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White Apple Logo Screen of Death Stops iPhones in Their Tracks

White Apple Logo Screen of Death Stops iPhones in Their Tracks

Apple's Discussion boards are buzzing with a huge problem affecting many users of iPhone OS 2.0 and 2.0.1. People are starting to call it: "White Apple Logo Screen of Death."

The problem manifests itself during an app install or update. During either process something interrupts the iPhone and/or iTunes from completing the task. Then the iPhone spontaneously reboots. The screen goes dark, comes back on, displays the Apple Logo, and at some point the iPhone boots and it's file system mounts. The file system mounting is noted by two short vibrations, beeps or both. The phone actually appears in iTunes and if you have an App on your Mac like Phoneview - you can actually browse the iPhone's media. iTunes will also display the "beachball" and stop responding. iTunes usually has to be force quit in order to get it to respond by relaunching it. The iPhone unfortunately never boots past the Apple Logo. Most users panic at this point considering the iPhone to be "bricked. "

Many people are encountering this problem regardless of whether or not the install or update is being done on the iPhone itself or from iTunes. There simply is no rhyme or reason to it and it's not the fault of any particular App. The worst part is that since some people think their iPhones are "bricked" they return it to the Apple Store. However, replacement phones exhibit the same problem.

If you fall victim to this bug, you have to perform a complete restore on the iPhone. This is a process that can take hours because of inordinately lengthy backup and sync times. Rest assured that usually your iPhone is not "bricked" only stuck in some kind of endless loop. In order to break this loop you need to do a factory restore of the iPhone.

A factory restore is accomplished by pressing and holding Sleep/Wake and Home until the iPhone resets. When the Apple logo appears release Sleep/Wake, but do not release Home until you see the prompt to connect the iPhone to iTunes. You then have to restore the iPhone's firmware, all your settings, all your media, and all your Apps. During this process you are offered an attempt to recover your iPhone from a backup. Unfortunately, backups are just as bug ridden and very unreliable. Users may encounter an error message indicating that a previously valid backup is corrupt.

Our recommendation is as such: Perform app updates singly and do not use the "Update All" feature, and don't perform any other tasks on your iPhone while the update process is taking place.

Requests for comments from Apple Retail and Apple public releations went unanswered at press time.