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Apr 12, 2001
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The most recent beta of iOS 9.3, provided to developers and public beta testers earlier this week, fixes a bug that caused 64-bit iPhones and iPads to be disabled or "bricked" when the date was set to January 1, 1970.

Discovered in mid-February, the "1970" bug occurs whenever an iOS device's date is manually set to 1970, resulting in a continuous reboot cycle. Speculation has suggested the reboot loop is the result of an integer underflow that causes the iPhone to reset the date to the maximum value, a huge number that iOS devices may be unable to process.

With iOS 9.3 beta 4, the date on the iPhone or iPad can't be set beyond December 31, 2000 at 7:00 p.m. ET, which equates to 1/1/01 at 12:00 a.m. GMT. That effectively puts an end to the 1970 bug, which was used to trick some people into bricking their devices.

newdatelimits.jpg

The beta also introduces a fix for devices that had been disabled by the bug. As explained on the MacRumors forums, devices stuck in boot loops were able to be restored to working order through a restore using iOS 9.3 beta 4.
This update fixed the 1970 date bug. Had two retail units stuck in boot loops do to some pricks setting the date to 1970 and restoring in DFU mode did not help. But restorting to this BETA update made both devices go back to normal.
Previously, there was no clear fix for devices that had been affected by the bug aside from disconnecting the battery, requiring users to go to the Genius Bar at an Apple retail store or attempt risky self-repairs. Apple promised a fix in an "upcoming software update," which appears to be iOS 9.3.

iOS 9.3 is currently only available to developers and public beta testers, but we may be nearing the end of the beta testing period. Apple has said the software will debut in the spring, and it's likely we will see it launch to the public following the company's rumored March 15 event where it is expected to introduce the iPhone 5se, the iPad Air 3, and new Apple Watch bands.

Article Link: Latest iOS 9.3 Beta Unbricks iPhones Affected by 'January 1, 1970' Date Bug
 
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lkrupp

macrumors 65816
Jul 24, 2004
1,197
1,987
Can't imagine how many idiots went into the Apple Stores and set the phones back just to be jerks.

iMore performed an experiment to see how long it would take to scroll back to 1970. It took almost eight minutes to brick the phone. It apparently takes a good deal of work to reveal this bug but stupidity knows no bounds or time limits I suppose. I remember the specially formatted text message that would crash an iPhone. My oldest son works for a structural engineering firm and all these highly educated, type A personality types spent days sending each other the special texts just for kicks.
 

Keirasplace

macrumors 601
Aug 6, 2014
4,059
1,278
Montreal
Unless the phone uses no power at all to boot, not likely, having it boot repeatedly until the battery died was a fix, it could take a long long time (days if it was at 100%, but it was a fix).
 

terrapinjess

macrumors member
Sep 11, 2012
81
145
The real fix should have been to allow users to set it back to 1970 and have that original logo pop up. Although that would've been giving credit to those jerks. Glad it's fixed though!
 
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rstone3

macrumors member
Apr 27, 2007
60
7
Midwest
"With iOS 9.3 beta 4, the date on the iPhone or iPad can't be set beyond December 31, 2000 at 7:00 p.m. ET"

I think/hope they meant "can't be set BACK beyond December 31, 2000" - otherwise we'll all be suddenly re-living that date groundhog-day style.
 

Mizouse

macrumors 6502
Nov 5, 2014
284
374
Why would you even need to set the date back that far in the first place????!

Heck why 2000 or even setting it back to 2015?? :-/
 

Ternary

macrumors regular
Jul 4, 2015
164
157
This makes me curious what date the iPhone would fall back to once it reaches January 19, 2038. Right now, it reverts back to January 1, 1970, but if that's no longer a selectable date, I wonder what would happen.
 

C DM

macrumors Sandy Bridge
Oct 17, 2011
51,388
19,448
This makes me curious what date the iPhone would fall back to once it reaches January 19, 2038. Right now, it reverts back to January 1, 1970, but if that's no longer a selectable date, I wonder what would happen.
Another "bricked" phone that will require a fix. ;) That said, not likely anyone will have any devices with any of the current iOS versions running on them at that time.
 
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djang0

macrumors member
May 20, 2015
58
137
u8i0a0U.jpg


So I guess those iPhones weren't bricked to begin with... who would have thought :rolleyes:
[doublepost=1456370532][/doublepost]
This makes me curious what date the iPhone would fall back to once it reaches January 19, 2038. Right now, it reverts back to January 1, 1970, but if that's no longer a selectable date, I wonder what would happen.

unix2038.jpg
 
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greyshirtguy

macrumors newbie
Feb 24, 2016
5
2
Who was the brave on to test that? lol ;)
LOL - I heard that letting it run completely flat or removing power causes it to reset back to factory default time/date - thus fixing problem......I had to try it!....Set date and rebooted....sure enough it "bricked" my iPhone6 (9.2.1).
Opened up and unplugged battery (that reset time & date to factory default)- iPhone6 "un-bricked!"
 

Samuel Bradshaw

macrumors member
Jun 10, 2014
65
26
This makes me curious what date the iPhone would fall back to once it reaches January 19, 2038. Right now, it reverts back to January 1, 1970, but if that's no longer a selectable date, I wonder what would happen.
Only one way to find out! :)
 

Keane16

macrumors 6502a
Dec 8, 2007
810
671
Good to see a speedy fix.

Also funny to see the word "pricks" used on a MacRumors article. Didn't know it was widely used outside of the UK.
 
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