I wrote this as a response to another thread, but realized it may be useful for all, since I saw a few asking how to do this in the "iPad Hacking" forum as well.
Recovery Mode is how to start all over again on your iPad like new. It erases everything, even the operating system, and reloads directly from Apple. Once that is done, if you have performed a backup of your iPad in the past, you will be able to restore all of your configuration settings and preferences after the reload occurs.
Reasons for using Recovery Mode:
- You jailbroke your iPad and want to make sure all strangeness and problematic code and logs are gone
- Your iPad isn't working quite right and you want to see if starting from the beginning will fix it
- You want to sell your iPad but ensure there are no artifacts or remnants of your personal data, apps, and settings on the device
Again, the below instructions will start you over like an iPad direct from the factory.
To prepare for a recovery mode restore, have the following ready:
- Your computer (plugged in to power) ready with iTunes up and running
- Your iPad synch cable plugged into your computer but NOT your iPad
- Make sure your iPad is at least at 20% battery, preferably higher
NOTE: Do NOT touch the iPad once recovery begins. Make sure your computer doesn't suspend, sleep, or shut down while the process is going on.
- Sitting next to your computer, take your iPad (which should NOT be connected to your PC) and hold down the sleep button (on the top of the iPad) and the home button (front of the iPad) at the same time
- After about 10-15 seconds, the unit will power off (do not do anything when the "slide to power off" screen appears, just keep holding the buttons)
- When the iPad turns back on, you will see the silver Apple appear on the screen. Continue holding down the home button but release the sleep button and immediatly plug the iPad into your computer running iTunes
- You should see a symbol appear on the iPad with a picture of a USB cable with an arrow pointing to the iTunes logo. iTunes will then say that it detected an iPad in recovery mode.
- Let iTunes restore the device. It will download a fresh copy of firmware, install it, and verify the SW.
NOTE: This may take a while. iTunes needs to download about 500MB from the Apple server, then it will start the loader on the iPad, and load the OS.
- After iTunes said that is successfully restored your device, you may get an error message saying the iPad isn't recognized and you're still at the screen with the USB cable and iTunes logo on the iPad. Don't sweat it. Unplug the iPad from the computer. Power off the iPad by holding the sleep button until you see the "slide to power off" - go ahead and slide to power off. Once it is shut down, push the sleep button again until it powers on.
- the iPad will come back to the familiar USB cable/iTunes logo. When it does, just plug it back into your computer and iTunes will activate the iPad.
- if you had previously backed up your iPad, iTunes will tell you there is a backup and ask if you would like it restored. If you wish to do this, accept the prompt. This will also take some time. Note it will NOT put your apps, music, movies, TV shows, etc back on your iPad, just your settings and preferences.
- once the restore is complete, iTunes should recognize your iPad and you can pick your synching options (apps, music, movies, etc, etc) and have a blast! The only thing I noticed it doesn't retain is the page layouts for your apps, so either screen capture them before you begin, or write it down.
I hope this helps the community!