Friday, November 25, 2011

Using SAM to officially activate an iPhone and receive valid Push Certificates.

As mentioned in the last post, Push notifications (as used by the facebook app, or Find My iPhone) on the iPhone rely on valid and unique certificates on the iphone that are tied to that particular iPhones UUID number. These certificates are handed out by the apple servers when a phone is first activated through iTunes, and when an the first app that uses push notification is run. As such, a “hack-tivated” does not have valid certs, resulting in Push not working, the iPhone quickly draining its battery as it continuously contacts the apple servers with invalid certs, or both. To get valid certificates, you will need to do the following:
  1. Follow the guide available here:
  2. I got an “invalid sim” error in iTunes when I went to try and activate the iPhone. There is a way around this by specifying the original carrier that the phone is locked to in the Sam Prefs settings. However, if, like me, you dont know which carrier the iPhone is originally locked to, and you are unsuccessful in getting your phone activated in this way, you can do the following:
  3. Go to Settings->About->Model, and make a note of the model number.
  4. Go to and look up the model number to see which carrier the iPhone was originally on.
  5. Under Settings->SAM, click on “method”, and change to country and carrier. Then under “method” you should be enter in the original carrier and country details. If even that doesnt work, change back to “automatic” and it should work.
  6. Install an application that uses Push to finalise the process. You can download “iPusher” from the app store, or “Push Checker” from cydia (add the repo) from to test if your push notifications are working.
  7. If iPusher reports an error, make sure that the iphone is disconnected from the computer, go to Settings->SAM->Utilities and click on “Backup activation”. Then wait a minute, and click on Restore Activation. Restart the iPhone, and connect it up to iTunes again. Run iPusher or Push Checker again and you should have valid and unique certificates.
  8. To backup your certificates, you can use the guide here:

This will allow you to restore the official push certificates back onto the iphone again if you restore the iphone in future.


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