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Initialize iPad without itunes

Posted on 2011-03-07
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
We have a number of iPads here at the University Library. We lend them out to staff for use. One problem is the need to wipe all data after each use but in order for the next person to use it, it will have to activated/re-initialized with iTunes. Our staff workstations here don't have iTunes installed.

Is there a way, a hack or an app that will do a full wipe of apps, user data and settings back to factory without having to re-initialize in itunes after?

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Question by:5497
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by:Jason C. Levine
ID: 35061455
You could go into settings and reset the iPad from there...
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by:5497
ID: 35061506
Yes, but resetting the iPad will require itunes to re-initialize before it can be used again. This is where the problem lies. If we don't have access to iTunes, the iPad is stuck on the screen with a "sync cable and iTunes icon".

We need a way to be able to do a full reset, yet be able to run it fresh again for the next user *without* ever plugging into itunes.

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by:Jason C. Levine
Jason C. Levine earned 1000 total points
ID: 35061616
I have cleared off user data on an iPad before and was not prompted for the cable but a recent OS update may have changed that and I'm not willing to blow away this iPad to test.   The literature suggests that this is not possible yet.  
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GaGirrl earned 1000 total points
ID: 35061661
Apple is pretty clear on the requirements and there are a lot of inquiries on the 'Net about hacks to this issue. You can have an iPad activated at an Apple store, but that's typically a one time deal.

My suggestion is that you create a generic iTunes account when you first initialize the iPad (I presume you're using something when you first issue them).

1. Back the iPad up using the library's copy of iTunes (someone will have to have it) and use that as your "base configuration."
2. When the person brings it back, wipe the iPad, connect it to the library's iTunes enabled PC, reload the default and you're back in business for the next person.


iPad specs
PC with USB 2.0 port
Windows 7; Windows Vista; or Windows XP Home or Professional with Service Pack 3 or later
iTunes 10.2 or later recommended
(free download from www.itunes.com/download)
iTunes Store account
Internet access
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by:Dr. Klahn
ID: 36984699
This question has been classified as abandoned and is closed as part of the Cleanup Program. See the recommendation for more details.
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