12 Replies Latest reply: Jun 28, 2010 4:51 PM by Skelters
Skelters Level 1 (0 points)
Hi there,

I hope someone can help as the Apple line is closed and I am travelling with my 7 week old son to Ireland tomorrow and at present have no phone!

I started to Sync my iPhone 3GS as usual and was asked to update to iOS4. No problem. Downloaded then iTunes started to do its thing with my iPhone. A few mins later an error message arrived that a duplicate file existed.

Tried to sync again but this time it would only let me press Restore. In my summary page on iTunes all note of my serial number, phone number etc were coming up as N/A.

On pressing restore, it tries extracting software, verifying with Apple, prepares ihone to restore then says:

The iPhone "iPhone" could not be restored. An unknown error ocurred(21).

From here it just takes me to a link saying update itunes if necessary, restart pc etc. baasically your usual options which have not helped.

I travel in 10 hours, cannot get to an Apple store before this and will have to fly without a phone to another country. Can anyone help with this problem? Many thanks

iPhone 3GS, Windows XP
  • gizzys dad Level 1 (140 points)
    Maybe try this. Check this thread or search with keyword "duplicate file" under iphone.


    Posts: 126
    Registered: Aug 12, 2006

    New! iphone cannot be synced a duplicate file name was specified....
    Posted: Jun 17, 2010 2:49 PM
    Click to reply to this topic Reply email Email

    After updating itunes to 9.2 I now get the message " The iPhone "iphone" cannot be synced. A duplicate file name was specified."
    I am NOT running iToner so its not that! .

    I knew I should have not updated I get burned every time.

    Mac Pro Mac OS X (10.4.7)
  • wjosten Level 10 (94,210 points)
    First, make sure your internet connection is good, all firewalls & anti-virus TURNED OFF, then:

    1. Create a new user account on your mac or windows PC, make sure it has administrative privileges.
    2. Log in to the account, try and update your phone, make sure you're running the latest version of iTunes.
    3. Once it's done & updated to iOS4, rename the phone to match your usual name.
    4. Sync again
    5. Log back in to your usual user account & restore your phone from backup.
  • Skelters Level 1 (0 points)
    thanks Gizzys dad, unfortunately that led nowhere
  • Skelters Level 1 (0 points)
    wjosten, was getting excited about this one! It seemed to be going ok, started DL iOS4 into iTunes then when it went to put the software on the phone, the same error message (21) came back.

    Thanks anyway, appreciate the advice
  • wjosten Level 10 (94,210 points)
    Error 21 is ALMOST ALWAYS caused by security software, in your case, on a windows machine...make sure that ALL firewalls & anti-virus are OFF...especially windows firewall...double check to make sure.
  • Skelters Level 1 (0 points)
    cheers fellah, ive tried having both Virgin and Windows set to OFF and retried your solution but again to no avail. I really do appreciate your assistance, willing to try what i can!
  • wjosten Level 10 (94,210 points)
    Find another computer, but in all honesty, 99.9% of the time, security software of some kind is causing your problem.
  • Skelters Level 1 (0 points)
    thankyou, im with family tmrw so can try it there. I take it i should restore on the other pc, then install the backup when i get back home?
  • wjosten Level 10 (94,210 points)
    I take it i should restore on the other pc, then install the backup when i get back home?

    Yes. At least you'll have a working phone until you get home.
  • Skelters Level 1 (0 points)
    many thanks, ill make sure i come back to update/feedback.

    cheers again
  • ohhh Level 1 (10 points)
    on that link under iOS4 click iphone 3gs save that file on desktop or folder
    connect the iphon to itunes and press shift + restore on same time and a small folder will appear and click the file u saved before and press ok
    i hope it works coz it did for me
  • Skelters Level 1 (0 points)
    fantastic! im back in the game!!
    thanks so much for that tip, would never have found it!
    Cheers also to everyone else for assistance