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I have an iPad that is having issues during a factory reset. I start the process by plugging it into my Mac while the iPad is powering up so that it enters Recovery mode.

Once in Recovery Mode, I see a prompt that says 'There is a problem with the iPad "iPad" that requires it to be updated or restored'. I click "Update" and after some time, I get another prompt that says 'If your iPad can't be updated, you will need to restore it to its factory settings'. I click "Update" again, after which Finder says the update is being downloaded.

About two minutes later, I see an error dialog box with the text 'The iPad "iPad" could not be updated. An unknown error occurred (4041)'.

See the bottom of my question for screenshots.

I would like to note some context: my friend works for [large-tech-company] and was lent this device for their work. The device has no access to corporate resources (no MDM installed, only iCloud AFAIK). I asked said friend if I could borrow the device to try it out; they said yes but also that they forgot their password. Hence, I tried using a factory reset.

How can I fix this? I can't get it back to a working state. I am hesitant to bring this to an Apple store as they may report the device as stolen to [large-tech-company], which could cause me more trouble than if I just explained it to my friend. I don't see any option other than explaining to my friend that I broke their device and that they need to explain this to their employer.

I feel really dumb for thinking a factory reset would have worked, surely [large-tech-company] has a deal with Apple to ship a custom OS for employees (my friend opened the iPad from its box which is why I thought there wasn't an issue with factory reset). I also realize that there is nothing in my story that differentiates me from someone who has stolen a company device and is trying to restore it to prepare it to be sold. So if you don't feel comfortable helping, then I understand.

Technical notes:

  • My Mac is running macOS 12.2.1.
  • I used two different USB-C cables, with the same result.
  • Clicking "Restore" instead of "Update" causes the same issue.
  • After I get the 4041 error, Finder is no longer able to try the update again (it just gets stuck at a loading page). Killing the process doesn't help; the only way to retry the whole process is to restart my Mac.

Screenshots:

The iPad "iPad" could not be updated. An unknown error occurred (4041)

If your iPad can't be updated, you will need to restore it to its factory settings

There is a problem with the iPad "iPad" that requires it to be updated or restored

1 Answer 1

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Had the same error message while trying to do factory reset on an iPad, third (!) cable I tried finally worked.

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