What to do when your iPad jailbreak fails

many ipads - for some reason we don't have an alt tag here

As I mentioned before I have 60 iPads at work that I have set about getting jailbroken and locked down. The first batch I was going to do was 20 of them. As I set about getting them done I figured out a system that was working very well. I got 8 iPads done without any issues. Then came the ninth one. Everything was going according to plan until I got to the very last step.

As I told you in this post jailbreaking is a pretty simple process. The program does all the work until it tells you to unlock your iPad and start up a new shortcut it placed on your home screen. That shortcut finishes out the jailbreak process. That is where I got stuck. The whole jailbreak process can take a long time if you have a lot of data on your iPad. Part of the jailbreaking process is a complete backup and restore. Since I am working with basically empty iPads, it was only taking a few minutes to actually do the jailbreak. After I let this one sit for about 25 minutes, I realized it wasn’t going to finish. It wouldn’t complete the last step.

I retried a couple different times, and it kept getting stuck. I did some Google searching and found a few helpful threads, but nothing that actually worked. At some point while I was trying different things I got it to work. At the time I really didn’t know exactly what I did to fix it. Then the 14th iPad got stuck at the same point, and the 17th one got stuck as well. By that third one that got stuck I figured out exactly how to finish it, and did it on the first try. That’s what I want to explain to you today.

Three iPads out of the 20 that I have jailbroken so far is a 15% stuck rate. I have no idea if that is a normal rate, and 20 is a pretty small number to know for sure, but 15% is a decent chance that if you decide to jailbreak your iPad, you might have a problem. If you do, the fix is pretty simple. Here’s what you do:

  • First close down Absinthe and open up iTunes. When your iPad shows up in iTunes, do a factory restore. Make sure you do a backup.
  • When the restore is complete, make sure you don’t do anything on your iPad yet.
  • Close iTunes and reopen Absinthe.
  • Run Absinthe to jailbreak your iPad.
  • After the final step completes your iPad should reboot and the Absinthe shortcut should disappear from your home screen.
  • When it is all said and done, you can then restore all your data using iTunes.
I don’t know exactly why that works, but it does. All of the iPads I have are basically identical so it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense that some work fine and others have issues. The bottom line is that when jailbreaking or rooting your tablets, your experience might be completely different than everyone else’s. That’s just the nature of software hacks. Hopefully if you do have a problem, then this will help you get it figured out.
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Bryan Faulkner

Bryan Faulkner is a former associate editor at Pocketables. He loves to find new ways to use his tablets while working as the Tech Director at his local church. Mixing sound from the iPad is his newest obsession. He currently has a pair of HP TouchPads, an iPad 2, a decommissioned HTC EVO 4G, and a Samsung Galaxy Note II to tinker with.

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