Monday, March 28, 2011

Upgrade to iPhone 4.3.1 OS screws your encrypted backup password?

I transferred my purchases, synched, then backed up my iPhone. Next I upgraded to the latest OS. Then I backed up again with the new OS in place.  Then I wiped my iPhone and tried to restored from back up, just to make sure that would work. It didn't. The iTunes program told me my password was wrong. BS. I know my password is right.

The only way it could be wrong is if I entered the same typo twice in a row when encrypting. Not likely.

Yeah, there is software to crack encrypted iPhone backups... But I don't use dictionary words, and my passwords are over 20 characters long, with letters, numbers and special characters so the estimate for 100,000 high performance computers that can try 17 billion combinations per hour is 17,831 billion years.

The estimated age of the universe is 13.75 billion years.

I have a fairly good computer with 8 processor cores, but mine can only brute force attack 6.1 billion password attempts per hour.

Since I'm trying to crack my own password and I really don't know what I typoed, rubber hose cryptography is out.

Things that have worked for others do not work for me:

  1. Try your iPhone unlock code as your password

  2. Try "Name's iPhone" or where Name is your first name.  Try lower case too, and just your first name. Someone said he thought an OS upgrade put this in, that a cracking program returned this as the password and he would never have used his first name.

  3. If you have a mac, check the key chain and reveal the password. Not an option if you have a PC like me.

I deleted my back ups when I realized cracking them is hopeless, but still I get a message that my password is incorrect and I can't even do a new back up.

Completely uninstalling iTunes and re-installing does NOT fix this problem. After you do this, you can right click and back up your phone, but you can never restore it without the password.

Meanwhile I've stayed up to 2:00 AM trying to fix this crap. I can't wait till my iPhone contract ends.

The only thing to do is re-install the phone as a new phone and then re-install everything. If Apple support can't help me like they couldn't help others with this same problem, then, I'll spend several more hours trying to get my phone installed from scratch.

If this turns out to be a bug I'd really like to bill Apple for the time I've wasted tonight.  I'm $250 worth of angry and tired right now.  Grump grump grump.

FIX: The fix is to put your iPhone into recovery mode then use iTunes install it as a new phone. This will finally allow you to back up and restore without the password that iTunes believes you forgot.

  1. Open iTunes and connect the iPhone to your Mac.

  2. Press and hold the Home button and the Sleep/Wake button at the same time.

  3. As soon as the screen goes black release the Sleep/Wake button. Continue holding the home button until you iTunes pops up a message telling you that it has detected an iPhone in recovery mode.



marjoriekaye said...

That bites.

rinikitty said...

Jeez I'm afraid to upgrade my iPhone now.

Xeno said...

So far I'm the only one.... If no one else posts here reporting the same problem, or if apple fixes the bug, or if the only happens in the 64-bit Windows Vista version of iTunes, you'd be safe to upgrade. Most people probably don't try a restore from a wiped phone after upgrading.

Sent from my iPhone