How to Jailbreak iPhone 4.3.3 with PwnageTool [Tutorial]

By , May 6, 2011

Three updates, and three jailbreaks using the same exploit; that’s got to be some sort of record.

For those of you interested in preserving your baseband with this latest jailbreak, you’re obviously going to want to stay away from RedSn0w.

PwnageTool is the jailbreak tool to use when you’re interested in creating custom firmware, and most importantly, when you need to preserve an unlockable baseband. Even if your baseband isn’t unlockable, you may want to preserve your baseband in case a future unlock is found.

The good news is, the choice is yours. Without further explaining, here is the tutorial that will show you how to jailbreak your iPhone running iOS 4.3.3 and preserve your baseband with PwnageTool…

Step 1: Snag the latest version of PwnageTool (4.3.3) from our downloads section. Also, don’t forget to download iOS 4.3.3 if you haven’t already. You can also get that from the downloads section.

Step 2: Load up PwnageTool 4.3.3, accept the little warning message.

Step 3: Select your device and click the blue next arrow at the bottom right-hand corner.

Step 4: PwnageTool defaults to “simple mode” where it will try to locate your firmware automatically (it’s a smart little bugger), so give it a few seconds. If it can’t find it, it will prompt you for the proper location. Regardless of whether it’s successful or not, we want “expert mode”.

Step 5: Click “expert mode” at the top of the screen. If PwnageTool auto found your firmware, great, select your firmware by clicking it. If not, you can select “Browse for IPSW” and then select your firmware. Once you have done so, your firmware should have a green check next to it. Click the blue arrow at the bottom right-hand corner to continue.

Step 6: Select General, and click the blue arrow at the bottom right-hand corner to continue.

Step 7: At this screen you can select whether or not you want PwnageTool to activate your phone. If you have official service with an iPhone provider and you pay a bill each month (i.e. AT&T), uncheck this. If you are unlocked and use an unofficial carrier (i.e. T-Mobile) you’re going to want to check this. All other settings can remain as is unless you know what you’re doing. It’s blue arrow time, go forth!

Step 8: At the Cydia settings screen just click next, unless you want to pre-install any tweaks or apps from a specific repository. For simplicity’s sake, we won’t go there in this tutorial, but this can be great for those who want an all in one firmware that does everything automatically. Click the blue arrow to proceed.

Step 9: At the Custom Package Settings screen there should be one selection already checked — Cydia Installer. You will obviously need this if you plan on doing much after installing this firmware. Make sure this is checked and click your friendly blue arrow to continue.

Step 10: We’re in the home stretch now! Click Build to select it, and then click the blue arrow to continue.

Step 11: After clicking next, PwnageTool will pop up a dialogue asking you where you want to save your custom firmware. Just keep it at default “desktop” for ease of use and click Save.

Step 12: Now we’re getting to the good part, PwnageTool is creating our custom firmware. This process takes a while, so grab a snack, and pat yourself on the back, you’re more than half way there. Just a note: during the process you may be prompted for your administrator password to proceed.

Step 13: Once PwnageTool is finished creating your firmware, it will prompt you to hook up your iPhone to your Mac and place it into DFU mode (You know the drill: Hold the Power and Home button together for 10 seconds. Release the Power button while still holding the Home button for 10 seconds. Yadda Yadda.) Once you do that, you will get a success message. Click okay, and then you can exit PwnageTool using the button in the upper right-hand corner.

Step 14: By this time iTunes is probably bouncing. Open iTunes, and it will detect your iPhone in recovery mode. Click OK.

Step 15: Click the Restore button in iTunes while holding the Option/Alt button, (Don’t just click restore or you will upgrade with stock firmware and update your baseband!!) and it should prompt you to browse for your firmware. Make sure you select the custom firmware on the desktop that you just created with PwnageTool. You should get a warning message saying that iTunes will erase and restore with iOS 4.3.3. Click Restore.

Step 16: You’re finished. iTunes will extract the custom firmware and perform a restore just like any other normal restore, but iTunes has no clue that this is a custom firmware. The restore will take a few minutes to finish. Enjoy your new baseband preserved jailbroken iPhone on iOS 4.3.3.

Let us know about your experiences with PwnageTool for iOS 4.3.3. Share your tales in the comments below!

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  • Matt

    Update to my previous posts. I kept getting the “not eligible” messages, so finally tried to modify the hosts file. I used Terminal and put a # in front of the one gs.apple address, saved the changed file and went back to iTunes. I put the iPhone 3GS in DFU mode and it was immediately recognized by iTunes as in Recovery mode. I then option clicked the Restore button and selected a custom 4.1 ipsw that I had made with pwnagetool. And finally the restore started. Everything went pretty fast, at least for the first 99.9%. The progress bar has now been a fraction of a inch from finishing for about 45 minutes now. iTunes still restoring.
    Any ideas?
    If the restore doesn’t finish soon, is there a safe way to cancel the restore? How long should I wait?

