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iPhone 3G stuck at the Apple logo screen; will not boot!, continued

21298 Views 94 Replies Latest reply: Sep 14, 2008 10:51 PM by gSalsero RSS
  • Jamie Kelly Level 3 Level 3 (975 points)
    OK, since mavisXP didn't actually specify which method he/she used, and exactly what JayBerk said in his/her post, I'll put forward my credo:

    My main function for my iPhone is to be used as a phone; anything else is an extra. In my opinion, a phone that does not work as a phone is useless...

    After suffering my umpteenth endless Apple logo reboot, I decided to use my iPhone just as a phone, with all 'Official Apps' (Mail, Maps, Stocks, Weather etc.) installed - with Bookmarks in the Maps App, my own clients in the Stocks App, my local weather reports in the Weather App etc. etc.

    I installed no other '3rd Party Apps' and all my backups have taken mere seconds, my iPhone is definitely more stable and things work as they are designed to. The problems we are all suffering have to be because of the way Apple handle 3rd Party Apps.

    My advice is this; DO NOT install 3rd party Apps until 2.1 is released next month. If things are still as bad as they are now, I'd be REALLY ANNOYED and Apple had better explain their problem in public. The problem is with 3rd Party Apps - try it - install a fresh Restore from iTunes (definitely not a Restore) - BUT MAKE SURE YOU HAVE NO 3RD PARTY APPS IN YOUR LIBRARY!) - by Default iTunes automatically installs ANY 3rd party Apps in your library. If there are none to install, nothing bad will happen. It's only when you start installing 3rd Party Apps that the problems begin - Backups that take hours and hours, install problems, restore problems, endless Apple logo reboots... use the iPhone as if it was Version 1.1.4 (as in you cannot install Apps) and things are great.

    Any feedback/comments welcome. I will attempt to collate them all and send a detailed response to Apple for debugging purposes. I want my iPhone with 3rd Party Apps, I just don't like what's happening right now. Cheers.
    Black MacBook 2.16Ghz Core2Duo, 160GB HD, Mac OS X (10.5.4), 3GB RAM, 16GB iPhone 3G, 320GB LaCie Rugged HD for Time Machine
  • mavisXP Calculating status...
    Jamie Kelly wrote:
    OK, since mavisXP didn't actually specify which method he/she used, and exactly what JayBerk said in his/her post, I'll put forward my credo:


    What are you talking about? I spelled it out EXACTLY.

    *REBOOT IMMEDIATELY BEFORE INSTALLING/UPGRADING ANYTHING.*

    If you want to know why you should do this (instead of just posting more credos) I suggest going back in this thread and reading JayBerk's excellent post which explains in detail why we keep getting ALoDs and why rebooting before installing/upgrading anything is a good idea.




    Jamie Kelly wrote:
    My advice is this; DO NOT install 3rd party Apps until 2.1 is released next month.


    Why not? As I said earlier, I suffered through more than 40 restores from July 11th to mid-August, but haven't had to do a single ONE since then. That's with 71 apps installed (I just checked) with multiple upgrades and installs on a daily basis. Clearly, a solution/workaround exists. It has been posted NUMEROUS times. Once more:

    *REBOOT IMMEDIATELY BEFORE INSTALLING/UPGRADING ANYTHING.*

    If you want to know why you should do this (instead of just posting more credos) I suggest going back in this thread and reading JayBerk's excellent post which explains in detail why we keep getting ALoDs and why rebooting before installing/upgrading anything is a good idea. (you know, this all sounds vaguely familiar ... oh wait.)

    Jamie Kelly wrote:
    Any feedback/comments welcome. I will attempt to collate them all and send a detailed response to Apple for debugging purposes. I want my iPhone with 3rd Party Apps, I just don't like what's happening right now. Cheers.


    I have a great idea - why not start with JayBerk's excellent, detailed post about this problem as it contains ALL of the information Apple needs to address this issue. In fact, you may as well just start AND stop with that one, single post as it reveals the cause of this problem in detail. Cheers.
    24" 2.8GHz iMac (4GB RAM, 750GB HDD), Mac OS X (10.5.4), iPhone 3G (white)
  • mavisXP Level 1 Level 1 (30 points)
    Just to make it easy for you:

    JayBerk wrote:
    I found this on another message board.....

    I wanted to email this to someone from the iphone dev team for some feedback and discussion before posting but as I don't know how to contact them I'll post my findings to date here, and hopefully anyone else working on this problem can share their findings too.

    Until Apple fixes it properly, I think I have a workaround for the infamous "Hangs on Apple Logo after installing/updating apps and needs restore" and an explanation of the root cause.

    This is the problem where after a crash or restart during app install/update/uninstall the device will get stuck on the Apple (or pineapple ) boot screen and either spontaneously reboot after a while, or "freeze" requiring a two fingered reboot. On my ipod touch when this freeze occurs the display dims to half brightness and the unit is no longer pingable over wifi.

