The iPhone “xxxxx” could not be restored. An unknown error occurred (28) Repair

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An unknown error occurred (28) message appearing when you try to restore using iTunes seems to be a common issue affecting iPhone 3G and 3GS units.

A Toshiba flash memory chip on an iPhone 3G. Courtesy of Semiconductor insights (TM)

This is primarily caused by a defective NAND (Not AND) chip or the internal flash memory. However, there are several software fixes that may work. You can try one of the followings and do a full restore. You can also try this alternative solution which requires you to disassemble your iPhone.

  1. Wait for a couple of hours before doing another restore.
  2. Drain the battery completely.
  3. Bring the iPhone to DFU mode (not recovery).
  4. Use another USB port on your computer.
  5. If you are willing to assume the risks, you can try dismantling your iPhone, disconnect the logic board from the battery, and then reassemble it back together.

If none of the above works for you, then you may want to take your iPhone to the nearest Apple Store. If yours is still under warranty, they can get you a replacement. Otherwise, you may consider using our service as we can fix this issue by replacing it with a new NAND chip.

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

Please bear in mind that all suggested resolutions above are based on the assumption that you are not a jailbreaker/unlockers. If it works – you may risk losing your jailbreak and/or unlock.

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Comments & Discussion

  1. Can you tell me how to know if the NAND chip is damaged?
    I've tried almost everything you said but my iPhone 3GS is still not working and in recovery mode.
    If my iphone is not under warranty, can I return it to apple store?
    If not, what can I do?

  2. Thank you so much for this post!!! I've jailbroken and unlocked at least a half dozen phones and have never had this problem! I was up until 4am this morning thinking my new 3GS iPhone was bricked before I was even able to use it!!!

  3. Ive got an iPhone 4s and it’s less than 4 months old and when I was using Facebook it put it self into DFU mode and now it’s stuck and I keep gettin error 28 now any help ?

  4. I would like to share my experience with this issue that I've had I got a used 3gs phone for study purposes and I did restore it to 4.3.3 before knowing about the SHSH and blobs so it got stuck in the DFU with lots of error including error 28 I finally managed to get it to work using a very smart tool called Ibooty it's from IReb I restored to version 4.1 the version that used to be on it and the jailbroken version and then it got stuck on a white screen that's when I used the Ibooty and it's now working with 4.1 again but when I'm trying to upgrade with a downloaded version of ios 6.0.1 it's giving the same 28 error still will do some more tries though

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