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Thread: For those with error 1638 (or "update server could not be contacted) error, try this

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I can't gaurantee this will work for everyone, but for those of you who, like myself, could not restore, update, or kept getting this error with there iphone connected to
...
  1. #1
    Green Apple
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    Default For those with error 1638 (or "update server could not be contacted) error, try this
    I can't gaurantee this will work for everyone, but for those of you who, like myself, could not restore, update, or kept getting this error with there iphone connected to iTunes, I hope this will help you. This post is for those of you who may have gotten an error 1638, or "The iPhone "" cannot be restored at this time because the iPhone software update server could not be contacted or is temporarily unvailable."

    LOL I was about to post a big long novel-like story about this whole thing, but I'll cut it all short. Not too many google searches seem to link to any particular fix for this. For me, it had to do with the hosts file. So I hope it is the same for you, and this fixes your problem as well.

    Open notepad as administrator, and direct yourself to:
    CWindows\System32\Drivers\etc
    open the file "Hosts" you should hopefully find something that looks like this:

    Code:
    # Copyright (c) 1993-2009 Microsoft Corp.
    #
    # This is a sample HOSTS file used by Microsoft TCP/IP for Windows.
    #
    # This file contains the mappings of IP addresses to host names. Each
    # entry should be kept on an individual line. The IP address should
    # be placed in the first column followed by the corresponding host name.
    # The IP address and the host name should be separated by at least one
    # space.
    #
    # Additionally, comments (such as these) may be inserted on individual
    # lines or following the machine name denoted by a '#' symbol.
    #
    # For example:
    #
    #      102.54.94.97     rhino.acme.com          # source server
    #       38.25.63.10     x.acme.com              # x client host
    
    # localhost name resolution is handled within DNS itself.
    #	127.0.0.1       localhost
    #	::1             localhost
    #	127.0.0.1 gs.apple.com
    note the "127.0.0.1 gs.apple.com" portion near the bottom. your hosts may be different, and if so, then look for that part specifically. the problem for me, lied within the fact that just before the "127.0.0.1 gs.apple.com" part, there originally was no hash(#) with the space like the rest of the hosts file. This was all I had to fix. After editing and then saving the hosts file in notepad. I restarted iTunes and the update went through without a hitch!

    so if you do not see the hash and space before the "127.0.0.1 gs.apple.com" part, all you have to do is put the #, and then press tab! I hope this works for some of you guys! If not then sorry if I wasted your time. Oh, and sorry as well, if this is not in the right spot. Admin please feel free to move it to correct topic.

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  3. #2
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    Smile hi there
    Quote Originally Posted by unvaluablespace View Post
    I can't gaurantee this will work for everyone, but for those of you who, like myself, could not restore, update, or kept getting this error with there iphone connected to iTunes, I hope this will help you. This post is for those of you who may have gotten an error 1638, or "The iPhone "" cannot be restored at this time because the iPhone software update server could not be contacted or is temporarily unvailable."

    LOL I was about to post a big long novel-like story about this whole thing, but I'll cut it all short. Not too many google searches seem to link to any particular fix for this. For me, it had to do with the hosts file. So I hope it is the same for you, and this fixes your problem as well.

    Open notepad as administrator, and direct yourself to:
    C:WindowsSystem32Driversetc
    open the file "Hosts" you should hopefully find something that looks like this:

    Code:
    # Copyright (c) 1993-2009 Microsoft Corp.
    #
    # This is a sample HOSTS file used by Microsoft TCP/IP for Windows.
    #
    # This file contains the mappings of IP addresses to host names. Each
    # entry should be kept on an individual line. The IP address should
    # be placed in the first column followed by the corresponding host name.
    # The IP address and the host name should be separated by at least one
    # space.
    #
    # Additionally, comments (such as these) may be inserted on individual
    # lines or following the machine name denoted by a '#' symbol.
    #
    # For example:
    #
    #      102.54.94.97     rhino.acme.com          # source server
    #       38.25.63.10     x.acme.com              # x client host
    
    # localhost name resolution is handled within DNS itself.
    #	127.0.0.1       localhost
    #	::1             localhost
    #	127.0.0.1 gs.apple.com
    note the "127.0.0.1 gs.apple.com" portion near the bottom. your hosts may be different, and if so, then look for that part specifically. the problem for me, lied within the fact that just before the "127.0.0.1 gs.apple.com" part, there originally was no hash(#) with the space like the rest of the hosts file. This was all I had to fix. After editing and then saving the hosts file in notepad. I restarted iTunes and the update went through without a hitch!

