Apple servers are overwhelmed, causing iOS 5 update woes

If you have been trying to update to iOS 5 but have been having trouble authenticating your download with Apple, you are not alone. Twitter has been filled with users who can download the update, but then fail to actually install the OS.

Saurik, the head honcho of the jailbreak community, posted up a tweet about the common error 3200 that most people are receiving. He states that it means that Apple servers over overwhelmed with activity and thus fail the request to authentic to their system.

iOS 5 has been heavily anticipated by many and the overwhelming reaction to the download must have caught Apple off-guard. Despite the fact that they built a new server farm in North Carolina, it would appear that their servers are tapped out at the moment.

The issues will most likely be resolved as the massive influx of activity reduces over time and the servers can begin to cope with the traffic. But as it stands now, how did your update go? Are you stuck, did your device get cleared but now you cant update or did everything go as planned?

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To bad itunes does not know how to check the download file against md5 or crc. I got 3004 turn my phone into a brick too. No fear, redownload the firmware solve the problem.

Apple needs to learn a lot about this.

If Steve is alive, he probably says Some people will get fired over this

if updating on a ipad2 there is solutions, i updated my mothers within 43 minutes but they have a slow connection. i went home to do the same but it was like pulling my teeth out with chopsticks but i got it finally do it. i disregarded the other suggestion after visiting the site detailing error 3200. had to turn off security software, do a hard reset. let it restore to original state, let the software run and it did it all by itself. i did have the new update to my pc within around 5 minutes though. i am glad of the end results. everything back to the way i had it before starting but the emails are coming back like the great flood.

Updated, now trying to get verified, but since my SIM isn't activated anymore due to being deployed, I can't activate my phone, lol. It keeps telling me to insert a SIM card, and there is one in there.

Finally got the update to work on my iPod touch but it hosed everything - all my apps, music, movies, etc. gone despite the msg saying it was backed up. When I tried to restore from a backup, the last one it had was a month ago.

StevoFC said,
They should have used their icloud servers...

But you need iOS 5 to use iCloud ;-)

What you're suggesting would introduce a chicken and egg paradox that would destroy the universe. Probably.

TCLN Ryster said,

But you need iOS 5 to use iCloud ;-)

What you're suggesting would introduce a chicken and egg paradox that would destroy the universe. Probably.

Wouldn't that be a divide by zero error!!!

Been at this for 4 hours. When I'm through, the update hangs at 75% and gives me the error.

Hoping that I'm still able to go back to 4.3.3.

No issues here. Thankfully I remotely logged into my home PC at 1PM EST and by the time I got home (4:30PM), it was done. Thank God for LogMeIn and Verizon FiOS.

Sorry to everyone else.

Bit of topic here, but this reminds me of the counter strike update days before it went onto steam... pressing F5 every 2 secs

Alright, so I got it now, but all my apps I had from before are gone, no problem downloading them but I got Asphalt 6 for free when it was free for a day, anyway to get that back? It's asking me to pay for it.

This does suck. I got the download and even upgraded to Lion 10.7.2. But instead when updating my iPod Touch (4th gen), I get the "This iPod cannot be restored. An internal error has occurred". Its awesome too. My iPod looks like it wants to update, even reboots. Thank you Apple. Why can't you just use a "We're slammed. Come back later." Thats a big F.U from Apple.

Nice work Apple. You successfully manage the download demand, yet fail the authentication demand, but instead of giving a "Server too busy, please re-try" message at that point, instead get a generic error message - checking into it further suggests restarting our PC... which means we need download again, even though that has nothing to do with the error.

Dumb.

thommcg said,
Nice work Apple. You successfully manage the download demand, yet fail the authentication demand, but instead of giving a "Server too busy, please re-try" message at that point, instead get a generic error message - checking into it further suggests restarting our PC... which means we need download again, even though that has nothing to do with the error.

Dumb.


Yeah indeed lol. I don't really blame them for the high demand, but the way the error is handled and presented to the user is lamentable. Generic errors, and numbers that nobody will understand. Also, why can't they give you a nice little retry button so it retries contacting the Apple server, instead of having to start the update (and the lengthy backup) again?

Poor show

XDViPeR said,
Got it, 5th try on iPad2. WTF it's restoring instead of updating!

It does this. But it'll update no problems. And then restore all of your preferences and personal info. It's really quite neat actually - I've got it up and running and it's great.

