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Thread: help: iphone 5 stuck in setup, no sim. how to unlock and activate?

  1. #1
    Default help: iphone 5 stuck in setup, no sim. how to unlock and activate?
    i was asked by a friend to get his new-to-him iphone 5 working - get it ready for a prepaid service. my friend bought it off somebody(!). i know a little bit of going around android phones but this would be my very first iphone 'tinker'. so needless to say im a big noob. i did install itunes though.

    his iphone 5 is fairly new. he mentioned it used to be under at&t service and that his got the imei #, somehow. no sim card installed. and i think its current state is in factory reset. it says:
    - no sim card installed. insert a valid sim with no pin lock to activate iphone.

    now i try to set it up (english, us, wifi connect/itunes)... but that's all i can basically do with the phone. it says 'activation server temporarily unavailable' (might have something to do with not having a sim card installed ?). i did try to do the restore using itunes (took a few minutes) and i think it now has the newest iOS 6.1.

    i have very limited knowledge about iphone sim/carrier unlocking and jailbreaking that's why i figured i post here. hmmm from my very limited knowledge i think i might have some options. correct and guide me though if im wrong. :/

    1.) get a gophone (at&t). cut the sim to a nano sim size. and see if it works and go from there.
    2.) get the imei # number from my friend and avail of those online unlocking paid services. <- will this work given the current state of the phone? it wont even let me go to settings just the initial phone setup as i've mentioned.
    3.) will jailbreaking (software unlock) it work? if so, how? kindly post a link/guide (for iphone 5, iOS 6.1) that would work for this particular situation.

    thanks in advance! any help would be appreciated.

  2. #2
    Sug Luv Super Moderator 2k1's Avatar
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    If the current user was AT&T all you would need is an AT&T sim an unlcok from someone i know that's a mod on here and ya should be good. After the phone activates you will then be able to use it and jailbreak afterwards if ya wanted to.

  3. #3
    first off, thanks for the reply. i really appreciate it.

    so i get this right... even with the current state (stuck with the initial setup, cant even see the apps/settings), this phone can be unlock? which particular unlock? can u please direct me to the mod or post? thanks.

  4. #4
    Sug Luv Super Moderator 2k1's Avatar
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    Lemme make sure I'm correct before i git ya hopes up.

    Yes you will have to git a SIM card to go any further.

    What service provider ya looking to use ?
    Last edited by 2k1; 02-07-2013 at 08:11 PM.

  5. #5
    what sim? ONLY at&t??? or can i go try now a t-mobile microsim (cut down to nano)?

    since im only trying out if i could really make this phone work.. i dont really wanna spend that much. so i was thinking of getting an at&t gophone payg sim (cut down to nano) and maybe putting $5-$10 dollar just to test out if it's working. and once everything is working... maybe get that $30 t-mobile walmart plan or $45 straight talk unlimited everything.

  6. #6
    Superbad Modder-ator Simon's Avatar
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    It should work with the AT&T go phone sim as long as AT&T is the carrier it is locked to.
    If that is the case though the t-mobile sim will not work with it. Unless you get it IMEI unlocked using a site like this: http://ideviceguys.com/unlocks/

  7. #7
    Sug Luv Super Moderator 2k1's Avatar
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    As long as the official carrier is AT&T then yes. I would spend the money to git it unlocked then you can use t mobile in the future. Lemme know and Ill send ya the think if ya interested.

    Lol Simon beat me to it!!

  8. #8
    ok i inserted a non-working ('no service') at&t nano sim and i was able to setup the phone. i got the homescreen, settings, etc now! happy as of the moment. lolz

    onto the next step. getting a prepaid service working on this phone.

    what would you guys recommend i do? keep in mind, i dont know if this phone is blacklisted or not that's why i dont really wanna spend that much in trying to get this phone to work. i read blacklisted iphones are basically useless, could only work as an ipod touch(?). my friend told me he got the phone for a really good deal that's why im quite skeptical. he basically tasked me to make it work on a prepaid service. so having said that, what should be my next course of action? tia.

    again, thanks! i appreciate all the replies. im learning as i go along. and as a matter of fact, im taking a liking to this iphone 5 especially the size. the build and quality (software and hardware) is just topnotch! i have a nexus 4 but this iphone 5 is growing on me.

