Fix Factory Unlocked iPhone 3GS ‘No SIM Card Installed’ Error After iOS 6 Update

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Just updated to iOS 6 but getting the iTunes error “There is no SIM card installed in the iPhone you are attempting to activate”? Here’s how to fix it.

This is a rather weird issue because you already have your SIM card inserted but iTunes is saying otherwise. What’s even more weird is that you have an iPhone 3GS which is already factory unlocked but won’t activate normally (or if you have an AT&T iPhone, and need to unlock it, click here).

If you have baseband 6.15.00 installed before, for whatever reason iTunes won’t let you activate your iPhone on iOS 6. Apple may have quietly put a this restriction in place. In case you missed the news, you can now downgrade from iPad baseband 6.15.00 to 5.13.04.

Editor's note: learn more by reading our ebook on starting your own iPhone repair & unlock business

Try the following fix:

1. Download redsn0w 0.9.14b2 that can downgrade iPad baseband to 5.13.04 for Windows or Mac. Download original firmware iOS 5.1.1 for iPhone 3GS from here.

2. Launch redsn0w. Go to Extras > Select IPSW button in redsn0w to point to the original firmware you just downloaded.

3. Do a controlled shutdown of your iPhone (“slide to power off”).

4. Return to the first screen and click ‘Jailbreak’. Check the ‘Downgrade from iPad baseband’ checkbox, uncheck Cydia and click Next.

5. Redsn0w will start doing the downgrade and you will see ‘Flashing Baseband’ screen on your iPhone with the Pawnapple icon. DO NOT INTERRUPT your iPhone while baseband flashing is in progress.

6. When done, your iPhone will reboot itself and the baseband should have been downgraded to 5.13.04. Try to connect to iTunes once more and see if it would activate.

If you don’t have an official unlock, you may want to consider using this tutorial.

Any comments or issue?

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Comments & Discussion

  1. I have factory unlocked my iphone 3gs but still "No SIM Card" status on my itunes.
    I have downgraded bb to 5.13.04. current IOS is 4.1.

    Please help me

  2. I finally fixed my 3gs which is already factory unlock. Here is what I did:
    1. Download redsn0w_win_0.9.15b3 and iphone2,1_6.0_10A403_Restore.ipsw.
    2. Right click on redsn0w.exe and select properties.
    3. On Compatibility tab, check "Run this program in compatibility mode for Windows xp (Service Pack 2) then click Ok
    4. Right click on redsn0w.exe and click on Run as administrator.
    5. Click Extra, click "select ipsw" and click on iphone2,1_6.0_10A403_Restore.ipsw. Click on Ok and Yes on the next messages since my phone use newer bootrom.
    6. Click Back button and Jailbreak. On the Next screen you will need to un-check "Install Cydia" and check "Downgrade from iPad baseband"
    7. Click Next then following the message on the screen.
    8 Good luck

    If your iphone is factory unlock then you will need to do Restore in Itune.

    • i followed your steps after 2 days of thinking how to unlock my iphone 3gs in ipad baseband. after getting it unlocked its finally factory unlocked! thanks!!! now i can update ios worry free :)

    • Thanks…I able to restore my Phone.
      After trying to downgrade redsnow14b2 with baseband 5.13, my imei number and Bluetooth was showing blank and also baseband was not downgraded
      But again trying with higher version of redsnow,i able to restore my imei and downgrade baseband.
      after that connect my iphone to ITunes my phone was restored in second attempt.

      Thanks

  3. Wonderful
    YAYYYY
    Thanks. (3GS with new rom) Downgraded to 4.0 using iTunes in DFU and holding option and command and then getting to chose restore (Downloaded ipsw first and redsnow 9.14b1 (not latest but it does job nicely)
    then using redsnow to flash baseband from 4.0 and then YAYYYYYYYYYYYYY
    had paid for carrier unlock and it WORKS………
    now upgraded OK to 6.01 YAYYYYYYY

    Thanks for this (A LOT) Thanks, Thanks etc

  4. For factory unlock phone
    i was not able to downgrade with redsnow 14b2.
    My imei and bluetooth was showing blank after doing with redsnow 14b2
    then
    I downgrade to 5.13 from 6.15 with redsnow higher version and Imei was back.
    After that simply connect to itune for restore.
    Thanks team Richard.

  5. Thanks very much , your a legend, have been trying to get my sons iphone to unlock and upgrade, but the iPad base band was the problem. once we followed your instructions all was good….

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