Unlocking the 3G iPhone on 3.1 firmware using PwnageTool in Expert mode
Page 1 of 2
Who is this guide for?
All 3G iPhones.
Any firmware version, however your modem firmware must be 4.26.08. If you have 5.11.07 modem
firmware then launch Cydia and install a program called Fuzzyband. If you have the 5.08 bootloader,
then this program can downgrade your modem firmware back to 4.26.08 so that you can unlock.
Make sure to Sync your iPhone prior to using this tutorial. This way your personal information, and any App Store
applications will be preserved.
Pwned (previously jailbroken) or not.
I used iTunes version 9.
I used OS X 10.6.1
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 and 3G iPhones. You can
visit their website here,
and their blog here.
You might want to read this article
over at The Unofficial Apple Weblog, which discusses all the problems people are having with 3.1
firmware who are not jailbroken. There are several links to the Apple support forums where there
are discussions about these problems. You might also want to read
at the Apple support forums as well.
Download PwnageTool 3.1 from the iPhone Dev Team's download link list
You can also download the SHA1 verified file from me
If you haven't already downloaded 3.1 firmware from Apple, then you can
download it here.
Note: Safari likes to open "safe" files by default. You must turn this feature off for this
download to work correctly. Click "Safari", select "Preferences", from the "Geneal" tab uncheck
the box that says "Open "safe" files after downloading". Otherwise just use Firefox to download
this firmware file.
You should now have these two icons on your desktop. If your firmware file ends in .zip, then
click on the firmware icon and remove the .zip extension from the file name. Confirm this change
when you receive a pop up message warning.
Note: iTunes is not open at this point. It can be if you want, but I find it gets in the way.
Double click the PwnageTool_3.1.dmg. It will open the window seen below. Install PwnageTool.
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.
If you have
a previous installation of PwnageTool, then overwrite it.
Launch PwnageTool. Make sure the Expert mode button in the top left corner is selected. Click the
iPhone on the right.
You should get a green check mark on the iPhone you selected. Click the blue arrow button in the
lower right corner.
PwnageTool will search for the 3.1 firmware on your computer.
When it displays the firmware file, click on it. Multiple firmwares may be displayed, so make
sure you select the correct one. Then click the blue arrow in the lower right corner.
You will be at this screen and have many choices you can make. Click on General. Then click the
blue arrow at the bottom.
At the General Settings screen, if you are using an authorized carrier, then do not check the box
for Activate the phone. If you are not using an authorized carrier (i.e. you want to unlock), then
check the box for Activate the phone.
Note: If you are interested in having push notifications working (I don't use this so I can't attest
to it), you will need to activate your iPhone with an official SIM. Push does not work on
hacktivated iPhones. So when using PwnageTool you will need to uncheck the activate Phone box.
You can also increase your root partition size to accommodate
lots of Cydia applications and themes, et cetera. Click the blue arrow in the lower right corner
when you have made your choice(s).
At the Bootneuter settings screen there is nothing to do. Click the blue arrow in the lower right
Based on Saurik's advice (the creator of Cydia), I ignore the Cydia settings screen in PwnageTool.
It is better to install any applications you need from Cydia directly. I've found problems when
using this screen to automatically install programs. Just click the blue arrow in the lower right
corner, to continue to the next screen.
Here you can decide whether or not to install Cydia, or Icy. After you've made your choices,
click the blue arrow in the lower right corner.
At the Custom logos settings screen, you can choose to use the suggested images by leaving their
boxes checked, or uncheck them and use the stock images. If you check the boxes you can click on
Browse... to add your own images in their place. Click the blue arrow in the lower right corner when
Here is the boot graphic I like to use. It is 320 by 480 in size. It has a one pixel, transparent border on all
sides. All you have to do is paste in your 318 by 478 image onto it and center it. Then just save the image with
the transparency intact and your image will work. Make sure your saved image is 100kb or less.
Finally, click the Build button and the blue arrow in the lower right corner.
Name your custom firmware file, and select where to save it.
You will now see this screen while your custom .ipsw is assembled. This stage is about three minutes long.
If you should receive a failure message, then start over. Close and restart the PwnageTool program.
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.
Has your iPhone been Pwned before? If you answer no, then you will be guided through placing the
iPhone into DFU mode. If you answer yes, you will be told to place the iPhone into restore mode and
then connect to iTunes to use your custom firmware. If you do decide to answer yes, I find it much
easier just to leave the iPhone on and operating normally. Connect it to iTunes, then press your
Option key on your keyboard then click the Restore button in iTunes to install your custom firmware.
I am selecting no at this point to demonstrate how to get into DFU mode.
First turn off your iPhone. iTunes may open (it won't if it wasn't running before now),
you can just drag it out of the way.
You will then have 5 seconds to press and hold both the Power (sleep/wake) and Home buttons. Don't
do this until told to though.
You will then press and continue to hold both the Power (sleep/wake) and Home buttons for 10 seconds.
You will be prompted to release the Power (sleep/wake) button.
Continue holding the Home button for 10 seconds.
You are now in DFU mode. Click OK. The iPhone's screen will appear black, but it is actually on.