Yikes. Just had a gigantic scare. I’ve been putting off the iOS 5 update on my iPad 1, but lately I’ve been taking a hard look at Apple’s office-related apps… namely Pages (word processor) and Numbers (spreadsheets). Both are feature-rich apps which can create really beautiful documents – and they are probably the most capable apps of their kind on the iPad. Well, those apps require the latest version of the iPad’s operating system, iOS 5. So I figured it was time.
I performed a backup of my iPad via iTunes and then started the update process. 10-15 minutes or so later, I was greeted with a really scary error message that made my hair stand on end.
Here it is almost 2 in the morning, and it appears I’ve just bricked the portable computer I use on a daily basis.
Apparently, the 1611 error I received isn’t terribly uncommon… and also has a wide variety of possible causes.
In a fit of common sense troubleshooting, I explored a theory that I didn’t find mentioned anywhere in Apple’s troubleshooting documentation for this error. For this first year of iPad ownership, I’ve been syncing and updating the device via a USB port on the side of my Dell monitor. It’s worked great every time til now. But even though they are attached to a powered device (the monitor), USB ports which aren’t directly on the motherboard are generally regarded as being part of a USB “hub” – which can sometimes have limited throughput (data transfer rate) issues compared to those on the motherboard.
So it occurred to me, maybe the problem was that for such a large software update, the limited data rate was getting in the way.
I safely disconnected my iPad and reattached it to a USB port directly on the PC.
With one click of a button in iTunes, and about 30 minutes of waiting, the firmware, operating system, apps, and data were all restored and ready to go.