Yes, you can *brick* an iPad (...or maybe not)

Discussion in 'iPad Hacks' started by spblat, Mar 18, 2011.

  1. spblat, Mar 18, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2011

    spblat macrumors 6502a


    Jun 18, 2010
    Forgive me if this is old news, but I have not seen clear warnings about jailbreaking that indicate the possibility of irretrievably bricking an iDevice. Here is my personal experience.

    When I told my friend about my excitement about getting my hands on an iPad 2, he said he had been there and done that and wrecked his iPad through jailbreaking. He was fed up and offered to sell me his bricked iPad for next to nothing.

    When I got it it was stone dead. After ten minutes on the charger, with occasional attempts to reset it with the two-button maneuver, it finally came up with a "dead battery, charging" icon. Thirty minutes later it booted to the apple logo and froze with some crashy looking pixels on the right side of the screen...which I gather is characteristic of a failed JB.

    I tried putting it into DFU mode and my Mac wouldn't see it. I used the restore mode procedure and managed to get it to display the "connect to iTunes" icon, but iTunes still wouldn't see it. Seemed like game over.

    So I went to see an Apple genius and told him what I have told you. He confirmed it was a jailbreak gone bad and said there was nothing he could do for the unit (iPad 1 3G, 64GB). We agreed that technically the iPad was therefore out of warranty, and then to my delight he provided me with a replacement device at no charge.

    Doesn't it seem to you that if there was a way to recover the bricked iPad from the JB, I would have been able to at home, or the genius would have been able to do it in the store? Are there other cases of jailbreakers irretrievably bricking their iToys?
  2. dave420 macrumors 65816

    Jun 15, 2010
    I saw something almost identical happen to an iPhone that was in a pocket of someone who fell off a dirt bike. The device showed no cosmetic damage, but behaved like you described. I know the Apple employee told you that it looked like a jailbreak gone bad, but I have seen no other posts on this forum of people who have had that problem after a jailbreak.
    I am not saying it isn't possible that it was because of a jailbreak, but devices have been known to go bad jailbroken or not. I am glad to hear you got it replaced! (They replaced the iPhone I mentioned above as well)
  3. spblat thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Jun 18, 2010
    Me neither. And I would like to think that I have been paying attention.
    In light of the above, perhaps this merely a weird coincidence.
  4. Dav1 macrumors 6502

    Mar 14, 2011
    I'm sorry, a lot of things could be...

    Fact is I don't know your level of competence...

    There are a number of reasons why a jailbreak can fail...

    It is what one does at that point that actually matters...

    There are a number of reasons why a computer may fail to **see** an iPad, from what you have posted, you did nothing to address these issues, that doesn't mean you didn't attempt to, just that I fail to see where you posted about it...

    The user who's skill level ends at putting it into DFU mode and plugging it into the computer, is not all that skilled in my opinion...

    Certainly I get frustrated at the frequent statement that all jailbreaks are safe and they can not brick your unit, in my opinion that is wishful thinking at best. Still having said that I have yet to actually brick a unit, but there have certainly been times when I have believe I have...

    In the end it is all about experience....
  5. spblat thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Jun 18, 2010
    Then kindly share yours. What do you do when DFU and restore mode don't allow iTunes to "see" the device?
  6. neko girl macrumors 6502a

    neko girl

    Jan 20, 2011
    You seem to be lacking some basic information on how jailbroken and failed jailbroken iOS devices behave. Your writeup causes me to suspect that for you, DFU is not DFU and restore mode isn't restore mode.

    Let's leave the question of what of your friend actually did with the iPad. No, a jailbreak cannot brick your device.

    What do you think DFU mode is? Can you describe what happens to the device and what iTunes does with it? How is it you are able to restore using restore mode but not DFU?
  7. spblat thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Jun 18, 2010
    I am happy to admit that my experience with jailbreaking is limited to two weeks with my jailbroken 3G a couple of years back, a failed attempt to JB my ATV2, and this wrecked iPad. It seems to me that one would want to use recovery mode on a bricked device, and failing that one would try DFU mode to bypass iBoot. But that's not the point of this thread, which is to see whether there are other experiences where a user was unable to recover from a botched jailbreak attempt. So far none have surfaced.

