Semi-Restore: Upcoming tool claims to let you restore the device to a fresh version of iOS without losing jailbreak

Ever since Apple released iOS 6.1.3 and then iOS 6.1.4 (for iPhone 5), users who have a jailbroken iOS device have to be careful when they install tweaks to ensure it doesn’t mess up the device forcing them to restore their device. This would in turn mean that they would also lose the jailbreak.

So I was a little intrigued when one of the readers (thanks Alan!) sent me a link about a tool called Semi-Restore. The developer @Coolstar claims that the Semi-Restore tool will let you restore the device to a fresh version of iOS without losing your jailbreak.

It tool will be available for Mac, Windows and Linux users. There is also a SSH version in the works. It is supposed to work with iOS 5.0 to iOS 6.1.2.

The developer notes that the tool has the following requirements:

  • 5-10 minutes of your time!
  • A computer running Windows or Mac OS X
  • OpenSSH and APT 0.7 Strict (NOT THE LIB) installed on your device
  • An SSH client on your computer (USB version coming soon)

Semi-Restore website also highlights the following important points about the tool:

  • There may be a better way to fix your current problem. For example, to fix “Safe Mode” issues, you can just uninstall Mobile Substrate from Cydia.
  • Like any other restore, make sure you backup your data if you want it later.
  • Avoid using your iOS device or anything related to iTunes or XCode. Why not actually go outside?
  • This process can not and does not repair broken system files! Avoid all Siri Ports, as they are not only illegal (except for Spire on 5.0.1) but they also create problems and may potentially break system files (even Spire can cause this).
  • Your device will respring several times during the semi-restore. This is perfectly normal, so don’t panic.

The developer has also released the following screenshot of the tool:


I was a little skeptical about it as I haven’t heard about the developer before. After some digging, it looks like the tool is simply a wrapper for iLEX R.A.T.

What’s ILEX R.A.T? user who is probably the developer of the tool, explains it quite well:

ILEX R.A.T. stands for Remove All Tweaks. Basically this removes each and every installed app, tweak and dependency EXCLUDING the defaults from Cydia, so after you’ve jailbroken your device a while back, and you installed your hundreds of packages, it’ll all be removed with a single command.

What this is primarily used for is if your device ends up in a state where you cannot enter Safe Mode since you don’t have it, or if your device is stuck on any screen but is still recognized by your PC, or, if your device can be placed into Safe Mode and you can’t remove the tweak for some reason. The bigger use for this would be the general request of “How do I clean my device of all jailbroken apps and start over without restoring”. We’ve all had that thought run through our minds once our devices start to act sluggish.

A popular use for this as well would be as a contingency for A5+ devices, or basically devices that can’t be downgraded even with appropriate blobs and APTickets saved, meaning your iPad 2, 3, 4, Mini; and iPhone 4S and 5, where restoring is not an option since you want to retain your jailbreak.

So say you have an iPad Mini, and you’re on 6.1.2. Your device is acting sluggish, and you want to wipe all your tweaks and such so that you can start afresh but because the latest iOS is not jailbreakable, you don’t want to restore and lose your jailbreak, and since you have every single Cydia tweak installed, it’ll take you ages to delete them all manually. This will be for you.

I have embedded the video, which gives a demo of iLEX R.A.T:

So while I won’t call the Semi-Restore tool a scam as that was my first reaction when I visited the site, the use of the word “restore” is misleading as it is not anywhere near a restore or a semi-restore tool. 

Just like iLEX R.A.T, it seems like an interesting solution to fix the reboot loop problem if this solution doesn’t work, or you’re not able to identify the tweak that is causing it. You can check out this link to find out how to use iLEX R.A.T (I haven’t test it yet so please proceed with caution).

The Semi-Restore GUI tool should make this process a little simpler. According to the status update on its website, it is currently 60% complete and in the second round of beta testing.

As always, we’ll keep you posted.