Bricking and Unbricking My iPod Touch While Upgrading To 2.1

I’ve been happily running my iPod Touch with it’s original 1.1.4 firmware (jailbroken of course), but there were some apps that I really wanted from the App Store.  I bit my pride, grudgingly loaded iTunes on my laptop, signed up for an iTunes account, and downloaded the 2.1 upgrade.

I discovered that although iTunes can run over USB1.1, upgrading firmware doesn’t work so well.  I totally bricked the iPod while trying to upgrade.  The laptop happily reported that something was plugged in, but iTunes would have nothing to do with the device, so I could restore it.  At that point I went to bed angry and had weird dreams about installing software.

The next morning, I dug up my copy of XP (activated for VMWare) and preceded to load it on a spare computer that actually had USB 2.0.  I didn’t hook up the network because I didn’t want to accidentally activate it, I just need it to unbrick my iPod.  Then I discovered that iTunes refused to do anything until I hooked it up to the network — ugh.  After that iTunes recognized the iPod, restored it to the 2.1 firmware the iPod rebooted into 2.1

Jailbreaking was also an easy process, the only road bump I hit was having to load the latest .NET ont the computer before Quickpwn would run.

Lessons learned:

  • Although Apple make cool hardware, it’s proprietary software sucks
  • Don’t try to upgrade or restore and iPod over USB 1.1
  • iTunes requires an internet connection before it’ll recognize an iPod Touch for the first time.
  • QuickPwn requires .NET

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