iPhone's gray wi-fi of death: The Last Update 01/06/15
This was one of the most FRUSTRATING iPhone problems I've ever dealt with, and it was completely unexpected. All I did was upgrade my phone.
- I noticed that after an update, my phone no longer asked me to select a wireless network. The wi-fi Button was grayed out and could not be moved or bothered.
- I have an iPhone 4 running 6.1.2
- Latest version of iTunes as of 03/01/13
- Because I did not have anything of value on my phone, I restored it to it's original settings and file system. My phone was clean, but the wi-fi button was still grayed out.
- Upon closer examination, I noticed that the MAC address for my wireless was gone. But the MAC address for the bluetooth remained. This is something that was very different. My MAC for the bluetooth and wireless has always been the same, or so I thought.
I then tried to restore my mac address.
- Restoring my phone - FAIL
- Resetting network settings and all settings - FAIL
- Refused to try the blow dryer/ Refrigerator technique
Wrote down the mac address of my bluetooth Downloaded evasion and jailbroke my phone Used iSpirit to download and install SSH and mobileterminal Open mobile terminal and type "su" Password is "alpine" Enter "nvram(SPACE BAR)wifiaddr=INSERT BLUETOOTH MAC HERE" Restart your phone
Updated process as of 03/01/13, may work for iPhone 4S but is NOT TESTED as of 03/01/13:
- Back up your iPhone. If you have a jailbroken iPhone, create an SHSH Blob on Cydia to preserve your jailbreak.
- Write down the MAC address of your bluetooth and your wireless. If you have no MAC address or it is something odd such as 00:00:00:00:00:00, don't worry.
- Jailbreak your phone using evasion. You may use other tools, but since my iPhone is updated to the latest iOS, I am limited in what I can use. The untethered jailbreak for the iOS 6.1.2 is fairly recent. http://evasiondownload.org/
- Download iSpirit. https://sites.google.com/site/kisuke2014/ to get apps on to your phone through your USB cable. I believe iFunbox will work too.An example of the iSpirit's app search -
- Using iSpirit, search, download, and install macx4.
- Hit the "Restore Original MAC" found in MacX4.
- Your iPhone 4 should reboot. If it has successfully restored the wireless, it will ask you to set up your iPhone as a new phone. However, everything will be exactly how you left it. I assigned my iPhone bad MAC address causing it to lose its wi-fi and then I successfully restored everything using this app.
- If this fails, download a program called SysInfoPlus from iSpirit. It will allow you to examine your phones interfaces directly and see how they are set up and with what IP addresses.
Method 2 (Jailbroken iPhones Only): Did you know that Cydia automatically saves your SHSH blob? Using a program called iFaith, you can recover SHSH blobs for older firmwares, allowing you to restore your device to a firmware without battery or wi-fi problems.
Question: Where is my mac address??
Question: Will a jailbreak hurt my phone?
It is not the jailbreak that harms most phones, though I am sure Apple will disagree. A jailbreak simply lifts the restrictions on your phone placed by Apple (IE - once you jailbreak, you can remove the restriction of some applications only downloading via wi-fi) The real harm of a jailbreak comes in to play when you start downloading jailbroken apps from dangerous and unverified repositories. So, as long as you just jailbreak for this and then restore back, you have nothing to worry about. Apple will not even notice you made the change.
Update as of 04/17/13
I have been able to work with an iPhone 4S that has a similar issue. I WAS able to fix it by cooling the iPhone down. This suggests that your iPhones are overheating and eventually reach a temperature that cause parts of it to shutdown, however, it doesn't trigger the message "iPhone needs to cool down before you can use it." It also explains why sometimes, for some of you, the problem returns. If your iPhone is put in any situation where it, or a certain part of if overheats that is near the wi-fi antenna, it shuts the wifi off, permanently. That is technically good news, because it means you just have to keep your iPhone cool. However, I only had the phone briefly, so I don't know if overheating is a problem that can't be easily avoided. To test it out somewhat, I concentrated a good deal of heat near the wifi antenna of my iPhone 4. It had the effect of disabling the wi-fi. But if the phone itself got too warm, it would trigger "iPhone needs to cool down before you can use it." I turned my phone off and left it in a cool place. When I restarted it about 30 minutes later, everything was back to normal.
Update as of 07/30/13
A commentor pointed out to me that MacX4 has gone missing in action. However I found a link to a deb file that's specifically designed to repair your MAC address.
I tested it out on my iPhone 4 with OS 6.1.2 and found it kept my MAC address the same. I won't go so far as to say it changed my MAC address back to its original, because like you, I don't have MacX4 to change my MAC address to something else and then use the deb file to remedy the situation. As I have mentioned before, use with caution. Back up your phone in iTunes AND back up your SHSH blob on Cydia.
Update as of 01/06/15
I haven't heard of anyone having this issue in a while. As this post is two years old, I hesitatred to even update, however for some strange reason it still gets many views. So, if you are still facing this issue, Apple has officially addressed it here http://support.apple.com/en-us/TS1559.