Upgrading a Spirit-Jailbroken iPhone 3GS to iOS 4.0

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It’s iOS 4.0 day today as I’m typing this blog. If you’re on an official iPhone OS 3.1.3 firmware, all you need to do to get iOS 4.0 loaded is to just wait for iTunes to prompt for the a new iPhone software update and just update it. If you can’t wait for the auto-checking, just click the Check for update button on iTunes over the next few hours.

But what if you’re currently have a jailbroken iPhone 3GS. Specifically, an iPhone 3GS on iPhone OS 3.1.3 that was jailbroken using the Spirit jailbreak. So what now? Ok. Jailbreaking isn’t just about installing ‘modified’ apps. There are legit reasons for jailbreaking the iPhone too as I’ve blogged here in this post.

If you’re anything like me, you’d also be eager to get the latest iOS 4.0 firmware installed, jailbroken or not. But, should you also wait for the upgrade to come through iTunes? What would happen then? Or should you restore instead before the upgrade? That was the exact same questions I had.

Here’s what you need to do to upgrade from a Spirit jailbroken iPhone OS 3.1.3 to the latest iOS 4.0.

Firstly, you need to get your hands on the latest firmware file. Just run a Google search for iOS 4 GM and you should be able to find those firmware files to download. OK. Here’s the link where you’ll find the downloads. The 3GS ipsw file should be named iPhone2,1_4.0_8A293_Restore.ipsw.

Next, update iTunes to version 9.2, either by using the Apple’s software update or by downloading and installing the latest version Apple’s website. Once installed. plug the iPhone to your machine using the USB cable and perform a backup of your phone. Very important step if you want your latest settings and data to be available again on your iOS 4.0 iPhone. 🙂

To do so, just right-click on the iPhone listed under Devices in iTunes and select Back Up.

Once the backup is done, next is to restore your phone to the ipsw file you’ve just downloaded.

In case you’re also wondering how you’re going to do just that, head over to the summary tab of your iPhone on iTunes. Then hold the Shift key if you’re on Windows or Option key if you’re on a Mac and click “restore” at the same time. Then, a file selector dialog box will pop-up. Just browse to where you’ve saved the ipsw file and select it.

You should see your iPhone going through the Restore mode, so just sit tight and let iTunes and your iPhone do it’s job of restoring itself “back” to iOS 4.0.

Just make sure your machine does not sleep right in the middle of the update, so make sure you’ve set the power settings to ensure it don’t sleep after a period of inactivity, especially so if you’re using default power settings on a notebook or MacBook.

So once it completes restoring the OS to iOS 4.0, iTunes should immediately ask you if you want to setup the iPhone as a new device OR to restore a previous backup. I’d recommend you to restore your latest backup if you want to retain all your previous settings and data into your new iOS 4.0 iPhone.

And voila, that’s pretty much it!

And remember, your iPhone is no longer jailbroken. So if you do have any of the ‘modified’ apps remains in your iTunes to sync, I’d suggest you to remove them from iTunes as it would not transfer over anymore.

That’s it.

And my verdict of the iOS 4.0? HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! It’s so responsive, it’s worth the trouble to get it restored back on the official iOS 4.0 firmware and live without all those cool Cydia apps, for now. 🙂

Once you’re on the legit firmwares, you can go ahead to just update the firmware directly off iTunes whenever a new version of iOS is released. But if the iOS downloads is slow for whatever reason on iTunes, here’s a tip on how you can manually download the firmware and avoid using the restore method to get the new iOS into your iPhone. Read what that all about here!

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48 Responses

  1. Raymond Ooi says:

    What if you update to iOS4 with a JB-ed phone without restoring it back first? [Specifically, an iPhone 3GS on iPhone OS 3.1.3 that was jailbroken using the Spirit jailbreak]

  2. sig says:

    is this the same procedure if your phone was jailbroken with Blackra1n?

  3. Ken Ng says:

    If you’re planning to upgrade to the legit iOS 4.0, then yes. It would safely remove the JBed apps and get you up to date to the latest OS. However, if you’re planning to upgrade and still JB/Unlock your iPhone, then you might want to check out guides on JB-ing iOS 4.0.

  4. so after following your steps,do our idevice consider a new iphone without jb before?
    can we using snowbreeze to jb the ios4 after your step of restoring to FW 3.1.3 then update to legit ios4?

  5. Ken Ng says:

    Yes. If you restore it with the new iOS4 firmware, it will be a back to be a legit iPhone without JB. Doing an upgrade would also do the same, but you lose about 500MB of space as the partition used by the JB is no longer recoverable.

