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‘How to claim warranty for a hardware damaged Jailbroken/Unlocked iPhone?’ in a nutshell!

31 May 2008 25 Comments

I am forced to write an article on this issue given the number of occurrences. You might as well bargain for a 3G iPhone in return!

The following write-up applies to an iPhone which has mal/dis-functioning home button, iPhone sync/charging USB pin and some other similar situations.

Hey, hardware failures are taken care of by Apple, why do I care? What if you jailbroke your iPhone and you are now unable to get rid of the most favorite installer.app icon which Apple Geniuses are fond of since they can deny service outright if they find that the iPhone OS is tampered with.

If your iPhone is not damaged at all, then your best bet would be to restore your iPhone to the latest software and approach an Apple specialist. If you are denied service since you didn’t register with an ATT sim, try registering with ATT Prepaid as described here .

IMG_0090.jpgIf you Unlocked your iPhone, install BootNeuter.app from installer (Make sure community sources are installed from installer.app) and make sure Neuter, FakeBlank, Unlock are all ‘OFF’. Now hit the Flash button at the top right corner and wait for it complete the operation. There you go, a virgin iPhone waiting for the next few steps!

If your iPhone’s Home button acts naughty or/and the iPhone is not detected by iTunes due to a possible USB pin connector damage, your best bet would be to :

  • Uninstall all the applications installed using installer.app
  • Make sure BSD Subsystem and OpenSSH are still hanging in there (they are vital apps for the next few steps!)
  • Make sure your iPhone and PC/Mac is connected to a WiFi access point. Noted down the IP address from (iPhone) Settings -> WiFi -> Click on the Access Point -> Jot down the IP Address
  • Go to Settings -> General ->Set Auto-Lock to ‘never’
  • SSH into your iPhone using your favorite FTP tool be it FUGU (Mac), CuteFTP (Windows) or the like using the IP from the above step with username as ‘root’ and password ‘alpine’ (for 1.1.3,1.1.4 iPhone, ‘dottie’ otherwise) and leave all other fields blank
  • Now go through the screenshots attached for the applications we are looking for. They can be found at ‘/Applications’ (the top most level/directory – essentially ‘/’

  • Now locate installer.app and double click (open) it and delete all the files barring directories (folders) due to a permissions issue. Now delete all the files in the sub folders as well.
  • Now rename the sub-folder(s) to something generic or a web app like name (homepage.app) and rename installer.app to Websearch.app or something like that just ot be on the safe side.
  • The installer icon should be gone for good thereby enabling you a shiny new iPhone!

Please note that these are some of my experiences which never failed, your mileage may vary!

Note : When in an Apple store, look for Apple Geniuses/techs of the opposite sex, it might sound silly but trust me it works! Depends on how well you tackle them!


  • Patrick said:

    This advice, indeed, saved my life, removed the installer icon from my home page and as a result (of the faulty home key), I was awarded a brand new 8 GB iphone which I in turn sold on Craig’s list for over apple.com selling price.

    Kiran, you’re a genius.

  • Kiran said:

    Thanks Patt! Thanks for your patience, I took it as a challenge and we did it in style! Great that you got more than what Apple makes! Get ready for the 3G version!

  • Vik said:

    If you have boot neutered…via the installer to get the baseband etc in factory state…cant you just restore iphone to the newset 1.1.4 fimrware to wipe out everything and have it fresh…i am guessing then the installer is gone as welll along with the crap we installed…avoids ssh etc after bootneuter..doesnt it?

  • kiran said:

    Well, yes you can restore to 1.1.4 after you perform bootneuter operation though you will end up all apps, including ssh, in other words – a fresh new clean image!

  • macy said:

    your advice got rid of the programs as suggested BUT still didn’t show up as “activated” in their database so FYI, even if the battery died they would be able to tell. I then took your noted advice on the opposite sex and along with, threatening apple store with apple corporate, I was able to get a new phone the SECOND time around. Can’t beat the flaws in human nature.. Should have listen to u in thefirst place. 😉 thanks, macy 🙂

  • kiran said:

    Hi Macy! I was about to contact you regarding the replacement issue, glad it worked for you! I need to try with a malfunctioning refurb. Let’s see how it goes.

