Potential Fix For iOS 5 Bricked First Gen iPads



William Joye, who originally reported the problem about iOS 5 updates bricking first generation iPads, has reported back that the prescribed fix using Redsn0w fixed the problem with his iPad.

Here are the steps he used to bring his first generation iPad back to life.

  1. Download a copy of Redsn0w 0.9.9b7 for Windows or Mac from the Dev-Team blog.
  2. Copy Redsn0w to your /Applications folder on your start up drive
  3. Run Redsn0w
  4. Start iTunes
  5. Put the iPad into DFU Mode (see here for instructions)
  6. Click on the Extras button in Redsn0w
  7. Click on the Recovery Fix button in Redsn0w

Now as William pointed out, “watch scary stuff on the iPad screen, ” the iPad will eventually reboot and then you can restore your backup to the iPad using iTunes.

After that he said, “all is good. ”

Thank you William for reporting back and thanks to Musclenerd again for the tip. If Apple won’t help us we can always help ourselves when we work together.

Will  somebody send the folks working at the Genius Bar a copy of Redsn0w?


  • otho

    How about iPad 2? I have the same error.

  • CharliK

    if your iPad is in ‘connect’ mode that’s the harm in trying it. worst that can happen is that your iPad gets stuck in ‘connect’ 

  • Joe

    You call yourself a journalist?

    “If Apple won’t help us we can always help ourselves when we work together.”

    Probably 80% of the time restore errors are actually user errors. If you jail break your iPad and forget to unjailbreak it before updating of course Apple won’t help you! What did you expect?

    I thought this when your servers went to shit but I say this now, this website has gone to the dogs.

  • MacMan

    “Will  somebody send the folks working at the Genius Bar a copy of Redsn0w?”


    If you are going to rubbish the Apple staff then don’t bother to go to them in the first place. Better still don’t buy Apple products. Better still don’t write drivel like this. Like the previous poster I wonder about this website. My finger has strayed to the unsubscribe RSS button more than once.

    I suppose what can we expect from a website which also runs an Android website – http://cultofandroid.com/

  • Guest

    Just FYI, Apple’s latest upgrade to iOS5 bricked my un-jailbroken iPhone 4 and this fix was the ONLY thing that would get it running again. Apple’s response to my request for assistance was “oh well, it happens”, that it was a hardware issue and that I needed to purchase a new phone.

    Thank you David, three cheers!

  • DavidWMartin

    Your welcome and thank you for the kind words.

  • prof_peabody

    I too am shocked at this quote.  Absolute bottom feeding and not journalism at all. 

  • Eric

    My iPad1, iPad2 and iPhone4 updated just fine.

  • Sananmagoi

    Thanks to you, David, i solved my problem with your tips. now i have a fully restore and working ipad with iOS5. and one big hug from Brazil

  • Crossphire Dev

    Gotta love the Apple discussions board.  They deleted the link to this post because apparently they don’t feel they should publish information that could possibly help someone.  Way to go Apple.  Let’s see how your customer satisfaction scores will be when people realize that you don’t really care about helping people if they work outside the framework of your system.

    As for the jailbreak comments.  Some of the people in the forums had never run a jailbreak on their device, the iPads were just failing to install iOS5 for some reason.  I don’t see the need for people to point fingers at users that had a legitimate issue for which Apple has yet to offer any resolution.  

    Wait… They did offer one.  Some of the Apple Care reps told the customers that their iPad was dead and the only solution was to buy an iPad 2.  Hardly seems like a responsible/reasonable fix to a problem that was caused by simply upgrading firmware.

  • Crossphire Dev

    If you follow the thread on the discussions boards at Apple you will see that they are actively deleting any comments related to this particular fix.  That is clearly an indication that Apple is choosing not to help its customers.  

    Before you list me as a hater, I am not.  All I own are Apple products ranging from my laptops to iPad, to AppleTV to multiple iPhones.  I am appalled by the censorship that is taking place on the forums and cannot believe this is the legendary customer service that I keep hearing about.

