How to use PwnageTool (Simple mode) with 1st generation iPhones to install 2.1 firmware

intel Mac & PPC


Who is this guide for?
  • 1st generation iPhones.
  • Official contract, or not.
  • Activated or not.
  • Pwned or not.
  • Any firmware version (I used iPhones running 1.1.4 and 2.1 firmware for this tutorial).
  • iTunes 8.0 must be installed.
  • I used OS X 10.5.5.



Thanks again go out to the iPhone Dev Team for providing this amazing, and FREE program for jailbreaking, activating, unlocking, and customizing the 1st generation iPhones. You can visit their website here. This process will also install Cydia and Installer, which are the de facto standards for installing third party applications specifically for jailbroken iPhones.

BigBoss has compiled a FAQ for issues with firmwares 2.x here.



Step 1.

If your iPhone is showing this on its screen...

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Then skip to Step 3.






Step 2.

Turn on your iPhone, and connect it to your Mac. You should sync your iPhone so that you will have a backup of all your personal information (phone book contacts, et cetera). You can learn more about the iPhone syncing process at this Apple support page.

Launch iTunes, it may begin the sync process automatically (depending on your settings). Note: I will be using cropped iTunes screens after this image, for better readability.

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Once the sync has finished, click the Info tab. You can choose to sync your address book contacts (and online contacts), iCal calendars, e-mail accounts, and your Safari bookmarks. Check the boxes for all the options you want.

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Now click the Ringtones tab. Select what you want to sync here.

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Now click the Music tab. My entire music library won't fit on my iPhone, so I made a scaled down playlist for it. Don't forget about your music videos.

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Click the Photos tab, and make your selections.

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Click the Podcasts tab next, and make your choices.

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Click the Video tab. You can sync your rented iTunes movies, TV shows, and your personal videos here.

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Finally, click the Applications tab. Note: Sometimes people have problems with their applications not working correctly (this is an iTunes/App Store issue, not a jailbreaking issue), so if you check the All applications button and you have a problem, sync again, and check Selected applications (and select them all manually) to see if this solves the problem.

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Once all of your choices have been made, click the Apply button to sync your iPhone.

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Watch the status window in iTunes, it will display everything you chose to sync.

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You should also see a sync message on your iPhone. Sync time will vary depending on the amount of data iTunes must backup.

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Step 3.

Download PwnageTool 2.1 from me here, or via the iPhone Dev Team's download link list here. If you already have an earlier version of PwnageTool, you can update it to the latest version from within the program itself.

Download the 3.9 and 4.6 bootloaders from the Internet. You'll have to find them yourself, I won't provide them.

If you haven't already downloaded iPhone 2.1 firmware from Apple, then you can download it here.



Step 4.

Install PwnageTool by double clicking the .dmg file you downloaded.

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Make sure to drag the program icon from the disk image into your Applications folder! Do not attempt to run the program from the disk image window, it will cause problems.

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Launch PwnageTool and click OK at the copyright screen. Make sure the Simple mode graphic (with Harpo Marx's face) is selected. Click the iPhone graphic on the left.

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There should be a checkmark on the iPhone now. Click the blue arrow to continue

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When the firmware appears in the window, click on it.

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There should be a check on the firmware now. Click the blue arrow to continue.

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You should now see a message about the 3.9 bootloader file being missing (unless you've previously installed the bootloaders into PwnageTool). You downloaded the bootloaders earlier. Click No, since you have this file on your computer already.

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The next prompt will ask if you'd like to browse for the bootloader. Click Yes.

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Navigate to where you decompressed the bootloader download. Select the BL-39.bin file and click Open.

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You should now see a message about the 4.6 bootloader file being missing. Click No, since you have this file on your computer already.

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The next prompt will ask if you'd like to browse for the bootloader. Click Yes.

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Navigate to where you decompressed the bootloader download. Select the BL-46.bin file and click Open.

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Click Yes at this prompt.

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If you have an official contract on your iPhone, then you must answer Yes, otherwise your iPhone will not activate correctly. If you want to have an unlocked iPhone, or have one already, then select No.

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Your custom firmware file will now be built. This will take several minutes.

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You will be prompted to enter your system password. There is nothing nefarious in this request, the reason it is asking is because it is creating your firmware and running commands as the root account (or superuser) on your computer. There are various processes where unmounting and mounting of a file systems is necessary. This is performed while using a system UID of 0 which causes the prompt for a system password. The root access is only for the creation of the ipsw file. So it's completely harmless.

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Make your choice here. Note: If your iPhone was unactivated (like the picture in Step 1, then answer No.)

If you select Yes, then go to Step 5 next.   If you select No, then skip to Step 6 next.

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Step 5.

You will be prompted to close the PwnageTool program and put your iPhone into recovery mode and then restore with iTunes.

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Click OK. Then close the PwnageTool program.

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Put the iPhone into recovery (restore) mode by doing the following: with the iPhone off, press and hold the Home button, and then plug the iPhone into your Mac.

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You should now see this on your iPhone.

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Skip to Step 7.



Step 6.

Follow the prompts to enter DFU mode. It will walk you through it step by step and even give you countdowns when you must do certain things. First turn off your iPhone.

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Get ready to press and hold both the Sleep/Wake (power) button and the Home button.

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Press and hold both the Sleep/Wake (power) button and the Home button for 10 seconds.

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Release just the power button.

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Continue to hold the Home button for another 10 seconds.

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You are successful. Click OK.

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You can close the PwnageTool program now.

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Step 7.

Launch iTunes. Note: When I did this using an iPhone that had never been Pwned before (it was also running 1.1.4 firmware), I received this pop up. This did not happen on my previously Pwned iPhone (on 2.1 firmware).

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Dismiss the pop up message and continue below.

You will get a pop up about your iPhone being in recovery mode. Dismiss this pop up message.

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iTunes should look like this (your serial number may or may not be displayed). Press the Option key on your Mac, then click the Restore button in iTunes.

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Now navigate to your desktop where the custom firmware file was placed. Make sure it says custom in the filename, so that you don't restore to the stock firmware file.

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Put this custom file in a safe place so that you can use it again if you need to. Should you need to restore again in the future to a jailbroken state you can use this file. If you want to return to a factory state, then use the stock firmware file.

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Various status messages will appear during the restore process.

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Your iPhone's screen should light up black, then change to white, then you will see the Pwnapple logo appear. Then a spinning wheel will appear.

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Once the restore process has finished you will get this message.

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When the iPhone has booted up, BootNeuter 2.1 will launch automatically (I am displaying version 2.0). In my case, since I was already unlocked, there was nothing for it to do but reboot the iPhone.


iPhone       iPhone


iPhone       iPhone



If you were not already unlocked, you will see these screens right after the iPhone reboots. iTunes will prompt you to set up your iPhone at this point. Do not touch iTunes while BootNeuter is running!

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iPhone       iPhone




Step 8.

The iPhone will reboot again and it will be activated and unlocked. Cydia and Installer are on the springboard.

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iTunes will prompt you to set up your iPhone. This is your opportunity to resync your settings. Make your selection and click Continue.

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Another status bar pop up message will appear.

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You will also see this message while you are restoring.

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Another pop up will confirm your settings were restored.

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The iPhone will reboot. iTunes may sync the iPhone again automatically.

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iTunes will confirm you are on 2.1 firmware.

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