    As for using other JBs to JB iOS4, i think you will need your iPhone to be still on the old bootloader, some has stated that they managed to get it working by downgrading to 3.1.2 and then back up to iOS 4 again. I’ve not tried it yet so I can’t promise anything here.

  6. mark molari says:

    Would you lose the music and videos since it is restoring the iphone? Dont back ups only save the settings and apps and whatnot?

  7. thanks…then i rather keep my current jb idevice instead of upgrading it…wait for the new tool to solve all these

  8. michael says:

    i have got an ipod touch 3g which was jailbroken but then i downloaded OS 4.0 and this took all my cydia things off and i have tryed to get them all back with the same way i did it in the first place, with spirit but it hasnt worked is there any other way to jailbreak it?

  9. Ken Ng says:

    Yes you do, but if you’re restoring it from the same iTunes you use to sync your iPhone, then it will just transfer all of the music back in.

  10. Ken Ng says:

    Spirit won’t work with iOS 4.0 as Apple has patched the hole that Spirit exploited. You can easily google for the other ways to JB it on iOS 4.0 but apparently it does not work for any devices that was JBed with Spirit before.

  11. i heard there is sth called ‘spirit2Pwn’ frm redmond pie, u can download it from cydia.
    it can Jailbreak iPhone 3GS on iOS 4, which is already Jailbroken Using Spirit with Spirit2Pwn


    is it true following the step described by them?
    how we supposed to knw if my iphone 3gs is a new or old bootroom?(now is iphone 3gs 3.1.3(7E18) , fw 05.12.01, jb with spirit)

  12. Tony Lea says:

    Thank You so much for this post. I thought I was screwed after I installed the Spirit Jailbreak. You rock! BTW, I have written a post about the Spirit Jailbreak and upgrading to iOS 4 and I link to your post. http://www.tonylea.com/2010/spirit-jailbreak-iphone-3gs-to-ios-4-0/

  13. Ken Ng says:

    Glad I was able to help out 🙂 I too am going to stay off JB-ing the iPhone for now. Too much hassle when it comes to updating the iPhone’s OS. And iOS 4’s a keeper too so less reasons the JB it. Only thing I miss is SBSettings for all those quick toggles.

  14. josh says:

    Does it matter if you have old bootrom or new bootrom?

  15. Ken Ng says:

    It don’t matter if you have the old or new bootrom. Restoring to the original iOS4 will get you to the latest bootrom.

  16. Sherry says:

    When I try updating my jailbroken with spirit iphone following your steps and having downlaoded the ipsw file, and pressing shift then restore it says it cannot restore because it is not a compatable file….what can I do?

  17. Sherry says:

    Sorry it says firmware not campatible…

  18. Ken Ng says:

    Did you make sure the ipsw file you downloaded is matching to the iPhone model you have? You need to get the right file. Also make sure the file isn’t corrupted.

  19. saw a new tools “jailbeakme”, can it jb my jailbroken spirit iphone 3.1.3 with baseband 05.12.01?

  20. Suban says:

    i did as u said but its showing 3014 error
    what should i do now
    please help

  21. Ken Ng says:

    Ouch. You might want to try out these steps to fix it. http://lastplaceonthe.net/fix-itunes-error-3014-upgrading-iphone-firmware/ Seems like some issues of connectivity during the firmware restore.

  22. Avy says:

    Following the procedure above. After the back, when I try to restore using the downloaded (iPhone2_1_4.0_8A293_Restore.ipsw), i get an error right away. It says iPhone “name” could not be restored because the firmware file is not compatible. I have 3GS which was jailbroke with Sprit. I am using iTunes 9.2.1. Thanks.

  23. Ken Ng says:

    @Avy, you might want to make sure that you downloaded the right version of the firmware for your 3GS. Here’s a list of all the firmwares. http://www.iclarified.com/entry/index.php?enid=750

    And since 4.1 is already available, you may also restore it directly up to iOS 4.1.

  24. Avy says:

    Thanks Ken. I will give it a try this weekend. But one thing I forgot to mension is that I am working from Windows. I think the download for 4.1 from the link seems to be for Mac. I am downloading it again to see maybe I downloaded wrong file. I used the iClarified link. I will share with eveyone here.

  25. Avy says:

    I got the same error about firmware not compatible. The firmware file I downloaded from iclarified link. The zip file had DMG and IPSW file. The IPSW file was only 160KB. Thanks for your help.