    Just to repeat: I know nothing about the phone, i.e., what firmware and baseband it has. I was told it’s foreign and has been jailbroken. But I can’t confirm any of this, as I’ve never been able to get onto a working screen on the iphone.

    • Matt

      As I might have expected, restore failed with error 1002.

      Hoping it’s not a hardware problem.

      Have just tried rebooting into another account and am using a different USB cable.

      Trying to restore with custom 4.1 made with pwnagetool.
      I tried custom 4.3.3, 4.3.2 and 4.2.1 but each of them got the message re. Not eligible for this release.

      Not looking good.

      No idea if the phone is toast, but it seemed to show signs of life when I got into emergency phone mode and it was recognized by iTunes. But before I could get any info, I got a No Sim installed message. I tried putting my Sim into it, but the No Sim message didn’t change.

      Does anyone have a good link with play-by-play to basically start from scratch, in the odd position of not knowing anything about the phone? In short, to start by jailbreaking the phone, then unlocking it. Nothing to back up, so total erasing is okay.

  • Frank

    I restored to stock 4.3.5 due to a problem. For 2 weeks, on and off, I’ve tried to downgrade – tinyumbrella, edit hosts, fix recovery – you name it I tried every version. Then I came across this article on pwnage tool 4.3.3 so I tried it. Worked first time except I didn’t uncheck the “Activity” box so I had no carrier or signal. Tried again tonight only this time I DID uncheck that box. Ive now been JB for 3 hours on 4.3.3 and have re installed those Cydia Apps/tweaks I had before – or at least those that I still want. Thankyou Mr Pwnage Tool!! The ONLY things I did in addition to the above tutorial, is I had all SHSH’s saved on tu and I had the server running and I edited the hosts file. What a magic tool. Thanks guys.

  • cn

    I’m getting the error “this device isn’t eligible for the requested built” when trying to restore iphone 3gs 4.3.5 to 4.3.3 Any idea on what to do? I’ve updated the hosts file and done all the steps as explained but no luck…

    • Frank

      Read my post above. Worked for me. I had edited hosts file on iMac and had SHSH saved on tinyumbrella and had tu server running when I restored to the custom firmware 4.3.3. I dont know if all that tinyumbrella stuff was necessary in this case but I guess it can’t hurt. If you have SHSH saved on tu give that a try.

  • Matt

    I ran Tinyumbrella and it didn’t find any SHSHs. Not a good sign, I assume.

    Probably a hardware problem.

    One last thing I’m going to try, just in case it’s not hardware, is to change the battery. I’ve read elsewhere that disconnecting the battery for an hour or so will “reset” the iPhone (much like resetting the SMC on Macs), and maybe reset the baseband chip (in layman’s terms). The battery’s on its last legs anyway, so no harm in swapping in a new one.

  • Jeremy

    Re CN:

    I received the same “this device isn’t eligible for the requested built” error message, and I have confirmed with Sebastien, the founder of this blog, that this error message indeed means that you are attempting to restore to a firmware version that Apple is no longer signing. So, if you saved your SHSHs with TinyUmbrella or Cydia, you’ll be able to restore to a custom-cooked 4.3.3 firmware using TU’s server. If you did not save your SHSHs, then, like me, you are out of luck I’m afraid, since you are currently running 4.3.5.

    I’m crossing my fingers that the DevTeam is able to come up with a jailbreak and unlock solution for iOS5 on updated base bands shortly after its immanent release.

  • ootek

    Like others on here, I followed all steps perfectly and am getting the “iPhone could not be restored . . . device isn’t eligible” error. I’ve looked through all the comments and tried all the tricks, but I’ve still got a brick. Do I just cut my losses and just restore and lose my unlock for T-mobile? Or is there something else to try?

    iPhone 3GS – can’t remember for sure what software and firmware (and can’t check now; thanks, Pwnage) but it was 3.something.something and either 14.something.01 or 15.something.01

    • ootek

      Software 3.1.3 and firmware 15.12.01. I found somewhere I had written it down.

      • ootek

        Never mind, I fixed it! I’m not up to 4.3.3, but I am back to a fully-functioning, unlocked and jailbroken 3.1.3.

        I downloaded limera1n (which was actually for software 4), connected my iPhone, clicked “Make it Ra1n”, and it pulled the phone out of DFU mode!

  • crazy girl

    help tryed to restore bk to factory settings now saying activate fone but wont let me do it

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1811951311 John Smith

    Itunes states that my device is not eligible for the build… What gives!?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1811951311 John Smith

    I’m trying to apply the custom build for 4.3.3, but I tunes states that my device isn’t eligible for the build, What gives?

    I have an Iphone 4 (GSM) and am using the iphone 4 4.3.3 GSM IPSW, I’ve tried with Pwnage 4.3.3 and 4.3.3.1. Any thoughts?

  • http://www.facebook.com/chelsea.carmona Chelsea Carmona

    itunes says the firmware is not compatible. so disappointing…. ive tried everything….. for weeks :(