Fix…. My iPhone 3gs won’t restore after iOS5

//Fix…. My iPhone 3gs won’t restore after iOS5

Fix…. My iPhone 3gs won’t restore after iOS5

Don't forget to share


Did you say this? My iPhone 3gs won’t restore after iOS5

My story…

After patiently waiting for 4 days for the dust to settle before I attempted to download the  iOS 5 Software Update for iPhone, some iPod touch and iPad . I connected up my iPhone and opened iTunes.

I was still apprehensive as so many people have had various problems, like music disappearing, album covers gone, various error messages but then some people said it was all fine and hunky dory.  To be safe I didn’t just rush and download the iOS software update – first I installed the updated iTunes, sync’d and backed up the iPhone and making sure everything was up to date, hoping this would help.

iOS5 downloaded in about 8 mins and installed really quickly, I thought it was too good to be true when it said iTunes needs to do a restore to complete. It went through the restore process only to come up with a message, saying that this unit could not be restored. Gutted – Try again and it says your phone is in recovery mode you must restore this iPhone.

Alert text: "iTunes has detected an iPhone in recovery mode..."

– then again the message – an error occurred while restoring this phone – it just goes into a loop.   I tried to restore it two more times before I gave up. My iPhone was useless, thanks iTunes.

Recovery mode, I don’t like this picture.

I did a little search on Twitter and Google to see if any others were having the same problem, indeed they were. However, no one could suggest a solution. Most seemed to be taking their unusable mobiles into Apple to see a genius.

ITunes and me have never had a good relationship  (I’m not sure if it is only since I have had windows7) so I knew what to do to get my phone back to normal. If you ever that the cannot restore problem this is what you need to do.

Plug it into another PC or laptop – and do the restore from there.

Then plug it back into your own PC and restore the back up that you already have saved.

Done, iPhone back to normal.

The only problem is this does not give you iOS5 and once you have done this you will be back to the old version.  But, at least your phone works and you have all of your numbers, apps and details back.

Now I am not sure whether to try again and see if it works this time or leave it  until there is a fix or I can get to an apple store to report this as a bug.

Fix below ……

If anyone has the reason that this is happening I would be grateful if you posted the answer on here, or if you found a way around it.

It would also be great to know, who had this problem, and are they using windows 7 – so don’t be shy – let us know.  Maybe we can help each other


I have finally found out what was wrong – I had error codes 1603 and 6 – this fix wasn’t on apple, these were….

Things I tried

  • Restarting everything
  • Restarting apple mobile device in services
  • unplugging all usb’s
  • plugging lead in different usb ports
  • making sure everything was allowed in Zone Alarm – Firewall
  • allowing and un-allowing bonjour access to the internet
  • Stopping various things running in taskmanager that I though might affect it.

Finally ……

I just turned off the Zone Alarm (firewall) and restarted the PC 


Fixed, I now have iOS 5 – and now I’m going to upgrade to an iPhone 4S LOL well not just yet.


Hope this helps

By | 2017-02-08T01:20:17+00:00 October 17th, 2011|Categories: Tips and Tricks|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |21 Comments

About the Author:

Lover of Social Media/Networking, Digital comms, technology, computing, blogging, gadgets, music, and art. Modifying a written novel.
  • Jhm4992

    I too have the 3gs and Windows 7. 1st.updated itunes (had backed up my ph about a week earlier) so did the itunes (went fine), restore my ph but EVERY time at the end of the update got an error msg “network timed out” the fasted it had reached the end of the download was 6 minutes you would think it would complete it in that time but NO 6 days later still hav’nt been able to fully download ios5. Here’s the WORST part. when I restored my Ph to previous it reinstalled all the app’s but  theres was nothing inside the app’s ALL of the info in the app’s were LOST. I called apple 3 differant times but everthing we tried has not brought the info back.
     It’s been a nightmare!

    • Omg how annoying!  I think I might just leave it .. thanks for letting us know !