    I have been fortunate in that all of my devices successfully upgraded to iOS5 and Apple has treated me quite well when I have encountered issues.  In fact as recently as three weeks ago they replaced a 3 month old laptop because it would freeze completely and they did it the same day with no hassle whatsoever.  That is not the experience that the people in the forums are getting though and instead they are told their devices are dead and if they shell out money for a new iPad 2 all will be well.  That’s a terrible way to treat a customer that could have their device fixed by following the steps on this site and that had been on Apple’s site until they deleted them.

    I do not blame all of Apple, just the overzealous mods that clearly think they get to control free speech.

  • David Rutan

    One of my customers had a bricked iPad and he certainly had not jailbroken it.

    While I agree with you that a lot of restore errors may have to do with jail breaking, this update is not one of them.

    There are quite a lot of users who did absolutely nothing out of the ordinary and are receiving the error 1 message and bricking their iPads.

    Apple only assisted us because we had AppleCare, and we ended up mailing in the product (this was before finding out redsn0w could unbrick it).  Had we been outside of warranty as many other iPad users are now, we would have been SOL.

    So, as someone who personally has seen this issue, I agree with David Martin’s quote and am happy this information is being spread for those unfortunate enough to be dealing with these issues.

  • DavidWMartin

    Your welcome. I’m sharing the information I come across in the hopes that it will help people like yourself. It’s sad if the above reports are true about Apple censoring the forums, but that won’t be the first time this has happened. 

  • Steve

    Updating my iPad 1 to iOS5 on my PC failed and neither I at home or the local Apple agent in-store could restore it so they charged me $69 to get it assessed. Then- because it was 10 days outside warranty- they tried to charge an additional $179 because they “tested and successfully installed iOS5”. I told them where to go on that and they agreed to waive the repair fee (even though they then told me that they’d had to remove the battery and do some other repairs not mentioned on the repair bill), but I am definitely one whose 1st Gen iPad crashed because of the update.

  • Steve

    Non-jailbroken iPad BTW

  • G Master

    ipads are cool but there better untethered and jailbroken go to http://www.squidoo.com/i-o-s-5… for the info

  • Danny Trisnadi

    is it the same as jail-breaking.? to fix the restore problem by using the redsnow in iphone 4.? I mean, after this fixing, the iphone can be jail-broken iphone or not.?
    because redsnow is usually used as jail-breaking tools. thanks in advance.

  • Danny Trisnadi

    can be used also for iPhone 4 which has the restore problem.??
    btw, my iPhone 4 is in recovery mode, because unknown error (-1) occurred while upgrading to ios5. thanks for the information.

  • Kitz

    Hallo David, I wish I saw this website about a week ago since I started trying to repair my “bricked” iphone after I upgraded it to ios5 from 4.3.3. the phone was not jailbroken ever since, but nevertheless returned a (-1) error with the ios5 update. out of desperation i tried to follow the seemingly risky “fix restore” using the same third party software described in this website, since it is closely connected with jailbreaking technique. just yesterday afternoon, my iphone has come to life after spending six days and seven nights in Hades. may your dedication to helping those (frustrated) Apple users like me increase. I am now a happy iphone 3gs ios5 user. cheers!


  • mainvision

    My iPad 1 got bricked during the upgrade to iOS5. I tried to restore it, pushing various buttons as recommended by Apple, nothing. The Apple support page had lots of people in my situation, but no solution, until someone posted this story. I ran redsn0w and my iPad is up and running! Thanks guys, Apple should pay you to do their job. I always refused to jailbreak my iPhones and iPad – not a jailbreak saved the day. I think I will jailbreak all my devices. Thanks guys!

  • mainvision

    correction: now instead of not!

  • Nelope4949

    David, just wanted to say thank you. And also thanks to the persistent posters who have kept pointing the way here from the Apple Forum.
    After 7 hours of trying to restore my iPad 1, and researching, this solution was easy, directions great and took something like 3 minutes.
    I do have a question. Does this mean my iPad is now jailbroken? When the next update comes, should I update as normal, or come back here first and look for instructions.
    Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!

  • Bruce

    I need to add my thanks as well.  I attempted to update to ios 5 last night on my iPad 1 and promptly received an error code (1) telling me to run restore.  I did so without success.  No help on the apple site and very few reference to an error code 1 on the internet until I found this site.

    I downloaded the software and followed the directions.  Success!  At least so far.  itunes is showing ios5 and is currently synching all my apps.  Fingers crossed!

    Thanks again.