Adventures in iPhone hacking

The other night I experienced one of my worst nightmares…. My incredibly expensive and completely tweaked out iPhone experienced some sort of corruption…


I erased all settings and files and rebooted the phone in an attempt to fix the problem. This did not help. The erase also erased all of the settings of the jailbreak applications I had installed. It seems my concerns when installing the applications:

There is one thing which still makes me nervous. There is no way to backup and restore the iphone, with all of the customizations. I have spent hours getting my phone JUST right, and dread the day that a crash could force me to have to restore it.

was right on time… Since the “installer” application also lost it’s preferences, it also meant I could not uninstall any of the applications. The phone was FUBARed, and it seemed that the only option was a complete wipe and restore of the OS. Now… If restoring the OS would have no effect on the “unlocked” status of the phone, that was all good. At the worst, I would lose a little time. I found the 1.1.1 version of the iPhone software and did a restore via iTunes. (When you press the restore button in iTunes, hold the shift key, this will allow you to select the version of the restore file you have previously downloaded). I followed the process, assuming that my unlock would hold… When the restore was finished, to my HORROR, the phone was locked again, and asking me to “activate” the phone.

I searched online for at least an hour on how to best fix this, and finally came up with this lifesaver site.

Following these instructions:

# Make sure you have a SIM-card with PIN turned off, and power on your phone (the supplied AT&T card works fine).
# On the activation screen, slide for emergency and dial: *#301# to make the phone call itself. (If the incoming call dialog quickly disappears but it keeps ringing, just dial 0 (remove *#301# first), and it will call itself)
# Answer the call, and tap on Hold
# Phone will call it self again, tap Decline. You will now be returned to the normal dialer.
# Tap on contacts, and tap the + icon to add a new. The only info you are going to add to this contact are two URL’s. To add a URL, tap Add new URL. The first URL is prefs followed by a colon: prefs: and the second is Tap Save.
# Your contact now has two “web pages” – tap on the first one (prefs:). This will take you to the settings dialog. The reason you want this, is because you need to connect to a Wi-Fi network, so tap on Wi-Fi, and get connected to a network, and make sure the icon on top of the screen is indicating that you are connected. While you are in the settings dialog, you should also set: General → Auto-Lock → Never.
# Now, press the home button, and again, slide for emergency dial 0, Answer the call, Hold and Decline the new call so that you get to the contacts. Tap on your contact (No Name), and this time tap on the other home page,
# Safari will launch and show you a webpage. Tap on Tap here to jailbreak your iPhone
# Phone will return to activation screen and after a few seconds the phone should restart.
# If the phone does not restart after waiting a full minute, please make sure that you have your phone connected to the computer and try again.
# When the phone starts again, it should no longer say slide for emergency, but rather Slide to unlock It means it was successfully! Activation is now bypassed, and phone prepared for software installation!

I was able to bypass the activation process and unlock the phone again. In addition, the process also installed the jailbreak application and the installer for new applications, SWEET!

Apparently the phone was still unlocked it was just being blocked by the “activation process.” This site, turned out to be an incredible resource, with additional instructions on how to unlock other versions of the iPhone software. I am tempted to go ahead and upgrade to 1.1.3, but after the trauma of going through this process, I am not sure I want to tempt fate.

Eduardo, we could have saved ourselves $50 and done the unlock ourselves! Hehe…

One Response to “Adventures in iPhone hacking”

  1. Phone Tapping Girl Says:

    I was doing some online research and found your site. Thanks for the info, it helped me with my research. I like your site design as well and I bookmarked your page so I can come back. Thanks!

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