back to article iPad bricked by iOS 9.3? Don't worry, we'll get through this together

Earlier this week, word broke of a bug in Apple's iOS 9.3 update that was leaving some iPad 2 tablets unable to function. We asked Reg readers if they had experienced this problem, and the responses came pouring in, along with tips for workarounds that at least let you use your iPad until Apple can come up with a fix. So, we' …

  1. PaulAb

    Apple application support

    I believe that many of those who have commented in this article are probably way over qualified for apple support roles, so is my cat, she pea'd on the ipad and it works better than ever as a door stop.

  2. cambsukguy

    Surely, it is never truly bricked?

    Usually, one plugs in to a computer, and then a restart while plugged in with an app on the PC specifically designed to send an interrupt code at a very early stage and hand control over to the app, which then flashes the device.

    Usually, that bit of flash is never changed, and thus can't be broken by an upgrade, boot-flash basically.

    I re-flashed a WP10 Lumia 1020 to WP8.1 just yesterday to give it to someone - WP10 is no good for regular use on a 1020 (yet at least). I think it is the same recovery tool (it is called a recovery tool after all).

    From five phones over 3 years and about 40 upgrades, I had one that got stuck. I left it all night and finally took it to a shop. They had several goes but did recover it - I guess the timing was a bit tight.

    The iPod I have to use for work is offering the upgrade, I presume it is OK for iPods but I see no benefit in doing the upgrade so it will sit waiting for as long as I can delay it.

    1. JeffyPoooh

      Keyword: "Usually"

      "Usually, that bit of flash is never changed, and thus can't be broken by an upgrade, boot-flash basically."

      They're human, so they'll eventually and inevitably succumb to the temptation to 'improve' the boot code, and they'll hard-brick half of them..

    2. KeithR

      "Surely, it is never truly bricked?"

      Does it really matter what they call it?

      Some Appleista on the other thread actually PULLED ME UP for repeating the word "bricked" used in that article - apparently it's "borked", not "bricked".


      Call it what you like - a lot of folk are royally stuffed right now.

      Arguing over the name we use to describe this stuffedness just stinks of defensive "special pleading".

    3. Velv

      That being the route in the FBI would like to take.

  3. Bob Vistakin

    Pay more, get less - that's thinking different all right.

    You're updating it wrong, iSuckers.

  4. TheOtherHobbes

    Mine took a few hours. I left it alone and it got there in the end.

    However, when I tried to update some apps it told me there wasn't space for them - even though there was. I had to sync them one by one instead of doing Update All.

    A bit pants really, but not a surprise considering the downward trend in the quality of Apple software.

    Why can't a company with so many billions in the bank manage a basic QA program?

  5. tempemeaty

    Dare I say it?

    Damn, this sounds just like a product/update by Microsoft.

    1. KeithR

      Re: Dare I say it?

      Except MS updates don't actually brick devices...

      Oh - sorry, BORK, not BRICK - because apparently the difference is important...

  6. chivo243 Silver badge

    30 updated

    We support hundreds of iPads, and I heard at the close of work yesterday that we had 30 updated to the latest, and no complaints, just before a long weekend. We'll see how this plays out when word resumes Tuesday. Glad the iPads aren't my monkeys...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: 30 updated

      iPad 2?

      1. chivo243 Silver badge

        Re: 30 updated

        I can't say they were part of the iPad 2 group. We have both, I only heard that 30 out of many were updated.

        It will be slightly funny if someone else needs to un-brick them...

  7. omikl

    It's very simple: Why test something when the punters will do it for you?

    My wife's iPad 2 WiFi & 3G "bricked". I eventually managed to get it back to 9.2.1 by the "Hold the buttons down while chanting" routing and, third time lucky, the restore actually worked.

    Extra points to Apple for sending out this borked update with the "Emergency security fixes!!! Install this or the World will end!!!" banner...

  8. 2+2=5 Silver badge


    > 'Yup, it's bricked. Have you jailbroken it? The best we can offer you is a $100 discount on a new one.'

    Hmm, I was thinking of upgrading. $100 off makes it tempting. Do you get to keep the brick?

  9. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

    Apple needs to fire bosses responsible for things like this.

    That should fix it for the future.

    1. chivo243 Silver badge

      There is no 'Wrath of Jobs" anymore, I think the C Levels feel very safe at this time. Cook doesn't seem to be the maniacal iron fist leader Steve was.

      There's nothing like a good round of firings to shake things up?

  10. Gideon 1

    This is all part of the cunning plan to persuade their customers to upgrade their devices. After all, they need the revenue.

  11. Richard Parkin

    No problem here

    I have an iPad2 on the beta channel and it updated without problems and an iPhone 4s also no problems, so it's a bit odd that it only affects some. What are you people installing on your iThings that borks them?

    1. Brian Miller

      Re: No problem here

      Gee, I only agreed to let great and glorious Apple install an update! Silly me, and now the company iPad wants me to enter information that nobody seems to know. What apps are on it? Test Flight and our beta software. No, the Mac Mini that I was given wasn't the one where the iPad was originally activated.

      Really, wasn't the iPad "activated" before the update? Will it download something automagically that will fix it? I have no idea.

  12. Seanie Ryan


    From one of the quotes in the article:

    " The only thing I can think of was the iPad had been stone cold dead for about a week before I performed a fresh download and restore"

    Considering the update came out Monday night/Tuesday morning UK time, I have to ask how that person managed to do the update, try the fixes, and then leave it for a week, and its only Friday now.

    Time-Travelling iPad?

    I have told everyone i ever met, at least a million times, to stop exaggerating

  13. Tikimon

    Managed to get an iphone past this

    One of my users approached me with this or a similar problem before I knew about it. They had allowed it to Update, and it was stuck on "cannot access the server" message. They had tried over the phone's data, and at least one WiFi point.

    I fired up my (Galaxy S5, Verizon) hotspot, got it connected there, and Voila! It finally contacted the CrApple servers and the user could access their phone again.

    This might or might not be relevant or useful, but when so many are so screwed, any possible option is worth sharing. Luck to ya.

  14. x 7

    the only thing required to upgrade an iPad or iPod is a big hammer

    1. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

      "the only thing required to upgrade an iPad or iPod is a big hammer"

      Obviously not, that would bork it. You must use the iHammer (you know, the one with the rounded edges). If we can agree on the terms you can borrow mine.

  15. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

    Speaking as a civil engineer I must confess that I kinda have a thing about bricks.

    1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

      Maybe Apple should introduce a frogged iPad?

  16. Anonymous Coward

    Must have been upgrading it wrong.

    Magical and game-changing

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This is almost as bad as

    Iphone Wave.

    Cue fried iDevices by id10Ts because they actually were stupid enough to try this.

    I had to restrain someone from putting their iPhone in the work microwave to "fast charge"...

    In other news, if you are unlucky enough to own a completely dead iPad Mini its possible to get it working again even if its beeping and/or deader than mutton even after being plugged in overnight.

    You will need: a soldering iron, two thin wires, spudgers, an external battery charger PCB good to about 150mA max and be skilled in the art of kludge-fu (tm)

    So far so good, managed to do a full cycle and so far the charge is holding, before it "full charged" in about 20 minutes from 2 lights up to 5.

  18. HKmk23

    Wow....our old iPad2 works great with 9.3

    No problems upgrading at all......whats I am it going die in a minute?

    My better half only uses it for Foolsbook and reading the Daily Fail so its not really stretched......

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Wouldn't it just be easier to buy a new iPad?

    Come on people, the iPad 2 isn't even retina! How can you see anything on screen? The upgrade's bound to fail on these old beasts - insufficient pixels I'd guess.

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