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iPhone 3G 1015 Fix and Hactivation

Updated on June 11, 2013
The dreaded 1015 error symptom on the iPhone 3G.
The dreaded 1015 error symptom on the iPhone 3G. | Source

Although the iPhone 3G has been out for several years, it is still a good, reliable phone to own. It has a reputation for durability. It may not be fast like the more recent models, but it still functions for receiving and sending emails, can browse the Internet and it serves as a fully functioning phone.

If you have an old 3G sitting around that you want to use and doesn't work because of software corruption, don't give up hope, there is a fix. The fix that I am discussing here requires that you download a few files and go through a couple of steps before you "hactivate" it, or make it useable with other carriers than AT&T.

Restoring the software is not as simple as re-installing (restoring) it with iTunes. You can go through the process and you will end up with a screen that says there is a "1015" error. What you will see on the phone is shown to the right. The video and steps below show you how to get over this problem.

The final part of this article discusses going a step further in changing the phone software. This will make the phone "jailbroken," so you can use it on other carriers and download software from other sources than Apple's iTunes server. There is also a video that describes this process as well.

iPhone 3G 1015 fix

About the Video Above on the 1015 Error Fix

This process works even though the video author has posted on the introductory part that there is an updated video with another fix. I have tried that method and ended up with a "USB Communication" error while in redsn0w. So, I went back to this video and found that it worked flawlessly.

The author lists the three files that can be used to complete this process. First, you will need both Redsn0w 0.0.6rc16 (there are Mac and Windows versions) which is downloaded as a zip file that must be extracted before use. He also has a workable link for the iPhone1,2_4.2.1_8C145.ipsw system restore file. His link was taken down for the iPhone 1,1_4.2.1_8C145 Custom.ipsw, but it can be found on many places on the web, included in torrents files. Download all three before you start the restoration process and follow the instructions. It is as simple as that.

The pineapple that appears on the screen during boot-up when your phone is unlocked with pnwagetool.  The apple logo follows.
The pineapple that appears on the screen during boot-up when your phone is unlocked with pnwagetool. The apple logo follows. | Source


After you do all of the above, you may find that you still have a phone that can only be used in emergencies. But, the good thing is that the baseband on the 3G iPhone has been changed to one that can be further modified.

So, for the next step, download and use the pwngetool. The pwngetool can be used on mac platforms only and it finishes the jailbreaking process and preserves the old baseband, which is a problem with iTunes updates frequently.

Follow the instructions below and use the custom ipsw you downloaded in the previous step to create a new custom 4.2.1 ipsw file with the pwngetool. Here is the video that describes all of the steps.

Downloading Jailbreak Data screen.
Downloading Jailbreak Data screen. | Source

Using the Pwngetool

What if You Can't Connect to Your Carrier's SIM? Unlocking the iPhone 3G.

At this point, you will have a jailbroken phone that can be used as an iPod, unless you have a SIM card that is either AT&T or it is an affiliate associated with AT&T. But what if you are in a different country and you have an unlisted carrier? This was my problem, so I had to go one step further and find a file within Cydia to help the phone recognize my SIM card.

Note that you can do this step without skipping the other steps. The modem firmware, or baseband must be changed by the previous steps.

Cydia is the application that loads when you jailbreak the phone. Click on it, then on the bottom bar press Manage (at the bottom of the screen) > Edit (top screen) > Add (top screen) and add the following source for ultrasn0w: You don't need to add the http:// info. Let it load and when it is done you can do a search for ultrasn0w and load it. One the phone resprings (reloads), it will show your carrier if you have your SIM card installed.

Here is video of the process:

Unlocking Strategies That Don't Work

You will find on the web many references to a Cydia download called "Supreme Preferences," which now can no longer be found as a complete file. (There is a corrupt download available on cycia.myreposspace.blackstone.) There are other applications that have been suggested, like "Advanced Preferences" and "Extended Preferences," but neither of these won't do the job of unlocking your phone. So, don't waste your time with these strategies!


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    • Randy M. profile image

      Randy McLaughlin 4 years ago from Liberia, Costa Rica

      Honestly Maren, sometimes this stuff can drive me bonkers. When I find a solution that works, I share it. Regarding carriers and smart phones, you may want to get an unlocked phone and a prepaid plan to save $.

    • Maren Morgan M-T profile image

      Maren Elizabeth Morgan 4 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Dang, I am glad that you understand all this, Randy, because it drives me bonkers. I am about to get my first smartphone and i am indecisive about carriers, let alone hardware!