I have an iPhone 3G that has worked well in the past, but it was put away for several years (after I got an iPhone 4s), and when I took it out again it wouldn't boot. It was jailbroken some years ago (it is preowned), and it boots with a pineapple with the bite out (instead of the classic apple), see image below.


The phone won't boot past this screen.

I have photos on it that I would like to recover, so I do not want to do a factory reset. What is the best thing to do here? Should I try to add it as a drive on a Windows computer? It does not show up in iTunes unless it is in DFU (recovery) mode.

How can I fix this?

EDIT 1 (7/26/23): I used msftguy's SSH ramdisk tool to back up the photos. The data volume was corrupted, so I had to use the command mount_hfs -o rdonly /dev/disk0s2 /mnt2. I have the download and the files needed here. It has to be used on a 32-bit machine. I have only tested it on Windows XP SP3.

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    There are two causes for a phone to not boot: software failure or hardware failure. If it’s the first, you just have to remove the Jailbreak with a backup image. If it’s the second, like failed memory, there’s nothing you can do. No software is going to be able to access a device that can’t boot. If you can get it into DFU mode, you’ve got a chance. Start by holding power and home (from off), after 10 seconds, release power but continue holding home. It should be in DFU after about 20 seconds. Let me know what happens.
    – Allan
    Commented Jul 20, 2023 at 13:53
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    No worries. Those 30 pin cables are getting harder to find (people throw them away). Just ping me here in comments when you post an update.
    – Allan
    Commented Jul 20, 2023 at 18:53
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    DFU is recovery mode so it won’t be jailbroken anymore. You’ll have to re-jailbreak if that’s what you want. Unfortunately, to fix this, you’ll have to go through these steps to get to a resolution.
    – Allan
    Commented Jul 20, 2023 at 19:35
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    You might be able to break the Recovery Mode boot loop. Download the redsn0w utility and select the “recovery fix” option.
    – Allan
    Commented Jul 22, 2023 at 14:32
  • 1
    It’s more and more likely to be a hardware issue with the iPhone and not your computer. If you can get your hands on a working iPhone 4s or earlier to test with, if you can communicate with that but not with your 3G, the issue will narrow itself down to the 3G being at fault.
    – Allan
    Commented Jul 22, 2023 at 17:48

1 Answer 1


I’m writing this as a canonical answer so that it can help point others in a direction to help them if they encounter a similar situation

Boot Loop/Failure

If you phone is stuck in a boot loop or it crashes before it gets to the home screen, there are two conditions that will cause this:

  • Hardware failure
  • Software/filesystem corruption

In the case of hardware, this could be anything from the memory (RAM), the storage (NAND flash) and even the CPU. If this is the case, there’s not much you can do, especially from a DIY perspective. You might have some luck sending it in to a data recovery service.

In the case of software or a filesystem corruption, the easiest fix is to put the device into DFU mode (hold power and home for iPhone 3G) and restore from backup

Jailbroken Devices

The pineapple boot logo indicate that this was broken using the Redsn0w Jailbreak Utility developed by the iPhone Dev Team. In addition to being able to jailbreak your phone, it includes a recovery utility to fix boot problems.

With extensive work by the OP, it was determined that you have to download the correct version of the utility for your particular device. This requires some trial and error. Redsn0w also has to be run in Windows XP Compatibility Mode.

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