I find it very odd that people take the time to post long, rambling diatribes but cannot put forth the effort to do a simple search.
The below is directly from Apple
Error 20, 21, 34, 37: These errors typically occur when security software interferes with the restore and update process. If you are using a PC, follow this article to resolve this issue.
Error 1611: This error may indicate a hardware issue with your device. Follow the steps in this article. Also attempt to restore while connected with a known-good 30-pin Dock Connector cable, computer, and network to isolate this issue to the device. The MAC address being missing or the IMEI being the default value (00 499901 064000 0) can also confirm a hardware issue. Out-of-date or incorrectly configured proxy or security software, such as FoxyProxy, can cause error 1611. To troubleshoot third-party security software, follow these steps.
Thanks very much for your response diesel. Perhaps I should have noted that I'd already taken the time to look up these error codes, so fortunately for both of us, I'm one of the people that does look up the error codes before posting :)
If you re-read my post (and the title of this thread) you'll notice that I'm not looking for a description of the two error codes I mentioned, but rather if an iPhone can be restored to iOS 5.0.1 without the hardware rear camera module installed.
Thanks for your prompt reply.
Camera module? Like you bought an iPhone without a camera? You can't remove it otherwise...so Yes, I don't see why not. Restoring iOS is all about firmware, so you will have the appropriate build put onto your device.
As to your error codes, check for the hosts file in System32/etc/hosts.plist on Windows with Hidden Files and Folders enabled. If you see any lines with #gs.apple.com in them, remove it.
Thanks xtremecarbon, I've looked through my hosts file and its got nothing in it. I've done the same restore on 2 different PCs with the same results - one Win7 one WinXP.
The phone was bought directly from apple - a standard white iPhone 4S 16GB. The phone got wet and was taken to a repair centre (i assume not an apple one), where they removed the camera module due to it not working correctly (see my original post). This was fine for about a day or two until the phone stopped booting, and now i cannot reload iOS 5.0.1 (9A405) due to either an error 21, or 1611.. Just wondering, seeing as 1611 especially says about a hardware issue, if this error might be due to the camera module not being attached.. Or is it just that the phone is totally stuffed...
I specifically asked about the camera module, as i can buy one from ebay or the like for $30 and if that fixes my problem, that's great... however I'd like to keep my $30 if someone on here knows for certain that replacing the module will not fix my problem..
Obviously open to other suggestions too
Apple won't touch it at this point as it's been opened by a 3rd party AND it is not complete. It is not eligible for an out of warranty replacement and they do not repair iPhones, they replace them and then refurbish the bad one. Your only option will be to purchase a new one or find a competent 3rd party repair shop.