Recently my two-year old iPhone 4 stopped working -- black screen, holding down the top button neither turned the phone off or on. On my laptop, iTunes recognized the phone but said it was in "recovery mode" and must be restored to factory settings. It started the recovery process however, just after the step of contacting Apple to verify the phone, it put up the message "The iPhone "iPhone" could not be restored. An unknown error occurred (2001)."
I took it to the Genius Bar at the downtown San Francisco store. James plugged the phone into his laptop and received the same message. After a few more quick tests he said the error message is related to a security issue and there is no way to bypass it -- the only solution is to replace the phone.
Not satisified with that answer, I went home and called Apple support and worked my way through four different people. The last person was Cindy, a senior advisor. She said the same thing as James.
I researched online and found that someone with a similar problem had opened the iPhone and simply reset the battery using the iFixIt iPhone 4 Liberation Kit. I tried it (pulled the battery out following the excellent instructions and then put it back in) and ten minutes later iTunes kept going and was able to restore the phone. Unbelievable. The Liberation Kit saved the day!
I'm a software developer. There is always a way to bypass an error and get to where you want to go. How can Apple, with its megawatts of software engineering power, just fold their cards over a single error message? I know, they just want to sell me a newer phone. They want money instead of the satisfaction of a good solution. But do they really have no way to bypass an error message to restore a phone? Can't they access an arsenal of simple fixes like resetting the battery? Apple has really let me down on this one. But iFixIt has come to the rescue. I appreciate a resource like iFixIt who does care about solving problems.