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iPhone 3GS is bricked and gets error 21 when trying to restore Windows 7

Apple Girl

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Hi guys. :)

I was wondering if someone could help me out? I'm desperate, my iPhone stopped working suddenly (no apparent reason, didn't drop it or anything) and I don't have a home phone even so I can't call anyone at all!

My iPhone was plugged in to charge when I got message saying "activation required." I tried resetting it and it wouldn't boot up properly, so I figured it would have to be restored (I have had to restore it once prior).

When I try to restore it through iTunes I keep getting error 21 and it doesn't work. I am using Windows 7 Home Premium.

I have tried:
- restarting computer
- updating iTunes
- turning off antivirus
- running Windows update
- trying to restore in both recovery and DFU mode (I think, assuming I did it right?)
- trying to restore using a different user profile.
- using a different computer to attempt restore
- everything in this - http://www.iphoneforums.net/forum/h...afe-method-restore-current-version-ios-26019/ - tutorial

NOTE: from google it seems many people get error 21 because their phone is jailbroken. I did NOT jailbreak my phone (just saying this for diagnostic purposes).

If anyone knows what I can do to fix my phone I will be extremely grateful. I really can't afford to buy a new one. :(
 
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iJeff

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Try doing a hard reset on the phone while you are plugged in to itunes, to do this you will have to hold the home and sleep buttons at the same time till you see the apple logo then let go. Once that is done you will see the apple logo and the charger picture come up. From there you will have to do a restore back to factory and then you should be good. If for what ever reason you dont get this picture while hooked up to itunes just go back and do the same thing over again and continue to hold the home and sleep buttons till you do see the restore pictures " Apple and charger ". Let me know if this helps you and good luck restoring.
 
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Apple Girl

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Try doing a hard reset on the phone while you are plugged in to itunes, to do this you will have to hold the home and sleep buttons at the same time till you see the apple logo then let go. Once that is done you will see the apple logo and the charger picture come up. From there you will have to do a restore back to factory and then you should be good. If for what ever reason you dont get this picture while hooked up to itunes just go back and do the same thing over again and continue to hold the home and sleep buttons till you do see the restore pictures " Apple and charger ". Let me know if this helps you and good luck restoring.

Thanks for the response. :)

I tried that a few times but I still can't restore properly. My iTunes recognizes that there is an iPhone connected that needs to be restored, but then when I start the restore process I always get the "unknown error (21)" message after a minute or two. :(

Any idea what to do?

edit: also tried restoring using my roommate's computer. Same error message. :(

edit 2: did everything in this tutorial - http://www.iphoneforums.net/forum/h...afe-method-restore-current-version-ios-26019/ - but still no luck. Keep getting error 21.

Anyone know have an idea what the problem is? Do you think it is a hardware problem that I need to take to a repair person, or is it just a software issue? I don't have an apple store near me, unfortunately, but I could be near one in a couple of weeks, though I really don't want to wait that long. :(
 
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zig9449

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Thanks for the response. :)

I tried that a few times but I still can't restore properly. My iTunes recognizes that there is an iPhone connected that needs to be restored, but then when I start the restore process I always get the "unknown error (21)" message after a minute or two. :(

Any idea what to do?

edit: also tried restoring using my roommate's computer. Same error message. :(

edit 2: did everything in this tutorial - http://www.iphoneforums.net/forum/h...afe-method-restore-current-version-ios-26019/ - but still no luck. Keep getting error 21.

Anyone know have an idea what the problem is? Do you think it is a hardware problem that I need to take to a repair person, or is it just a software issue? I don't have an apple store near me, unfortunately, but I could be near one in a couple of weeks, though I really don't want to wait that long. :(

What are you trying to restore to? iOS 5.1? 5.0.1? A custom 5.0.1 ipsw?
 

zig9449

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Okay.

Honestly I don't see how this would not work.

Have you tried:

1) Dowoading the 5.1 ipsw for your device model and saving it to your desktop?

2) Then placing your device into DFU mode (black screen. If screen does not look like device it is shut off then it's not in DFU mode).

3) Then opening iTunes & clicking the okay button on the "iTunes has discovered a device in blah blah blah".

4) Theeeeeeen holding down the shift key on your keyboard "while" clicking the restore button in iTunes?

5) Theeeeeeeeeeeen navigating through the pop up window that shows when you shft+restore clicking on "Desktop" on the left side of the window then scrolling down to the 5.1 ipsw???????

This process is the basics....and very first thing you try when you see that iTunes is giving you a hard time when trying to restore.


