On my 3rd 3Gs. End of December/January - ish, I took my phone into Apple to have it looked at. The charging dock on the phone was damaged. It wouldn't charge, and it wouldn't register in itunes. After hours of labor intense discussions with Apple, they replaced the phone with a refurbished phone for the low low price of $130. March rolled around, and I started having the same problems. No syncing, no charging. Took the phone back, same problem, and the Apple Genius-tech person said a Windows update has multiple apple products not working. Other people were there for the same issues I was having. Something about a security certificate? They replaced it with no additional cost since I had just paid and the replacement was still under warranty.
Fast forward to last month. My 3Gs 3rd replacement phone still charges but doesn't register in itunes. And I have tried to get it to recognize in someone elses itunes and at least get the warning that it would be sync'd to another itunes. No go. It also does not register as being plugged into my pioneer car multi-media system. So, even though I know this, I replaced itunes and went through the same repair steps with no new outcome. It happened right after I finally broke down and updated the software. I had been declining to update for fear of everything that I mentioned above happening again. Windows does not like Mac.... I get it. When it stopped working, I dipped my head in a moment of "I knew it" silence. But thanks to icloud, I have been able to do a lot of things via wi-fi. I still want this fixed though. I have things in my itunes that are rather large and it would be great to just plug in my phone and have it work right.
Here is what I have done so far. Keep in mind I am running Windows 7.
1) followed the apple repair instructions for iphone to the T.
a) Turned on and off the phone.
b) Uninstalled/reinstalled itunes. Still only registers on the phone as a charge source, no computer recognition.
c) Messed with the MSCONFIG. Still no 3Gs in itunes.
2) side note: I have an iphone 4s. It works great and dandy and shows in itunes on the same cords I am using for the 3Gs. So it is not the cord... as was suggested by an apple tech person previously. I have 6 cords, none work on this phone.
3) The last thing I have yet to try is to reset the phone to factory settings and hope it registers in itunes. My problem with doing so is that I would lose all the photos and things I have saved that are pertinent to my job. If I create an itunes back up, I would just be re-installing the problem back on my phone when I sync it up right? That, and I have an authenticator on the account that I would have to have disabled before I did this, or risk getting locked out of my account. Right?
My question is... where do I go from here? Does anyone have any other suggestions to try before I wipe the phone and hope it works again?