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How to: Jailbreak and sim unlock iPhone 3G using custom 3.1.2 firmware

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This is a guest post by Ben Gillam. His own blog can be found here and his Twitter feed here.

Now that the 05.11.07 Baseband has been unlocked by Geohot many users will be upgrading to take advantage of the updated baseband and unlock. This guide will detail the procedure for updating and unlocking iPhone firmware 3.1.2 with both Pwnagetool and Blackrain.

Why both tools?

In a word, “choice”. Pwnagetool was the original and some say the best jailbreak tool so many users will be loyal to the dev team and want to stick to something they know. Additionally pwnagetool allows you to customize boot logos and recovery screen logos but it does require a firmware restore using a custom prepared firmware image. Blackra1n on the other hand just jailbreaks but does not require a restore of the firmware, which can be useful if you don’t want to have to sync back all 8-32gb of music!.

IMPORTANT BEFORE YOU START ANYTHING

  • Please read this guide from beginning to end before starting!
  • This guide is intended for iPhone 3G users. The process should work for 1st Generation iPhones but you will need to source the correct firmware files. The file names for these firmwares will start “iPhone1,1_…..”. However you should use Bootneuter to unlock your phone rather than blacksn0w.
  • This guide is primarily targeted at users with an iPhone on original carrier. (e.g. O2/AT&T)
  • Always FULLY backup your iPhone! – Lots of people switch off the lengthy iTunes backup, but its important that you take a backup if you want to keep your settings
  • I am NOT responsible if you brick your iPhone.  It is highly unlikely, but I have to give this warning.

The Pwnage Method

Preparation

Firmware files

You will need to download suitable firmware files. iClarified has a page of links to the original 3.01 and 3.1.2 firmwares. They are labelled by model at the given link. You will need to download the 3.0.1 firmware to downgrade and also the 3.0 firmware to jailbreak with.

Now that you have sourced your original firmware you will want to obtain or build a jailbroken or “pwned” firmware. How you do this is up to you. In the first instance I would recommend getting a friend with a Mac to build this for you, alternatively if you have access to a Mac OS X virtual machine you can build the firmware file yourself. As a last option you can obtain a suitable firmware from various torrent sites (which will not be linked here).  It is not recommended you do so, doing so is at your own risk. I would recommend checking for positive comments as a guide.

For a guide to building a pwned firmware with pwnagetool see here. Please follow the guide up to the point of saving the pwned firmware, then get this file to your windows computer by whatever means possible.

The resultant file should be named iPhone1_2_3.1.2_7D11_Custom_Restore.rar

The 3.1.2 firmware is available on many torrent sites but I would recommend where possible to get a friend with a Mac to pwn the firmware for you so you know you can trust it and that options are set for you as required. (for example people using legit carriers should leave activate iPhone unticked.

Tools

To perform the downgrade process you will need the following tools.

Redsn0w is used to jailbreak your phone, and iReb is used to break your iPhone 3G out of the recovery mode loop that will result from a downgrade.

Upgrade to 3.1.2

First things first, you’ll want to update your iphone to 3.1.2 using itunes, plug in your iphone and then click on its icon the the left hand side. Finally click check for updates and follow the instructions. Once the upgrade has finished your phone will be running the new baseband.

Downgrading to 3.0.1

Note: its worth having the speakers on so you can hear windows chirping as it finds hardware.

In order to downgrade you’ll need to put your phone into DFU mode, this can be down by doing the following.

1)      Plug phone into your computer and then switch it off completely.

2)      Press and hold the power button for about 3 seconds and the apple logo should show up.

3)      Then whilst still holding power, hold the home button and keep doing this for 10 seconds.

4)      Then release power and continue to hold the home button for about another 10-20 seconds, you should hear windows chirp and sometimes it will install DFU drivers. (Also the screen should have switched itself off shortly before you let go of power)

5)      When you are in DFU mode, iTunes should flash up that it has found an iPhone in recovery mode.

6)      Now select the iPhone on the left hand list and then hold the shift on your keyboard whilst pressing the restore button, this will prompt you for an .ispw file.

7)      Choose the iPhone1,2_3.0.1_7A400_Restore.ipsw you downloaded earlier

8)      Wait a little while whilst it performs the downgrade.

9)      When everything is done iTunes will complain of an error (normally 1050) which means that the baseband could not be downgraded, this is normal. However your phone will probably be stuck at the iPhone screen with the cable and itunes logo. (AKA recovery mode).

10)   Fire up iReb. (if on Windows 7 or Vista you need to enable Windows XP compatibility mode, by right clicking the exe file, choosing properties and use the compatibility tab)

11)   Press the fix recovery mode loop button at the bottom.

12)   You should be prompted to install LibUSB if you don’t already have it, follow the on screen instructions to install this then proceed to follow instructions on screen, you should eventually be given an option to choose your phone model, in our case the 3G!

13)   Your phone will then reboot and should boot up like a factory fresh iPhone on 3.0.1

At this point don’t sync or try to restore your backup (which won’t work anyway as it was taken on 3.1 anyway) let the phone sit for a few minutes until it says the phone was activated.

Jailbreak 3.0.1

Before proceeding it is recommend you reboot your computer.  When I carried out my jailbreak iReb got stuck in memory and interfered with redsn0w.

1)      Switch your phone off and plug into the computer.

2)     Start up redsn0w (again Windows 7 / Vista users should set redsnow.exe application compatibility to Windows XP SP3).  When prompted for your firmware file choose iPhone1,2_3.0_7A341_Restore.ispw and wait for it to process the file and then press next.

3)      Follow the on screen instructions for how to put the iPhone into DFU mode. redsnow will proceed to jailbreak your device. I would recommend not to install Icy since it seems to cause a lot of problems for some people.

Almost there!

Firstly, double check that everything went as expected with the jailbreak, for example, you should find a Cydia icon on your springboard.

Now we are ready to load our custom 3.1.2 firmware.

This time round we need to be in recovery mode, not DFU. To go into recovery mode: switch off and unplug your iPhone, then press and hold the home button and keep it held down whilst plugging in the cable and keep it held until you see the recovery screen appear on your iPhone.

Now repeat the shift restore trick again and this time choose your iPhone1_2_3.1.2_7D11_Custom_Restore.rar file. This should load as per any normal firmware. (be aware it can take a few minutes for the progress bar on the phone to move at first so don’t panic, but if you find it hasn’t moved in over 20 mins and seems stuck then I would switch the phone off, put in DFU mode again then restore back to the 3.0.1 firmware again using the instructions above and try again, any problems here would probably be down to a dodgy firmware file.

Welcome to 3.1.2 JB!

You should now find yourself on iPhone OS 3.1.2 jailbroken (check by looking for Cydia). Before you start trying to install anything I recommend you start and then update Cydia (which should prompt you anyway).

Time to unlock

Now that you are jailbroken on 3.1.2, load up Cydia and search for Blacksn0w and install. This will unlock and should hacktivate your phone as well. You should reboot after installation. If you are in the US on T-Mobile, disable 3g in the settings app as the 3G signal is not compatible with the iPhone 3G.

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