How to Update iPod Touch to 3.1.1 Firmware For Free


Well, I’ve been using my iPod Touch for quite some time now.  I’ve had to upgrade the software every once in a while and that was a bit of a problem.  As noted earlier, the upgrade files are huge and it’s not something that I can do over my local library’s wireless network.

So anyway Apple announced the iPhone & iPod Touch Firmware 3.0 upgrade awhile back.  Only one problem: For the regular iPod’s and the iPhone units, the upgrade was free.  For those with an iPod Touch, the upgrade was ten bucks.  Few folks upgraded, especially considering that some said it wasn’t much of an upgrade.

Anyway, after recently getting a few “You need to upgrade your OS” messages when trying to install or upgrade new iPhone applications, I decided to finally go ahead, bite the bullet and get the upgrade.  Especially since the OS is now up to 3.1.1.  Still though the poor wireless connection here in the library was a factor.  Like before, I had to work out a method to grab the files via a different method than the iTunes interface as the upgrade file tops out at about 245 megs or so.  Again, my only choice was a manual upgrade to the 3.1.1 firmware.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Download and install iTunes 9 and whatever version of Quicktime that comes along with it.  I’m stuck with doing that through the web which isn’t a good solution for me.  The complete download was about 70 megs and it took a couple of tries.  I wish Apple would do a direct download for that software.
  2. Grab the restore firmware file you’ll need for the specific generation of iPhone or iPod Touch that you have.  Last time I posted links but I’ve discovered that Apple changes them every so often so instead I’m going to link you to this website: iPod and iPhone Firmware Download.  Make sure you grab the correct file for the specific generation version of iPod that you have.  The iPod Touch links are after the iPhone ones.  That confused me the first time.  Don’t know what you have?  There’s a form on that page where you enter the last three digits of your unit’s serial number and the site will tell you.
  3. Connect your iPod to your computer.
  4. Start iTunes (Remember: This is after you’ve upgraded iTunes in the first step.) and select your iPod unit from the Devices List along the left.
  5. While holding down your Shift key, press the Restore button on your screen within iTunes.  That’s important as you’re telling that you want to use a local restore instead of downloading one.
  6. You’ll get a popup asking for the location of your iPod Touch ipsw files that you downloaded in Step 2.  Gotta be there somewhere. 😉
  7. Let it run.  Don’t disconnect anything.  It’s going to take a while and reboot the iPod a few times. 

I’m torn on if I like the upgrade myself.  For me, the new Search page is actually an annoyance as I don;t have the need to search that often.  Plus I’m used to flipping with my thumb back to the first page of icons.  Now doing that brings me past the icons and to the search screen so I have to flip backward if I flip too many times.

Make sure you do a backup first of your files.  Some of the videos that I had on my iPod were not accessible after the upgrade.  Had to reinstall them afterwards. 

I hope this helps someone.  Please let me know how things work out for you.

Manual Updating Your Iphone and Ipod Touch to the latest 2.2.1 firmware

ipod-touchI’ve found this in a couple different places on the net but none that I saw had the complete instructions on how to do this.  So, this is my attempt to provide some decent instructions on how to update your iPod Touch or iPhone to the latest 2.2.1 firmware.

If you’ve tried to do this already within iTunes, you may have noticed that the upgrade is big.  Very big.  Over 280 megs in size for me.  The annoying part about it though is my connection to Apple’s servers is less than stellar.  I was averaging a 2 hour download and, with the local library’s internet connection flaky, it kept timing out over and over again.  And again.

The solution is a manual upgrade.  The problem is that some fancy Googleing doesn’t show any real documentation on the iPod or iPhone support sites over at Apple.  At least I didn’t find anything.

