Samsung Galaxy Tab Wifi Problem and Solution

Blog 2011 02 03 Samsung Galaxy Tab Wifi Problem and Solution

If you are an Android enthusiast and a tech junkie like myself, then you probably ran out and bought the Samsung Galaxy Tab the day it came out.  I did.
I fell in love with it until, about 2 weeks later, I could not connect to my home network.  No wifi = Verizon’s pricey data plan and 3G speeds.  That was unacceptable.  First thing I did was troubleshoot the problem, checking my router’s settings, the Tab’s settings, internet connection, etc.  Everything pointed back to the Tab.  Well, I then spent hours on the phone, made several trips to the Verizon store and dealt with a continuous back-and-forth battle with Verizon and Samsung, each blaming the other.  All of this and still no Wifi at home for over a month.
Finally, an in-store tech support member had a warranty “like-new” replacement shipped via FedEx. I was so glad that this mess was over with.  Well, about 4 days of having the new Tab, the Wifi issue reoccurs. Wow!  I was furious.

The Problem

The Tab is currently running a Samsung modified version of the 2.2 operating system. The problem is on Samsung (I think).  When you connect to a network, your device requests an IP address from the router, if the router is set up as a dynamic DHCP and not Static.  Being dynamic means that the router grabs the next available IP address.  This is where the problem begins.  On the Galaxy Tab, it saves the network and the assigned IP address to a file located in the root directory–a location for system files that the user doesn’t have access to unless “Rooted”.  The next time that your device tries to connect to that network, it uses the last known IP address assigned.  If that IP address is not available, the Tab goes into a loop of continuously trying to connect using that IP.  So, even on a dynamic DHCP router setup, the device switches to a static IP address.

The Fix

Until Samsung fixes this problem, this is the easiest, temporary solution.  You have to Root the Tab, install a file manager that can access the root directories, such as Super Manager, and delete the file that the Tab stores the IP address to.  There are links to instructions below.  Everytime that your Tab goes into the IP loop, delete the file and your back in business.  Poor job on Samsung’s part.  They produced an awesome device that is haunted by this small, yet major flaw.

Instructions on Rooting the Galaxy Tab:

Which File to Delete and How to Do So:

Quote from Mrmarc of forum:

1. Download from the Market ‘root explorer’ or a similar program. I used the free ‘Super Manager’ with included root file explorer. You must enable the root function in Super Manager, otherwise you don’t see the folders.
2. root your Galaxy Tab –> see SuperoneClick and
3. Within the file explorer you should go up to root map folder (in short: “rm”).
4. Then follow the instructions of Gadgeteer81. You can either delete the file or rename it.

Quote from Gadgeteer81 of forum:

To Fix Android going into “Obtaining IP Address” loop:
rm /data/misc/dhcp/dhcp_list

It seems to come from the fact that the phone requests its previous IP address to the access point, without any discover message, whereas the lease has expired from the AP point of view…

The previous leases are stored in /data/misc/dhcp/ and /data/misc/dhcp/dhcp_list. You just have to remove the second file (dhcp_list) to force the phone to start a new dhcp negotiation.

Share and Enjoy!

22 Responses to Samsung Galaxy Tab Wifi Problem and Solution

  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Herman Lintvelt, WiFi FAIL. WiFi FAIL said: New Fail: Samsung Galaxy Tab cannot connect to modern routers with DHCP… huge #fail: I can't [...]

  2. Bernard says:

    I tried with super manager app to access the root folders but got the following error message: The ROOT function in this program is not support your device or system image!

    Samsung Galaxy Tab Firmware 2.2 Build number FROYO.XWJJ3

  3. Steve says:

    Bernard, it could be one of two things. First, go into Super Manager’s settings and check the Enable Root Function to enable access to the Root Map. If that doesnt work, bring up the app launcher and look for Superuser (black and grey android and crossbones icon). If you dont see it, then the Root didnt work and trying the steps again should fix it. Good luck and let me know if that works.

    • seldom.seen says:

      Same issue as Steve. I’m at a dead end. Tried Rooting with Z4root many times but can’t get Superuser icon as described. A this point, I have installed, z4root, Super Manager, ASTRO and WiFi Manager and have about 4 hours into troubleshooting and I seem to be no close to a fix. I simple cannot get to the “dhcp_list” file to delete it. Please help!