    Usually you get stuck in a loop where no amount of forcibly rebooting will recover the device and you have to restore.

    Here's the explanation: When the 3rd party application state changes, Springboard "regenerates the application map" which you can see clearly if you watch the system log with the iPhone Configuration Utility.

    (Available here: http://www.apple.com/downloads/macos...formacosx.html )

    This can take some time. The more and/or bigger applications you have installed, the longer this takes. This regeneration process happens ANY time a change to installed applications occurs.

    Here's the problem - Springboard is watched by a watchdog process which is handled by configd. The location of the watchdog and it's configuration files is /System/Library/SystemConfiguration/mobilewatchdog.bundle

    The watchdog constantly monitors Springboard, and if it doesn't respond at least once every 2 minutes, it is killed and forcibly restarted. If this happens approximately 4 times, the watchdog will attempt to reboot the device, but it usually just freezes the system with the half brightness apple logo.

    The problem occurs when the number and/or size of applications installed causes a regeneration of the application map to take longer than 2 minutes - it becomes impossible for Sprinboard to complete the task before it is forcibly killed by the watchdog. It will try again the next time and run out of time and be killed again. Hence stuck at the boot screen until doing a restore.

    It is unbelievable that Apple allowed this design flaw, yes design flaw, not bug go out into the wild and it still hasn't fixed it in 2.0.1. Clearly the watchdog arrangement was put in place before 3rd party application support, and none of the programmers considered the possibility of Springboard taking more than 2 minutes to regenerate the application map.

    So, how to recover from being stuck at the apple logo without doing a full restore wiping everything ? If you have openssh installed so you can log in remotely you can fix it quite easily, as you get nearly 2 minutes of ssh access during the apple logo before the system freezes where you can log in for "emergency surgery".

    If you don't have OpenSSH already installed then sorry, it's restore time...

    As the device is trying to boot up but still at the apple logo, try to log in as root using ssh. You should find you are able to log in soon after the device is pingable on your wifi network, and you have a few minutes to complete the following steps in time.

    For example from a mac, log in with:

    ssh -l root 192.168.1.103

    Where your iphone/ipods own ip address is substituted.

    First we will disable the watchdog timer (by temporarily moving its files elsewhere) and then reboot:

    mv /System/Library/SystemConfiguration/mobilewatchdog.bundle/ /
    reboot

    After a few seconds the device will start to reboot, and after approximately 3-6 minutes (depending on how many apps you have installed) you will reach the lock screen as normal, when that happens we now have to re-enable the watchdog timer, and reboot again, so again log in with ssh, and type:

    mv /mobilewatchdog.bundle /System/Library/SystemConfiguration/
    reboot

    You should find your iphone / ipod touch will reboot normally a second time.

    The reason this is a workaround is because you CAN'T leave the watchdog disabled, because as well as monitoring Springboard and killing/restarting it, the watchdog also has to periodically reset the HARDWARE watchdog, if this doesn't happen the device will spontaneously reboot. The hardware watchdog is 10 and a bit minutes, so without the watchdog installed and working your device will reboot itself every 10 minutes.

    If anyone knows how to contact or draw this message to the attention of the dev team I have an idea for a simple patch that they could apply to the watchdog as part of the Pwning process (or as a Cydia package) that would for all intents and purposes solve this problem until Apple gets around to fixing it properly. Please send me a PM.

    I see Firmware 2.0.2 has just come out so it is possible it has fixed this problem, but my gut feeling is that they probably haven't and I won't be trying 2.0.2 to find out until it is Pwnable

    Note: This same issue is the reason why after installing apps with Cydia the system will sometimes freeze. As far as I can tell Cydia is NOT to blame - what Cydia does is tells Springboard to regenerate the application map, and it is that application map regeneration that triggers the problem - Springboard becomes unresponsive for extended periods of time, the watchdog process starts trying to kill Springboard, and all **** breaks loose...this procedure will also recover from that situation.

    The reason Installer.app doesn't trigger this problem is it doesn't tell Springboard to regenerate the application map - it just kills Springboard and allows it to launch again.
    24" 2.8GHz iMac (4GB RAM, 750GB HDD), Mac OS X (10.5.4), iPhone 3G (white)
  • carimina Calculating status...
    This has also worked for me for the passed 2 weeks. I reboot daily after I've played any app for some time. I also took the advise of a person from the previous post who said to delete the duplicate application files out of the app folder. I know that probably wasn't the cure but, knock on wood, something is different! I have 60+ apps and use itunes exclusively to update and install new apps. I had to do restores about every other day, but since the hard resets, I have been all good except for my synch/backups taking 3 hours minimum to do...I hope 2.1 fixes that.
    Windows XP
  • Jamie Kelly Level 3 Level 3 (975 points)
    I understand what you're saying Mavis, but the main issue here is I want my iPhone, first and foremost, to function as a phone. I haven't got time to mess around with OpenSSH etc. just to get basic functionality on my iPhone. If that means not running any 3rd Party Apps then so be it. I'm not happy about it, I've spent a lot of money on some Apps, I spent £11 on BeatMaker... but if this is causing all these problems, and hours and hours of 'Backups' that are ultimately corrupt, then I'd rather leave the 3rd party Apps *until this problem is fixed by Apple*.

