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A Fun Day of Updating the iPhone

Posted by J Powers at 1:37 AM on August 5, 2009

I never expected it to go all day….

It started off by connecting the phone to my laptop. During the sync, it asked if I wanted to update to 3.0.1. I said yes – And the fun began.

The 300 Meg download was  quick and it loaded into the iPhone without issue. The phone rebooted and it said “Verifying Download”. The phone showed a USB cable and the icon for iTunes. That is where it sat for over an hour.

After 30 minutes, I started to get concerned. I read situations where people would update and it would brick the phone, something I didn’t want to deal with. Nonetheless, it was stuck.

I did the one thing that is not suggested – I killed iTunes and disconnected cable. Even after reboot of the phone, it still showed the USB cable. I hoped all it needed was to do this again.

I plugged the phone back in and iTunes said something to the effect the phone needed to be restored. Great – I don’t want to loose data on the phone, but I had no choice but to accept and let it fix the problem. Only thing is – it got to the exact same point and stayed there for another 30 minutes.

At this point I was Twittering everyone and scouring the internet trying to find an answer. After 3 tries, I realized the problem. When I set up my iPhone, I did that on my desktop. I learned of a trick to make the notebook and the desktop sync without removing any data. You basically make iTunes think it’s on the other machine by matching the unique ID.

Apparently when I updated the phone on the notebook, it hung on the iTunes because of confusion. When I switched it over to the desktop, the restore happened and the phone properly updated. I ended up loosing data from the last few days, but that was acceptable because it remembered all my settings.

I am glad I learned about this limitation now. 3.0.1 was a small update that I believe didn’t mess with the kernal. If this had been a major OS update, I might have locked the phone up to the point of no return.

From now on, I update on the desktop and leave the notebook to sync the music (because if I go back and forth, the iPhone will replace all songs with whats on the desktop, and vise-versa). Lesson learned.

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