Fixing "No Service" on iPhone 4

Disclaimer: I don’t know whether or not this would work for every case of “No Service”. But at least it might worth a try.

If you’re in a hurry, jump to the last paragraph.

Providing “No Service”

A couple of days ago, my iPhone 4 suddenly stopped receiving signal from cellular network and consistently showed No Service message. I tried performing several diagnostic steps at no avail.

  1. Turn off wireless signal (Airplane Mode) and turn it back on again.
  2. Reset network settings.
  3. Hard reset the phone (press Power and Home button together).

I did those steps several times until the iPhone got mad at me. It decided to show the Connect to iTunes screen and stuck there. So I have to connect it to iTunes.

Formatting the iPhone

Once connected, iTunes said the phone cannot be used and must be restored. Restoring the iPhone is pretty much the same as formatting it. But since I have nothing to lose and nothing else I can do, I proceeded with restoring the iPhone with newly downloaded iOS 6.0.1. After the restore process was completed and the iPhone rebooted, iTunes displayed a screen with a message pretty much saying that the iPhone is dead, please get in touch with the shop you bought it from. I can’t do anything for you anymore.

… I freaked out. I thought this must be a hardware issue!

MBK Can Do Everything, Or Not?

I went MBK, hoping that one of the shop would have the expertise to fix this kind of problem. But after leaving the phone with the shop for 2 days, the technician couldn’t pin point where the problem originated. So I told the shop to just put the phone back and I’ll go pick it up.

… This is officially my first dead iPhone.

I was prepared to use it as a paper-weight. But while stuck in traffic on the way back home, I thought I might try one last approach before really accept the fact that my iPhone is dead.

Raising the Dead (iPhone)

Ever since I got my first iPhone, I always restore it with SIM card inside. And it works every time so I never thought about taking out the SIM card before initiate restore process.

This time I took out the SIM, put iPhone into DFU mode and hit Restore. I let the process run until the phone starts back up. First thing I noticed, the message in the upper left corner is no longer “No Service” or “Searching…”. It shows “No SIM”. That’s something new.

So I put the SIM card back in and went through all of the setup screens until it reached the point where the phone needed to be activated. I wait ……………… and there in the left corner I saw TRUE-H.

I almost scream in happiness. :)

My old trusty iPhone 4 seems to come back to life once again. And I hope it will stay that way.


Here’s what I’ve done.

  1. Remove SIM card
  2. Put iPhone into DFU mode
  3. Connect the iPhone to iTunes then turn it off, leave iTunes open
  4. Press and hold Power and Home buttons for 10 seconds
  5. Let go of Power button but keep holding the Home, wait until you see a dialog box in iTunes saying the iPhone is in DFU mode
  6. Restore the phone
  7. After the phone restart (you should see No SIM), insert SIM card and go through the setup screen

Hopefully, you phone will come back to life too. ;)