I finally but the bullet and upgraded my iPhone. While traveling my 3GS kept shorting out on me. Once while trying to get to my boss’s house and another time while I was at a client site. It’s been on the fritz on and off for a while now, but it seems to have gotten much worse. I believe there is a conspiracy afoot. Upgrading the iOS might be shorting it out. Or maybe I dropped it one too many times. At any rate, it was time to get a more reliable phone. I don’t want to be stuck in an unfamiliar city without a phone.
So I bought a 4S at the AT&T store, which was completely painless except for the large amount of cash I had to plunk down. They grandfathered me in to my unlimited plan (with all the throttling that entails, but at least I don’t have to pay extra.). I brought it home and began to upgrade the iOS via iTunes, which is where all my trouble started.
At some point during the upgrade, the phone decided that it didn’t want to communicate with iTunes anymore. This would have been fine, except that the phone was stuck on the connect to iTunes screen. I couldn’t use the phone because it was effectively locked. The iPad and the 3GS communicated with it fine, so I knew that it was a 4S problem. I looked online and it said to delete everything iTunes and reinstall, which I did, and the phone still wouldn’t connect. So I called customer support and they had me go through a whole bunch of button pushing. And then told me to uninstall and reinstall iTunes again and call them back if that didn’t fix it. Which it didn’t.
So I called them back and this tech was baffled as to why the other tech had me do that as it wouldn’t have fixed anything. He did a whole bunch of troubleshooting and then he escalated me to tier two tech support.
This new guy looked at a whole bunch of stuff and couldn’t figure out why iTunes wasn’t communicating with the iPhone. There’s something going on with my USB ports and the phone, but the computer could see that something was plugged in. It just didn’t know what. Sounded like a compatibility issue with something in my laptop for the upgrade process. He asked if there was another laptop I could use, which I did, but it was a Sony viao much out of date and slower than a turtle, it turned out. It took almost an hour to install iTunes and then it wouldn’t communicate with the iPhone server. The technician had been on the phone with me for an hour at that point and he said just to go get it replaced. Which was a total pain in the butt.
But I wasn’t ready to give up. I did some research and fixed the issue concerning communicating with the server (the date time on the laptop wasn’t current. It was set for March). Then I did all the 60+ updates. Then iTunes and iPhone could see each other, but partway through the upgrade, there was a 1063 error, which I fixed by doing some more updates. Then 3/4 of the way into the upgrade, it pretty much stopped my computer from functioning. The upgrade bogged it down so much that I think the computer was smoking.
I gave up at that point with that computer. I finally brought down the work computer(which I don’t put anything on except work stuff) and installed iTunes on that and used that to upgrade the phone. That computer didn’t have any issues, except that I have to manually install the apple software updated. It couldn’t update itself while it was running. Go figure.
When the upgrade finally finished and I could use the phone again, I plugged it back into my original laptop and everything was ok from there. The only problem was that nothing was in sync and everything I read said to restore and then reset the phone, which I wasn’t about to do. It was 12:30 am by that point, but I got the phone to finally work 8 hours later.
So the story here is that there may be compatibility issues between computer and iPhone. Use the iPhone update rather than go through iTunes.
Also, the next morning, I discovered that if you right-click the phone in ITunes, there is an option to restore to backup without having to restore to factory settings first. So now everything works.
I mostly write this for anyone having the same problems I had. Nowhere on the internets did it say anything about hardware compatibility issues. So try a different computer if this happens to you. Just make sure it isn’t an ancient and slow laptop. Have a good week!