I was one of the would-be early adopters of iOS 5 who had my iPhone bricked by a screw-up with overloaded Apple servers. (Until yesterday I didn't know what "bricked" meant; after getting a black screen with no ability to connect with iTunes, I sure do know now).
It was hugely frustrating to have iTunes tell me that the iOS 5 update couldn't be completed, and then to have a restore process also fail. I was left with an utterly unworkable iPhone, so I made an appointment with the Genius Bar at the Bridgeport Village Apple Store for 12:30 pm today.
Then, just before going to bed around midnight, I decided to take another look at how other iPhone users were coping with the evident operating system update problems. Finding the TUAW post, I scrolled through the comments.
And discovered this exchange:
iOS 5 bricked my phone, making a trip to the apple store tomorrow. Got error code 3004.
Save yourself the trip. Google "dfu mode" and try restoring your iPhone later tonight, once the server demand has been eased a bit. I promise you'll be up and running in no time.
Hey, thanks a lot Yuusharo. I took your advice and found a good explanation of how to enter DFU mode, which also explained what this creature is. This was the key info:
How to enter iPhone DFU mode
- Connect the iPhone to your computer and launch iTunes
- Turn the iPhone off (hold down the power button at the top of the iPhone)
- Hold down the sleep/power button and home button together for exactly 10 seconds, then release the power button
- Continue to hold down the Home button until a message appears in iTunes telling you an iPhone in recover mode has been detected
Amazingly, I got into DFU mode on the first try. My iPhone was still bricked, with the screen completely dark, but now iTUnes could recognize it and began the recovery process.
Which took a long time. (I've got Navigon and lots of other apps, plus photos, plus music, plus...) But around 1:30 am my iPhone 4 was up and running again, with iOS 5 no less. I felt pretty proud of myself. Also, very sleepy.
Yeah, I probably would have gotten the same advice if I'd called Apple Support, or if I'd taken the phone in to the Genius Bar. Finding a fix on my own was satisfying, though.
I just wish Apple had anticipated how much demand there was going to be for iOS 5 on opening day. It seems crazy that overloaded servers would trash people's phones, rather than simply giving a "come back later" message.