Sigh... there would have been such a stupidly easy way way to avoid this...
Open up the Servers for every part of the world at a set time locally, for example 10am CET for Europe, 10am EST for the eastern half of the US, 10am PST for the western part of the US.

Releasing an update such as this to the whole world at the same time is really stupid...

download of iOS 5.0 completed successfully .. then it starts a backup which takes => 10+ minutes to complete.. and then the update fails because the activation server cannot be contacted.. believe it or not .. This is probably the first time i must say: APPLE YOU SUCK! i mean it's year 2011 ..

Yea, it is the year 2011, that's why this is happening, millions of people all trying to update at the same time, was no way this wouldn't have happened when they release it to they whole world at once...

Leonick said,
Yea, it is the year 2011, that's why this is happening, millions of people all trying to update at the same time, was no way this wouldn't have happened when they release it to they whole world at once...
That's rubbish. They're just cheap and didn't buy enough servers to handle the simultaneous load.

I wonder if samething will happen when using Siri? When millions of people using it at once.. since it sends requests to apple and comes back with an answer.... how much time we have to wait....

gulshan666 said,
I wonder if samething will happen when using Siri? When millions of people using it at once.. since it sends requests to apple and comes back with an answer.... how much time we have to wait....

Millions of people downloading ios5 right now vs how many people will simultaneously decide to ask Siri a question at the exact same moment in time?

Crikey you are a demanding soul

chrispinto said,

Millions of people downloading ios5 right now vs how many people will simultaneously decide to ask Siri a question at the exact same moment in time?

Crikey you are a demanding soul

we will see that soon don't worry...

gulshan666 said,
I wonder if samething will happen when using Siri? When millions of people using it at once.. since it sends requests to apple and comes back with an answer.... how much time we have to wait....

They'd have more of an issue with iMessage, seeing as that's on pretty much all iDevices, and people are likely to use it more often

DomZ said,

They'd have more of an issue with iMessage, seeing as that's on pretty much all iDevices, and people are likely to use it more often

iMessage is snappy, i've got a lot of friends on it (and i mean 30+)

chrispinto said,

iMessage is snappy, i've got a lot of friends on it (and i mean 30+)


A bit early to make that declaration I think... I bet the majority of iOS devices haven;t updated to iOS 5 yet.

No idea how or why Airplane Mode would actually change anything, but once put in airplane mode the update went right through. Interesting backdoor!

trying 1 more time... then waiting... been at this for about 2 hrs.. lol

wouldnt be too bad if it wasnt for the mandatory backup at the beginning, i understand why, just annoying

Skruff said,
trying 1 more time... then waiting... been at this for about 2 hrs.. lol

wouldnt be too bad if it wasnt for the mandatory backup at the beginning, i understand why, just annoying

lol, tried to work, went to dfu, error 3004, restoring now... i think...lol

what a fun game

Oh shut up all of you. God. Just try an hour or two later. I had the problem with Lion updates dropping ... and you know what I did? Got a coffee and watched a little television with my girlfriend. Chill the hell out. It's a phone OS ... and it's 100% free. It may take a little time, but you'll all get it fine.

I must admit, I have been running GM since last week so it's not really fussed me LOL!

Spirit Dave said,
Oh shut up all of you. God. Just try an hour or two later. I had the problem with Lion updates dropping ... and you know what I did? Got a coffee and watched a little television with my girlfriend. Chill the hell out. It's a phone OS ... and it's 100% free. It may take a little time, but you'll all get it fine.

I must admit, I have been running GM since last week so it's not really fussed me LOL!

As with the Betas 1-7, I installed todays release as soon as it hit the Dev Centre a week or so ago. We beat the rush

Did the same with 10.7.2 (few days ago) and iTunes 10.5 GM

Haha, totally agree with your sentiment there. Its a free update and everyone will get it.

(But I too am glad I came across the GM of iOS 5 last week and installed it . Otherwise I'd probably be grinding my teeth like the rest of them).

Spirit Dave said,
Oh shut up all of you. God. Just try an hour or two later. I had the problem with Lion updates dropping ... and you know what I did? Got a coffee and watched a little television with my girlfriend. Chill the hell out. It's a phone OS ... and it's 100% free. It may take a little time, but you'll all get it fine.

