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Upgrade iPod Touch firmware to 3.0 for free

I got a brand new iPod Touch 2nd generation at Costco and to my surprise it only came with firmware 2.2.1, not the latest & greatest 3.0 everyone talks about. Upon connecting it to iTunes, I was immediately prompted to purchase the 3.0 firmware update for $9.95. So I gotta spend another $10 bucks after I just spent $209.99, I thought, forget that! Here’s how to get your iPod running 3.0 for free using Windows.

These are the exact steps on how I got my iPod Touch upgraded from firmware 2.2.1 to 3.0:
[step 1] Open iTunes 8.2.1 (if you don’t have it installed, download a copy here)

[step 2] Find a copy of the iPod 2nd generation 3.0 firmware at SoftPedia. It’ll be named iPod2,1_3.0_7A341_Restore.ipsw. If you’re unsure whether or not you have the right file, this is the checksum of the one that worked for me: 8a3e43a448db6c34799f765c22d7528e

NOTE: to check your file against the checksum above you can use a free program called WinMD5Sum 1.0. Open the file, look for the ipsw file and click calculate. Then paste the checksum above and click compare. If they’re not the same you’ve downloaded an incorrect or corrupt file.

[step 3] Fire up iTunes with your iPod Touch connected. Synchronize your iPod touch with iTunes to back it up.

[step 4] Click on the iPod on the left hand side of your screen to view your iPod’s details (you should see you iPod’s current firmware version). While holding down the Shift key, click Check for Update. You’ll be asked to select a file. Choose the ipsw file mentioned above and click Open.

iTunes check for update

iTunes will extract the firmware and begin loading it onto your iPod automatically.

open firmware update

Some forums suggest performing a Restore after loading the ipsw file, but on my setup (Windows 7 x64 + iTunes 8.2.1) this wasn’t required. As soon as I selected the ipsw file, the upgrade was initated automatically and completed in about 1 minute. During that time there were several beeps indicating that a USB device had been plugged in/removed.

[step 5] Verify that your iPod Touch is running version 3.0 software in iTunes by viewing your iPod’s details.

Software version 3.0
That’s it.

August 4, 2009

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