iPhone 4 won’t update to iOS 5.1

UPDATE: It’s been fixed! Thanks to my friendly and always helpful Twitter friends @jdyates, @mrfrank505, @ropiko, @richmackey, @josephjaramillo, @Apple9511and @shuether for their suggestions.

Turns out the fix was as easy as using a different computer. Turns out (and I only sort of know what I’m talking about here) the issue came from when I used an iOS jailbreak tool to unlock an iPhone for my trip to Europe and Saudi Arabia. It redirected the activation from Apple to Cydia which is why I got the error message below.

There are two fixes, either edit the host file through Terminal or just do the update on a different computer. Since the command I had to fix through terminal didn’t work, I tried the update on my MacBook Pro and it worked like a charm!

So I have this iPhone 4 which is in absolute perfect physical shape, only has three months of use yet after around iOS 5 Beta 3, the phone stopped working correctly, the digitizer stopped working reliably. That is, sometimes after unlocking the phone, you could not swipe to unlock, the screen was remapped and a swipe to the bottom didn’t do anything, sliding across other parts of the screen would move the unlock button to a degree but never enough to unlock.

I had to keep this phone unlocked 24/7 or risk having a phone that was unusable. I eventually was forced to buy the iPhone 4S. Since I was running a beta version of iOS and couldn’t undo that after Beta 4, Apple would not honor the warranty.

Do you have any suggestions? DFU restore and regular iTunes restores do not work. I’ve tried numerous times to upgrade this phone to the latest version of iOS 5 and 5.1 with no luck. I have even wiped it from its built in restore feature but that hasn’t worked.

Hopefully someone reading this will have an idea as I am all out of them!

76 thoughts on “iPhone 4 won’t update to iOS 5.1

  1. @justex07 wow! Not fun. Is that true DFU restore or just normal restore mode? Is the connect to iTunes logo on the screen?

  2. @justex07 wow! Not fun. Is that true DFU restore or just normal restore mode? Is the connect to iTunes logo on the screen?

  3. @justex07 That’s bizarre! I assume you can’t unlock it to do an OTA update? P.S. We have the same background *high five* & you fixed domain?

  4. @justex07 That’s bizarre! I assume you can’t unlock it to do an OTA update? P.S. We have the same background *high five* & you fixed domain?

  5. @richmackey not sure what that trick is… I tried a few methods though. The video showed DFU and regular restores.

  6. @richmackey not sure what that trick is… I tried a few methods though. The video showed DFU and regular restores.

  7. @Apple9511 yeah, check out the post, I have a photo and a video that should show all you need to know.

  8. @Apple9511 yeah, check out the post, I have a photo and a video that should show all you need to know.

  9. @shuether it is both, I show both regular and DFU mode restores, neither work which is super super weird.

  10. @shuether it is both, I show both regular and DFU mode restores, neither work which is super super weird.

  11. @justex07 there is 3 modes you can restore in: regualr( iPhone on), restore mode(connect to iTunes show on iPhone), and DFU(screen off)

  12. @justex07 there is 3 modes you can restore in: regualr( iPhone on), restore mode(connect to iTunes show on iPhone), and DFU(screen off)

  13. @justex07 Very weird. I know I went from 5.0 beta to 5.0 release when it came out with no issues. Don’t remember how tho.

  14. @justex07 Very weird. I know I went from 5.0 beta to 5.0 release when it came out with no issues. Don’t remember how tho.

  15. @justex07 oh wow. Yeah that would take some work around. Hmmmmm I’ve been there. So it’s fixable. It’s just tricky.

  16. @justex07 oh wow. Yeah that would take some work around. Hmmmmm I’ve been there. So it’s fixable. It’s just tricky.

  17. @justex07 Might be a funny question, but do you have Xcode installed? It might let you force it in the device manager.

  18. @justex07 Might be a funny question, but do you have Xcode installed? It might let you force it in the device manager.

  19. @josephjaramillo I don’t but I’m installing it now and will try to do this on my MBP instead of my iMac, see if that helps.

  20. @josephjaramillo I don’t but I’m installing it now and will try to do this on my MBP instead of my iMac, see if that helps.

  21. @Apple9511 I’m going to give it a try on my laptop, it is a fresh install of Lion so hopefully any old Cydia issues won’t come up.

  22. @Apple9511 I’m going to give it a try on my laptop, it is a fresh install of Lion so hopefully any old Cydia issues won’t come up.

  23. @shuether that last tweet/link made it all come together! Thanks. I’m going to try to do it on my MacBook Pro now.

  24. @shuether that last tweet/link made it all come together! Thanks. I’m going to try to do it on my MacBook Pro now.

  25. @justex07 Apple is handing out a thousand iPad 3’s as part of fantastic promotion, visit this profile for details! @ipad_3_giveaway

  26. @justex07 Apple is handing out a thousand iPad 3’s as part of fantastic promotion, visit this profile for details! @ipad_3_giveaway

  27. @justex07 Not a trick really. Just in iTunes select your phone and then click “restore.” Make sure you back up first as it will wipe all.

  28. @justex07 Not a trick really. Just in iTunes select your phone and then click “restore.” Make sure you back up first as it will wipe all.

  29. @ronaldsb yeah it was actually remnants of a jailbreak on my computer that caused it, I posted the fix on that link. 😀

  30. @ronaldsb yeah it was actually remnants of a jailbreak on my computer that caused it, I posted the fix on that link. 😀

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