  26. Ken Ng says:

    That’s not right. I just checked the link again. It downloads me the ipsw file. Here’s the direct link that I copied http://appldnld.apple.com/iPhone4/061-7938.20100908.F3rCk/iPhone2,1_4.1_8B117_Restore.ipsw for iOS 4.1 for the iPhone 3Gs

  27. Avy says:

    I’m sorry to bother you again. It is very strange. I click on the link. it downloads a zip file called iPhone2,1_4.1_8B117_Restore.zip, This zip file contains restore.plist, kernelcache.release.n88, buldmanifest.plist and three large DMG files. I can see the link clearly shoes IPSW file if I do properties. I will try using Safari…??…does not make sense. Thanks.

  28. Ken Ng says:

    Sounds like your browser is automatically renaming the file into ipsw because the ipsw file is technically a zip renamed as ipsw. Try renaming it back to .ipsw. It should work. However, if you’re unsure, just use another browser OR download it using a download manager. BTW, just curious, what browser are you using and on what OS?

  29. Avy says:

    I downloaded same named file from torrents. Have not tried it yet as it is on different machine. I tried IE and Safari on Windows 7 and XP with same results on both! I will give it a try with IPSW I downloaded from torrents and report back.

  30. Dohnzky says:

    hi, i really need help on this as i have tried every possible solution I found on the net but still i cannot update my 3Gs it always give me unknown error 3014. i cannot even restore the original 3.1.3 firmware. i have new bootroom and jailbroke with spirit. could this be the reason of all this?

  31. Ken Ng says:

    Here’s something I found on Apple’s support site. “Error 3014 may indicate that you need to free up more disk space on the computer before trying to restore again.” http://support.apple.com/kb/ts1275

    You should be able to revert it back to the legit firmware when if you’ve jailbroken the iPhone with Spirit. That should not be an issue. Try to make sure that you have the latest version of iTunes, and also ensure that the firmware you’ve downloaded is the correct one and not corrupted (you can check if it’s corrupted by making a copy of the file, renaming it to .zip and testing if you can unzip the whole file. Apparently the .ipsw is just a renamed .zip file, as with many of Apple’s other file formats)

  32. Ian says:

    Hi there,

    Just read your article- VERY intersting and informative., but I still need some calrifications please?

    I jailbroke my 3GS (3.1.3) with Spirit.

    I now want to just simply “un-jailbreak” it. I understand I can’t go back to just stock 3.1.3.

    Can I simply get the latest version of ITunes, plug in my phone and hit “Restore”??? Or will I get errors when it detects the jailbroken firmware?

    Many thanks for any help.

  33. Ian says:

    PS: When I unjailbreak- how do I ensure that ALL & EVERY file related to the JB / Cydia is gone from the phone??? I have read varying instructions on the net- on hoe to remove the partition and the residual files. Just wondering if you confirm how to do it.

    After I have done the official Restore, do I need to then do “Erase all settings & Data” on the phone itself????

    Many thanks

  34. Ken Ng says:

    Restore would still work fine with your Jailbroken 3GS, even with OS 3.1.3. you just need to make sure you hold shift when pressing the restore button so that you can choose the ipsw file. Here, you can choose the OS version that you want, from the current level and above. In your case, 3.1.3 or anything above it.

    As for to make sure EVERYTHING is wipe out, the only way to ensure that is to factory reset your phone. Not fun. LOL 🙂 The restore step takes care of getting the cydia partition removed. BUT residual files would remain if they are backed up. Meaning, if you installed ‘those’ apps after jailbreaking, backing up your phone when syncing with iTunes would also back up the application settings, save games, etc. So, when you purchase the app again on your legit iOS, you might see those files restored and you basically get back where you left of before unjailbreaking.

    Now after the restore, you can actually just restore back from your latest backup. that way you get back EVERYTHING into your phone. Contacts, Emails, SMS. Pretty cool. No need to erase all settings, unless thats what you intended to.

  35. Ian says:

    Many thanks for your reply.

    I decided to go with a clean “restore” of the latest 4.1. Everything went fine with the download and restore.

    But upon connection to itunes (with the clean OS, NO apps or media), the “Other” category si showing 0.26gb used- I did a couple of other restores (including the “Erase all settings and data”) and it still showed up as 0.26gb used.

    Please note: I set up as a “New phone” and did not use any backups.

    Is it normal for the “Other” to show some data use, on a clean restore??? I have read on the net that this is just the OS?

