What should have been a simple upgrade on both iTunes to 10.5 and iPhone 4 to IOS 5 turned into a day long exercise in futility. I’ve done iPhone and iTunes upgrades many times before with great success, and considering how stable and reliable both iTunes and the iPhone have been, and that the software is made by the same manufacturer, Apple, I naturally assumed the upgrade would work smoothly.
I followed the simple on screen instructions and upgraded to iTunes 10.5. That went well. I then plugged my iPhone into my MAC as I normally do and the software upgrade began. When the sync finished about 20 minutes later and I unplugged my iPhone from my MAC everything was deleted from my iPhone. All music, songs, apps … everything. Fortunately the phone was still able to make and receive calls but everything else was gone. The sync obviously failed.
And now the fun part begins.
Multiple reboots on my phone, reboots on my MAC, restores on my iPhone, a botched attempt to downgrade my iPhone to 4.3, lots of time researching the web and voila, it’s still not working.
The most common error code I got was “An error occurred while restoring this iPhone (-54), and “An error occurred while restoring this iPhone (-40)”.
A phone call and 20 minutes on hold waiting for an Apple customer service rep got me in touch with a very cordial Morgan. Luckily my phone is still within the 90 day Apple phone support plan. Megan walked me through a series of steps, helped me find and load a recent back-up of my iPhone done prior to the upgrade, another phone restore, and we’re almost there. But, not completely. The first time through syncing and the phone failed again … same error. Megan put me on hold to get her supervisor and during the hold period the sync starting working. No idea why. Four hours later and unfortunately I can’t explain what fixed it. I suspect something became corrupted during the upgrade and the restore of the old back-up finally fixed the problem.
Hindsight being 20/20 of course and I would have waited a few weeks for Apple to release some bug fixes. And now that it’s done, was it worth it?
Given the enhanced feature set of IOS 5 I would say barely worth it. And next time I would wait a few more weeks until some of the bugs have been worked out. It was a complete waste of 4 hours on Sunday.
One of the other cool features of IOS 5 is that you can sync your iPhone to iTunes over WiFi. Although it took some time to set-up it seems wireless syncing is working. The new notification screen works well, and Siri, which works on iPhone 4S is an amazing app, but unfortunately only works on the 4S.
At this point, if you’re using an older iPhone and thinking of upgrading to IOS 5 and iTunes 10.5 I would suggest waiting a month or so, and even then, do some research into the new features. In my opinion, it’s barely worth the exercise.