Twilight Zone Friday – April15th

What is the worst nightmare of IT admins and users alike?

Losing your data  – with no backup.

So what did we learn?

Sometimes it is not a hacker with some mechanism to get you to fork over money…In the following story some people are setting their phones to 1970, for which the phone or tablet is incapable of operating and thus unfortunately becomes unusable (hence the word Bricking your phone).

The news story¹ says an enterprising individual² has set their iPhone to 1970(Youtube video)  and “Bricked” it.  Brick means it is not possible to recover the phone with standard reboots – it essentially empty now. (i.e. unusable.)


What is so weird about these stories is that Bricking the phone is bad but the phone can be recovered.



Of course why would you want to change your date back to 1970? A malicious hacker would not receive any money from destroying your phone data. And let’s quell some rumors here where anything more serious can happen to your phone (like destroying the phone as in hardware is destroyed).

The phone will not be destroyed just the data on it as well as the operating system.  So to reuse the phone you have to reset the phone to factory default setting.  Because the standard method of resetting is to click a button in settings (since the phone is unusable) this is not possible. The other method to reset the iPhone is to use iTunes, but because the iPhone is not usable there is no way that works either.


Remember that each mobile machine (whether android or Apple) has firmware and you can get the phone to operate its DFU (Device Firmware Upgrade) mode, then you are homefree.


To get into the DFU mode (for iPhone usually you have to turn off the phone (power off)  while pressing some of the buttons (example: home button and the button on top) plug into computer(usb). As the phone is off now click the top button until it turns on. When the screen starts to flicker press both buttons again for 2 seconds.

Now release the top button and hold the bottom button for 15 seconds. must count at this point.


You can see this procedure is not for the faint of heart.

  1. turn phone off while pressing 2 buttons
  2. plug into computer (download new firmware)
  3. turn phone on while holding top button down
  4. when screen starts to flicker press both buttons 2 sec
  5. release top button hold bottom for 15 sec (count) cant see anything on screen
  6. should be on or turning on – installing firmware now.



You must have some patience and capability to work a computer as well as now you have to load the new firmware from the computer to the phone.


But in the Twilight Zone of all the main stream media outlets the phone is unusable and you need to buy a new one.

So this is why I say it is the twilight zone…. at least for April 15th – next week is a different story – since us Humans do not remember things well ( especially in the media).








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