    so if you do not see the hash and space before the "127.0.0.1 gs.apple.com" part, all you have to do is put the #, and then press tab! I hope this works for some of you guys! If not then sorry if I wasted your time. Oh, and sorry as well, if this is not in the right spot. Admin please feel free to move it to correct topic.
    Thought i was gonna spend the rest of my life looking to sort this,
    excellent
    Jane x

  4. #3
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    Haha hey I just hope it works even if itdoes just for one person, I'm happy.

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    I replaced my iPhone4 to to proximity issue and all of a sudden it cannot upgrade nor restore, which was working with my previous iPhone4! I photographed the dreaded message and went to Apple store and they could not give me an answer, but managed to update to 4.0.1 for me in the shop. Of course, the same problem persisted when I got home trying to restore, that is until I read your instruction...Long and behold, everything worked. Fantastic! Thanks again.

  6. #5
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    Another happy customer! ^_^ no problem. Haha. I know this fix won't work for everyone but I figured I wasn't the only one with the same problem lol.

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    Just wanted to chime in here and say this worked for me also. Except I'm running Snow Leopard so of course the steps were a little different, but the same thing, had to add the # and space before the server ip.

  8. #7
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    Awesome, TypeRBass! Glad to hear it. Yeah I tried "hackitoshing" my laptop a while back and I remembered being able to update my old phone on it, so I knew it wasn't my laptop specifically, which is why I looked into the prob in the first place. Was tired of being told "try a diff computer" lol

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    dude thanks a million thats awesome, ur a smart man
    thanks again, i love this community and specially people like u!!!!!!!!!!!

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    thanks for helping my phone update from 3.1.3 to 4. you have no idea how much trouble i had on my laptop and pc trying to update. i had so many different error messages, i could have written a book...lol

    i applied this fix and if worked like a charm. you dancer

  11. #10
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    Miladjuckel & oldgit9,

    I'm glad to hear it worked out for you two as well! And oldgit9 trust me, yes I do know what you went through, I was goin through it too lol!

    My original 3G was jailbroken and I tried to sell it for money for iPhone 4. When I tried to restore and erase my personal data, the laptop wouldn't let me. I was so close to throwing my phone across the room so many times. I spend weeks looking for a fix, until I gave up n went to a friends computer.

    So when I got the iPhone 4, I was stumped to see that a phone that was brand new, not even jailbroken, would STILL not work with updating on my laptop! That was when I KNEW it couldn't be my computer, I even clean restored it, haha. So, here we are! :P

    TypeRBass,

    Hope you don't mind. There seems to be a person over at an apple support thread I jumped in on with people who seemed to be having the same issue as here. There was a person on there (SLIM Man) who asked how to find hosts file on his Mac. I directed him to this thread if you could help him out.

    Apple - Support - Discussions - iPhone update server could not be ...

    Maybe if not contact him Personally, perhaps you would not mind taking a moment to explain what you did on your Mac so not just him, but others with a Mac may look in the right direction? Thanks. no biggie if you can't.
    Last edited by unvaluablespace; 08-05-2010 at 01:25 AM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost

  12. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by unvaluablespace View Post
    TypeRBass,

    Hope you don't mind. There seems to be a person over at an apple support thread I jumped in on with people who seemed to be having the same issue as here. There was a person on there (SLIM Man) who asked how to find hosts file on his Mac. I directed him to this thread if you could help him out.

    Apple - Support - Discussions - iPhone update server could not be ...

    Maybe if not contact him Personally, perhaps you would not mind taking a moment to explain what you did on your Mac so not just him, but others with a Mac may look in the right direction? Thanks. no biggie if you can't.
    I just followed these steps..

    Step 1 Open the Terminal.app
    Either by start typing Terminal on the Spotlight, or by going into Applications -> Utilities -> Terminal.

    Step 2 Open the hosts file
    Open the hosts by typing on the Terminal that you have just opened:
    sudo nano /private/etc/hosts


    Type your user password when prompted.


    then i scrolled down to the bottom, and where it says :
    127.0.0.1 gs.apple.com, I just added a # and a space before it. Then saved it, and it updated without a problem.

