Updated: iPhone Firmware 2.0.2 Download Error? (-3256)

UPDATE: Fourth time was the charm! Download finished quickly and update took under 10 minutes. What's in it so far? Commenter Sarah Healey, below, says support for the additional carriers coming on line this week, which we should have expected (thanks!), Craig Hockenberry on the Twitter says an iPod Touch/Xcode glitch was corrected for devs, and iLounge says "update all" is gone from the App Store. Oh, and, some 3G bugs might have been squashed...

No sooner had Dieter broken the story about the immanent iPhone 2.0.2 firmware drop, then I tried to download the sucker and update. And got nothing because Dieter had said 5pm and it was only 4:45. D'oh. Tried again at 5pm. Still nothing. 5:09, however, and BOOM! Update engines fired on full. 248.7MB of "Bug Fix" goodness began to flow down my slow, expensive, likely throttled Canadian cable pipe.

Or so I hoped. Seems the Lords of Kobol hate me. (Or at least the Lords of Cupertino as transfered by the intertubes and, ultimately, Videotron). My download generated an unknown error (-3256).

Tried again, same result.

Anyone else experiencing this?

Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, Review, The TV Show, Vector, ZEN & TECH, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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There are 48 comments. Add yours.

resmd says:

Mine downloaded fine, then gave me some message about the iPod "iPod" could not be updated and an error code (-1).

Bud Why+Zer says:

The update worked spotlessly for me. There are more reception bars now. Unless a new 3G tower was built in the last hour near my house, I have better reception now.

Alienware_51#IM says:

I wonder if it's because the iTune's servers getting hammered with downloads.

guinness0514 says:

Still downloading here....no err yet...

resmd says:

How long did it take for the phone to 'update' after starting the process once the download was complete?

guinness0514 says:

Don't know yet...will let you know as soon as mine finishes

guinness0514 says:

Yup got error code (-19) It says it's an unknown error.....

pyroguysf says:

Took forever for me and my computer was frozen up while it was doing its thing, but it looks like it worked fine. Signal at home is still 4-5 bars like before. UI seems a little snappier, it was kinda laggy before for me at least. Nothing else really noticeable that is either good or bad.

Chad Garrett says:

I had problems getting service on my iPhone after the install. After about 15 minutes, I got signal again... had me scared for a while!

guinness0514 says:

It's working now...still installing...

Greg says:

I got an error code too and now my phone is stuck in recovery mode and its telling me I have to restore the phone! Loosing who knows what all apps and other data!!!!

guinness0514 says:

Mine installed...it took 10 mins to complete. Two bars of signal going in....Two bars of signal coming out..... :-/

resmd says:

mine was stuck after over 1 hour with the 'spinning' wheel....it's a restore for me unfortunately!

Greg says:

WTF!!! Of course I try to call apple tech support and get a message telling me to try my call again later!!! I suppose I have no choice but to restore. Thanks apple! I'm not running any questionable apps either. If it doesn't restore back with all of my previous apps and info, I'm gonna be a little ticked. Especiall since two of the apps I have used to be free but now there's a charge for em! !#$!#$!@

Matt says:

No errors downloading.. Took about 20 mins to update the phone once the download was complete.. No errors on the update.. BUT once it restarted and re-synced with iTunes I noticed the time on the phone was off.. way off.. saying 11:11 PM.. unless my phone was transported to the future it was only 7:11PM here.. Had to cycle the phone again for it to pick up the correct time.. Odd.. So far no other errors. After only a few mins of use it does seem a bit faster..

Bobowski says:

I got this same error message when I tried to update the last time. I just waited it out and after a few hours it updated fine.

guinness0514 says:

no signal improvement for me... :-(

Brian says:

No signal improvement for me as well. Not much of anything actually. Maybe the random text lag will go away,,,wahoo for over 200 mbs

Shonn says:

Mine was updating, then an error now my computer doesn't recognize my phone. It's trying to install an unknown USB device but can't find the drivers. My iPhone shows a USB adapter to an arrow to iTunes and won't do anything. Can't restore because my computer isn't recognizing. Guess I'm running to the mall to go to the Apple store.

Femib says:

This update was awesome! I went from 5 bars of EDGE to 1 bar of 3G!

Rob123 says:

My update went fine. Seems the SMS lack time and Contact search has greatly improved.

iphonemilk says:

have not updated yet... ill wait till tomorrow when the fires go away... where's the rush?

The jones boy says:

installed fine here on my iPhone edge. Typing still playing catch up but address out of it's coma. No other changes seen yet.

Stan says:

Unable to upgrade from 2.0.1 to 2.0.2. I am getting error -19. Any suggestions?

JNHohol says:

I got the error the first time. I unhooked my iPhone and did an install only. Everything downloaded fine the second time and I didn't have any problems with the update.
I am getting a blue dot instead of a large ring at work now, so hopefully some GPS improvements. I'll find out at the gym, I couldn't get a for there either.
I won't find out about 3G until tonight. I only get 3G at home and I have a week signal. I have had problems over the last 3 nights where I would jump off 3G and and edge wouldn't work. I had full bars but no data, I was pretty pist. I hadn't had any problems until just three days ago, and it was only my house (thankfully).

Stan says:

I ejected my iphone and then hooked it once again. I let it do the routine backing up and syncing and after all that, I clicked upgrade and it worked perfect.
The contacts part is now very smooth (it was a big pain earlier)...more to explore.

