iPod Touch iOS4 update problems

A little over a month ago I finally joined the millions of iPod owners by purchasing a 64GB iPod Touch. Between then and now I busied myself in ripping scores of my CDs onto my Mac Mini and thence synching that to the iPod.

Today when I connected the iPod up, iTunes asked me if I would like to install iOS4. OK I thought, why not?

Simple answer: because it might trash the whole thing and waste my evening.

Why mention it at all? Because I eventually got it sorted out and this might help someone in a similar situation.

Having waited while iTunes downloaded the update, I got as far as the "Verifying... with Apple" message at which point it proceded straight to a "could not be updated - Unknown Error (21)" message.

The detail info from the top of the log file (whole thing attached to this page for reference) looked like this:

2010-06-25 20:46:15.000 iTunes[163:20b]: restore library built Jun  4 2010 at 01:46:12
2010-06-25 20:46:15.000 iTunes[163:20b]: iTunes: iTunes 9.2
2010-06-25 20:46:15.000 iTunes[163:20b]: iTunes: Current software version: 7E18
2010-06-25 20:46:15.000 iTunes[163:20b]: iTunes: Software payload version: 8A293
2010-06-25 20:46:20.000 iTunes[163:f65f]: iTunes: Specifying Update boot image
2010-06-25 20:46:21.000 iTunes[163:f65f]: requested restore behavior: Update
2010-06-25 20:46:21.000 iTunes[163:f65f]: amai: AMAuthInstallPlatformCreateBufferFromNativeFilePath: open failed: No such file or directory
2010-06-25 20:46:21.000 iTunes[163:f65f]: amai: AMAuthInstallHttpMessageSendSync: httpRequest={url = http://gs.apple.com:80/TSS/controller?action=2; request = POST /TSS/controller?action=2 HTTP/1.1}
2010-06-25 20:46:22.000 iTunes[163:f65f]: amai: AMAuthInstallRequestSendSync: received tss response (server version: 0.6.31-b2)
2010-06-25 20:46:25.000 iTunes[163:20b]: iTunes: Entering recovery mode, device 0x16c58e0
2010-06-25 20:46:28.000 iTunes[163:20b]: iTunes: received kAMDeviceDetached action, device 0x16c58e0
2010-06-25 20:46:32.000 iTunes[163:20b]: device connected (isDFU = 0)
2010-06-25 20:46:32.000 iTunes[163:20b]: iTunes: SCEP 1
2010-06-25 20:46:32.000 iTunes[163:da83]: iBoot build-version = iBoot-636.66.33
2010-06-25 20:46:32.000 iTunes[163:da83]: iBoot build-style = RELEASE
2010-06-25 20:46:32.000 iTunes[163:da83]: DeviceRequest failed: 0xe000404f

Some Googling revealed that people had experienced something similar with iPhones etc., but nothing featured the magic combination of keywords "iOS4 update fix" or similar.

Hoping to get back to where I started, I disconnected and reconnected the device and tried the Restore option in the Summary tab.

Same problem only it took less time to get to the error. Now I definitely appeared to have a brick - well a Touch-sized one.

Just for good measure I tried the restore another 5 or 6 times, rebooting the Mac, jiggling this, changing that. No joy. The last log file is also attached for reference.

The Apple support web pages suggest everything from checking your internet ports (nothing special on my router) to trying a different computer (not possible), different connecting cable (not possible) and trying the restore from a different user account - OK I'll give that last one a go.

Setting up another administration-capable account was simple enough. Having logged into it I fired up iTunes which told me I needed to update the iPod. Cue another 7 minute download of what I assumed was iOS4.

Once that had apparently finished... nothing. So I clicked on the restore button in iTunes and started seeing some familiar progress messages. With breath bated and double-bated, I started seeing some new ones, like "Preparing iPod software for restore", "Restoring iPod software" and so on until "Restoring iPod firmware" and finally "Your iPod is restarting".

Once restarted, I was presented with the new-owner's setup screen including prompts for device name etc.

And lo! After nearly an hour of trying, I seemed to have an iPod with iOS4... and nothing else. 60-something GB of empty capacity, uncluttered with any music.

Closing down iTunes and logging back in as my normal account allowed me to check the sync settings, tell iTunes that I did indeed want to forget the library that the iPod had recently been associated with (the temporary user's I presume) and switch back to my normal library. Only 5902 songs to reload onto the device...

I hope the new firmware's worth it.