    Also, JayBerk's method didn't work for me, I was uninstalling an App when I received a call, which cancelled the process and corrupted my phone. Should I remember to switch to Airplane Mode every time I sync, and miss calls? Maybe, but it isn't what Apple say I should do, nor should it be required to switch off my iPhone for hours and hours while it 'Backs Up'.

    I think you'll also find that JayBerk is talking about a jailbroken iPhone (or iPod touch, he seems to refer to both but doesn't mention specifically which one he has), with OpenSSH on it. I haven't jailbroke my iPhone, and I have no intention to, so his method will not work for people who haven't jailbroken their iPhones. He also states, quite clearly:

    "If you don't have OpenSSH already installed then sorry, it's restore time..."

    I don't have OpenSSH installed, so I have to restore. Fantastic.

    With no 3rd Party Apps, my backups are still taking mere seconds (even after adding 30 bookmarks in Maps, 12 Weather locations and replacing all the Stocks with my own, adding 4 alarms, 6 new clock times and 25 notes), so I'd rather have that than having to SSH in to ping to etc. etc. etc. you get the picture!

    I am still recommending that people do not install 3rd Party Apps until Apple state that they have fixed this severe problem.
    Black MacBook 2.16Ghz Core2Duo, 160GB HD, Mac OS X (10.5.4), 3GB RAM, 16GB iPhone 3G, 320GB LaCie Rugged HD for Time Machine
  • mavisXP Level 1 Level 1 (30 points)
    Oh yeah, one more thing - JayBerk didn't just explain the solution to the problem, he also explained the CAUSE. If low memory due to memory leaks and sloppy coding are causing lockups while installing, it stands to reason that re-booting just before doing an install/upgrade would alleviate the problem. And what do you know - it does.
    24" 2.8GHz iMac (4GB RAM, 750GB HDD), Mac OS X (10.5.4), iPhone 3G (white)
  • pruppert Calculating status...
    mavisXP,

    I do not doubt that the method you describe works; however, I am not able to find anything in JayBerk's post which explicitly describes the method of rebooting immediately before installing/upgrading anything or why this would work. JayBerk seems to only describe an ssh workaround as opposed to the rebooting workaround that you describe.

    As it does sound like preemptive rebooting has been an effective workaround for you, could you please explain how this works within the context of the springboard/watchdog processes that JayBerk wrote about. Does rebooting somehow decrease springboard's next load time and allow it to load under two minutes regardless of how many applications are installed?

    I'm just trying to understand the reasons that rebooting works. Thanks.
    Macbook, Mac OS X (10.5)
  • pruppert Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    One more question for mavisXP:

    To reboot, do you hold the sleep/wake and home button until the iPhone turns off or do you hold the sleep/wake only and turn off via the red slider? I'm not sure if both or only one of these methods will reboot the phone. Thanks.
    Macbook, Mac OS X (10.5)
  • mobilemavy Calculating status...
    Here is the only thing you can do until the upgrade: restore your phone; add apps one at a time.
    AND THEN DO NOT SYNC AGAIN! It is the only thing that works.
    all, Mac OS X (10.5.4)
  • DeadMuller Calculating status...
    Here is everybody's problem. Apple's OS ***** **!!! My wife's iPhone crashed within hours of her getting it. Apple's "white Screen of Death" popped up when she was talking to me on the way home after picking it up from AT&T. It does not matter if you have 1,000 apps on it or ZERO. She didn't have any. What we did after restoring the piece of ** was turn updates OFF and NEVER UPDATE IT AGAIN!!! Do not plug it in to your computer either. If you don't believe me then by all means go ahead and plug it in to your computer and update it. It seems that this release of the iPhone 3G was premature on Apple's part.
    What's surprising is that none of the 1st generation iPhones did this. And people say Microsoft *****? You don't hear anything like this from Blackberry, and I don't even own one.
    We plan on taking hers back and while in line, talking to a friendly AT&T rep, we plan on updating it right there and see what they say. Then when we get it replaced we'll update the new one and see what happens. I'll go through every iPhone in the store until one actually works. If that doesn't work then I'll get my money back and wait until next years model comes out.
    I wonder when the global wide recall will come out?
  • Pirx07 Calculating status...
    +Here is everybody's problem. Apple's OS *** **!!!+

