How effective is "Erase All Content and Settings" on a jailbroken iPhone?

Discussion in 'Jailbreaks and iOS Hacks' started by iphone3DG3, Dec 17, 2009.

  1. iphone3DG3 macrumors member

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    NorCal!
    #1
    So I have an original iPhone (jailbroken and unlocked on 3.1.2), and I plan to sell it really soon. My question is, would a jailbroken iPhone affect the "Erase All Content and Settings" reliability at all, since I want to clear its memory?

    If it doesn't, should I just go ahead of hit "Erase All Content and Settings" as is, or should I do a restore with iTunes first? Also, I've heard PwnageTool does multi-pass wipes as you can reformat its partitions accordingly; would that be a good means of wiping data?

    Thanks all! :)
     
  2. dhlizard macrumors G4

    dhlizard

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    #2
    It's effective enough so that if you throw the switch, it will just lock up the iPhone requiring a restore.
     
  3. thelatinist macrumors 603

    thelatinist

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    Connecticut, USA
    #3
    "Erase All Content and Settings" is designed for just this situation. This option will write zeroes to your entire NOR Flash memory, erasing everything on your phone (including your operating system). You do not need to restore before doing this, but you will need to restore afterward since your phone will no longer have an OS.

    Make sure when you do this that you are connected to power. This procedure can take a very long time on a 2G or 3G.
     
  4. iphone3DG3 thread starter macrumors member

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    #4
    So previously my jailbroken phone has been hung up at the spinning wheel of death (for 14 hours), after hitting "Erase All Content and Settings." I went ahead and put it into DFU mode, and now I am at the "slide for emergency" screen.

    So what can I do now? My goal right now is to clear the phone of its memory entirely, and it doesn't seem like the erasing went through properly. I'm sure that if I hactivate and erase the phone again, it will not do so properly. At the moment, I have a legit 3GS SIM card that I want to get past the activation screen of the 2G, but that doesn't seem to work without changing my data plan.
     
  5. thelatinist macrumors 603

    thelatinist

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    #5
    Put it in DFU mode and restore. Jailbreak and hacktivate with blackra1n. Then try "Erase All Content and Settings" again if you're really paranoid. Remember that it may take hours to erase a 2G or 3G phone.
     
  6. iphone3DG3 thread starter macrumors member

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    #6
    Would a jailbroken iPhone cause "Erase All Content and Settings" to not function properly? That is basically exactly what I did, and it turned up frozen for 14+ hours. But I'll definitely try again with the blackra1n. Thanks!
     
  7. thelatinist macrumors 603

    thelatinist

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    #7
    No. Jailbreaking should not affect it.

    By the way, unless you have data on your iPhone worth doing serious forensic data recovery to get (are you perhaps a spy, or do you carry industrial secrets about on your iPhone?), restoring and setting up as new should be adequate. And if the former is true you should physically destroy the phone, since your enemies have the technology to recover it even after a wipe.
     
  8. ntrigue macrumors 68040

    ntrigue

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2007
    #8
    Those of us from the early stages of PwnageTool know that it disables 'Erase All Content' as it would brick an unlocked iPhone.

    I would consider your iPhone sucessfully zero'd and just setup as new iPhone.
     
  9. thelatinist macrumors 603

    thelatinist

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    #9
    PwnageTool didn't disable "Erase All Content and Settings" on my 3GS; I've successfully used it after pwning. In fact, the check box to disable partition wipe-out is grayed out and not selectable in expert mode. Is this a 2G-specific feature?
     
  10. iphone3DG3 thread starter macrumors member

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    Apr 23, 2009
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    #10
    Yeah, you're right -- the disable partition wipe-out is grayed out on both the 2G and also 3G in the Pwnage Tool software. In fact, I cannot recall an instance in which that option was available for me. Just a side note, the "Enable Baseband Update" was grayed out for the 3G, not 2G, and that was basically the only difference between the two. I just thought that was worth noting.

    Also, on Apple's "Resetting iPhone" help page, it says...
    On iPhone 3GS: by removing the encryption key to the data (which is encrypted using 256-bit AES encryption)
    On iPhone and iPhone 3G: by overwriting the data
    http://www.apple.com/iphone/how-to/index.html#settings.resetting-iphone

    I'm only assuming because the 3GS uses a different type of encryption, the "Erase All Content and Settings" isn't affected. Again, that is only an assumption. =)

    At the moment, I am not back at home yet, so I can't give my phone another wipe. I'll post new things as they occur.
     
  11. mingoglia macrumors 6502

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    Dec 10, 2009
    #11
    That's funny right there. :D:D
     
  12. iphone3DG3 thread starter macrumors member

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    #12
    Alright, back at home. So I went ahead and blackra1ned and hacktivated my 2G iPhone (first time using that on a 2G, since I've always used PwnageTool). Then I went ahead again and hit "Erase All Content and Settings," and this time, the process was a bit different. It showed the logo and the status bar for about 20 minutes, and then it went straight to the "slide to unlock" screen. There was no spinning wheel of death, and it was obviously well under an hour. I plugged in a T-Mobile SIM card, and all works well.

    Does it mean my first time wiping the phone was a success? I'm assuming the first wipe fulfilled its job, so the second wipe took only 20 minutes.
     

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