My iPhone Ran Outa Film?

this shot taken before My iPhone ran outa film

My iPhone stopped taking pictures, click, and no shots in the Camera Roll.

I did some googling and found this post on Apple support. (I am a wonk, thats what I do)

1. Synchronize iPhone. This also creates a backup of the notes and other items that don't get synchronized anywhere else.
2. Go to Settings, General, Erase All Content and Settings
3. Once complete, connect the phone and synchronize with iTunes
4. Choose to restore from the recent backup to recover your notes, SMS history, and iPhone settings as well as data that is normally synchronized. Your problems may be gone.

Well folks, Mine were not, so before the next step I decided to take a quick trip to the Geniuses at the Apple store.

The experts behind the bar laughed when I told them my iPhone had run out of film.
But when I showed them the problem they got it. Take a number we can help you in one hour. So I went to lunch.

Came back at my allotted time at the bar, again asked where does the film go? These Apple guys must be overworked no laughs, They took my phone, tested it. Yep, this does not take pictures, Did you try METHOD #1, Yes I did, I am a Wonk. Ok thanks.

Then they did method 1, still no worky, OK Mr McClure we will replace your iPhone.
Genius went to the back, got me a new iPhone, updated all my data onto the new iPhone, handed it to me and said Have a Nice day!

At this point, I took My iPhone pointed it at him, and clicked a shot, and handed it back. Still the same issue.

Well Mr McClure, the problem is not with Our iPhone, the problem is with Your Data.

The Lady next to me laughed, See its all your fault!

Ok, COOL! can you fix it?

Nope, Have a nice day!

If the first method didn't work, try this procedure.
1. Synchronize iPhone. This also creates a backup of the notes and other items that don't get synchronized anywhere else.
2. Go to Settings, General, Erase All Content and Settings
3. Once complete, connect the phone and synchronize with iTunes
4. Choose NOT to restore from the recent backup. As you continue, you will lose notes, SMS history, and iPhone settings as well as data that is normally synchronized. However, corrupted system files (such as the internal camera roll files) will be replaced with fresh non-corrupted versions and everything should work.

I went home, took a deeeeeep breath and did the above fix.

Now my custom ringtones do not work, they are there, just silent.

I have a songs in iTunes that are the same way, there, just silent.

I still need to re-set up IMAP for my two gmail accounts.

And I wonder how long till I get to do this fools errand again.

Anyone else having this problem? Do you have a better work around?

A similar experience? Apple could you please fix this!

Apple Store
936C The Shops at Mission Viejo
Mission Viejo, CA 92691

(949) 365-0727

Get Directions to the Apple Store, Mission Viejo, CA:
Starting address:

I hope you are all having a Nice Day.


Oh and I connect My iPhone to my computer every night to remove the picts I took that day, and delete them from My iPhone. 8 gig iPhone, 3 gig free space.
ResPres said…
Having the exact same problem at this very moment and just haven't had the time to do #2. Trip to Apple Store for me proved equally as joyous.
Desertnut said…
I haven't experience this problem on my 4 gig iPhone. At least I'll know what to do if it does. Did you get it to work yet?
From what I can tell it is happens to people who delete all the images off the iPhone all the time. I have now done #2 three times, But I am still missing some functionality, ringtones that I bought thru iTunes are there but silent if chosen, same with the songs I have bought thru iTunes, there but silent. very strange, and have wasted much too much time trying to get back to where I was.
Nothing like setting up multiple imap accounts multiple times.
I dont find bugs, BUGS FIND ME!
ammon said…
This just happened to me after deleting all photos with iPhoto. I'm running 1.1.1 with 3rd party software I didn't want to loose with a restore. Luckily I was able to fix the problem by sshing into the phone and deleting /var/root/Media/DCIM
Anonymous said…
Just in case Apple is reading this... I had the same problem! Method #2 worked for me, but still, I missed out on some great pictures! PLEASE FIX THIS.
Anonymous said…
ammon: how easy :)
thanks, pal.
(done through disk for iphone on 1.1.2)
Daniel Drysdale said…
I found a fix for people with hacked phones, I posted it to the support forum you mentioned...

Text of my post...

I recently updated to 1.1.3 (unlocked, jailbreak) and started experiencing the same problem. I rarely ever used the camera so I don't know if it just started in 1.1.3.

Anyway it was really annoying me so I started poking around via ssh and found that if I ran the camera application manually as root then it seemed to work just fine.

/Applications/ --launchedFromSB --role Camera

I could take photos and look at them, they wouldn't appear in iPhoto though. If I ran the camera as the "mobile" user which is the normal setting the problem would occur and I would see an error message each time I took a photo

/Applications/ --launchedFromSB --role Camera
CGImageDestinationCreate destination parameter is nil

This lead me to think that the problem is related to permissions as the behavior differed depending on the logged in user.

using the "find" command to see what files were changed today...

find / -mtime -0

I found that there were what looked to be photo files in the directory


Now the camera preferences file has a reference to "DCFLastDirectoryNumber" and a value of "100", looking at the Media directory for the mobile user showed no "100APPLE" directory so I created the following directory


mkdir /private/var/mobile/Media/DCIM/100APPLE

and changed the ownership to the mobile user

chown mobile:wheel /private/var/mobile/Media/DCIM/100APPLE

and now the camera is working again.....

I also noticed that the parent directory


was not writeable by the mobile user so if the directory was deleted then the problem would occur again so I made in writeable by all

chmod 777 /private/var/mobile/Media/DCIM

Yes I know this poses a security risk, but then the only users on the system are root and mobile and I want them both to be able to write to the DCIM directory.

After the fix I was able to take photos, import them into iPhoto and delete the originals with no problems.

Note: This fix is maybe 10 minutes old so no guarantees. Also you need ssh access to the phone so only people with hacked phones can use this fix....

I hope it works for some of you at least...

Logan said…
I found simply deleting the DCIM folder in var/mobile/Media/DCIM did the trick.
This series of steps works perfectly. It is from another web page. I'm posting it here for a few reasons, the main one of course is to help others looking, and secondly, since no one on the apple support pages uses these resources correctly. Posting a reply to someone's request for help stating "This is also happening to me" is just plain stupidity. This thread is like a garbage heap with a lost ring at the bottom. Anyway, rant over, here is a simple fix:

1. Make sure your phone has been synchronized in the version of iTunes you are using.
2. Restore your phone. (in itunes in the summary tab click the restore button)
3. After JUST the phone settings are restored, DO NOT restore your personal information from a back-up. It will prompt you for this, don't close this screen just hold off on it for now. Disconnect the iPhone and take a photo. The photo should now appear in the camera roll, as usual.
4. Reconnect the phone and import the photo into iPhoto; do NOT delete it from the iPhone. (after importing it choose "keep originals")
5. NOW go back to itunes and restore your personal information from a back-up.

Now your iphone will have everything on it, and picture taking works again.