  • David said:

    Hey Kiran, is there a flash plugin for Safari in the iphone?
    I watch cricket and it would be cool if flash was there. i would have live cricket on my iphone =)

  • kiran said:

    unfortunately flash support is yet to be introduced. iPhone 3G hopefully! Cricket on youtube for now!!

  • JJ said:

    Hi Kiran,

    Please HELP! I got an iphone 1st gen 8gb 1.1.4 not unlocked/jailbroken yet. I am planning to unlocked it even though I am an AT&T customer(just dont want the data plan, i dont need it), but doesn’t want to void warranty (valid until 2009). My question is, Is restoring the phone to factory setting or upgrading to the latest software really works?? They will not detect any sign at all of the phone being unlocked? Or do you have other suggestions what to do? … Thanks in advance!!

  • JJ said:

    It is also true that it’s hard to unlock iphones 2.0 version? Is there a way now to unlock the 2.0? Would like to upgrade to 2.0 as well… 🙂 Thanks!

  • pcd said:

    can i just borrow a friend’s at&t sim card who doesn’t have an iphone and put it in my iphone and bring it in?

  • kiran said:

    pcd : You can do it but you have to activate your iPhone on his ATT number thereby signing him up for a 2 yr contract and higher priced plan…

    Best bet would be to restore it and take it to an Apple store saying you bought it on eBay and you are intending to use it for iPhone App development! ( that’s what I did and yeah, I am using it for development purposes!)

  • Eric said:

    If you bring it in and say that you bought it on ebay and are going to do iphone App development what does that mean? Do you not have to have the phone activated to do app development? What is the easiest step by step way to approach the apple store if I have the receipt and the phone is restored like new but the phone was never activated? Thanks

  • kiran said:

    Eric : Well, it worked for me when I said it is for iPhone App development program for school! Refurbed phones were pre-activated.

    If you have the receipt and the phone is restored – upon weighing the reason for exchange or warranty – tell them that you received it activated and activate it using the relevant software. (tell them that it is a refurb unit from eBay which you are planning to activate, may be it might help!)…

  • vkk said:

    I bought a refurbished iphone 2g in january 2008. I didnt activate it on at&t but unlocked it and used my t-mobile account. Now bottom quater of the touch screen doesnot respond. I tried restoring it, changing the general.plist file in app etc. but no use.
    I am running the latest version 2.2 firmware and unlocked it with quickpwn.
    i lost the att sim i got when i bought this iphone.
    Can anyone suggest me how i can get a replacement.
    Thanks in advance.

  • kiran said:

    Vkk : you should first check for warranty period left on the device…
    Best bet would be to go to the apple store and tell them that you are a student and are enrolled in iPhone development course and you bought this phone from your friend. Tell them that you are planning to signup with AT&T after current tmobile tenure!

    Or you can ask for a reudbished unit in any condition for development! Trust me it can work 😉

  • vkk said:

    Thanks for the reply.
    I think the warrenty period is one year. if it so then i will try this method.
    I have one question, When i restore the iphone using itunes, it gets relocked so can i take the locked phone to apple store or do i need to do the prepaid sim method.
    And how can i restore it completely with no sign of 3rd party s/ws

  • kiran said:

    Vkk: yeah, you have to restore to any firmware and it should take care of everything!

    It will be relocked and all the apps will be gone.

    Use iTunes, download the original firmware from downloads section here and hold shift / option keys,click in restore and browse to firmware and you are good to go!

  • vkk said:

    Do i need to use prepaid sim card.
    sorry for bugging you with many questions.

  • kiran said:

    Nope, you don’t need to use a prepaid sim.. If you go by my plan that is (please go through my post and comments)!

  • vkk said:

    I tried restoring to 1.1.4 firmware. the one i had when i bought the iphone.
    But it failed returning an error(20).
    restoring it to 2.2 is done fine.

  • Aless said:


    I have 8gig 1st gen iPhone,unlocked,jailbroken thru quicpwn & Running on 2.2 with AT&T. My question is does this method still works to claim for warranty? I’m having issues with my phone and wanted to bring it in for service.. Will restore put the phone back to otb state with no trace of modification? Or I should do something else?I will appreciate a lot any advice..TIA

  • bob bt said:

    so if i restore it i can get a new 1 ipod touch

  • Satya said:

    off the topic… how to find if a 1st gen iphone (2nd hand) is still under warranty?

  • iLikeMyiPhone said:

    Click on the warranty link in the sites section to the right – enter serial number and choose the country!

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