  9. #9
    Sug Luv Super Moderator 2k1's Avatar
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    http://www.s-url.ro/
    Put ya IMEI number there and it should let ya know if ya good to go.

  10. #10
    thanks!!! it said.... but i dont know what it really means. :?

    Model: iPhone 5 64GB Black
    Device ID: 01*************
    Repairs & Service Coverage: Active
    Telephone Technical Support: Expired
    Warranty Expires: September 23, 2013
    Warranty Type: Limited Warranty
    Purchase Date: Validated
    Registered: Yes
    Activated: Yes
    SIM lock: Server Down!

  11. #11
    Sug Luv Super Moderator 2k1's Avatar
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    It's not blacklisted ya good to go

  12. #12
    by good to go, you mean...

    - i can get any at&t sim (post or prepaid, active or needs activation) and it should work?
    - i can avail of those imei unlock and get any carrier to work with the phone? *which one do you recommend? key word, cheap!

    also, which line told you that it's not blacklisted (or vice versa)? i think that site is very helpful. thanks for sharing it with me btw.

  13. #13
    Sug Luv Super Moderator 2k1's Avatar
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    The site we gave ya try him out. It's cheap and quick service then ya can put whatever sim ya wanna use.

  14. #14
    i tried another imei checker and it said, "API key is disabled". while the site above said, "SIM lock: Server Down!". im not really sure what it means in regards to being able to unlock it or not. but before i dole out some dough, i just wanna make sure it really isn't blacklisted as you've mentioned. hmmm is "server down" a tell that it can be unlocked? or is it actually unknown and the only way to tell/know is try? i've read apple servers are down and that iphone 5 imei checking is inconclusive lately even up to now.

    i'll probably gonna avail of the unlock... but figured i post another question here just so i understand things much clearer. thanks again!

  15. #15
    Sug Luv Super Moderator 2k1's Avatar
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    There is a good chance the phone is good. Is what I'm hearing from a guy

  16. #16
    Superbad Modder-ator Simon's Avatar
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    The free IMEI check sites no longer work for lock status. Apple closed off the method they were using to check it. That's why it says server down.

  17. #17
    reporting back in!

    availed and was told earlier that the iphone is now unlocked! yey!

    unfortunately i cant move forward right now as i dont have any other sim other than the non-working at&t. also, i dont have my nano sim card cutter yet. i guess to check if it's really unlock and working, i need to have a non-at&t sim.

    question though,,, when my t-mobile activation sim card kit arrives. can i just popped that in and activate a plan OR does the sim needs to be activated first on a different phone before i even insert it to this iphone?

    or perhaps i should just ask, what should be my next step right now and/or as soon as i cut my unactivated t-mobile sim card to nano?

    again, thanks for all the replies. i really appreciate it!

    ps. i was trying to do this option (see below) just to get the ball rolling but i can't seem to do it. i dont see the 'itunes restore' when i first plug the phone (no sim) or even after. it just does some syncs, and stuff. what am i missing? do i have to enter to recovery or dfu mode??? how is that done? *btw ive only used itunes a couple of times so im not really familiar with it. :/

    "1: Connect iPhone to latest version of iTunes Via USB Cable on your computer.
    2: Back up iPhone via iTunes to save all media on iphone.
    3. Restore iPhone and complete. ***(if your iphone is jailbroken, undo the jailbreak before restoring)***
    Thats it your iphone is unlocked after restoration is complete. You may or may not receive congrats message from itunes, insert non at&t sim card and enjoy your unlocked phone."
    Last edited by mundane24; 02-09-2013 at 05:11 PM.

  18. #18
    update: it works now! i inserted an activated straight talk t-mobile sim and was able to call and text.
    *mms and internet was crawling to a halt though. i don't think it was even working. unfortunately i wasn't able to find a solution for it. i searched 'straight talk t-mobile iphone 5 apn/mms/data/internet settings' but almost all the results were for straight talk at&t and nothing for straight talk t-mobile. :/ i didn't bother anymore as my friend is happy that his iphone 5 is now unlocked! i advised him to use an at&t mvno though and not t-mobile. so thank you for all the help guys! i really appreciate it! im sure i'll be back if tasked again to deal with iphones.

    ps. if anyone know how to setup (apn) straight talk t-mobile for mms/data, kindly post here. thanks! im still curious to know.

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