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wastedyuthe Level 1 Level 1 (75 points)
I am not sure what the culprit was- whether it was iTunes 9, iPhone firmware 3.1, or a hardware issue on my 3GS. But Wednesday evening I installed iTunes 9 and firmware 3.1 with success on both. Thursday (yesterday), my iPhone functioned properly all day until about 3:30pm, when I took it out of my belt clip and it had an error saying it couldn't make or receive incoming calls, and that I should connect to iTunes and restore.
So, after connecting it to iTunes, it comes up with an error message saying "iTunes cannot activate your iPhone because the SIM card is not inserted or a SIM PIN is required". After checking the SIM card and trying again, I called Apple Support, and a nice man guided me through putting it into recovery mode (holding Home when connecting to the Mac), and restoring, only for it to come up with yet another error message, saying it can't restore "Error (23)". We tried downloading firmware 3.1 again and even trying on my other Macbook, to no avail. He therefore made an appointment for me at my local Apple Genius bar. It looks like I may have to swap to a new device if they can't sort it out.

Firstly, has anyone else had this issue since 3.1? This is the first time this has happened to me, and it seems too much of a coincidence that I have only just updated it. It is NOT jailbroken or hacked in any way, fyi.

Secondly, if I do have to swap to a new device, am I able to restore from the backup of my old device so I get to keep all my save data?

Macbook Pro iPhone 3GS 32GB AppleTV, Mac OS X (10.5.7)
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