4. Re: GPS is not working

    One tiny correction to make to your post: the Samsung Vibrant doesn't get OTA's.  It only gets updates via the Samsung Kies application.

  • 5. Re: GPS is not working

    Yes, i think you are mostly right

    - i did do the Froyo (2.2) update using Kies, but i think there was a patch that i did to bring the brand new unit to the then current rev build (2.1) which was OTA - back in Oct'10

    However the latest 2.2 patch is not OTA....

  • 6. Re: GPS is not working
    Definitely run Samsung's GPSRestore app. Here are some other steps that I have found useful.

    At least during the period you are doing the setup, have your wireless network set to 2G, it's more reliable for getting the starter satellite data that comes over the internet.

    Also have Use wireless networks checked in Menu/Settings/Location.

    Use the GPSTest app from Mike Lockwood (not Chartcross) this will help you to see if the starter data is downloading promptly.  If it is, the app will immediately populate with around 10 sets of coordinates.

    If you are in the open, the device should be able to use this data to get a lock in a matter of seconds.

    Good luck!
  • 7. Re: GPS is not working

    I had a similar problem with the GPS Restore app notworking as well. I had to nuke my phone, then download and run GPS restore before I did anything else to get it to work. After running the GPS restore, which worked, I was able to put my phone back together and things have been working just fine since.


    For some reason the complete reset was what worked for me. I used the Samsung reset code *2767*3855# to do this as doing the reset under "settings" didn't work after 3 frustrating attempts.


    Hope this helps!

  • 8. Re: GPS is not working

    My Vibrant has gone back to Samsung for the second time for GPS malfunctioning. After months of changing settings, restores, configs, patches, installing KIES, etc, finally sent it back and came back just as bad as it went to Samsung. Sure standing in an open field where I DON'T need GPS only takes it 30 seconds or so (compared to 1.5 seconds for my old G1). I got it back 90 days ago and agreed to try it, and again, it's still garbage. But darn it she got a beautiful screen there, don't she Mabel?


    I only purchased it (as soon as it was released) based on the beautiful screen and ability to play flash. Had I actually used the GPS in the first two weeks, I would have rejected the phone and bought something else.


    Now that it's gone back for it's second visit to the factory, maybe they will actually do something like FIX the actuall antenna issue by replacing it, since they can't flash it, reset it, reconfigure it or make it work on the highway, in the city or moving more than 5 MPH on a country road. Forget being in Philly, land of 3G (and 4G) and using this phone to get around. No way no how. And as I found out, I wasn't the only disgruntled and frustrated Vibrant owner down there. Seems if you live in the city, and buy one of these, you take it back pretty quick when realize it just doesn't work (too well). At least not the first run units I suppose. People like me in the country didn't pick up on this until we encountered a true city block....


    But  now, even if I replaced it with a better model, and simply bought another TMO phone, what good does that do me. As soon as the merger is complete, just like with ATT/Cingular, the towers will slowly be 'reused' for ATT Freqs, and the TMO phones that we buy now will be useless. On the other hand, I usually don't keep a phone for more than 2 years, but who wants a phone that will be worthless as soon as all TMO towers are reconfigured to ATT Freqs? Think about it. Unless you buy an AT&T compatible TMO phone ( I think I read there are two) you're out in the cold.


    If they can't fix the phone well enough to satisfy me to hold out until the merger (migration) is finalized and complete, then I'd have to abandon ship. As it is, living in Lancaster PA, there is very little 3G anywhere I go, and with the number of towers that are (no longer) being put up (I doubt there are any at this point) and/or preparing to reconfigure to AT&T, that signal strength and unlimited data plan I currently have is even less useful than useless. Of course the other people on my family plan live in another city where signal is great, and they have HTC's with Garmin like GPS precision, so they can stay. I have to now decide between Sprint (semi-unlimited data) or AT&T - Verizon strangleholding on the 2 gig limit and charging much more than they did before. It's a shame TMO and Sprint didn't join forces. The number 3 and the number 4 carriers just may have been able to unseat one of the big bullies of the cellular industry..  sigh...

  • 9. Re: GPS is not working

    If you have virtually no 3G access where you live, then the AT&T merger will have little impact on your ability to use this device in those locations. The only bandwidth being reconfigured is the 1700 mHz AWS frequency, which TM uses for its 3G, along with the 2100 mHz band. It's not clear at this time whether something will be done to convert 2100 mHz to handle both upstream and downstream 3G data (at the moment the directions are split between the two frequency ranges). In the mean time, there is nothing to indicate that access to the 2G frequencies will change.