Have ya tried that stuff???
 
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Apple Girl

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..........
Have ya tried that stuff???

Yeah, I keep doing all that and it starts the process but always an "unknown error (21)" message pops up after a couple minutes and it doesn't restore properly. :(

Do you think the phone's just got bugged up somehow, or could it be a hardware problem?
 
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zig9449

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Apple Girl said:
Yeah, I keep doing all that and it starts the process but always an "unknown error (21)" message pops up after a couple minutes and it doesn't restore properly.

Are you positive that you downloaded the right ipsw?

I mean like the 5.1 ipsw for an iPhone 3GS?

You don't have an iPhone 4 or 4S ipsw for 5.1 do you?
 
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Apple Girl

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Are you positive that you downloaded the right ipsw?

I mean like the 5.1 ipsw for an iPhone 3GS?

You don't have an iPhone 4 or 4S ipsw for 5.1 do you?

I don't think so! That's the link I clicked. Is there any way to confirm by looking at the file? It's called: iPhone2,1_5.1_9B176_Restore.ipsw
 
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Apple Girl

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The restore always looks like it's going to start ok, saying it's verifying with apple and preparing to restore and so on, and after maybe a minute the phone screen flashes bright for a second, and then a few seconds later it switches from the all-black DFU screen to the screen with the logo and usb cable as in recovery mode, and then a few seconds after that the error message shows up.

Dunno if that helps diagnose the issue?
 

zig9449

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Apple Girl said:
I don't think so! That's the link I clicked. Is there any way to confirm by looking at the file? It's called: iPhone2,1_5.1_9B176_Restore.ipsw

Yup. That's the right one. Hold on. Lemmie check sumthin out.
 

zig9449

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Apple Girl said:
The restore always looks like it's going to start ok, saying it's verifying with apple and preparing to restore and so on, and after maybe a minute the phone screen flashes bright for a second, and then a few seconds later it switches from the all-black DFU screen to the screen with the logo and usb cable as in recovery mode, and then a few seconds after that the error message shows up.

Dunno if that helps diagnose the issue?

Have you tried another USB port? Probably have. Just saying.
 

zig9449

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Apple Girl said:
The restore always looks like it's going to start ok, saying it's verifying with apple and preparing to restore and so on, and after maybe a minute the phone screen flashes bright for a second, and then a few seconds later it switches from the all-black DFU screen to the screen with the logo and usb cable as in recovery mode, and then a few seconds after that the error message shows up.

Dunno if that helps diagnose the issue?

Okay.

This should fix it.

You need to make a custom ipsw with Sn0wbreeze.

What you need to do is go to "ih8sn0w.com" (without quotes)

Download Sn0wbreeze v2.9.3.

Now extract that file to your desktop and open Sn0wbreeze.

Click OK,

Then click browse for an ipsw and find the 5.1 ipsw the same way ya did in that window in iTunes.

After its recognizes click the blue arrow on the bottom right corner.

This is a jailbreak tool...but since you don't want to jailbreak....just click on "Baseband Preservation Mode". This mode does not jailbreak the phone. Only preserve the baseband. Which is not ever a bad thing.

Now wait for Sn0wbreeze to do it's thing . When it's done cooking up your ipsw it will save it to your desktop.

Now you must enter PWNED DFU mode.


To do this ou have to click on the "iREB" tab in the top left corner.

Click start and follow the instructions. (it will asks you to shut off device, but you cant because your in recovery mode. Jut act as if it is shut off)

PWNED DFU is the same thing as DFU except when starting you press both sleep & home button simultaneously.

So just click start, follow the instructions and wait for Sn0wbreeze to show the success message indicating it is now in PWNED DFU mode

When your device is in PWNED DFU mode, open iTunes and shift+restore to the Sn0wbreeze ipsw.

Post back. Let me know how that goes.
 
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Apple Girl

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Hi zig9449, thanks for being so helpful. :) Unfortunately it still doesn't work! :(

I tried all the steps you suggested with that Sn0wbreeze program. Everything seemed to go fine with that program, until it got time to actually restore using iTunes. I did the SHIFT restore and again error 21 came up! :(
 

zig9449

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Apple Girl said:
Hi zig9449, thanks for being so helpful. :) Unfortunately it still doesn't work! :(

I tried all the steps you suggested with that Sn0wbreeze program. Everything seemed to go fine with that program, until it got time to actually restore using iTunes. I did the SHIFT restore and again error 21 came up! :(

And you entered PWNED DFU mode with iREB?
 
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