It’s all Alto’s Adventure’s fault.
My kids saw me playing the game, and they wanted to play, too. They get iPad time on the weekends, using three older iPads the family has amassed. All the iPads are set to grab new apps I download automatically, but one—Sierra’s—wouldn’t.
Easy enough fix, I assumed.
I checked the old iPad 2, and indeed, it was offline. I went to settings to connect it to our home Wi-Fi network. But the iPad wouldn’t see my home Wi-Fi network at all. Toggling Airplane mode didn’t help. Settings -> General -> Reset -> Reset Network Settings didn’t help either. Sometimes, my home network shows up, but the iPad refuses to connect to it.
I tried some other wireless networks, too. The iPad refuses to make a connection to any. Most, it can’t even see. I tried joining the networks as “Other.” No dice.
So I decided, screw it… I’ll reset the whole thing. But iCloud won’t let me.
When I try to Erase All Contents and Settings, it needs me to log into iCloud first. (This is a Find My iPhone situation; to prevent stolen iOS devices from working, Apple requires that you know your Apple ID password if you want to reset one.)
But the iPad can’t verify my iCloud password, because it’s not online. iTunes won’t let me reset the iPad either; it wants me to turn off Find My iPhone on the iPad. Which I can’t do, since turning off Find My iPhone on the iPad requires validating your iCloud password. Good times.
So I went to the iCloud.com website, and I removed the iPad from there. That worked out just fine. But the iPad can’t see that it’s been removed, since it’s (still!) not able to get online.
I’ve tried Reset All Settings. It doesn’t help.
So I’m stuck with an iPad that can’t get online. And a Genius Bar appointment on Monday night. If you get my iPad online before I have to drive to the mall, you win a prize. (Prize = public gratitude.)
Update: Multiple friendly Twitter people suggested DFU mode, which I'm trying now.
Update the second: DFU worked to restore the iPad without the iCloud pain. But though the iPad successfully went online post-restoration process, it's now again lost the ability to see Wi-Fi networks. The Genius Bar appointment, unfortunately, must remain.