Update to iOS 5 – my own story

Figure 1 iOS 5

In this post, I want to share my own story when I update my iPad2 to iOS 5. This new version of iOS has been released since 12 October 2011 and Apple claimed iOS 5 to bring more than 200 new improvements and features. You can find the complete list of all new things that are present in iOS 5 here but please notice that not all improvements will present in all devices. Each different type of devices (iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch) and different generation (iPad 1 and 2, for example) get different features. I write this post since I faced some problems during the update process and this is my first time dealing with updating iOS devices. So, I would like to share some of my problems and solution I’ve tried and worked for me. It might be useful for your reference if similar problems arise when you try to update.

I know I’m (very) late to this iOS 5 thing. The reason of my delayed update is I don’t like to use the first big revision. I assume it will contain some bugs that are still needed to be solved and I’m still afraid if updating to iOS 5 will delete my apps data and other settings (which I am too lazy to do all those things again). But then I found this article that explains about what happen to the apps data and settings when you upgrade to iOS 5. So, I wait until now before updating my iPad2 from iOS 4.3.3 to 5.0.1.

Figure 2 iTunes Summary Tab where we can find the Update (or Check for Update) button and restore button.

Since I don’t have fast and stable internet connection, I chose to download the iOS 5 firmware from Apple’s server (you can find the links for iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch) instead of updating directly from iTunes. If you updating from iTunes (you need a new version of iTunes that you can download here), you just need to back up your iOS devices before you click update button in your iOS devices’ Summary tab (you can find step-by step here).

My first trial results a failure. Since I update from ipsw file and I use a PC, I need to click and hold “shift” while I click “Update”. I select the ipsw file and then the file start extracting. After it try to contact Apple server to check eligibility of my device to be updated to this particular version of iOS, iTunes gave me an error warning pop up. It is the error 3194. I tried to repeat the process many times and every time this pop up always appears. At first, I thought I have a problem with my internet connection but after I try to browse some site, it seemed just fine albeit a little slow. I try to browse the internet about this problem but I didn’t find a straight forward answer. Some sites suggest the problem is in the “hosts” file that is located in C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc\hosts. There was a reference in that file that directed the connection to gs.apple.com. Because of this, iTunes will always fail to update the iOS. I kept on browsing and I found several references for step-by-step solution (this and this) and I followed it. I made a copy of that “hosts” file, move it to somewhere else. Then I opened the original file via Notepad and delete all the contents and save. Then I restart iTunes and I try to update from ipsw file again. It worked!! No error 3194 pop-up anymore.

Figure 3 Set up screen on iPad

Figure 4 Restore section as part of set up process

Figure 5 iPhone’s Connect to iTunes screen

The update process itself didn’t take long time (it’s only about 15-25 minutes) since I didn’t update it directly but via a pre-downloaded ipsw file. After the process was done, all I need to pass through was the set up process. Everything ran just fine until I reached the restore section. I had back up my iPad prior updating its firmware in iTunes. So, I want that back up is restored in my “new” iPad. I selected the option to restore from iTunes (third choice as seen is Fig. 4). And I selected the option restore in iTunes Summary tab. iTunes then checked the Apple server again and came up with the notification that I need to download and install iOS 5.0.1. I have no idea why this notification came up as I have downloaded and installed the newest iOS, the version 5.0.1 and I’m still asked to repeat the whole process again. And if I didn’t restore and select the “set up as new iPad” (which means losing all my data), I couldn’t continue the set up process and was stuck in the “connect to iTunes” screen (see in fig 5 for illustration. The screen shot actually belong to iPhone). So, after spending about 30 minutes of trying to find out what’s wrong (and also fixing problem with my internet connection), I found out a way to restore my iPad. All I have to do is click my device name in the left column of iTunes screen and do a right-click to bring up pop-up menu (see Fig 6). I selected the option to restore from back up and after that (thankfully) everything runs smoothly. It takes very long time though (about 30 minutes) to finish restoring my iPad. After the process was done, the iPad will restart and you can continue the set up process. Done!

Figure 6 Restore from backup

Last thing, I wanted to check if my apps data and settings were completely restored or have been gone. I found out that only my Kindle books were gone (anyway, that’s all I found so far). It’s not a big problem though as I can easily syncs back my purchased books from my Kindle cloud library. Overall, the update process was pretty smooth except those two annoying problems. I hope the OTA update feature in iOS 5 (and onwards) will make upgrading process easier. We don’t have to upgrade via iTunes. Our data can also be backed up via iCloud. It supposed to be much easier and faster.

P.S: all those pictures above are illustrative only. I didn’t documented the process of updating iOS myself so I try to find similar pictures (from Google images) to help visualizing what I’m describing in the text. If you have more info about updating iOS or you want to share any of your problem that have arisen during the update, feel free to add it in the comment section. :)

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