Disclaimer: This workaround for installing the iOS 5 update comes courtesy of Steven Correa, Mahalo systems administrator. We make no guarantee that the following steps will work in every case and we are not responsible for any further errors you may encounter as a result of this tutorial. This guide is for informational purposes only. It worked for us in the office, but make sure you backup your data before attempting this tutorial.
Apple owners worldwide have shared a common experience today, broken iPhones and iPads. But this workaround, explained for Mac, will allow you to locally install and update your iPhone or iPad after you have downloaded the iOS 5 update and are unable to install it while connected to iTunes.
You will need to enter Device Firmware Update (DFU) mode -- entering DFU mode will erase all of your data, so backup your data before doing so. To backup your data, hold 'Command' + Click on your device while in iTunes and select Backup.
Here is the Apple Tutorial on backing up your device.
You will also need to sync all of your apps. Here is the Apple tutorial on syncing your apps.
Then, you will need to enter DFU mode by holding the sleep/wake button at the top of your device and the home button for a few seconds. Wait for the screen to go black before you let go. Release the sleep/wake button and continue to hold the home button for a few more seconds (about 5 to 20 based on your computer's speed).
If it's successful, iTunes will recognize that the device is in recovery mode and prompt you to update. If your device boots up normally that means you accidentally did a hard reset and did not enter DFU mode. Repeat the previous steps to enter the DFU mode. After you click OK hold 'Option' and click 'Restore'.
Here you will need to open the file locally. Press 'Command' + 'Shift' + 'G' to open the "Go to the folder" where you will need to input the the directory " ~/Library/iTunes/ ".
From there you will need to navigate to your device's software update folder, in this case the "iPad Software Updates," and then click the .ipsw file, which will begin locally installing iOS 5 update, or your most recent update.
Then you will need to sync your device with iTunes to recover your data and applications.
The restoration steps above cut out Apple's servers, which seem to be down, although there has been no confirmation from Apple.
Users are receiving variations of Apple 3000 errors, which Apple explains below, but refer to the errors as client side issues.
"Errors 3000-3999 (3002, 3004, 3013, 3014, 3018, 3164, 3194, and so on): Error codes in the 3000 range generally mean that iTunes cannot contact the gs.apple.com server on ports 80 or 443. This may be because out-of-date or incorrectly configured security or firewall software is interfering, an old version of iTunes is installed, an entry in your hosts file redirecting requests to gs.apple.com (see error 1004 above), or because of your Internet proxy settings. If you are using a proxy, try without using one or with a known-good network. If that does not resolve the issue, follow iTunes for Windows: Troubleshooting security software issues. Error 3014 may indicate that you need to free up more disk space on the computer before trying to restore again. Error 3194 most likely indicates you do not have the latest version of iTunes installed Update to the latest version of iTunes. "
At this point you will need to connect to your device's carrier like Verizon or AT&T via iTunes.
The activation process seems to be having errors as well. We experienced this one while trying to connect to Verizon's servers, but after a few seconds, before even clicking continue, the activation process began for Verizon. On AT&T it booted right up.
Be sure to follow the Apple knowledge base article above to backup your data before attempting to use this workaround to install the iOS 5 update.