Can't even get a server error message, much less upgrade to iOS5?

About a week after iOS 5 was released in mind-October, my inability to get the upgrade onto my 3GS led me to messaages like "It's a rolling upgrade; Apple's servers are catching up. Try again later." Every time I plugged my iPhone into my PC, iTunes launched, synched and brought up the Store. Nothing on the screen said anything about downloading iOS 5. More Googling yielded messages from people who followed the same procedure, but evidently found a download link or something like that, because they had launched the upgrade procedure but then gotten a server error message. Meanwhile I was still getting nothing. I tried re-installing iTunes. Rebooting my PC. Yet, here it is November and each time I plug my iPhone into the PC, it's the same dead end. iTunes launches, synchs with the phone, and then shows me all the latest groovy hits I can download. Absolutely nothing about the iOS 5 upgrade steps, contrary to Apple's messages saying "Just plug in your iPhone and iTunes will do the rest."  Maybe there's a secret password?

I'll answer my own question for the benefit of anyone with similar symptoms who searches the forum. Today just for grins, instead of letting the step of plugging the iPhone 3GS into the PC launch iTunes, I launched iTunes first then plugged in the phone. THAT succeeded in bringing up a dialog box that got me started on the road to the iOS 5 upgrade. One more thing: One of the steps that no one mentions is that once your iPhone is plugged into the PC and shows up in iTunes, click once on the topmost list of items representing your iPhone. That will take you to your iPhone "home page." There's an update button in the center of the home page screen that you'll use. It's pretty quick; only took about 30 minutes on my basic DSL connection. Have fun!

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