    Correct. It's as simple as that. Here's my response: If Apple doesn't get their act together by the next update that will supposedly fix this issue, I will get myself a phone that works (an HTC, most likely), and I'll never look back. I've really had it by now with this **. I know that early incarnations of Windows Mobile weren't exactly stellar either, and even the newest versions leave some things to be desired, but as far as I know the phones based on it were at least reasonably reliable. The way my iPhone behaves these days, with at least daily reboots, crashes of a freshly rebooted phone after ending an incoming phone call, etc., etc., is simply ludicrous. As far as I know, there is not, nor has there ever been a cell phone on this planet that's as unreliable as the iPhone we have now.
  • frjps Calculating status...
    What really gets me mad is that I have recommended the iPhone (prior to all these problems of course) to 2 people who switched to AT&T in order to get the iPhone. They both have had these terrible crashes, etc. (including myself). I'm so embarrassed about it because all I ever did was brag about Apple, their Macs, their software, their phone, etc. Now I have egg on my face & 2 friends who are not very happy right now. I think they're both looking at getting a Blackberry now and to be honest, I think I might too. Am going to check out what software availability there is for the BB. At least it's stable. And what a shame that Apple cannot even acknowledge all this let alone offer an apology, advice, or something to soothe the savage beasts.
    MacBook Pro, 24" iMac, Mac OS X (10.5.4)
  • mavisXP Level 1 Level 1 (30 points)
    pruppert wrote:
    One more question for mavisXP:

    To reboot, do you hold the sleep/wake and home button until the iPhone turns off or do you hold the sleep/wake only and turn off via the red slider? I'm not sure if both or only one of these methods will reboot the phone. Thanks.

    Yes, turn off via the red slider. The reason it helps was explained by JayBerk (I think) in another post - I saved it to a text document on my Mac and I'll past it here for you. Cheers.


    JayBerk (I think) wrote:
    Ok here's the deal, with a bit of analysis the root cause of the problem is LOW MEMORY conditions that occur during the app install / un-install process. It seems to be a combination of increased system memory requirements of the 2.0 firmware in general (there is simply more stuff running than there was in 1.1.x, so there is less free memory) as well as what look like memory leaks (or at least poor coding) in both Springboard and mobileinstallationproxy. More on those in a minute.

    In addition the emergency low memory handling of the system (maybe the kernel) seems to be broken in 2.0.x - once free memory gets below a certain point the system will hard freeze - this never happened in 1.1.x, at most it would cause a reboot if memory became critical and nothing could be done to free memory.

    Ok, what is mobileinstallationproxy ? This is a program whose job it is to install and uninstall applications, basically, and did not exist in 1.1.x firmware. When an application is to be installed or removed either directly on the device or by syncing with itunes, this is the process that is launched to do it.

    Problem number one - sometimes, this processes memory usage will grow enormously - there is typically only 60MB ram free no additional apps are running and background mailcheck is disabled. mobileinstallationproxy's memory usage will often climb to reach or exceed this amount causing an extreme low memory condition which will cause the Springboard to try to kill off unnecessary processes, but if it can't find enough memory the device will either freeze or spontaneously reboot - the reboot in the middle of application install / un-install corrupts the application state, causing more trouble later on.

    Ok, what is Springboard ? This is the main application on an ipod touch / iphone which gives you your home screen, and manages the launching of applications, provides touchscreen input to applications, and also does additional memory management by asking applications to reduce their memory usage if free memory is tight, and will even go so far as to quit background processes to free up memory when memory gets really tight.

    Problem number two - sometimes Springboard starts allocating large amounts (over 70-80MB) of memory itself causing a low memory condition - and it cant free up memory because it can't ask itself to quit! At least, not without rendering the device unusable, because you lose the ability to use the touchscreen......

    This typically happens when Springboard is "regenerating the application map" which basically means it is looking at newly installed applications to find out details about them and display them on the home screen. This regenerating happens both immediately after application install, and during bootup (before the lock screen) if it wasn't previously finished. BIG PROBLEM.
    24" 2.8GHz iMac (4GB RAM, 750GB HDD), Mac OS X (10.5.4), iPhone 3G (white)
  • Graffxguy Calculating status...
    Ok I think I might have figured out when it's doing it... I think it's when I download something from the app store on my phone and then sync with my computer. That's when it seems to screw up...

    Anybody relate to this?
    MacBook Pro 15" 4gb RAM, Mac OS X (10.5.4)
  • Tipsy Mcfragger Calculating status...
    This is getting downright outrageous. In the last week I have done 7 restores and am in the process of doing one right now. What makes things even better is that my latest backup is "corrupt". I have resorted to using default apps only until a fix is available, despite investing over $50 in 3rd party apps.
    MB Pro, Mac OS X (10.5.4)

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