3.1 "Erase all content and settings" takes no time at all!

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by petemwah, Jul 8, 2009.

  1. petemwah macrumors regular

    Feb 10, 2009
    When selecting "erase all content and settings" on the new iPhone 3.1 beta it no longer says "will take about one hour" and instead reboots with reset settings almost instantly.

    Does anyone know if this is just because of a fault (i.e. won't erase completely) or because there's a new method they've introduced for erasing content?
  2. Surrix macrumors regular

    Jan 7, 2009
    I believe this is new with the 3GS, not with 3.1. The 3GS features hardware encryption, so wiping the phone is instant as borking (forgive the lack of a technical term here) the encryption renders the data instantly unreadable.

    There was something about instant wiping in the keynote for the 3GS.
  3. petemwah thread starter macrumors regular

    Feb 10, 2009
  4. waterskier2007 macrumors 68000


    Jun 19, 2007
    Novi, MI
    i am pretty sure that the 3g has encryption too because when i sync my 3g i have the option to encrypt the backup
  5. Ishimaru macrumors 6502a

    Jun 18, 2009
    Los Angeles
    That's iTunes, not the 3G.
  6. monksealpup macrumors regular

    Jun 12, 2009
    Honolulu, HI, USA
    The iPhone 3GS has a hardware encryption chip in it. All data written to flash memory is encrypted, and the key is held in the encryption chip. Wiping the data on the phone is equivalent to wiping the key on the chip (and generating a new one, which is done automatically). While the data isn't wiped from flash memory (it's still there, encrypted), the fact that the key is lost makes it irretrievable. The blocks are marked as "free" and therefore data can be written to them by the operating system worry free.

    Additionally, the "encrypt backups" option in iTunes is part of the 3.0+ firmware update, and serves to protect your backup data on iTunes as an additional level of security if you are not running FileVault (or, more probably, a feature more useful for Windows users...).

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