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Discuss Activated vs Not Activated Custom Firmware at the iPhone 3GS - Hackint0sh.org; Hi guys, I've read everything I can on this subject but I'm still confused. Say, ...
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    Default Activated vs Not Activated Custom Firmware

    Hi guys,

    I've read everything I can on this subject but I'm still confused. Say, I have an AT&T iPhone 3GS with unlockable baseband. What's the difference between the following two scenarios:

    1) Installing Non Activated custom firmware and then ultrasn0w
    2) Installing Activated custom firmware

    Some specific questions:

    - Is the Activated custom firmware pre-unlocked or do you still need ultrasn0w to unlock it?

    - Why a need for Non Activated custom firmware? Specifically, why can't I use my AT&T sim card with the Activated custom firmware?



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    Quote Originally Posted by anontemp123 View Post
    I've read everything I can on this subject but I'm still confused.
    Have you read: http://www.hackint0sh.org/f137/32703.htm ? it's old but still very useful.


    Quote Originally Posted by anontemp123 View Post
    Say, I have an AT&T iPhone 3GS with unlockable baseband. What's the difference between the following two scenarios:

    1) Installing Non Activated custom firmware and then ultrasn0w
    This won't help/work/be useful if you are using an AT&T SIM - however if you swap to a non AT&T SIM, your phone will continue to work. I would suggest using an ultrasn0w SBSettings toggle to disable (or just uninstall ultrasn0w) when you are using an AT&T SIM otherwise ultrasn0w will just get in the way.

    Quote Originally Posted by anontemp123 View Post
    Installing Activated custom firmware
    This is an extremely common n00bie mistake for people who have a legitimate way to activate their phone. Simple answer, your phone won't work as a phone - even if you install ultrasn0w.
    If you have a SIM card that can activate your phone via iTunes (and it's not a 2G iPhone) then you don't want to touch hacktivation at all.



    Quote Originally Posted by anontemp123 View Post
    Is the Activated custom firmware pre-unlocked or do you still need ultrasn0w to unlock it?
    No it isn't pre-unlocked, it is just hacktivated (pwnagetool includes the option to bundle cydia packages - including ultrasn0w into the custom IPSW - but this is an advanced option - it is not the default)

    Quote Originally Posted by anontemp123 View Post
    Why a need for Non Activated custom firmware? Specifically, why can't I use my AT&T sim card with the Activated custom firmware?
    With jailbreaking, it's best to only patch the essential things that need to be patched. If something can be made to work the way Apple intended it (without extra patches) then it's best to keep it that way. If you have a SIM card that can activate your phone via iTunes (and it's not a 2G iPhone) then you avoid some of the "gotchas" that can occur with hacktivation. The biggest gotcha is the certificates issued during activation, these should be unique for each activation. Hacktivation uses the same certificate on every device. This has historically caused problems with push notifications, the maps app, youtube and potentially other functions. There are solutions for these "gotchas" but not all solutions are applied automatically.

    In my opinion - Pwnagetool should start to include the option to auto-bundle a special cutdown version of SAM and the regular ultrasn0w into the IPSW. This would remove the hacktivation requirement for 99% of users.
    Of course, bundling two external programs that need to be regularly updated when Apple makes changes that might break these tools is a maintenance and support nightmare. So the dev team likely will never do this.
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    I used PwnageTool to create a custom non-activated 4.2.1 IPSW that would preserve my baseband. I flashed this IPSW to the device. Upon bootup, the iPhone was at the slide for emergency screen because the phone was unactivated. I then jailbreaked and installed Cydia via redsn0w. After the jailbreak, the iPhone would boot to the home screen. How could this be without activating the phone? Does redsn0w automatically hacktivate?

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    Redsn0w autodetects if it needs to hacktivate. It uses the SIM card inserted in the phone during jailbreak to autodetect whether to hacktivate or not.

    If you have for example an AT&T locked phone and an AT&T sim inserted, redsn0w will NOT hacktivate.
    An AT&T locked phone with a non AT&T simcard inserted, redsn0w WILL hacktivate
    I've not tested it - but I think I remember that no sim inserted during jailbreak will also trigger hacktivation.
    Please read the stickies & search forum before posting!
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    I didn't have a SIM card in my 3GS, so that means redsn0w does hacktivate phones without SIM cards.

    So I jailbreaked (and hacktivated) with redsn0w. Then I installed ultrasn0w, and then SAM. I then ran redsn0w and selected the "Deactivate" option. Once the iPhone rebooted, I was still able to get to the home screen. Since I didn't end up at the slide for emergency screen, does this mean the Deactivation didn't work? Later, I went to Settings->SAM and did "De-activate iPhone (Clear Push)" and still I didn't end up at the slide for emergency screen after reboot.


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    If you don't remove the hacktivation then the phone just auto-hacktivates the next time the phone is restarted.
    So the options you are choosing are just clearing the existing activation (or not working at all).
    Please read the stickies & search forum before posting!
    How to report an iTunes restore/update fail in a useful manner
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    Some more clarifications:

    1) If I have an AT&T SIM card, activate my phone regularly, and have ultrasn0w active, will the phone receive service?

    2) If I hacktivate an AT&T phone (because I don't have a SIM card at the time), have ultrasn0w active, and later insert an AT&T SIM card, will the phone receive service?

