Thinking of upgrading to iPhone IOS 5? Don’t bother yet!

by Jeff Wiener on October 17, 2011

What did I do for much of the day Sunday?

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.

Even though all the settings appear to be set-up correctly, iCloud, one of the main features of the IOS 5 isn’t syncing properly and I’m not sure what I have done wrong.

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.

Did you like this post ? publishes daily news, editorial, thoughts, and controversial opinion – you can subscribe by: RSS (click here), or email (click here).

Written by: Jeff Wiener. Follow by: RSS, Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Dan October 17, 2011 at 10:20 pm

Have you tried Siri? I cant speak for the new inclusion but I had the old Siri app and deleted it in 2 days because it could get less then 50% of the spoken word. If you say it is an amazing app, I assume you have upgraded to the 4S. I am curious as to whether or not Siri implementation is worth the upgrade.

Karen October 30, 2011 at 1:13 am


yes you are right
same problem – much of the Phone works but i cant get it to sync with itunes – ive lost appointments and have had to restore to factory settings – hope that works

Previous post:

Next post: