How-To: Restore Your Hacked iPhone

Warren Frey's picture

How-To: Restore Your Hacked iPhone


Disclaimer: Mac|Life can not be held responsible for any problems that may arise from the hacking and unhacking of your iPhone. Be sure to research any hacking and unhacking procedures thoroughly before proceeding.


With the iPhone App Store opening for business at any moment, many iPhone owners are looking at their jailbroken, unlocked or otherwise hacked phones and deciding a little time travel might be in order. After all, it’s quite unlikely programs acquired from the App Store will run on anything but Apple-approved, untouched hardware. With that in mind, let’s run through the various methods of “revirginizing” your iPhone.



If you unlocked your phone using a SIM spoofing card, which jams itself between your SIM card and the Iphone’s hardware, you’re in luck. Technically, unless you’ve jailbroken your iPhone, you haven’t really “hacked” it, provided you never ran a software unlock. As such, you should be able to continue running your own SIM, be it because you're in a country where the iPhone isn’t available, or just a customer of a non AT&T wireless provider, such as T-Mobile.



Even if you have run a software unlock, there are tools to take your iPhone back to its pristine, boxed state. Re-Virginizer, from the iPhone Elite dev team, rebuilds any phone that was unlocked by the anySIM 1.0 unlock code.


iPhone Elite’s Re-Virginizer page has detailed instructions on how to restore your iPhone, but the jist of their method consists of downloading a series of programs and installing them in your phone, then tunneling into the iPhone via SSH and running those programs in order to clean up the phone’s “seczone,” which was modified by the anySim software unlock. After following their instructions and rebooting the phone, it should be back to “normal.”


An alternative method is to head to and use their script to repair phones that may have been “bricked” while upgrading from a 1.0 to 1.1.1, or from 1.1.1 to 1.1.3. This method does NOT work with phones that were bought OTB (out of the box) with firmware version 1.1.2 installed.


But assuming you are running a pre-1.1.2 iPhone, you can enter http:/// as a repository in the Sources section of the on your phone, then install “The Virginizer” from the Unlocking Tools section. The program takes about 10 minutes to install, but once it has, your phone should be repaired, and can be activated and unlocked as per normal.


If the phone has only been exposed to anySIM 1.1 unlockers, then there’s no need to go through the re-virginizing process. Instead, you can simply restore your phone to its factory settings with the help of iTunes.


Turn off the iPhone and connect it via its supplied USB cord to your Mac, making sure iTunes is already running. Then hit the home and power buttons together for about 10 seconds. If the screen is still black, remove your finger from the power button but continue to hold down the home button until iTunes detects that your iPhone is now in recovery mode.



You should arrive at a screen asking you to restore your iPhone to the newest firmware available (1.1.4 as of this writing).Click on Restore and the phone will go back to its factory settings with Apple-approved firmware.


So there are options if you’re looking to clear your iPhone’s name, or just want to run some of the promising new applications soon to arrive at the App Store. Or, if Apple rolls out its rumoured 3G iPhone on June 9th, your old iPhone might just end up gathering dust by default while you play with Apple’s shiniest new toy.




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Duh you cant brick a iphone or ipod just do a restore



or I could just update to 2.0 and be done with that...then jailbreak and unlock back to freedom.



Updating an unlocked iPhone to 2.0 would probably "brick" it and render it inoperable. DUH!

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