My iPhone iOS4 Update Woes

This week, Apple pushed out the iOS 4 update for their iPhones. This update is supposed to be compatible with the iPHone 3G (which is what I have), so I elected to update it. Little did I know problems it would cause.

The update took ages – this is partly because there was an iPhone backup done. iTUnes warned me that this could take a while (“hours” was the key word here), so I left it to get on with it. When I eventually checked back, the update had been applied, but I found this error window on iTunes:


Now, I don’t know what an error of -34 is, but a quick Google showed me that I was not alone. The following day, I thought I’d try again. However, plugging in the phone gave me a warning that a previous restore was incomplete, and I should restore again. So this is what I did. Again, I got the -34 message. I also discovered that amongst the list of backups, the one that was important (ie the pre iOS4 update) one was missing.

OK, thinks I, the restore is broken – but I’ll sync it anyway. Bad idea. I got this error:


I tried again, but this time got about 30 variants of this error message to click through:


I believe that this is down to me having iTunes downsample tracks to 128kbps so I can get as many on the phone as possible. Maybe it could not find them.

Anyway, by now I had come to obvious conclusion that the thing was totally messed up, and I opted to do a total wipe and restore the phone from scratch. This meant that I would lose a lot of in app data, some which was important, but as it appears that the backup I would need to get that lot back was some fiction iTunes has concocted to make me go away and watch anything non-Football related on the telly.

After I did that, and all content was restored, the phone was working again, and iTUnes was no longer complaining abut missing files or -34 errors.

This is not a problem I have had in isolation – there are many people with iPhone 3G models who have had similar experiences. I just don’t think the 3G update was tested properly before release. iOS4 works, albeit sluggishly, on the 3G, but I am not sure if it was really worth the hassle I went through.