3 Replies Latest reply: Jan 24, 2013 8:59 AM by opnsource
opnsource Level 1 (0 points)

I manage the technology for a small elementary school, and we have 4 iPad carts, 18 iPad 2s per cart.


Each cart has it's own 11-inch 2012 MacBook Air running Mountain Lion 10.8.2 and Apple Configurator 1.2.1.


I was doing my monthly updates to all the carts, first updating the Air, then updating the iPads (iOS version, App updates, etc). I ran all the Apple updates with problems. I launched iTunes 11, downloaded the app updates, closed it and launched Configurator.


Each of the iPads show question mark (?) on the iPad icon:


I've seen this in OS X before when you have a link to something that's been moved or deleted. I contacted a friend of mine who's been using Configurator a lot longer than I have and he had no idea what it meant, and suggested I call Enterprise support. I did, and they're trying to figure it out. They suggested that it may be a connectivity problem, so I took the Bretford cart half apart, unplugged and plugged all the USB cables back in. Same thing. Still shows the ?. Same friend wisely suggested that I bypass the cart. So I took a known-good 30 pin and plugged one of the iPads straight into the Air. Same thing.


The other part of this is that when you actually go to use the iPad(s) there is a 1 showing up on the Settings icon. Historically this would indicate that there is a software update available, but there isn't. When you open Settings, there's nothing in there showing a 1, and the iOS is up to date.


Despite these two oddities, the iPads appear to be working fine for the moment. I just want to get to the bottom of what the problem is. I have a 30 day old backup of the Air, and could restore the machine to it, and the iPads to the machine, but I would rather not do that. I have the iPads configured to not restore to the backup image because some of the teachers have projects that they don't want deleted. This means that I would possibly need to wait until summer to restore the iPads, unless I just break it to the teachers and tell them that that's the way the cookie crumbles.


Anyone who can shed some light, I would really appreciate.



  • eosuna Level 1 (0 points)

    What models are the iPads?

  • iToaster Level 3 (735 points)

    I would say it's probably the extremely long names plus the illegal

    charactors, brackets, slashes etc.

    try shorting the name on one of them and see if that makes any difference

    eg IPD1 C3


    are you able to update the ipads with apple configorator

  • opnsource Level 1 (0 points)

    I should have posted this sooner, but I've been really busy.


    eosuna - They are iPad 2 16GB WiFi


    iToaster - That answer would make sense if any of the other 60 iPads that have the same naming scheme were showing the same symptom, but they haven't. (I didn't choose the naming scheme, and agree that it's long. I "inherited" it and will change it at the end of the school year.) And yes, I was able to sync the iPads, install and update apps with no issue.


    The issue has been resolved, and here's what I did:


    I ended up trying a couple of things that the folks at Apple Enterprise suggested, but it was going to cause me to have to completely rebuild the Configurator library, and possibly re-image the iPads, and the teachers needed them for class. At the time this happened I was only working for the school part time and wasn't going to have time to do this.


    So I restored the MacBook Air that runs Configurator and images the iPads using a Time Machine backup I had made (thankfully) recently, and BOOM! no more ? . I have no idea how or why this would have fixed the issue, but it's been resolved for some time now, and it hasn't reoccured on this cart or any of the other three.