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  14. #12
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    TypeRBass:

    MUCH appreciated! Thanks! I especially liked the part on the apple forum where you pointed out to quit blaming jailbreaks. Haha. Nicely done.

    Yeah I'm convinced I wouldn't have had such a hard time with my old 3G before I sold it if I had known about this fix before and applied it.

    Makes me wonder though what could the issue be in the first place? Perhaps iTunes somehow adding the line incorrectly in the hosts file? Maybe the operating system itself? I doubt that though, since it obviously affects more than just my windows 7 machine. Spyware? I'm lost lol.

    Anyways, thanks again for taking the trouble for the OS X instructions!

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  16. #13
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    unvaluablespace

    you are an absolute GOD !!!!!! if i had a spare 1mill you WOULD get it !!!

    many thanks
    http://img687.imageshack.us/img687/9020/gagaxq.jpg

  17. #14
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    Rukavuda,

    Perhaps I should put up a paypal for donations? Lol jk. Thanks, but no thanks. I have a job for that lol. And glad I could help.

    Also, for anyone with the OS X side of things, if TypeRBass helped you, Please give credit where it is due. Don't thank me, thank him.

  18. #15
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    AHHH, I got my hopes up and then realized my Hosts File didnt have the '127.0.0.1 gs.apple.com' it stopped at the one before. Is there a way i can add this? Because Notepad wont save over the Hosts file.

    much thanks.

    I use Win7 btw.
    Last edited by Ballaholic; 08-11-2010 at 09:25 AM.

  19. #16
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    Ballaholic,

    First of all no guarantees on this I know there are a small few that have said this fox does nothing for them. But I hope it works for you like the rest of us.

    The reason notepad won't save is probably because you have to start it up as administrator. Make sure when you click on notepad, be it the program itself, or via the programs menu, to right-click on the notepad icon and a popup should appear. From the list hopefully you will see run as administrator.

    I believe the line is added at the bottom of the hosts file. Refer to what I put in my original posting on the code section.

    Also, you should definetly make sure to make a backup of the hosts file before you do ANY editing of it. In case something goes wrong. good luck

  20. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by unvaluablespace View Post
    Ballaholic,

    First of all no guarantees on this I know there are a small few that have said this fox does nothing for them. But I hope it works for you like the rest of us.

    The reason notepad won't save is probably because you have to start it up as administrator. Make sure when you click on notepad, be it the program itself, or via the programs menu, to right-click on the notepad icon and a popup should appear. From the list hopefully you will see run as administrator.

    I believe the line is added at the bottom of the hosts file. Refer to what I put in my original posting on the code section.

    Also, you should definetly make sure to make a backup of the hosts file before you do ANY editing of it. In case something goes wrong. good luck

    I had given up and just went to go watch a movie, and then i heard 'Chica Chica Yeah'(My ringtone for texts) and i came over and my phone was on a working like before i had any problems! I just deleted all the sources & packages i dont use and found out i had a lot of apps to update in cydia and thats probably why it crashed. Thanks alot!

  21. #18
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    Lol that sounds like a different problem than what this topic was about then, but anyways glad you got things working

  22. #19
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    On a mac, when using the SUDO command to edit the hosts...

    this is what mine (working) looks like.

    ##
    # Host Database
    #
    # localhost is used to configure the loopback interface
    # when the system is booting. Do not change this entry.
    ##
    127.0.0.1 localhost
    255.255.255.255 broadcasthost
    ::1 localhost
    fe80::1%lo0 localhost
    # 74.208.10.249 gs.apple.com

    I added the # SPACE before the 74.208.10.249 gs.apple.com as it wasn't there before, and it was NOT working, but with the # SPACE it is working!

    Hope this helps!

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  24. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by TypeRBass View Post
    I just followed these steps..

    Step 1 Open the Terminal.app
    Either by start typing Terminal on the Spotlight, or by going into Applications -> Utilities -> Terminal.

    Step 2 Open the hosts file
    Open the hosts by typing on the Terminal that you have just opened:
    sudo nano /private/etc/hosts


    Type your user password when prompted.


    then i scrolled down to the bottom, and where it says :
    127.0.0.1 gs.apple.com, I just added a # and a space before it. Then saved it, and it updated without a problem.
    A Lifesaver.... thankx a lot for your guide....

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