How To Resolve Error 29 on the iPhone 3GS: Update Error Caused by Battery Replacement – CONFIRMED

In Apple, Cellular, Consumer Electronics, Fix It, Gadgets, General, Hardware, How To, iPhone, Mobile by Michael Sheehan12 Comments

This past weekend, I tried to upgrade my old iPhone 3GS to the latest version of iOS (version 4.3). Unfortunately during the upgrade process, I ran into a “little” issue, that of the fact that my iPhone 3GS got stuck in a recovery loop and kept failing during the upgrade/update process with an Error Code 29. I documented the issue and all of the actions that I attempted to do to correct the issue in this blog post: “WARNING: Do NOT Upgrade Your iPhone 3GS to a Newer iOS if you have Replaced Your Battery! Error 29 Issues Caused by Battery“.

I reached out to the great folks at iFixIt based on the comment that I had encountered in their forums and some other places, and they quickly sent me out a replacement battery for my iPhone 3GS so that I could test out the theory that it was the battery that was causing the update to fail and giving that nasty Error 29.

I decided to have some fun though this time with the iPhone 3GS replacement procedure. I had fully documented the process in my post “How To Install a Replacement Battery into an Apple iPhone 3GS” but this time, I decided that I would Tweet out the process (with photos) as I went through it. (FYI, my twitter account is @HighTechDad.)

To quickly cut to the chase, replacing the battery with the proper battery version for the iPhone 3GS (logic board related) DID FIX my Error 29 and lack of ability to update my iPhone.

So, if you want to stop reading this post and go rush out and replace that replacement battery to get your iPhone 3GS happy again, I won’t be offended. If you want to see the process with the photos that I posted to Twitter, read on!

Live Twitter Stream of Battery Upgrade

Here is my Twitter stream of the entire process:

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Here are the tweets and associated pictures (clicking on the “about XX hours ago” will bring you to the actual tweet):

“In a few minutes, I’m going to be replacing my iPhone 3GS battery (again) to resolve this issue -> http://t.co/cLG2ei3 Live tweets as I go!” about 4 hours ago via Tweet Button

“1st step: assemble tools & work space for iPhone 3GS battery replacement. http://t.co/g9i4WMnabout 4 hours ago via Twitter for iPhone

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“Step 2: remove 2 #00 screws from bottom of iPhone.http://t.co/NWzcTPq about 4 hours ago via Twitter for iPhone

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“Step 3: attach suction cup to iPhone screen near home button & gently but w/ force pull up. http://t.co/yVA4O2labout 4 hours ago via Twitter for iPhone

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“Step 4: gently lift up screen but there are cable attached.http://t.co/6WH3cRbabout 4 hours ago via Twitter for iPhone

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“Step 5: disconnect ribbon #1 using spudger. http://t.co/HB5AzzJabout 4 hours ago via Twitter for iPhone

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“Step 6: disconnect ribbon #2 with spudger. http://t.co/3OWeLCGabout 4 hours ago via Twitter for iPhone

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“Step 7: flip up white (or black) tab holding in connector. It’s really small! http://t.co/zd9bTzNabout 4 hours ago via Twitter for iPhone

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“Step 7: remove the SIM card. http://t.co/yB5mqt4about 3 hours ago via Twitter for iPhone

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“Step 8: disconnect ribbon #4 using spudger. http://t.co/sOawGuUabout 3 hours ago via Twitter for iPhone

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“Step 9: remove ribbon #5 with spudger. http://t.co/urOoP1Yabout 3 hours ago via Twitter for iPhone

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“Step 10: remove ribbon #6 with spudger. http://t.co/UjWrHtEabout 3 hours ago via Twitter for iPhone

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“Step 11: remove ribbon #7 with spudger. Peel back “do not remove” sticker under it ;) http://t.co/vuWzbfbabout 3 hours ago via Twitter for iPhone

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“Step 12: remove 8 screws (I use an egg carton to store them, labeled to instructions) http://t.co/PIbw7xiabout 3 hours ago via Twitter for iPhone

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“Step 13: pry up but don’t remove camera. http://t.co/Cxlu8kwabout 3 hours ago via Twitter for iPhone

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“Step14: pry up logic board near dock connector using spudger.http://t.co/66czj5oabout 3 hours ago via Twitter for iPhone

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“Step 15: slide out and remove the logic board and you will see the battery. http://t.co/zOmXtZFabout 3 hours ago via Twitter for iPhone

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“Step 16: use spudger to pry up the battery (don’t use plastic pull). Hardest part since adhesive is strong! http://t.co/484YXvQabout 3 hours ago via Twitter for iPhone

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“Step 17: battery removed! Whew! Side by side – old (on right) & new (on left) batteries. http://t.co/7Li8Q1Rabout 3 hours ago via Twitter for iPhone

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“Step 18: remove adhesive on back of new battery and put back in.http://t.co/e82T0d4about 3 hours ago via Twitter for iPhone

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“Step 19+: do everything I just tweeted but in reverse. I will skip the reassembly photos and just put it back together. Stay tuned!” about 3 hours ago via Twitter for iPhone

“Step 20: status update, screws back in and logic board secured.http://t.co/1kLk4e2about 3 hours ago via Twitter for iPhone

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“Step 21: DONE! All back together! Still in Recovery Mode. Now to test if error 29 is resolved w/ new battery. http://t.co/ZGZ4afQabout 3 hours ago via Twitter for iPhone

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“CONFIRMED – Replaced battery causes Error 29 in iPhone 3GS when updating. Issues details here: http://t.co/cLG2ei3 New post coming.” about 2 hours ago via Tweet Button

That was the Twitter stream. All in all it took about an hour to do.

Resolution

So just to reiterate, if you have an iPhone 3GS AND you replaced the battery or had the battery replaced for you AND you tried to do an iOS update (e.g., to iOS 4.3) AND you received the Error 29 in iTunes and the update fails, then most likely, you have an “incompatible” battery. The fix? Replace the iPhone 3GS battery yourself or get it replaced! If you do it yourself, be sure that you get the how-to from iFixIt.com and watch my install video.

Below is the video of the iPhone 3GS Battery Replacement process that I did a few months ago. (Sorry about the shaky, caffeinated hands!)

[iframe_loader title=”YouTube video player” width=”560″ height=”349″ src=”http://www.youtube.com/embed/oEmlPK9R6Og?rel=0″ frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen]

You can read about the initial install here.

Special thanks to Kyle and Scott at iFixIt.com for the replacement battery and quick turnaround!

Be sure to leave a comment to let me know if it worked.

Disclosure Text : I have a material connection because I received a gift or sample of a product for consideration in preparing to write this content. I was/am not expected to return this item or gift after my review period. More information can be found in my About page as well as here.

HTD says: I’m so glad that this fix was confirmed!