Purchased Apps Crashing Fix

Background

A few days ago I discussed the problem of purchased iTunes app store applications suddenly crashing en masse.  As I suspected, the problem turned out to be some kind of bug in Apple’s DRM.  The problem has cropped up for a whole lot more people who upgraded to iPhone firmware 2.0.2., because, I suspect, a great many of those people had never synched their iPhone with iTunes 7.7.1 and now they have.

Steve Jobs has acknowledged the problem and promised a fix by September.

Solution

The bug appears to be specific to iTunes version 7.7.1.  Downgrading to iTunes 7.7 for me and apparently many others solves the problem, until Apple corrects the bug with a new version of iTunes.  (On the Apple Discussions forums, only one person claims he did downgrade and the problem has nevertheless recurred.  Everyone else reports total success.)

How to downgrade

• Obtain a copy of iTunes 7.7 if you didn’t archive it.  Here’s one host, otherwise try Google.  The established unofficial Old Apps iTunes page currently does not have version 7.7. The MD5 should be:

bdb3bff00fe98dc3d972a0e9de0d592c

• Remove all app store apps from iTunes, as explained in the first post on this issue. Note you will lose all settings and documents.  In iTunes 7.7.1, select your connected iPhone, go to the Applications tab, deselect all the app store ones, and sync to remove them.  Eject iPhone.

• Quit iTunes.

• Delete these files mentioned in this Apple Discussions thread:

/System/Library/Extensions/AppleMobileDevice.kext
/System/Library/PrivateFrameworks/DeviceLink.framework
/System/Library/PrivateFrameworks/MobileDevice.framework
/Library/Receipts/AppleMobileDeviceSupport.pkg
/Library/Receipts/iTunesAccess.pkg
/Library/Receipts/iTunesX.pkg
~/Library/iTunes/Device Suport (the entire folder)

• Trash iTunes itself.

• If desired, follow other directions offered by p+j in that thread. However, I found that step 2 above was sufficient preparation.

• Restart computer.

• Install iTunes 7.7.

• Logout of your iTunes account in the store menu & log back in.  Re-authorize your computer.

• Connect your iPhone.

• For good measure, try unchecking at least 1 music track or playlist etc, so the first new sync changes the music.

• Buy a free app from the store.  Go back to the iPhone applications tab and make sure that’s the only one set to sync.

• Sync the phone.

• Reboot the phone.

• If you have a jailbroken phone with cracked IPAs, add a cracked one, sync, then reboot phone again.

• If both work, it should be good to go.  Now you can sync anything else.

• If you are backing up, make sure to back up now and remove previous backups to make sure you don’t ever revert to a corrupted version.

Cautions

Downgrading to iTunes 7.7 may present other problems.  If you are running Tiger and have music with unicode text in their ID3 tags, iTunes may corrupt those tags.  This is apparently especially the case of the Tags are version 1.x.   Other bugs might also be present that were fixed in iTunes 7.7.1.

Hysterical Blog

Check out Jaime Hosticka’s site on this whole fiasco. It’s hysterically funny.  Jamie is the guy who provides the iTunes 7.7 link above (which he reports has had thousands of downloads). He is also one of the main people who figured out the cause of the problem was iTunes 7.7.1 and that downgrading works.

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