If you’re having trouble updating to iOS 5 right now (generally resulting in an Internal Error popup), you are not alone. It seems that the problem is actually due to an overwhelming number of phones downloading, updating, and pinging Apple’s servers.
Don’t fret. The easy solution is to keep trying to update. Lucky for you, there’s a more expedient way to do it. Unfortunately, I’m at work right now, so I can only write this how-to for those of you running OS X.
1. Download iOS 5 (presumably you already have or you wouldn’t be here.)
2. Locate the .ipsw file. More than likely, this will be located in a hidden folder. The way to get into it is to click on your desktop, select the Go menu, and then click Go to Folder.
3. In the Go to Folder box, type in ~/Library/iTunes/iPhone Software Updates/ and press return.
4. Copy the .ipsw for iOS 5 to another folder (your desktop, perhaps).
5. In iTunes, click on your iDevice, and hold option while clicking “Restore.”
6. Click the .ipsw file you just downloaded.
7. Repeat until it works. It may take upward of 15 tries.
Of course, if you’re the patient type, you could probably just wait until tomorrow and I’m sure the issue will resolve itself. I’m not the patient type.
Mandatory Legal Disclaimer: on the off-chance that this deletes all your phone content or bricks your phone, I’m not responsible. You’re doing this at your own risk.