    If you would like to add value to this thread, feel free to explain what one should try if the steps in this DFU video and this recovery mode video fail to produce the depicted results.
  8. Cha macrumors regular

    May 1, 2010
    The "crashy" looking lines are perfectly normal. When you jailbreak (depending on the method used) those lines will be there. It's really code that is being run on startup.

    What are you using PC or Mac? And what is your version of iTunes?

    You cannot "brick" an iOS device, that does not have some hardware failure somewhere. It's probably just timing or if you are using Windows I am not sure if the hardware driver for the iPad would load up properly when an iPad is in DFU mode (since this is the first time you connected an iPad).

    On a side note, I usually hold the button slightly longer than 10 seconds for the DFU mode part...
  9. spblat thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Jun 18, 2010
    See, now I had no idea. Thanks.

    Mac. And I'm running the latest version of iTunes. And my friend's jailbreak attempt was several months ago. That's probably relevant.

    I suppose if the Apple guy had tuned me away there'd be some more stuff for me to try. I was so eager to get this thing up and running that I might have gone running to Apple prematurely. And it would be no surprise that the Apple dude would let me leave with the mistaken impression that jailbreaking could lead to irreversible hardware damage.
  10. neko girl macrumors 6502a

    neko girl

    Jan 20, 2011
    So I want to confirm: You've placed it in DFU mode while connected to iTunes, the screen should be blank, iTunes should indicate that it has detected an iPad and it must be restored. Are you not seeing this happen?

    The most recent version of iTunes isn't required, but what version are you running, exactly?
  11. spblat thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Jun 18, 2010
    Mind you this is all moot because by now Apple has replaced the hardware. But I'm running iTunes 10.2.1. When I thought I was in DFU mode the screen was black, and iTunes gave no indication that the iPad was connected. Mind you I was only assuming that it was in DFU mode, since with a black screen you don't really know. I tried the DFU process a few times, failed, switched to recovery mode, got the "connect to iTunes" icon, connected to iTunes and got nothing. So I went running to Apple.
  12. Sparky9292 macrumors 6502a

    Aug 1, 2004
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_0_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/532.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0.5 Mobile/8A306 Safari/6531.22.7)

    The iPad had a hardware problem. It was not caused by jailbreak. DFU is a hardware thing -- similar to the BIOS.

    Apple was right to replace it. It was Apples fault.
  13. Cha macrumors regular

    May 1, 2010
    How does DFU mode = hardware failure?
  14. Sydde macrumors 68020


    Aug 17, 2009
    It does when iTunes fails to see the device.
  15. Cha macrumors regular

    May 1, 2010
    There could be a number of different reasons why an iPad is not detected properly by iTunes, which is not hardware related. That in itself has nothing to do with DFU mode. For example, the Apple Device Mobile service can be down or not working properly. Anyway, the OP is good now..
  16. spblat thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Jun 18, 2010
    Recognizing this is a purely academic thread, does it help that all my other iDevices had no trouble connecting to iTunes while I was doing this stuff?
  17. Cha macrumors regular

    May 1, 2010
    Assuming that the problem is just from jailbreaking and not anything else. I guess it would depend... I am not sure how the device driver management occurs on the OS X OS. Considering when you got your friend's iPad, you never plugged in the iPad when it was functional so the device driver would not have been loaded into the OS. When you get a new iPad from the Apple Store, it is not in DFU or recovery mode... The key is how the device reports itself to the OS. We could have run some tests if you still had the device. I would have been curious to see what XCode would have reported with the iPad plugged it.

    Once I messed up during a JB and my Mac stopped detecting the iPad. I ended up going to my Windows machine and was able to recover it. It is really hard to "brick" an iOS device. I wouldn't say it's impossible, but I would doubt it.
  18. JPIndustrie macrumors 6502a


    Mar 12, 2008
    Queens, NY
    I believe that in the end, we have to realize that jailbreaking software really isn't tested 100% and therefore we have to accept an relatively high propensity for failure.

    I've personally always been able to restore an iOS device after a 'failed' jailbreak (subjective), but the thought of a unsupported failure always sits in the back of my mind.

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