iPhone 3GS Archives - HighTechDad

iPhone 3GS

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! [click to continue…]


With all of the hype that the iPhone 4, iPad 2 and iOS 4.3 currently going on, you might have missed this news. I (and others) have encountered a rather bad issue (Error 29) when trying to upgrade an iPhone 3GS’s iOS to a later version. It seem that is related to previous versions of iOS as well and is NOT just limited to iOS 4.3. There is definitely an issue with iPhone 3GS’s that have had their original battery replaced by a 3rd party or done by yourself.


Here is what happened to me. This weekend, I tried to update my iPhone 3GS to iOS 4.3 from a previous version of iOS. First, I made a backup of my iPhone (prior to trying to install iOS 4.3). It is always important (if not critical) to do a full backup of your iPhone prior to doing any type of upgrade. Once I had done this, I went ahead and tried to install the upgrade and I got an Error 29 (seen above): “The iPhone could not be restored. An unknown error occurred (29).

I’m usually not daunted by issues like this. In fact, this had happened to me before and I was able to use iRecovery to resolve the issue. You can see my blog post on iRecovery here “How To Get Your iPhone Out of a Recovery or Restore Mode Loop“.

Here are ALL of the things that I tried to resolve (none of which worked): [click to continue…]


My iPhone 3GS has been showing signs of a dying battery for a month or so now. The symptoms included the battery depleting faster than normal, charging very quickly (because there wasn’t much to “charge”), and the iPhone simply crashing when the battery was at 75-90% FULL. It would simply crash as I was doing some tasks, not even showing a warning that it needed a charge. Sometimes when I would plug it in to get charged after crashing, it would show the red battery icon which means that it was at a very low level of charge. Then after plugging it in, it would show about 75% full after a few seconds. There was definitely something wrong there with the power.

So while I was waiting for an iPhone 4 to arrive in a local AT&T store (you should read my issue about that whole process here), I decided that it would make sense to try to replace the battery on my iPhone 3GS because the phone itself was in great shape. Also, when I do eventually upgrade, my kids would get my old iPhone to play with and I wanted to be sure that it had a strong battery for their game time on it.,

Also if you are thinking about getting an iPhone 4 and you have an iPhone 3GS that is dying, you could do this process to bump up the re-sale value of your 3GS!

I did a little bit of research and found that iFixit.com (my favorite repair guide website for Mac/iPhone repairs and how-to guides) had a replacement battery kit for $19.95 which was a really good deal. The only thing is, you have to do it yourself! That’s not a big deal, right? Well, if you have never done any repairs on electronics, it is a bit challenging. But it is definitely doable, and I was willing to accept that challenge. And the nice folks at iFixIt.com hooked me up with a free battery…the only catch, I had to successfully do the install and document the process!

Be sure to read the last section below “Words of Warning Advice” before diving in.

[click to continue…]