I must admit, I have been running GM since last week so it's not really fussed me LOL!

I will remember this for whenever any other company's servers have problems. Xbox Live, Google Docs, AWS down? Eh, just wait a few hours.

nohone said,

I will remember this for whenever any other company's servers have problems. Xbox Live, Google Docs, AWS down? Eh, just wait a few hours.

Apple servers are not down though... they're just backlogged.. large difference?

chrispinto said,

Apple servers are not down though... they're just backlogged.. large difference?

Does it make a difference to non-techies? Does it make a difference at anyone? Why have the servers if they cannot be contacted?

At least this time it does not brick your device until they can be contacted. When the iPhone 1 got it's first update, the same thing happened to their servers. The difference was that it wiped your device, then failed to contact the server. I didn't have a phone for 3 days.

But you would think that they would have learned then, instead they still go with an under powered server farm. People are always remarking about how they are happy to pay a premium to Apple because they get "superior" hardware and service. Where does this money go? They obviously didn't invest in giving the best experience in updating.

nohone said,

I will remember this for whenever any other company's servers have problems. Xbox Live, Google Docs, AWS down? Eh, just wait a few hours.

Good, you should remember it But the server isn't 'down' ... it's not a long term issue. I have NEVER complained when a server is inaccessible for a short period of time due to a major new launch of a product. It's just stupid to whine about it.

nohone said,

I will remember this for whenever any other company's servers have problems. Xbox Live, Google Docs, AWS down? Eh, just wait a few hours.

If there is anything else you really can do, I'd like to hear it.

Peewee210 said,

I'm getting this too..

Ok solution time:

If you're getting this it's probably because instead of Control + Update we should be hitting Control + Restore to manually update. I was not doing that before.

And then if it continues it means that the connection to the server has failed. This could be for two reasons:

a) You've blocked iTunes access to Apples servers in which case you have to delete a line from the host file. (just google 3002 error iOS 5 beta...)

b) Their servers are overwhelmed. So, nothing we can do about this one unfortunately.

It's the same as an "internal" error.

Medking said,

Ok solution time:

If you're getting this it's probably because instead of Control + Update we should be hitting Control + Restore to manually update. I was not doing that before.

And then if it continues it means that the connection to the server has failed. This could be for two reasons:

a) You've blocked iTunes access to Apples servers in which case you have to delete a line from the host file. (just google 3002 error iOS 5 beta...)

b) Their servers are overwhelmed. So, nothing we can do about this one unfortunately.

It's the same as an "internal" error.

Thanks. I kept on trying, and it worked after 6 attempts!

neo158 said,
People wonder why Microsoft roll out the Windows Phone updates in waves, this is the reason why!!
I still prefer this over waves

neo158 said,
People wonder why Microsoft roll out the Windows Phone updates in waves, this is the reason why!!

Tim Cook is incompetent! Jobs would have left nothing to chance on such a thing like this.

Rudy said,
I still prefer this over waves

There isn't anything wrong with rolling out updates this way but the problem is making sure the servers can cope with demand, in this case they haven't. I hope they get the issues sorted soon though.

KingCrimson said,

Tim Cook is incompetent! Jobs would have left nothing to chance on such a thing like this.

Yes, he would have waved his magic staff and infused their servers with unending holy bandwidth.

KingCrimson said,

Tim Cook is incompetent! Jobs would have left nothing to chance on such a thing like this.

Um, something like this has happened under almost every major Apple release/update.

KingCrimson said,

Tim Cook is incompetent! Jobs would have left nothing to chance on such a thing like this.

You mean like the launch day of the original iPhone where activation could take days ? Or the whole iTools -> .Mac mess that was bad enough that Apple gave us free time to apologies for how horrible the roll-out was? Or the difficulties rolling out 10.7 where people often had mutli-hour downloads (despite being able to get the beta releases in a matter of minutes)?

or...

Wait, you're just trolling aren't you? Maybe I should have just deleted the comment instead.

neo158 said,
People wonder why Microsoft roll out the Windows Phone updates in waves, this is the reason why!!

To be fair there's bucket loads of updates flying around. We've got:

Lion 10.2 approx 800mb
iTunes 10.5 60mb?
Various iOS firmwares

And people are probably going straight onto iCloud and backing their phones up. I know they're all from different server farms and some of them aren't even Apple, but there it a lot of stuff happening today

DomZ said,

To be fair...

