cautionary tale: This device isn’t eligible for the requested build

So in a rush of excitement today, I plugged my iPad into the lapper to update to IOS5 for a bit of post-Jobsian Apple-ness and to be the hippest hipster on my block when lo and behold, I was presented with the message you see above. My inner nerd sank and I was overcome with sadness and despair. I couldn’t figure out for the life of me what I was doing wrong. I tried again to update the ‘Pad to its rightful 5-ness but again, no joy. This was really really vexing because I’d never done anything untoward with the iPad, it was and is a vanilla tablet.

Aha! I thought to myself, perhaps it’s something to do with my use of a 3rd party dns provider which I use to limit certain parts of the internet from my children at certain times of the day, I headed off to my dashboard and switched these off to null. Tried again, no joy, the same sorrowful message on iTunes. Next logical step for me was to reset the modem to look at the default dns settings from my internet supplier. Nope. Same again. Checked and turned off all firewall activity in the modem and on the computer. Again, no dice.

I was out of inspiration at this stage, so I headed off to google and looked for some enlightenment. I came across a discussion on the Apple about the possibility of some 3rd party software having made a small change to the hosts file in an attempt to stop communication with a particular apple server. This struck a chord with me as many months ago, I’d tried to jailbreak a spare iphone unlock 3G that was knocking around and I’d used tiny umbrella in this pursuit.

Sure enough, when I looked at my hosts file, there was something in there that shouldn’t have been, so I removed it and restarted the crate. Lo and behold this time the update is in the process of succeeding and I’ll have a shiny new 5-device in a while.

Be advised that mucking round with the hosts file requires intrepid use of the terminal and a spot of vi (or pico if you prefer).

The moral of the story is that after 6 restarts (either modem and/or computer) and a lot of head scratching, I found a solution. Perhaps I should exercise more cation installing stuff  (tu for example) on a production machine.

Lesson learnt for the time being.