    3) If I hacktivate an AT&T phone, have ultrasn0w active, pseudo-activate with SAM, and later insert an AT&T SIM card, will the phone receive service?

    I like to try to understand conceptually what's happening, but I can't wrap my head around why an AT&T phone that's unlocked with ultrasn0w isn't able to work with an AT&T SIM card. If it's unlocked, it should work with any carrier, right?

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    Quote Originally Posted by anontemp123 View Post
    If I have an AT&T SIM card, activate my phone regularly, and have ultrasn0w active, will the phone receive service?
    I have not personally ever tested this (but it should work). However I recommend you temporarily disable ultrasn0w via the SBSettings toggle - there is no point having extra software running that isn't necessary at this point.

    Quote Originally Posted by anontemp123 View Post
    2) If I hacktivate an AT&T phone (because I don't have a SIM card at the time), have ultrasn0w active, and later insert an AT&T SIM card, will the phone receive service?
    No, you will need to remove the hacktivation and re-activate via iTunnes (preferably with ultrasn0w also disabled)

    Quote Originally Posted by anontemp123 View Post
    If I hacktivate an AT&T phone, have ultrasn0w active, pseudo-activate with SAM, and later insert an AT&T SIM card, will the phone receive service?
    SAM only works if the phone is not hacktivated. You need to remove the hacktivation before SAM becomes useful. In this case it *might* work, I actually asked the developer of SAM about this example - he said that it should work, but because it randomizes the ICCID you might be asked to "register/sign up for a new AT&T service" in iTunes even though the SIM you use is linked to an active or inactive iPhone account.

    Quote Originally Posted by anontemp123 View Post
    I like to try to understand conceptually what's happening, but I can't wrap my head around why an AT&T phone that's unlocked with ultrasn0w isn't able to work with an AT&T SIM card. If it's unlocked, it should work with any carrier, right?
    You are mixing the concepts associated with the SIM/Phone unlock into the concepts related to Apple's activation via iTunes. These are two very different concepts (despite the perception that they seem to occur during the same "activation process" when you first connect your phone to iTunes after a restore)

    One of the now-forgotten innovations with the iPhone was that you didn't need to wait in a teclco's/reseller's store while they sent off activation paperwork (for credit check etc)
    Instead you could buy the phone, be out of the store in a few minutes and handle the activation, credit check and selection of plan from iTunes.
    The reality is that only AT&T have taken up this functionality and really pushed it fully (I haven't heard of any other carriers who really use this).

    This is part of why you need to "activate" in iTunes. What happens behind the scenes there could involve updating customer data about this SIM/phone with the carrier.

    All ultrasn0w gets around is the carrier lock, this is purely an on-the-phone functionality for preventing grey-market resale of carrier subsidised phones.
    Please read the stickies & search forum before posting!
    How to report an iTunes restore/update fail in a useful manner
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    iPhone 4 32GB (4.2.1, Redsn0w JB-monte) oldest SHSH 4.1
    iPhone 3GS 32GB (4.3.3; Pwnagetool) factory unlocked oldest SHSH 3.1
    iPhone 8GB (3.1.3; Pwnagetool) AT&T Locked - Unlocked with bootneuter

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    Thanks so much for your exhaustive replies. So, if I am understanding you correctly, you can never use a non-AT&T iPhone 3GS on the AT&T network, even if that iPhone has been properly activated on its original network and then unlocked with ultrasn0w.

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    Quote Originally Posted by anontemp123 View Post
    Thanks so much for your exhaustive replies. So, if I am understanding you correctly, you can never use a non-AT&T iPhone 3GS on the AT&T network, even if that iPhone has been properly activated on its original network and then unlocked with ultrasn0w.
    No I wasn't saying that at all. All your questions were about an AT&T locked phone with an AT&T sim and how that combination related to ultrasn0w unlock/hacktivation. Now you have suddenly turned the questiona round and made a completely incorrect assumption.

    There is no technical barrier in using a non AT&T iPhone on the AT&T network with any AT&T SIM card (either officially unlocked via Apple or unofficially unlocked via ultrasn0w) that was activated via iTunes with a non AT&T SIM.

    The key is to activate via iTunes with a non AT&T SIM (or possibly also a deactivated AT&T SIM that previously had been used with an iPhone).

    However AT&T have mechanisms in place to detect iPhones that are not on their "iPhone approved data plans". Until now, I have only really heard of iPhones that were originally locked to AT&T being detected so I am unsure if AT&T can only detect iPhones originally sold via AT&T or if they can now detect iPhones that were sold in other countries.

    This mechanism is implemented in their network infrastructure and it may not be legal or even possible to block/defeat this.

    The people who are using an iPhone on a non-approved plan have been receiving threatening messages that they need to add the iPhone data plan.
    Please read the stickies & search forum before posting!
    How to report an iTunes restore/update fail in a useful manner
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    iPhone 4 32GB (4.2.1, Redsn0w JB-monte) oldest SHSH 4.1
    iPhone 3GS 32GB (4.3.3; Pwnagetool) factory unlocked oldest SHSH 3.1
    iPhone 8GB (3.1.3; Pwnagetool) AT&T Locked - Unlocked with bootneuter

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