Daniel says:

It could be just me but I THINK gmail is now pushing messages. I am logged into my account at the same time and as soon as a message has hit my account it it appears on my iphone within 2 minutes if that. anyone else getting the same?

netsyd says:

If you're still getting that error - and you're using Vista - try it again on a Windows XP box. Buddy of mine had that error on his Vista system, worked first try on XP.

Max Steel says:

Took about an hour to DL and 10 min to install.
It went smooth and is working fine.
No more stuters, love my iphone.www.youtube.com/maxwellsteel

Toks says:

It happened to me too, so i tried again, and it worked well. IT'S being 2 hours and I have not noticed the difference, will keep you posted.

ruffdeezy says:

I had error 9 but it still worked in the end without having to update it again.

Alex says:

Well, I updated our both mine and my wife's 1st gen phones last night (3 hours after the 5pm availability) and mine was flawless on the Mac but my wife's on the PC crashed hard. Error 13. Tried everything, read the forums everywhere with tons of homemade fixes that didn't do anything. So, I broke down and called Apple. 2 hours later, fixed (they are good, man). He had me build a new profile on the mac and restore the phone on my mac g5. Worked flawlessly. Then, he had sync it to my wife's PC. Worked flawlessly. Then synced her iphone as always. It's back and I find that 2.0.2 is snappier than ever. Everything is better including the EDGE. Grabs a 5 bar signal within in 5 seconds (in NYC and LI areas). My lesson learned is just call Apple versus struggling for hours.

Sean Peters says:

Argggh! Install of 2.0.2 worked fine, but now none of my App Store apps are working! I'm ready to scream!

RayT says:

This was not a "happy" update. I went through many of the error messages that others have alluded to. Finally, I restored my 3G iPhone to a brand new MacBook Pro, whose iTunes had nothing on it, and viola, it worked. Then I went back to my MacBook that I normally use and restored all the iTunes songs, photos, apps, etc.
By the way, like many others, 2.0.2 blew out my three emails, so I had to get them going again. GroupWise was the hardest to get re-established.
In the end, I honestly can say that I have been able to continue talking in places that I had historically been cut off before, so maybe the 3G is a bit better. However, I've seen nothing else that is remarkably different.
Finally, my phone has a proclivity to jump from 5 bars to none, yet still work in 3G. What is going on with that?

Bruce T says:

I am no longer receiving my Gmail since the 2.0.2 update. Dead. Anyone else?

PissArtist says:

I'm getting the 3256 error, I've tried a few times, it gets to the end of the download (79 minutes) and stops at 1 second remaining, gives me that Error.
Anyone know what I can do? is there a direct download for this? something where I don't need to use iTunes?

Valentina says:

When I tried to install version 2.0.2 I got unkown error (6). When I connect my Ipod touch, I get the following message "iTunes has detected an iPod in recovery mode. You must restore this iPod to use it with iTunes".
I tried to restore it, and I get the same error (6).
Can anybody help me, please.

Fernando says:

My Gmail (IMAP) is dead too after 2.0.2.
I always received "The user name or pass for xxx@gmail.com is incorrect".

Simon says:

There won't be signal improvements for up to a few months according to apple (via cnet) as it is a hardware problem, that can apparently be fixed through a software upgrade... check cnet.com out for more on it though as i read it about a week ago so i'm not fully certain on what else the article said :)

ayan says:

hello everyone! im from the philippines and iphone was just released here by Globe Telecom last Aug 22,2008.
i purchased one immediately and since day 1, i tried to download and install the iphone 2.0.2 software update but UNFORTUNATELY, i get the same ERROR MSG "3259" EVERYTIME.
until now, i havent had luck installing the update.
another issue, i cannot (or dont know how to) turn off the KEYBOARD DICTIONARY-- it is very annoying because Filipino is not one of the supported languages so i wish i could just TURN OFF the keyboard dictionary instead.

rinks says:

Hi Am still facing the same problem of netwrok error.........any body who can help ...please

Rafael Steiger says:

Hey everyone. Same problem as mentioned above - "the user name vor ...@gmail.com is incorrect".
Have no solution either.
For the keyboard dictionary there is a solution:
First Jailbreak your 3G iPhone http://iclarified.com/entries/index.php?caid=2&scid=11&seid=2 (do not forget to install "Cydia")
Then open Cydia - More Sources - and add iphone-notes.de - after that you'll find the tool "asKB" under "Sections" (Bottom) - "Tweaks 2.0".
But I'm still hoping for a solution for my gmail problem...

Filip says:

I have the same Error (-3256) just at the end of downloading with iTunes on my PC. I have tried twice, so far without success. I will try again.

Filip says:

Third trial... and it works! The download and upgrade went seamlessly without any issue. The iphone, applications and data are all ok. Thanks all for the previous posts.

Denis says:

Error 3256 in itunes can be solved when you update you airport express to the latest version (version 6.3). That can be done with the following link: http://www.apple.com/support/downloads/airportexpressfirmwareupdate63for...

arjay says:

hey i donwloaded tons of applications today and when i tried one the flashlight my iphone frozed and i cant turn it off i cant even restore it coz my computer cant find the driver of my iphone 3g what should i do.. any help please??

Gaya Prasad says:

i am using iphone 8Gb in india one day i put phone on IBM server and after 5m found phone is in recovery mode, if some one has ecperinced the similar problem please share