Microsoft, Amazon, and Google deal with this much traffic every hour of every day.

It's time Apple spent some of their cash reserves on building a back-end infrastructure that matches that of the companies they compete with (in sales and market cap)...instead of spending it all on PR and Marketing.

There's really no excuse anymore.

DomZ said,

To be fair there's bucket loads of updates flying around. We've got:

Lion 10.2 approx 800mb
iTunes 10.5 60mb?
Various iOS firmwares

And people are probably going straight onto iCloud and backing their phones up. I know they're all from different server farms and some of them aren't even Apple, but there it a lot of stuff happening today


Plus everyone will use up all their data if they have no unlimited data plan. This will sure be an extremely expensive purchase. Unless ofcourse you use your wifi connection or if Apple has a deal with the iPhone providers.

excalpius said,

Microsoft, Amazon, and Google deal with this much traffic every hour of every day.

It's time Apple spent some of their cash reserves on building a back-end infrastructure that matches that of the companies they compete with (in sales and market cap)...instead of spending it all on PR and Marketing.

There's really no excuse anymore.

Really? Then why did it take me two weeks to get Mango?

omgben said,

Really? Then why did it take me two weeks to get Mango?

Maybe because Microsoft are rolling the update out in waves.

DomZ said,

To be fair there's bucket loads of updates flying around. We've got:

Lion 10.2 approx 800mb
iTunes 10.5 60mb?
Various iOS firmwares

And people are probably going straight onto iCloud and backing their phones up. I know they're all from different server farms and some of them aren't even Apple, but there it a lot of stuff happening today

Ya, not so much...

Tiny compared to a regular monthly Tuesday Windows update of 25mb to users. 25mb • 1,000,000,000 = 250 Million GB of data

Devices that can run iOS and OS X Lion for all Macs that it supports is still much smaller amount of data.

(Do people really forget there are more people JUST running Windows 7 than all the Macs, iPhones and iPads EVER sold since 1984 COMBINED?)

Apple is trendy and gets good press, but is rather small in the 'actual' technology world, in contrast to the inflated 'wall street' world.

PS iCloud? You do realize that the heavy lift for iCloud is separate from the Apple servers getting hit with outages? Even iCloud authentication is handled on separate servers, and the servers and OS running the actual iCloud storage and online 'cloud' software is Windows aka Windows Azure on a Microsoft server farm?


neo158 said,

Maybe because Microsoft are rolling the update out in waves.

Cause you didn't read on how to self promote your device, like everyone else did, making the update available immediately?

You read Neowin, and missed the all the news stories on Mango, and how to bypass the carrier hold?

(BTW It was also a carrier hold to reduce the load on their infrastructure, and had nothing to do with the delivery of Mango via Microsoft. So, not a good argument even if you ignore the bypass to get it immediately, as the 'waves' were carrier/device restrictions, not Microsoft.)

thenetavenger said,

Cause you didn't read on how to self promote your device, like everyone else did, making the update available immediately?

You read Neowin, and missed the all the news stories on Mango, and how to bypass the carrier hold?

(BTW It was also a carrier hold to reduce the load on their infrastructure, and had nothing to do with the delivery of Mango via Microsoft. So, not a good argument even if you ignore the bypass to get it immediately, as the 'waves' were carrier/device restrictions, not Microsoft.)

Actually I did read all the articles on Neowin as they appeared, I'd probably been following WP7 way before you, and bypassed the IMEI hold and got the update on the day it was released, it was actually a reply to the post by omgben so maybe you need to read my posts before blindly posting.

Edited by neo158, Oct 13 2011, 3:28pm :

Been downloading 10.7.2 and iPhone iOS5 for 2 hours then both failed.

Trying iPad now which seems to be doing a lot better... well done Apple on releasing EVERYTHING!!! the exact same time.

Xerax said,
How big are the update files? Around 1gb?

~800 MB but it's not the file servers being mentioned here. Those are load balanced by Akamai servers.

Authentication servers are being hammered and many people, including me getting Error 3200.

There are many methods being mentione for remedey such as deleting backup files under itunes setting or putting the iPhone in airplane mode etc. however just be patient and eventually it'll work.

I got it on the fourth time.

For people with huge data each try will take time due to the mandatory backup so instead of trying and getting andry just sit back wait a while and try again a bit later.