#ipsw

Posted by Charles Edge on August 28th, 2014

For many iOS deployment projects, iTunes is used as the primary deployment vehicle for the devices. iTunes can be used to “Backup” and “Restore” an iPad, similar to how you image desktop and laptop computers.

The actual deployment process is straight forward. First we’ll create a backup in iTunes. Then we can deploy the backup using the Restore option within iTunes. Provided the backup is encrypted, the Restore option will maintain the maximum amount of data available. For example, if a device has been activated then the fact that it has been activated is maintained across a restore. As are the applications that are installed on the device.

To Create an iTunes Backup:

  • Open iTunes and dock the device with the master configuration.
    iTunes To Backup

    iTunes To Backup

  • Check the box to “Encrypt local backup.”
  • At the Set Password screen, provide a password for the encrypted backup.
    iTunes Backup Password

    iTunes Backup Password

  • In order to ease restore, check the box for “Remember this password in my keychain (passwords are set to user names).
  • Control-click on the name of the device in the DEVICES section.
  • Click on “Back up”.
    Immediate iTunes Backup

    Immediate iTunes Backup

  • If prompted, click Set Password (subsequent backups will not require passwords).

Restoring with iTunes

To Restore an iTunes Backup:

  • Open iTunes and dock the device to be restored.
  • Control-click on the device.
  • Click “Restore from Backup”
    iTunes Restore

    iTunes Restore

  • At the “Restore From Backup” screen, select the name used in the previous backup.
    Choose iTunes Restore Device

    Choose iTunes Restore Device

  • Click Restore.

    Authenticate to Restore from iTunes

    Authenticate to Restore from iTunes

  • If prompted, enter the Password.
    iTunes Restored a Device

    iTunes Restored a Device

  • Rename the iPad once the restore process is complete.
  • Once the Restore is complete, if prompted to “Set Up Your iPad”, uncheck the Automatically sync songs and videos to my iPad box and “Automatically sync apps to my iPad”, putting the students Active Directory name in the Name field and clicking Done

Posted by Charles Edge on August 28th, 2014

Recently, I needed to test the behavior of some really awesome code (for Bushel) during a major iOS upgrade process (after all, you want to know your stuff works with every version of OS X!). The device was running the latest version of iOS and we needed to use an ipsw to load a specific version of the OS. This task isn’t as obvious as it might seem to be.

Usually we use Apple Configurator for running a lot of updates, but didn’t want to restore the device. So we ended up using iTunes to do a simple upgrade of the device. Before we did anything else, we backed up the device, as you should always do when you’re about to do something on an iOS device (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch).

After backing up the device, here’s what we did:

  • Download the ipsw file from Apple for that specific device
  • Connect the device (make sure Configurator isn’t open, enter a passcode if needed and then launch iTunes
  • Click on the device in iTunes (You might need to show sidebar if you don’t initially see it)
  • Click on the Summary tab

    Upgrade Using an IPSW

    Upgrade Using an IPSW

  • Option-Click on Check for Update (Alt-Click on Windows)Screen Shot 2014-08-28 at 11.17.47 AM
  • Select the ipsw previously downloaded
  • When prompted, click Update
  • When the device reboots, wait for the status bar and you should be all done

And that’s it. Basically, iTunes is still a very valid deployment tool for certain tasks you want to accomplish with iOS based devices. Overall, it’s easy to use and can be used to do a lot of tasks other, more complicated tools, are often used for. So good luck testing your apps and with your upgrades!