  4. Thomas says:

    Thank you so much! Your description and efforts saved hours of my lifetime. I had EXACTLY the same problem with my 2 weeks old Galaxy Tab. Had to reset the router, afterwards the Tab would loop forever and found no IP-address. Such a simple solution and shame on Samsung for not adressing this important issue at once.
    Regards, Thomas from Germany

    • Thomas says:

      -forget to mention: Afterwards I reserved the “needed” IP-Adress in my router exclusively for the Galaxy Tab. IP Adress found out by WiFi Analyser (free), MAC-Adress for Device Idebntification is under HomeScreen – “Settings” – Status Infos

  5. chris says:

    hi, wondering if you could help me. I have rooted, downloaded super manager, enabled the root function in the setting, but dont know how to get to the root map folder. Im really new to this so it may be right in front of me, and apoligize if it is. But i think i need more instruction from this point if you could. Thankyou in advance!!!

  6. chris says:

    I’m having a bit of trouble. I have rooted, downloaded super manager, enabled root function, but don’t know where, how to locate the root map. Sorry, everything was so clear till I got to this point. I’m really new to this as well so could be right in front of me. Could you help me out to finish the process. I would love to have use of wifi. Thanks in advance!!!

  7. Luis says:

    Thank you for your priceless effort. You can’t imagine how disappointed I was until you gift us with this simple yet important solution.
    Again thanks a million.

  8. Michael says:

    I REALLY need some help. Here’s the situation. My internet service provider here in the Middle East requires a User and Pass to sign onto the network. Basically, I crank up my laptop, it picks up the internet signal, click on Internet Explorer, and it takes me directly to a sign on page. The signal is strong, but I can’t actually surf the web until I sign on. Sort of like a hotel that requires a pin number to access their wi-fi services.

    My Galaxy Tab recognizes and grabs the wifi signal right from the start (Excellent strength), but the browser simply will not “grab” the sign on page. Essentially i’m left with a strong wi-fi signal with no way to actually sign on to the ISP website.

    What can I do to make this work? Any help?


  9. elias zoghbi says:

    when i turn the WIfI on it will write error
    could you help me?

  10. jayanta says:

    thnx. just tell me if my router has a dynamic ip then even after I do the opeartion (deleting the log file which stores the IP)I have to repeat it the second time i connect it to the internet?

  11. [...] Also habe ich ein bisschen im Internet recherchiert und bin auf folgenden Artikel gestoßen: Samsung Galaxy Tab Wifi Problem and Solution [...]

  12. claude30 says:

    1)mémoriser votre numero mac (dans parametres galaxy tab
    2)ouvrir la page teglage de la livebox et inscrir ce numéro mac wifi, sauvegarde et normalement l’icone wifi revient en mode wifi. Cela a fonctionné pour moi.

  13. Emhodew says:

    There is another even easier solution. Connect the Galaxy to your network. Log into your router. Look at the connected devices and determine which is the Samsung. Copy down the MAC and IP addresses. Set your DHCP to dynamically ‘assign’ the IP address to the Samsung’s MAC address. Now every time you connect you will get the same address, and no other device will ever get the Samsung’s address.

    • Laurie says:

      I know your info is over a year old, so hopefully you will get this to answer. I get the idea, and although I’m no expert with my router, I’ve been stumbling thru and see how to do what you recommended. Just one problem, when I look at my connected devices, the Galaxy Tab shows up, but the only info it DOESN’T show is the IP address! So I have the MAC but can’t add anything to the DHCP without the IP. Now what? Got any simple directions? I can try Steve’s suggestion, but oh-my-goodness it seems over the top complicated to me!
      Thanks if you can help!

  14. Elvis Pereira says:

    I have two routers, the galaxy tab of my son connect only at the older G router and at every hotspot, why?

  15. Mamdooh says:

    How to configure Static IP address of wi-fi connection on a Samsung Galaxy Tab & Android Phone
    check out this maybe it help you

  16. Mike says:

    Thanks for the instructions, but when i go to

    rm /data/misc/dhcp/dhcp_list

    DHCP folder is empty, but I constantly still get the ‘scanning/obtaining IP from xyz” error.. never connects.

    Any other thoughts?

  17. r says:

    thankyou thank you thankyou thankyou! Have just impressed my husband by fixing the problem which has been driving him crazy! The last comment on the end of your article, giving the root “address” was invaluable! If Samsung know about this why have they not fixed it?
    Really appreciate this! All the way from New Zealand!

  18. Kirt says:

    I have found that the APP Wifi- Fixer is able to correct the problem enough for me to use most web functions except for video — it always hangs and loses connection on any video

    Wi-fo fixer does something to reset the wifi connection to make it work for a bit longer though you still have to run it every few hours

  19. MartyR says:

    I too resolved this problem recently by using the MAC address of the tablet. Had to connect my tablet to another network to fing the MAC address of the Galaxy tablet by using that network’s router.
    Then I went home and simply asked my router to admit the tab by accepting its MAC address. Problem was solved.
    Samsung really should do something about this. Maybe steal another Apple patent?

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