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"Activation Required" and "Device not eligible for requested build"

4278 Views 6 Replies Latest reply: Apr 28, 2013 3:55 PM by ChrisJ4203 RSS
PrincessPeachey Calculating status...
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Apr 28, 2013 11:17 AM

Hi all!


I have an iPhone 4 in Australia (GSM), running iOS 5.1.1. I recently was in New Zealand and a message came up on my screen saying "Activation Required". I figured it was a carrier problem and that it would resolve itself once in Australia. It has not resolved itself after approx 5 hours of being within my carrier's network.


When I connect my iPhone to iTunes to try to do the activation, iTunes complains that it cannot read the contents of my iPhone and that it requires a restore/upgrade. I already have the correct ipsw file on my hard drive for 5.1.1 that I downloaded a while ago, and would like to restore to this - not only do I not want to go to 6.1.3, but I am currently stuck in an airport and do not have the data allowance to be able to download 6.1.3. When I try to restore to the ipsw file from my hard drive, iTunes tells me that my device is not eligible for the requested build. The build I am trying to restore to (9B206) is the same as the build currently on my iPhone! I have already checked my hosts file and there wasn't anything for the apple server, and I have the most current version of iTunes. As I am travelling, I cannot really complete steps 4 and 5 of this tutorial.




iPhone 4

  • Currently running 5.1.1 (9B206)
  • Says "Activation Required" upon turning the phone on
  • Unlocked the handset with my carrier and through iTunes successfully (although now doubting that) two months ago

iTunes 11.0.2

  • Says that it cannot read the contents of my iPhone
  • Restoration to 5.1.1 (9B206) from HDD says that device is ineligible for build

Running Mountain Lion 10.8 on a MacBook Pro


What are your suggestions/thoughts/ideas? As my handset is meant to be unlocked I was considering buying a cheap SIM card when shops start to open up, to see if it's a problem with my existing SIM.

iPhone 4, iOS 5.1.1
  • ChrisJ4203 Level 7 Level 7 (26,505 points)

    One of the first things is that you cannot restore to a version of iOS less than the current version, which for the iPhone 4 is 6.1.3. Once you try that, you may get things to work better. As far as the unlocking issue, I know you have been working with the carrier, but it may require working with them again if you are able to get the phone to restore to the latest iOS.

  • ChrisJ4203 Level 7 Level 7 (26,505 points)

    Well, I'm just a user like you and I'm trying to help and explain this to you. It isn't a restriction in place in iTunes, it is a restriction in place by Apple when the stop authorizing copies of iOS. One of the reasons is to prevent downgrading of iOS though. The current version is the only one that is authorized and that is what you get when you attempt a restore. I hope I was able to answer your question about why it is not possible.


    You may provide feedback to Apple at and click on the appropriate link.

  • ChrisJ4203 Level 7 Level 7 (26,505 points)

    The update and restore error knowledge article has been somewhat modified lately. If you look at it, the date on the article is now April 8, 2013. The earlier versions mention attempt to downgrade software as one of the reasons for the error you described as well as a 3194 error.


    I just wanted you to know that Apple does not monitor these forums, so a rant to them at this point doesn't do any good, except expend some of your energy. How you handle it at this point is up to you. I'm sorry it isn't working and I've tried to provide you with as much information as possible to try and get it going again. Good luck.


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