iPhone Stuck in Recovery Mode After Running the latest iOS4 update

We recently downloaded the latest iPhone iOS 4 but ran into one little problem, namely our phone was stuck in recovery mode, with our Vista computer failing to find the USB driver that is required in order for iTunes to see the phone. To cut a long story short no matter what Google research we did nothing worked....

We tried the obvious fixes first by pointing the detect hardware wizard to the following folder C:\program files\common files\apple\mobile device support\drivers

We also re-installed iTunes, ran a reg cleaner to get rid of any unwanted files and then re-installed iTunes a second time.

We also tried the iPhone in several USB ports but nothing worked…

Except it was being detected in another computer, so this was the basis of the fix,


Looking back at why the problem occurred in the first place we noted that just before we updated to iOS4 we found there was an iTunes update available - which we performed. This may be the root cause of the problem, as we have never had an issue with firmware updates running on the older version, but to be honest its probably just our computer or a freak occurence (one in a million sort of thing, to happen).

Before you begin

If you did the firmware update originally the process should have performed a backup of your iPhone before it began, this is important as without it you may have to result in out-of-date backup.

You will also need a second computer to perform the fix and a copy of iTunes installed on the machine.

To start with

Plug in the iPhone into the second PC and it should - hopefully - detect the device properly.

Now start iTunes and a message will appear stating that the phone is stuck in recovery mode and you have to restore the phone before it can be used with iTunes.
Caltlick ok and beneath this select the Restore button (note this will wipe everything off the phone, but your backup will restore everything, so don’t panic).

Your phone will now change state showing an Apple logo with a progress bar running across it and the iTunes software will show a message ‘Restoring iPhone Firmware’.

altKeep an eye on the progress bar as this bit is important. When it gets to the end and iTunes brings up the message, “Your iPhone has been restored to factory settings and is restarting. Please leave your iPhone connected” Ignore this message and take
out the USB cable.

altThe Apple logo will now appear on your phone and eventually it should look like something in the image to the right.

Now go back to your computer which contains your phones backup, plug the phone into the USB port and it should connect.

altLaunch iTunes, if you have not already done so, and another message will appear…”An iPhone has previously been synced with this computer….” you can then click on the radio tab "Restore from the backup of:" and choose your latest backup.

Note: It can take 30 minutes to restore your phone, depending on how much data you had on it (in terms of images etc), but afterwards your phone should be working again. Remember you will need to re-sync your Apps/Music again though, but we found all our settings were not lost, so you should be ok.

We hope this helps anyone stuck in a similar problem, it’s a bit long winded we know, but we thought it may be of some use.