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Pulled my original iPad out of my bag after returning from vacation and it had an alert on screen saying it required activation. It connected to my home wi-fi fine but failed when trying to activate. After a bunch of retries it went in to recovery mode.

I installed latest iTunes (I'm on Windows 8.1 Pro) and started the restore process. However at the stage where it states it's verifying the restore with Apple (or something to that effect) it fails with the following message:

The iPad "iPad" could not be restored. An unknown error occurred (23).

I'm stuck. Tried everything I can think of. Any ideas?

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From Resolve iOS update and restore errors

Check for hardware issues
Related errors: 1, 3, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 16, 20, 21, 23, 26, 27, 28, 29, 34, 35, 36, 37, 40, 1000, 1002, 1004, 1011, 1012, 1014, 1667, or 1669.

These errors mean that your device or computer may have a hardware issue that's preventing the update or restore from completing.

  1. Check that your security software and settings aren't preventing your device from communicating with the Apple update server.
  2. Then try to restore your iOS device two more times while connected with a cable, computer, and network you know are good.
  3. Confirm that your security software and settings are allowing communication between your device and update servers.
  4. If you still see the error message when you update or restore, contact Apple support.

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