iPhone Not Restoring
August 5, 2012 12:19 AM   Subscribe

My iPhone 4 with IOS 5.x is not turning on anymore. I've tried all the suggestions I could find on the internet and nothing works.

Here are some of the strange details. I checked Facebook for about 10 minutes before going to bed, plugged in the phone, and left it. About 15 minutes later it turned itself on and I checked it. It had some message about emergency calling and then asked for authentication and then after that wanted to know if location services should be turned on (all of this had already been set). When I said yes, it promptly turned black. When I held down the power/home buttons it rebooted, but I noticed that the Apple logo (no kidding) was several times larger, more blue, and had some kind of flashing/lighting effect. After one more round, it then failed to start at all - now the (normal) Apple logo turns on for about 20 seconds, then off, then on again, repeat... and only when plugged into my computer; otherwise nothing. I didn't notice anything unusual at all beforehand.

I never tried to jailbreak it or otherwise mod it and had it for just under a year. I was in a poor reception area when this happened so my guess is that some kind of automatic update might have been interrupted. The best part of all this is that my warranty has expired (this was a second replacement), I have 1.5 years left on my contract, and really don't want to reset my contract with the iPhone 5 coming out in a few months.

I've downloaded all the different programs mentioned online to restore it, checked security, put it into DFU modes, tried different computers, uninstalled/reinstalled iTunes, checked hosts file, etc., etc., and no luck. Every time, no matter what combination of steps I use, it gets stuck at "verifying iPhone restore with Apple" and then returns error code 1602 (first several tries resulted in error 21). Any help would be much appreciated (I'm hoping it's not bricked). Thanks in advance.
posted by blue shadows to Computers & Internet (8 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Try a hard reset: Hold down both the home and power for 15-30 seconds. Keep holding the buttons through the first reboot, until the second reboot happens. Be sure to keep holding until you see the Apple logo — this step can require patience.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:00 AM on August 5, 2012

Response by poster: Thanks, BP. I did try that but it results in a connect to iTunes message, and if I keep holding for a really long time, it repeats through the process.
posted by blue shadows at 1:26 AM on August 5, 2012

Make an appointment at the nearest Apple store, if that's at all reasonable? If it's a software problem at all, they should be able to fix it without a warranty. If not, at least you'll know.
posted by jacalata at 1:39 AM on August 5, 2012 [1 favorite]

If you've had it under a year it is under warranty and the Apple Store will replace it. You should make an appointment first and you can be in and out in 10 minutes. Whether only time they won't just give you a replacement is if you've gotten it wet or you physically damaged it.
posted by birdherder at 7:23 AM on August 5, 2012

Sorry I missed the part about it being a replacement and off the original warranty. Let me try again :

It is still worth going to the apple store for because the might be able to revive it or give you a replacement phone for $150 which does no impact your contract and upgrade options. You'll be able to sell it for at least $150 when you get a new phone later so you won't be out the money in the long term.
posted by birdherder at 7:29 AM on August 5, 2012

As a former fruit salesgirl, I would advise you to still go to an Apple store and have them take a look. The folks at the Bar typically try to do what they can for people even of their device is out of warranty. This is such a bizarre device failure that I think they'll be inclined to work with you on it.
posted by Hello Darling at 9:28 AM on August 5, 2012

Another former fruitstand worker here (Hello Darling, we gotta stop meeting like this! ;)). I've been having a lot of problems with my iPhone now that I've moved somewhere with crappy cell reception for my carrier (Verizon) and recently I also had it restart itself randomly after trying to do different things even though service was super spotty, so you're not alone there. I'm personally in the process of backing my phone up so I can have someone at the store take a look at why no cell reception seems to screw things up so badly hardware-wise. Can you screenshot/write down in detail the various things you've done and bring them to your nearest store? I think this is a case where the Genius Bar is your best bet.
posted by These Birds of a Feather at 9:44 AM on August 5, 2012

Response by poster: Thank you for all the suggestions. I didn't realize that I can buy a replacement iPhone for $150 without resetting my contract, so that is probably what I will do.
posted by blue shadows at 6:18 PM on August 5, 2012

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