    While originally it was also an attractive idea for me that the #3 and #4 companies might combine to more closely match Verizon and AT&T in customer base, I've since concluded that such a development would have been a technical mess. Sprint have still to sort out their Nextel acquisition after 4 years and counting.


    The technical synergies that are possible from two GSM companies combining are almost completely absent from the combination of a GSM and CDMA organization. Sprint only wanted TM for its customer base.


    Such a move would have left the door open for Verizon and AT&T to stretch ahead with their 4th generation deployments, and the customers formerly known as TM would have been left behind.


    Without the ability to match the technology of their rivals, the combined customer base of TM/Sprint would most likely begin to erode from 2013 onwards.


    Since TM ceases to exist in all of those scenarios, the technical gains/losses are much more significant to me.     

  • 10. Re: GPS is not working

    Try "CORRECT HARDWARE GPS FIX" ,could be in the General Section of XDA forums, your GPS will fly




    It's not difficult at all.

    Here is the guide shows you how to take apart the bottom cover to apply this fix






    If you dont want to mess with the SOLDERING, try the copper wire method.




  • 11. Re: GPS is not working

    Follow up:


    Samsung  updated the ticket as Defective PBA board, replaced. Unit functioning normally. I'll know once I receive it and can test it. Hopefully, this can make the phone a useful tool like my previous versions.

  • 12. Re: GPS is not working

    home wrote:


    Try "CORRECT HARDWARE GPS FIX" ,could be in the General Section of XDA forums, your GPS will fly




    It's not difficult at all.

    Here is the guide shows you how to take apart the bottom cover to apply this fix






    If you dont want to mess with the SOLDERING, try the copper wire method.





    I have another solution: my next phone will not be a Samsung phone. I learned my lesson with this phone. Since I also refuse to give any money to AT&T, I'll be jumping ship sometime during the next year, probably sooner rather than later.

  • 13. Re: GPS is not working

    So Vibrant returned today with its new PCA assembly. Ha.. no change. What a piece of garbage. I told the factory that they should use a G1 as the standard to calibrate their equipment if they believe this is a normal operation. I stood on the front porch of my house, which, as a test, I used my G1 before swapping the SIM back into the factory naked phone. It took exactly 3 seconds for the GPS to lock in on my G1. 


    Swapped everything out on the Samsung. allowed it to boot up and went thru it's necessary update. Activitated the MAPS program. Gave it three minutes to find itself. Done, shut down rebooted brought it back up. Clicked on Maps, this time it only took 1 1/2 minutes to lock in... hmm


    Changed everything back to the G1, booted up, logged in to Google. Shut down and rebooted, clicked on maps..  5 seconds... So let's see, the 3 year old G1 with a bogged down processor and memory buries the Samsung Galaxy S in GPS?  wow.. who would have thought. Shame the G1 doesn't have the Vibrant Screen. So I know for the future to keep my G1 handy so when I travel, that will be what I take along. And no, there will not be another Samsung phone in my pocket moving forward. I will wait until HTC comes out with a dual core NFC phone and 4.3. I don't care who sells it, I'll drop TMO now and move on. Why buy a TMO phone that is only going to be useless in less than two years.

  • 14. Re: GPS is not working

    Did you run GPSRestore first? Do you have "Use wireless network" checked? Are you use 2G or 3G/HSPA  for your data connection?


    It's very important with this device to make sure that it has optimum wireless network service (which may mean dropping down to 2G if your 3G reception is spotty), since the aGPS information is absolutely critical to getting a prompt lock.


    The best indicator I have found is an app called GPSTest written by Mike Lockwood (there's another by the same name from Chartcross that doesn't do what's needed in this context).


    GPSTest will show you how quickly you are getting the aiding data from off the Internet. If it doesn't show a list of 10 satellites in a matter of a couple of seconds then the network assistance isn't working properly, and you will struggle to get a lock at all. With the assistance functioning properly, I invariably get a lock inside 3-4 seconds, and can often get a lock inside a house.


    Now none off this is to say that the GPS on this phone is good for navigation purposes. Most of the time the antenna is too weak to hold a satellite connection consistently. Apparently, if you can't hold a lock for several minutes, then the full set of data for that satellite doesn't get fully downloaded and it has to re-start the data download. The result is that data for each of the 7-8 satellites that it can connect to keeps stopping and starting, causing the location fix to shift around marginally all the time. That's why you'll find yourself apparently driving through adjacent yards rather than on the road in tight neighborhoods.


    Anyway, do try out GPSTest, it will tell you if your initial download of aiding data is not working. That will, in many cases, be solved by making those few adjustments I mentioned at the start. 

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