Saturday, November 1, 2014

Upgrade HELL: iOS 7 (jailbroken) to iOS 8.1 upgrade trouble

I have a 16GB iPhone 5S that had iOS firmware version 7.0.6 which I had jailbroken using Evasi0n. I've been jailbreaking my iPhones since the original untethered jailbreak was released years ago. Skip to the last paragraph if you don't want any back story.

Jailbreaking your iDevice allows additional tweaks and functionality. I had previously upgraded from iOS 6 to iOS 7 using an older computer which has a 1.8Ghz Core2Duo with 2GB of memory. That process went without trouble what so ever and all was well in my world.

Recently the iOS 8.x untethered jailbreak, Pangu, was updated to include the ability to install Cydia during the jailbreak which is a great convenience. Previous to the update, Pangu would only give you root access to the iDevice and you still had to SSH into your device and manually download and install Cydia. Now that the Pangu jailbreak utility included the ability to install Cydia I was ready to upgrade my iPhone 5S to iOS 8.1.

All of the tutorials I found made it clear that before I upgrade my iPhone to iOS 8.1 that I first needed to perform a restore to the iOS firmware 8.1. Simply doing an upgrade either OTA or using iTunes was not going to work, doing it those ways lead to boot loop issues and other unforeseen issues. I connected it to my computer I choose the Restore button and soon my problems began. It was stuck at "Restoring iPhone Software" within iTunes. I let it sit for about 20 minutes and without any change in the progress bar I realized that it was stuck and not doing what it was suppose to be doing.
I jumped on the IRC channel #jailbreak_qa on freenode and they suggested the normal solutions of reinstalling iTunes and the AppleMobileDevice driver so I did those 2 things and it still was getting stuck at the exact same spot. I even attempted to put the iPhone into DFU mode and using shift+restore so that I could choose the IPSW file that I downloaded for my GSM iPhone 5S but again it was getting stuck at the same location. I even tried a different cable and that didn't work either.

The solution was to perform the restore using a better computer. Believe it or not using my main gaming rig which has Windows 7 Ultimate as the OS running an i5-4670k OC'd to 4.0Ghz and 8GB of DDRIII at 2133Mhz the restore worked immediately. I didn't need to use shift+restore either, I did however ensure the iPhone was in DFU mode before clicking the Restore button within iTunes. I can't believe that's how I solved the problem, I had spent countless hours googling and reading various forums and speaking with multiple people in the IRC channel as well. Now that the restore to 8.1 is complete, I will restore my iCloud backup so I get all my contacts and apps back onto the iPhone and once that's done, I will perform the Pangu jailbreak.Hopefully this post saves anyone else who's having an issue upgrading their iDevice to a newer firmware.

-Ubu out

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