Recently I bought off eBay a (locked) iPhone. It was nice and shiny, and I was urging to use it. So, dispite the various warnings I saw on the net regarding the free iphone unlocking method, I rushed and used a free unlock available on the net, specifically anySIM because I didn’t want to buy a license to use iPhoneSimFree, which they charge you for a license. Bad move. I will share with you my story with free unlocks, and a how-to de-brick your phone.
My phone was running firmware 1.0.2 (I never updated to 1.1.1). During the unlock, something went wrong. The phone’s IMEI turned to 004999010640000. I googled it, and i turned out that this was the “lockdown” IMEI, meaning that my phone was bricked. I thought it was wise to restore back to my original firmware in order to restore the state of my phone and make it report the original IMEI. No luck.
I tried removing the SIM from the phone, and restarting. When the phone booted without the SIM, the IMEI was reported the same as the one on the phone. At this point, I tried unlocking with anySIM once more, but without any success. When the phone booted with a SIM card (non-AT&T) it showed the “lockdown” IMEI.
So, the last resort was to try the SimFree unlock. I visited Free Our iPhones, which is a iPSF reseller, and bought a license using my REAL IMEI (the one on the back of the phone). It was Sunday, so I had to wait until Monday to see if that was going to fix and unlock my iPhone. Surprisingly (and thankfully) within 30 minutes I got an email from them saying that my license has been activated and I could use SimFree to unlock my iPhone.
I added their Sources into my Installer, and I downloaded SimFree to my iPhone directly. After removing the SIM, I double-checked the IMEI and runned the SimFree program. The unlocker went through various stages, and voila! “Unlock successful”! I closed the phone and inserted my SIM and the phone registered successfully to my carrier. I was able to make and receive calls and SMS. My iPhone was liberated!
The following How-To is for people who want to avoid bad IMEI or fix it from 3rd-party firmware:
Windows Users download these files:
- AppTapp Installer
- BBupdater + Original Baseband Firmware of 1.0.2
- Putty SSH client
- WinSCP Secure FTP Client
For Mac Users download these files:
Note: Instead of using putty, on Mac we open Terminal ( Finder – Applications – Utilities – Terminal ) and we type this to login to the iPhone (for this example the iPhone IP was 192.168.1.101, so use your IP in your case):
- ssh -l root 192.168.1.101
- Password: dottie
All commands listed below are the same for Windows Putty and Mac Terminal.
After you have all files you may proceed.
- Connect your iPhone and run AppTapp Installer from Windows or Mac
- On the iPhone now you have Installer. Run it and install all these in this order:
- Community Sources (in Sources Category)
- BSD Sub System (in System Category)
- OpenSSH (in System Category)
- Close Installer by pressing the Home key
- Open safari and type in http://tinyurl.com/2uj9mc and accept the
message thats pops up.
- Installer will now load again and you should go to the top right
section where it says Sources and click Refresh on the bottom.
- Go to the Install tab and select SimFree v1.5 from the *iPhoneSimFree * category
Now you need to flash the original firmware back to your baseband in order to get this to work. The following steps explain how to transfer the files needed to your phone and how to execute them, read carefully.
- Go to Settings – General – AutoLock and set it to never on the iPhone
- Open Putty.exe (or Terminal) and type in the IP of your iPhone (found in the WiFi list when you click the arrow on the right of your WiFi name), select SSH and connect. (you might get a message saying to accept the key of the iPhone just say yes)
- Username: root
- Password: dottie
If you managed to connect to the iPhone then your doing well. Leave Putty open as we will need it later.
- Run WinSCP (or Cyberduck) (after you have installed it of course) and connect to the IP of the iPhone like before, but select SCP as the type of connection. Username and password are the same as above.
- Browse to /usr/bin/ on the iPhone
- Upload bbupdater and ICE03.14.08_G.fls which are the 2 files from
the rapidshare link.
- close WinSCP
- Go back to Putty now. type the following commands one after the other
once each command has completed:
- cd /usr/bin
- chmod +x *
- launchctl unload /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.apple.CommCenter.plist
- ./bbupdater -f ICE03.14.08_G.fls
- launchctl load /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.apple.CommCenter.plist
- Now the iPhone will reboot and you will still have the BAD IMEI when it reboots, take out the SIM card and reboot it again by holding down the power button for 3 seconds and slide to power off. Turn it back on and you will have a good IMEI but the phone is locked.
- Turn on WiFi and run SimFree to unlock.
- Turn off the phone and installed your SIM card. Enjoy your unlocked phone with a good IMEI and update resistant.
Disclaimer: Use this guide at your own risk. The author carries no responsibility on any damage on your iPhone.