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We are what we think & my blog entries reflect how I think. Have a sip of the poison of my mind.. It's not always lethal.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Jail-Busting My Phone.. Again

My iPhone was freed from it's jail on iOS 4.1 before today. When I read about how the newer firmwares after 4.1 have better cache management and that they allow taggings of different SMS tones to different selected groups of contacts, among other nifty improved stuff, I made up my mind to update my phone's firmware and perform a re-jailbreak on it. Besides, today is the Hari Raya public holiday, so I could spare the time to wade through binary minefields.

I've noticed that on iOS 4.1, my phone's battery seemed to last not longer than I could slowly say: "What the hell, dead so soon?" I'm a heavy abuser user of my iPhone; I even use it to create my blog entries you see here, so the thought of better cache management got me thinking that it ought to improve my phone's battery life since it kills off unnecessary clutter that can function needlessly in the background like undying binary zombies. That too was a critical decision that made me decide to go for an update.

So what I had to do today was to find out first which firmware to date after 4.1 can be jailbroken untethered. After researching the Net, I discovered it's iOS 4.3.3 and Redsn0w is the untethered jailbreak software for it. There is also the option of accessing the jailbreakme.com website to automate the jailbreak process but that's not my cup of tea since I prefer to control the whole jailbreaking process by my own hand.

See, I prefer to leave my fingerprints all over the place and earn the satisfaction of complete control over the entire process. What's that, did you just mutter under your breath that being a control freak is a Scorpio trait? You are not wrong, you know? Bite me.

The latest iOS version as of this blog entry is iOS 4.3.5, but only tethered jailbreak is available for it so far. To me, there's not much point in going tethered as that would mean that if your phone's battery goes flat or if you shut the phone down completely, you will need to plug it in to a computer in order to boot it up again. So if you do not have access to a computer under such circumstances, you are pretty much screwed even if you were to charge up your tethered phone fully using a charger.

An iPhone running on untethered jailbreak software, however, does not have this problem and it can boot up independently on its own. So untethered is the way to go for me since I like independence in every form anyway.

Right, so what I did next was to google and hunt down the iOS 4.3.3 firmware file and downloaded it. I had to do that because if I were to update the firmware via iTunes, it would have forced me to update to the latest 4.3.5 firmware. I've been having a lack of sleep, so I wouldn't have had the strength to shout 'Dictator' at iTunes anyway.

Once I got my mitts on that 4.3.3 file, the next thing was to hack the 'hosts' file inside the Windows directory and add in an i.p. (Internet Protocol) address line to fool and redirect iTunes to another server instead in order to bypass the forced installation of iOS 4.3.5. It's a simple process you can read about here, which also explains the entire change of firmware process. It's all just a game of deception, I tell ya.

After that, I fired up iTunes, held down the SHIFT button, hit 'restore' and directed iTunes to the 4.3.3 firmware file I downloaded. I think I gulped too. Because of that 'hosts' file hack, iTunes got directed to the server I needed to access instead and it updated my phone's firmware to 4.3.3.

That was when I hit a wall; my iPhone got stuck in that dreaded recovery mode loop. iOS 4.3.3 was already installed on it by this point but my phone couldn't get out of recovery mode. After some panicky moments and further research online to figure out the latest Redsn0w software for jailbreaking iOS 4.3.3 (which is Redsn0w rc19), I went ahead and began jailbreaking my phone with rc19 while my phone was still in recovery mode anyway.

Heaving a sigh of relief when I observed that the jailbreaking process was able to start successfully, I almost cheered. But I hit another wall: Redsn0w froze during three-quarters of the way through its 'Installing Activation Bundle' process. Trouble never comes singly. Panic moment number 2.

Sighing, I did further research online and the following video saved me:

Basically, it involved using TinyUmbrella to force-kick the phone out of its stuck mode and it worked. And after I've rebooted my phone successfully and saw the Cydia icon on the screen, I couldn't help but smile. Then when I went into my phone's settings to check on its firmware and saw '4.3.3', I couldn't help but grin.

I did it. I've successfully freed my iPhone again from its jail for the second time, though unlike this time round, I didn't encounter any hiccup during my virgin attempt previously. But that's because there wasn't any need to reroute iTunes to another server then, since the latest firmware during that time was iOS 4.1.

Only one thing remained: because of a baseband mismatch with the firmware as a result of the process, the signal strength indicator was stuck in one-bar mode. So I went into Cydia to install ultrasn0w to correct the problem and that nipped it in the butt and fixed it.

Observations: After trying out my phone and putting it through a series of torture tests, I'm glad to report that true enough, from what I've observed, the battery life of my phone has been improved indeed \m/ Huzzah to that. And my phone hasn't crashed on me so far and everything is stable and I'm enjoying all the new features of iOS 4.3.3... and then some ;)

Until the untethered iOS 5 jailbreak in the future, remember what Steve Jobs said about the iPhone being a culture. So don't treat it as just a phone, it's more than that. It's a shackled-up fountain of great potential that you have to free.

By the way, I give names to every of my gadget that I love. The name I gave to my iPhone is 'Pandora'. For good reason, at least in accordance with my own warped logic.

Disclaimer: Jailbreaking is NOT illegal.. unless you happen to be an imprisoned convict, that is.

- De Lion Speaks

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