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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > iPhone, iPad & iPod > iPhone 3GS Won't Restore

iPhone 3GS Won't Restore
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Nov 28, 2011, 01:40 PM
 
iPhone 3GS, 32GB. I was attempting to update my dad's iPhone from 4.3.x to 5.0.1, unfortunately, when I was away my dad disconnected it from his iMac. The iPhone will not restore and has a usb cable with iTunes picture on it. I am assuming that he disconnected the iPhone in the middle of the update.

I spent most of my day yesterday searching online and I've learned more than I care to. When attempting to restore the iPhone, everything seems to go fine until the progress bar on the iPhone is about 2/3rds of the way complete, it hangs there for quite a bit, but always ends with an error code 1. The Wiki I found said something about this code being related to an iPhone that is attempting to downgrade to a previous iOS, however this is not the case. This iPhone has also never been jailbroken, which seems to be a common symptom.

I've downloaded the iOS 5.0.1 firmware and attempted to restore the iPhone via the alt restore, which allows me to direct the restore to the downloaded file. I've tried this on different Mac and on a Win7 machine. I've also tried the regular restore on both machines and have turned off the firewalls. The result is exactly the same each time, hangs at about 2/3rds of the way and then I get error 1. Oh, and I've tried it on a Macs running Snow Leopard and Lion - all the same. Also, all with latested iTunes (tried with older first), and did all the changing of USB ports and restarting of machines - nothing works.

I looked into downgrading to the last 4.3.x, but I discovered that Apple no longer signs those firmwares, and to do this, I'd have to bypass Apple's servers by editing the hosts files. I looked into this hack (hoping I could install 4.3.x then attempt to update to 5.0 again). The instructions I found online all seem to be dated from this summer or older and my files don't appear to match their examples - so I'm assuming Apple has blocked this kind of hack. Unfortunately, I suspect I would not have run into this if Apple was still signing the older firmwares, which I think Apple has done b/c of people jailbreaking their phones.

I also uninstalled all Apple software from my PC and then reinstalled iTunes, then attempted to restore the iPhone - this did not work.

On both the PC and the Mac iTunes indicates it's restoring the software, then verifies the software, then restores the firmware - the iTunes progress bar for this latter part completes and then goes to a barber pole status (I'm assuming it's waiting for the iPhone). On both the Mac and the PC the barber pole status lasts for 20 minutes before the error 1 appears. I assume this is because the process has timed out, which means iTunes was waiting for the iPhone to do something, which is never did.

My dad does not need a new iPhone, this one is more than enough from him. His contract for this phone is nearly up and I talked to him about the 99¢ iPhone (3GS), but it's only 8GB. I'm hoping someone has a solution for this. Unless I think of something else, I'm only left with going to the Apple store, but I've what I've read online thus far regarding their ability to correct this have been less than encouraging.
     
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Nov 28, 2011, 02:00 PM
 
Disconnecting during a firmware update is a really bad idea. You may well have bricked this phone.
Bypassing the Apple servers will not work if you have never jailbroken the phone. I had this trouble trying to restore to an 'out of date' OS before and simply couldn't do it.

The only thing I don't see in your post is DFU mode. Try to put the phone into DFU mode and then restore it. If that doesn't work you'll need to take it to Apple and let them try I suspect.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
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Nov 28, 2011, 07:56 PM
 
     
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Nov 29, 2011, 09:43 AM
 
Thanks to you both.

Yes, the disconnect during the firmware update was done my by dad who just wasn't thinking when he did it. I think the Mac updating the phone had a screen saver up and he just grabbed the iPhone for a address or something.

I did try the DFU mode, but the results were the same.

I took the iPhone to the Apple Store last night and he pretty much just did the same thing I'd done. He said the software was corrupted and there really wasn't anything he could do. Fortunately for my dad, my sister just got her new iPhone 4s and she's sent me her old 3GS 32GB iPhone, so my dad lucked out.

As for his iPhone, well, he kept it in an Otterbox case from day one (on my insistence since he's a klutz), so the parts are in mint condition. When I get my sister's old phone in I'll swap out the battery (her's is dying) and I'll take the back cover for myself since I cracked mine about a year ago - plus the bezel is much shinier than mine
     
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Nov 29, 2011, 09:51 PM
 
That is disappointing. Honestly it should not be that fragile, it's just software and an iPhone should be able to ignore whatever it has done and accept a new load.
     
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Nov 29, 2011, 10:05 PM
 
Originally Posted by Cold Warrior View Post
That is disappointing. Honestly it should not be that fragile, it's just software and an iPhone should be able to ignore whatever it has done and accept a new load.
Exactly. This, in my opinion, is one of the biggest flaws of iOS. No matter how badly one messes up software, one should always be able to reinstall the software. Apple almost seems to actively inhibit this.
     
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Nov 30, 2011, 10:01 AM
 
Originally Posted by Cold Warrior View Post
That is disappointing. Honestly it should not be that fragile, it's just software and an iPhone should be able to ignore whatever it has done and accept a new load.
Originally Posted by Wiskedjak View Post
Exactly. This, in my opinion, is one of the biggest flaws of iOS. No matter how badly one messes up software, one should always be able to reinstall the software. Apple almost seems to actively inhibit this.
Hah - That's exactly what shot through my head as I stared at the guy at the Apple Store for a few seconds after he said that there was pretty not much more than he could do.
     
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Nov 30, 2011, 04:23 PM
 
Didn't he offer a subsidised exchange unit? They usually charge you like £100 or so to replace it with a refurb.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
   
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