Stunningly Simple Solution to iPod Touch iOS4 Hangup

I use Pocket Informant for iPhone on my iPod Touch as it's the closest thing to the old-style Palm calendar app, with both events and tasts in one calednar, one view. Yesterday, Apple approved version 1.5. I wanted to use local alarms because I was tired of push alarms showing up minutes or hours after an event was supposed to start. That meant updating my iPod to iOS4. With great trepidation I started the procedure last night. I'd heard the horror stories of it taking hours or crashing the device. All went well until it got to the restore phase. Sure the backup phase took a long time -- and I had to free up space on my hard disk to make room for the large backup (it was time to clean up my Pictures folders anyway) -- but it didn't stop during that portion. No, it was during restore. The green progress bar in iTunes got to about halfway and then stopped, although the special effects of it flashing from left to right continued, and the Task Manager said it was running. The iPod progress bar didn't even get to one-quarter of the way. Suffice to say, I tried everything that others and Apple suggested, but it was the simple, obvious solution, one I would've thought of if it had been a Windows program:

The download was corrupt.

Unlike with a Windows software download, it's not that easy knowing where and what file one needs to delete and re-download. Apple doesn't believe in easy, you know, just intuitive...sort of. Open Windows Explorer and go to c:\users\[your user name]\AppData\Apple Computer\iTunes\iPod Software Updates and there you'll find the *.ipsw file. Delete it. (I knew I could restore it from Recycle Bin if I had to, so went ahead with no optimism.) Start iTunes, connect your iPod Touch, it'll tell you, as before, that your iPod is in recovery mode and to restore it. When you click Restore, iTunes will re-download the update. After that, assuming it doesn't corrupt it again, it will work and not freeze. One other thing: ensure before you start the upgrade to have your iPod fully charged. You never know how long this will take, and the USB won't be enough to keep it charged if it gets stuck or takes hours during the backup phase. Because of having bought the iPad recently, I had a USB charger I was able to use on my iPod Touch for 20 minutes before trying to restore it for the umpteenth time.

Once I forced iTunes to re-download the software, it worked. And not only that: even though I'd done a hard reset a few times, following Apple's instruction, and though my iPod had completely frozen previously, iTunes put back all my apps, data, music, and playlists. Nothing was lost. Wow!

And on a weird note, I used the bluetooth keyboard to type this post in Blogger on my iPad. I could NOT get my cursor into the main content area until I switched to HTML view, either with finger touch or the tab key. Sigh. Apple, as I've always said, is not really super intuitive or simple to use when things go wrong. And they do go wrong. Apple is no more immune than Windows or Ubuntu.