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Thursday, October 23, 2014

Fixing iPad and iPhone "bricked" by iOS 8.1

So the other week I upgraded my iPad (it's an iPad 2) to iOS 8.0 and since then there was some significant slowdown of apps, and Safari seemed especially effected.  Oh it worked, just not at the brisk pace that I'm used to.  Anyway, last night I finally updated to iOS 8.1

Never, never again will I do such an upgrade to my ever-trusty iPad 2.  And yes, I know that I should upgrade the iPad itself.  It's three and a half years old, after all.  I guess it's seen me through an awful lot so there's that sentimental value.  If and when I finally retire it I'm thinking of putting it in a shadowbox and hang it on my wall.  But until then I'd still like to get at least a little life out of it.

Anyway, I started the update and went to sleep and when I woke up this morning it was supposed to have been all ready to go.  Except that it was even slower than it had been before.  So, I powered-down and waited 30 seconds then turned it on again.  And for the next 30 minutes or so I was staring at the silver Apple logo in the middle of a black screen and going nowhere fast.

I was immediately terrified that my iPad had become broken or bricked or something and that I would never see it or the data I had stored on it ever again.

Some Google-ing however indicated that I was far from alone: many people using older iPads (I've seen reports of iPad 3 and perhaps the generation after that) have been affected by iOS 8.1 and many iPhones going back to iPhone 5.  You would think that there would be some kind of thorough analysis and de-bugging, and at the very least have the device inform users when the newest iOS is incompatible with their device.  Some are wondering if this is apparently Apple's way of compelling consumers to buy the latest version of the hardware.

I know that the newest iPad Air is out this week, and I'm considering getting it soon.  In the meantime I do need my iPad now to be working.

Well, it took me an a hour and a half, but I did come up with something that gets the iPad un-bricked and if there's any consistency between the device itself and iTunes (note: make sure your iTunes is updated to the latest version) this will probably work for you too if your own device is hit with a "black screen of death"...

1.  Open up iTunes on your PC or Mac (I'm using Windows Vista... yeah yeah I'm a glutton for punishment).

2.  With your device unconnected to your computer, make sure your iPad or iPhone is already powered-on.  It's okay if it's still showing the black screen and logo: we're about to fix that!

3.  Connect the iGimmick to your computer/iTunes through the cable.

4.You should see iTunes acknowledging the presence of the device.  If your computer is anything like mine you will see that it's setting up new device stuff through the USB.  THIS IS A GOOD THING!  DON'T UNCONNECT YOUR iTHINGY UNTIL IT'S FINISHED DOING THIS!  You should know when it's done when your iPhone or iPad screen comes up as usual, with all your icons and wallpaper and whatnot.  If you can maneuver around the screen with your finger like usual that should indicate that the device has been re-set and back to normal.  But just in case I would leave it still communicating with iTunes for a little while (say, 10 minutes or so).

5.  While you're waiting for that, it's a good time to start backing up your iToy... so do that.  Do it now.  Or perish in flames.  It's your choice, but not really.

6.  After the backup is done (it took mine about 15 minutes because I had so many space-hoggin' apps on it... and other stuff) it is probably good to do.  Disconnect as normal and proceed to continue enjoying your iGadget as normal.

Last night I updated over the house network via wi-fi instead of going through iTunes, and I'm wondering if that is what was part of the problem.  Maybe, maybe not.  Worth pondering.  All I know is that once it was physically hooked-up with iTunes things started going back to normal.

Now, there's one thing that I haven't done so far.  I haven't powered-down and tried to turn it back on.  Because I'm kinda leery about doing so and having to go through this crap all over again.  I may try it tomorrow if I'm brave enough (I'm trying to get some book written  this afternoon/evening so while I'm in that groove).  If it works I'll let y'all know.  Or if it works for you, feel free to leave a comment about it.

Guess I'll have to get an iPad Air 2 sooner than later.  But that's okay.  I've had my eye on getting a 128-gigabites model for awhile now anyway :-)

EDIT 5:02 p.m. EST:  I should have mentioned earlier that after applying this fix following the upgrade to iOS 8.1, that my iPad 2 is functioning MUCH faster than it had been prior.  It's now comparable to the speed it was on iOS .  Even Safari.  And the touch screen seems a tad more responsive now also.


Scott said...

It worked!!!!!!!

Thanks Chris you saved me from getting a new Ipad :-)

Chris Knight said...

On this blog, we aim to please :-)

I've had quite a day with my trusty iPad 2. From the nonsense I went through with it this morning, to this evening when I installed the Pandora app. And then a little while ago I finally put the Twin Peaks soundtrack on it. I'd been meaning to do it ever since the other week when it was announced they were bringing it back in 2016. I've been listening to that tonight while I work. For music that's almost 25 years old, it's still surprisingly fresh.

I'll probably go oggle the new iPads tomorrow. But not buying. Maybe :-P

Anonymous said...

Unbricked my iPhone perfectly. Thanks! But I'm still getting iPhone 6 at end of the month :)