Last night I went to sync my new iPhone (yes, I succumbed to my techno-lust after Apple lowered its price by 33%) and found that the phone's software was going to be upgraded. Before I clicked "yes" I went on the web to find out more about what the update would give me.
I liked the idea that I would be able purchase music directly to my phone. I especially liked that the speaker phone would become louder (it was so quiet before as to be almost useless). There were some other nice new features as well... wonderful!
But I also found some reports of people installing the upgrade and turning their iPhones into "bricks". Most of these people had altered their phone in some way. Some people had unlocked their phones (which Apple had specifically warned against). Others had merely added some 3rd-party applications.
I had done neither of those things. But, disturbingly, there were also a few reports from people who had not hacked their iPhone in any way but were still having major problems. Some had to actually go to the Apple Store and get a new phone.
Well, that all seemed really unlikely, so I went for it. After a somewhat lengthy download it started to install. Then my moment of panic set in. My phone reset itself and when it came back up, the only thing I could get on the screen was a yellow triangular warning symbol with the evil words "Please Connect to iTunes". Um, I WAS connected to iTunes. Well, I THOUGHT I was connected to iTunes...
Apparently iTunes disagreed. No matter what I tried, iTunes would no longer recognize my phone, and my phone wouldn't display anything but the warning screen. Arghhhh!
After bitching about this sorry state of affairs on Twitter and mostly just getting some consolation responses (though it was cool to see "A-list" bloggers Dave Winer and Robert Scoble both link to my complaints - now if only I could figure out a way to get them to link to my blog posts!), I remembered the "First Rule of Technical Support". Before trying any other solution, shut down everything completely and start again from scratch. I wasn't sure why that would work in this particular case, but I'm guessing that when I did technical support for the Ingres database at Computer Associates in the mid-90's, that a silly number of the cases I handled were somehow fixed in this way. What had I to lose?
And you know what - it worked! Eventually...
The iMac rebooted (I LOVE this new iMac by the way - a topic for another post) and I plugged the iPhone into its doc. Nothing happened. So, I manually brought up iTunes expecting the worst. However, this time a pop-up window appeared telling me that the phone needed to be restored to its factory settings. Progress!
I clicked "OK" and it went through a complete restore. It allowed me to restore from my last backup, which meant that I wouldn't lose any data at all. It took a while to move all of my music and photos back over, but when it was done, my phone was as good as new! Whew! The "First Rule of Technical Support" lives!
On a side note, this was my first experience really "using" Twitter and I liked it. I'll write more about that soon.