  • Wtsenators

    I have been dealing with this now since 9:30 am it is now 8:20 pm ……unbelievable.  The “backup” would not take for many times I reinstalled itunes many times….finally the backup went through and it restored my phone miracle….only to find all of my apps, 1500 songs and all of my contacts were GONE.  My wife is now dealing with hers it will not restore her phone whatsoever and is useless. 

    • Nightmare, so many ppl with problems ….. I wonder how you got on in the end? 

  • therealmc

    I don’t think the problem is confined to iOS5 as I’ve had the problem with iPhone 3gs, iPod Touch and iPad and Windows 7 on and off with other iOS updates and syncing generally for nearly a year!

    Most recently I have discovered that Bonjour Service is not enabled by the Windows 7 firewall for ‘Public’ but ticking that box when I was updating the iPad to iOS5 seemed to do the trick and everything worked smoothly. Try it, it might just work for you and you can always untick later if you want.

    • Yes, I have had problems for a while, I wondered if it was windows 7 – so maybe it is to do with Bonjour, I will try it, I’ve not bothered again since lol 🙂 Thanks for that. 

  • Riverwoman01

    dude, you nailed it!  this is exactly the fix!  thankyou!! lots of time and money saved from having to deal with apple and send my iPhone away!!  Bless your little cotton sox!

    • Michelledh

      Thats great, thanks for letting me know 🙂

    • I’m so glad I helped, that what this site is all about 🙂  thanks for letting me know Riverwoman01 🙂 

  • TariShiro

    I have Windows Vista, so I don’t know if that has to do with anything. My iPod 4th Generation is currently attempting to restore. But based upon the articles I’ve been reading, I feel like that’s not going to happen. I’ve already been waiting for about 4 hours, and it’s not even giving me an estimated finish time. I’m really concerned because my iPod typically has issues with backing up, and I’m pretty sure I’ve lost all of my pics at this point…

    • Michelledh

      Hi Tarishiro,

      Sounds awful, how did it turn out? Did you try what I suggested? I hope you didn’t lose anything! iTunes has always been difficult for me.

    • I thought I asked, this – but how did it work out? 

  • Puglet

    This has happened on every update with me, and I run it on Mac. It also happens with iPad. The only thing that seems to work on a consistent basis is to delete iTunes, reload it, and then go through the restore. Huge pain, and not very cuddly feelings towards Apple to be honest. 

    • oh  really – I didn’t expect running it on a mac would have problems …… am shocked.  No, I love Apple but iTunes has always been a pain for me, thanks Puglet. 

  • bex

    I have had my iphone 3gs since last summer and a month a go everyone was telling me to sync up my iphone to itunes, i did so and when i turned on it updated to a new software wich i am guessing is the ios5, but it is telling me that it will not activate and there is no sim card in it, my sim card is perfectly fine, it works on other phones and it was working in that iphone for 6 months until this happened. It is hard for me to get to an apple store as i live far away, is there anything anyone could suggest? Thanks

    • I’m not sure what it is Bex I had a search – and one person suggests restoring the phone (which is a bit of a worry if you have never synced it so I wouldn’t do that) – another says that there is an error on the phone and it needs to be seen by a tech guy at apple – If I were you I’d give Apple a ring and see what they suggest. Unless anyone else might have the solution. 

  • Lovexbabyy

    Where is the firewall that you turned off ? Is it in some type of Internet browser or whatnot ? This is happening to my iPhone ):

    • The firewall would be on your PC – if you don’t know then you probably just use windows firewall – type firewall in search and it will come up. 

  • Yankeesuck569

    if i update my software and then unlock it does the software go back down to regular ?

    • I don’t know the answer to this sorry.  I’ve never unlocked a phone. 

      Sorry Michelle. 

This Is A Custom Widget

This Sliding Bar can be switched on or off in theme options, and can take any widget you throw at it or even fill it with your custom HTML Code. Its perfect for grabbing the attention of your viewers. Choose between 1, 2, 3 or 4 columns, set the background color, widget divider color, activate transparency, a top border or fully disable it on desktop and mobile.