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Richard S.
Richard S., Accounts and Device Specialist
Category: Cell Phones
Satisfied Customers: 2162
Experience:  5 years working with major US carriers in billing, contracts, devices and network
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My phone is reading phone freeze.. SIM unavailable.. please

Customer Question

My phone is reading "phone freeze.. SIM unavailable.. please contact service provider" I contacted AT&T and they claim that the phone is permanently frozen.. Is it really? If I get a code here, will it really work?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Cell Phones
Expert:  Richard S. replied 3 years ago.
Hello and thank you for the question. Do you mean that it was asking for a PUK code? Did you entere an incorrect passcode a bunch of times?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Yes.. I entered the code too many times, but I have the correct code now, but it is still on phone freeze.
Expert:  Richard S. replied 3 years ago.
For whatever reason the passcode was not working (I have no doubt you had it correct, but sometimes the phone just dont take the code or you miss key it) anyways, after a certain number of tries it LOCKs the SIM witha PUK Code, this code CAN ONLY be obtained from AT&T (see link below for how to do that for future reference.)

http://www.wireless.att.com/answer-center/main.jsp?t=solutionTab&solutionId=KB617

Entering the incorrect code more than 10 times will cause the SIM card to be permanently locked and will require purchase of a replacement SIM card. They are serious about this and I do not think there is a way around it (I have never found one.) Unfortunately you need to go buy a new SIM (or see if any friends have a spare one (you can also get them on Ebay for a couple of bucks.)

Sorry I dont have better news, but that is what you need to do.

You can reply back even after you ACCEPT the answer, it does not close the question and we will keep working on this until we solve the issue for you!
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
It is not the SIM that is locked, it is the phone... I want to put a SIM card from another provider in the phone, actually. I now have the password XXXXX the phone, I just need a code to take the phone freeze off of my phone.
Expert:  Richard S. replied 3 years ago.
What Exactly is the phone asking for on the screen?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Nothing at all.. It just says "Phone Freeze, SIM unavailable, contact service provider". Without the SIM card, the phone doesn't prompt for anything at all. But the unlock code doesn't work when entered because of the phone freeze.. It always says deactivate failed.

Expert:  Richard S. replied 3 years ago.
Crap,

Ok, yeah, it is a PUK code lock. Did it tell you that you had a certain number of tries left and you entered more until it said frozen etc?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Someone was trying to get into my phone and entered an incorrect code too many times, and it completely locked.
Expert:  Richard S. replied 3 years ago.
Ok, well good and bad news. The bad news is that you will 150% need to get a new SIM. here is what you need to do.

1. Get a new At&T sim, the old one is Burnt, NO WAY to use it.
2. Once you have the new SIM , go to the link above or call them and they will make you verify it is your account and then give you the PUK code, when you enter that, it will unlock the phone.
3. Once unlcoked you can use the Subsidy unlock code to unlock the phone for use with another carrier.

You MIGHT be able to get someone to flash the entire device and start from there, but you risk bricking the phone...I would go the safe route as a new SIM is like $4 on Ebay.

Let me know if you have any more questions!

You can reply back even after you ACCEPT the answer, it does not close the question and we will keep working on this until we solve the issue for you!
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
I don't plan to use an AT&T SIM card.. I want to use my current SIM card, which is on another wireless provider, with my AT&T phone.
Expert:  Richard S. replied 3 years ago.
I got ya, I totally understand that, but your device has a PUK lock code on it, which means you have to unlock it with that code FIRST then you can unlock the software to allow for use with another carrier.

Basically AT&T padlocked the phone and they are the only ones that have the key (code) because the incorrect code was entered too many times. This is to protect the phones if they are lost or stolen. You have to follow the steps above, I am sorry man...I know it sucks, but no way around it!
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Well, thanks for your help anyways...
Expert:  Richard S. replied 3 years ago.
Sorry man, I know it is a pain, but it really is not that bad. Just to recap.


1. Get a new At&T sim, the old one is Burnt, NO WAY to use it.
2. Once you have the new SIM , go to the link above or call them and they will make you verify it is your account and then give you the PUK code, when you enter that, it will unlock the phone. You can get that by calling AT&T or at the site below.

http://www.wireless.att.com/answer-center/main.jsp?t=solutionTab&solutionId=KB617

3. Once unlcoked you can use the Subsidy unlock code to unlock the phone for use with another carrier.

You can reply back even after you ACCEPT the answer, it does not close the question and we will keep working on this until we solve the issue for you!

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