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Thread: White Apple of Death (WAD) - Springboard Failures

  1. #1
    Default White Apple of Death (WAD) - Springboard Failures
    As if life wasn't exciting enough with Microsoft's BSOD's, I see Apple wanted to steal some of the spotlight and introduce their own WAD. Of course having a WAD is far more painful than anything a BSOD could throw out you - it's your phone too that takes a bullet!

    The first 3 of these I received, I was rather naive and believed the best way to shoot a WAD was with the two finger DFU combo and at least an hour down the drain as the phone restores. Not to mention the time lost walking the street with a WAD in your pocket; no calls, no text, no contacts, no calendar. Sad.

    Now, not to be accused of failing to search for answers ; I've spent days searching here and Googling for any guidance on the topic. Frankly, I turned up very little. I did get hits on Springboard issues in the 1.x firmware around things like limits of 70 on apps etc. But the 2.x Springboard issues are different.

    The break I caught was spotting some posts about being able to SSH into phone while it's got a WAD. So, now to what I hope to be of help to someone else out there having WAD issues....
    - If Springboard is hung due to an App it can't digest, you will get a WAD. Good news, the phone is still running some services; including OpenSSH as well as being able to partially respond to iTunes. So some iPhone file browsers will also work if your SSH is not connected to a WiFi connection (i.e. you turned off auto connect to WiFi connections, no SSH for you).

    - After trying to hunt down a file utility that didn't rely on SSH, none of which are 100% working with the 2.x firmware to my knowledge, this one seems to have performed reasonably well for the operations which I needed to performed: (i-Funbox)

    Below is are observations I have made, so don't interpret by bullets as sequence of events or priority.

    - The biggest challenge was figuring out which App is hanging Springboard. It really stinks that Springboard doesn't expose (that I know at least) WHAT it is having trouble digesting. [Anyone have suggestions for figuring the exact path/app its failing on, please post!]. At this point, you will want to start writing down all of the Apps and where they reside on the phone.

    - Once connected to the phone (direct USB with file browse or via SSH) you will only have a limited window of opportunity to navigate the phone. It usually takes about 1 minute from power on to availability of file structure access. From that point, you have approximately 5 minutes before phone fully locks. I find it best to leave phone plugged into power source / USB ; this gives the the 3 vibration indication that phone is charging - thats about the time that you can connect. When the phone hangs again after 5 minutes you will have to force shutdown (HOME + POWER for 10 secs) then power up again. (wash, rinse, recycle)

    - In my case, I was able to narrow down the culprit to the toy "am I rich". Now, that doesn't mean that App is bad, but nonetheless I am able to consistently reproduce the issue adding this and cure the WAD removing it. The real challenge in finding the culprit is timing also. You can manually delete an App with no immediate (apparent) success - move on to deleting other App's and suddenly the Springboard pops up. Which App was it, the last one you deleted or a delayed response to a prior App? So here's where the time sink comes in....

    - If you want to ensure that you are cured of WAD syndrome, I recommend you start with Cydia / Installer sourced App's for deletion. Delete one app at a time. Restart the phone - 3 mins no Springboard? - get back in and delete next and restart phone. etc.

    - Remember, Cydia is locating it's Apps with the firmware Apps, not with AppStore Apps. AppStore apps are located in "/private/var/mobile/Applications". There's a unique identifier for each App - it's usually sufficient to note the first 8 digits of folder as unique. Opening those folders will clue you to the actual App. It is safe to delete any of the Apps in the "/private/var/mobile/Applications" folder - they can be re-downloaded via AppStore.

    - The root folder has a symlink for "/Applications", this is where the firmware Apps are held (Calendar, Phone, etc). It is also where Cydia keeps its installs. The ONLY directories here you should consider deleting are for Apps added by Cydia. If you delete standard Apps you will likely hose your phone.

    - The only way to really tell your phone is stable is to POWER DOWN and power back up. If you are installing non-AppStore app's I suggest you do one at a time. Cycle the power to make sure you boot okay. The greatest challenge here was finding the offending application - this little step could probably save many people ALOT of time. Cycle power between app installs (until Apple improves Springboard or there's a Springboard replacement that avoids this crap).

    The above actions can be terribly time consuming, but I can say less time consuming than re-jailbreaking and resyncing the phone. It took me about 4 hours total yesterday to nail this down to a specific culprit. I lack the tools / skill / patience to investigate further into why a culprit is causing Springboard to fail.

    Question: Has anyone out here installed the "Am I Rich" toy from Cydia and successfully cycle power with no issues? What's curious to me is that this app was removed from AppStore and perhaps that's somehow related to the issue (maybe some kind of iphone home issue recognizing this is "blacklisted" - I know, BigBoss prefs disable this - dunno). If it's not the App itself, than perhaps its a cache somewhere with corrupt data associated with a particular App - and therefore, any App could become the culprit..

    Anyway, hopefully my notes will help someone else out there. Would be nice to see others contribute their findings to this so perhaps one day an FAQ or real repair process or tool could be developed to save all those WAD's out there!


  2. The Following User Says Thank You to Atreides For This Useful Post:

    GNice (2008-08-29)

  3. #2
    Thx so much! You have no idea how much grief (and unbelievable time) this has cost me.

  4. #3
    BTW - this is definitely not a Cydia specific issue. The problem is the core installation code within firmware, which makes even AppStore installs subject to the same issue. For that matter, virgin phones without jailbreak are having the issues.

  5. The Following User Says Thank You to Atreides For This Useful Post:

    creed (2009-01-24)

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