Part 1: Grab the Goods

The first part of the solution is obtaining the files.  For this, you need to figure out where the files are on the Apple servers.  The folks over at Live Crunch have provided them for us:

iPhone 2G

Download Firmware 2.2.1 – iPhone1,1_2.2.1_5H11_Restore.ipsw

iPhone 3G

Download Firmware 2.2.1 – iPhone1,2_2.2.1_5H11_Restore.ipsw

iPod Touch 1G

Download Firmware 2.2.1 – iPod1,1_2.2.1_5H11_Restore.ipsw

iPod Touch 2G

Download Firmware 2.2.1 – iPod2,1_2.2.1_5H11a_Restore.ipsw

Now one of the questions I had was what version of the iPod Touch did I have?  I found out that since my model has an internal speaker, (I can hear audio when I play something if the headset isn’t plugged in) I have the iPod Touch 2G version.  If you’re lucky enough to have an iPhone, the 2G has a metal back to the case while the 3G has a plastic one.

So anyway, since I’m using Firefox, all I have to do is a right click on the link followed by a “Save File As…” to save the file somewhere I can find it later.  To be honest though, I still had time out errors as before, even though not running the file through iTunes made it come down a lot faster.  Actually had to log into the server here and pull it via a get command followed up ftping the file back to the laptop.  Lots of fun.

Before anyone asks, it doesn’t matter if you’re using a Mac or Windows.  The upgrade file is the same.

Part 2: Do the Deed

Getting the file is actually the hard part.  Doing the upgrade is fairly easy.  Connect your device to whatever computer has your affiliated copy of iTunes.  For me, it’s the laptop since I usually have both with me every day.

Anyway, fire up iTunes and wait for everything to handshake. Normally to upgrade, you would click on the icon for your device followed by the Update button.  This time it’s going to be a bit different though, depending on what you’re using for a computer.  If you’re on a Windows based PC, hold down the Shift key on your keyboard while clicking on the Upgrade button.  If you’re on a Mac, you have to hold down the Option key while clicking on the Upgrade button.

iTunes will then permit you to browse to the location of the downloaded file and will use that instead of downloading it from the Apple upgrade servers.

This saves a lot of time as well if you’re lucky enough to have a couple of iPods.

Hope this helps. 🙂

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edit: After writing this, I found a couple of sites that says you have to hold down the Alt key on a PC when clicking on the Upgrade button.  To be honest, I don’t remember which one I held down.  I believe it was the shift key and have left it that way in the article.  If that doesn’t work for you, please try again but with the other key.

I’ve officially become a techie


If you’re not one of the people I’ve emailed from this thing, I received a special Christmas gift from my attorney this year.  She sent me an 8gig iPod Touch.  She had wanted to send me an iPhone but there was no way I could budget the monthly connection fees. 

I have to admit that I really like it and use it a lot.  It’s a pain to dig out the laptop whenever I have to check email or server status.  Being able to listen to some music while I do my walks is a plus. (The 2gig I picked up recently just didn’t cut it.  Plus not having a menu was a pain.)

Typing on the digital keypad although I’m getting better.  Hitting the right key is kind of hard for me.  My fingers slide around too much.  Still trying to figure out how the directions work with starting at your current location.  I’ll work it out though.

I really like Stanza though. I’m plowing through books like crazy.  Recently read the March Upcountry series by David Weber. (Man, that was a pain to find a decent link for that.) Currently going through the 2001 series by Arthur C. Clarke.  The screen seems fairly small but it’s not too hard to read.

The only real problem I’m having with it, outside of the keypad size, is not being able to listen to video while walking.  Usually when I’m walking, I can lock it so touch the panel won’t stop the music or upset it.  Can’t do that with video though.  If you lock the iPod Touch while video is playing, the video stops.  Kind of annoying.

I’ve dropped it like 9 times so far.  The bottom left corner’s chipped.  I have to find a cover for it someday soon.

So what did everybody else get for the holidays?

So much for going paper free

Oh, sure. The iPhone is God’s gift to nerds who lack basic manners and they’re buying them by the ton. Folks are having issues though with the phone. Sure, the price drop didn’t make many people happy even though they’re getting that $100 credit back. I personally would rather have the cash but I guess at least something back is better than nothing.

But there’s a down side. Folks are getting their first bills. Large bills. Not in money but in paperwork. Take a look at this video as she explains her bill.

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