I have a similar situation. I woke up with a 'bricked' iPhone. I can't get into it as I had a beta version installed and the beta has expired. I used that beta version because the stable iOS 5.0 gave me a SIM error every so many hours (after which I needed to turn on and off my phone). Tried everything, and installing the beta solved that issue for me (really glad it did). I installed it as a non developer.
I now can't update the iOS through iTunes, I can't get in my phone, I simply can't use the device as I can not get passed the developer screen. I can't even backup because a session cannot be started from iTunes. All iTunes is saying is "The software on the iphone has expired and must be updated to a new version" and when I check for update, it gives back "This version of the iPhone software (5.1) is the current version".
So I'm stuck with a great device which doesn't work.
Ok, I have found the solution to my problem. Go to this site and download the 5.1 software:
After you have downloaded the file, start iTunes, connect your iPhone. Hold SHIFT and click on the "Update" button. Find your .ipsw file and update your iPhone. It's good to go.
More info on how to use .ipsw files, you can also check this site:
Thanks for the info but my phone ISN'T a jailbroken phone, nor do I want it to be. I tried to re-install the correct download of iOS5.1 this morning, and it wouldn't work, but I didn't really have a great deal of time as I was running out the door to go to work, so I'll try again in earnest when I get home tonight.
I'm still perplexed though, I didn't do any kind of update on the phone yesterday at all and my wi-fi is off overnight, so *** the phone did, I have no idea.