    I thought I recalled that 3.1.3 (on a clean install) had literally no data in at all???

    Sorry for the questions, but I’m just a bit paranoid about leaving rogue files on there, that may interfere with the proper running of 4.1

    PS: Will the battery life of 4.1 settle down after a while??? It seems to be going through the battery pretty quickly.


  36. Ken Ng says:

    Nah. any residual file (if any at all) does not and will not interfere with the any of the iOS files. you don’t really need to worry there.

    As for the batt life, well it depends what App you use. iOS 4 introduced multi-tasking and fast swaping for the apps. As such, there are quite a few apps out there that may not have implemented it well and may be draining the batt life as it’s remains running some processes in the background. I too has faced this issue but am somehow unable to pin point which app is causing it.

  37. Amar says:

    Hi Ken,

    I am really confused over the jailbreaking update procedure, and places I have visited all over the internet are saying different things. Here is my issue:

    I have a jailbroken iphone 3gs on ios4. I want to update to ios 4.1 without losing any of my cydia downloaded apps or installous downloaded apps/settings.
    Is this possible? or do i need to start fresh and restore to 4.1, then jailbreak, and download all my applications manually?

    Hope you can help


  38. Ken Ng says:

    In order to upgrade to iOS4.1 you need to first restore it back to Apple’s legit firmware. That will remove cydia entirely. So if you want any Cydia stuffs, you’ll need to reinstall them yourself after jailbreaking your idevice again.

  39. Rusty Genna says:

    I am usually not the guy to submit comments on other’s write ups, but for your post I simply had to do it. I have been browsing in your blog a lot nowadays and I am super impressed, I think you might really emerge as one of the main voices for your niche. Not sure what your schedule is like in life, but if you started commiting more effort to writing here, I’d bet you would start receiving a mass of traffic soon. With advertisements, it might emerge as a sweet passive revenue source. Just an idea to think about. Good luck!

  40. Avy says:

    Hi. This is regarding post #29/30 above. I just wanted to report that the browser was renaming the file. I did eventually upgraded to 4.1. The instructions above were perfect! The only thing I could not get it was that the restore (last step) keeps picking up some old restore. I cant determine where the restore I did went. Just wanted to thank you for your help.

  41. Chris says:

    Hi, I am just triple checking this, lol. i jailbroke my old 3gs with spirit on 3.1.2 and convinced my coworker to to the same, i now have a 4 on limerain and it is great, but my coworker is still on his 3gs jb with spirit…..I just want to confrim that i can update him to 4.1 with no problems. So i am on itunes 10, i have downloaded 4.1ipsw, i am going to do a shift restore and choose this firmware. No problems right? I was just concerned because of the itunes version, heard anything over 9.1 would not allow spirit devices to update……but that is why we are using the shift restore to ipsw right? sorry for the speil.

  42. Ken Ng says:

    I believe so. You should not face any problem updating it to the latest iOS 4.1 on iTunes 10.

  43. MJ says:

    Hey ken
    I have iPhone 3GS 3.1.3 (7E18)m 05.12.01, jailborker with Spirit. I want to upgrade it to iOS 4.0. But becasue I am using my phone on non-att network, so I would like to jail-brake it again immediately after upgrade. Do you think there is any proven way of getting this done.


  44. Ken Ng says:

    That’s definitely not a problem. After upgrading it back to iOS 4 with the legit firmware, just proceed to re-jailbreak it again with the right version of JB for the iOS 4.x that you’re using.

  45. guest says:

    do u know a link where i can download ios 4.3.3 restore ipsw without a winzip file? cause i cant open winzip files

  46. Lemme Saunders says:

    I’m on a 3gs 3.1.3 spirit jailbroken.  I have downloaded several .ipsw files and tried to do a “restore”.  I just keep getting an error message saying my device isn’t compatible.  What am I doing wrong?  I downloaded the file from the site listed above

  47. Skywalker says:

    Here’s the story :

    If you want to restore a new firmware, the itunes first need to contact the apple server to get the firmware to be signed or authorized. Because your device is already JB-ed, the apple server refuse to signed therefore you can’t proceed.
    Now, we need to trick the itunes to contact the “false” server which is actually the Cydia server instead of apple’s. Here’s what you need to do :
    1. Locate and Open “hosts” file (without quote) under C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc, using text editor.
    2. copy and paste this ip address in the bottom of the line : gs.apple.com
    3. Save and exit, then try to restored it again. Good luck.

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