'iPad Unavailable" - how to restore w/o upgrading?

Have an iPad mini that sat for a little while and while I am 99% confident I know the password, Apple decided otherwise and now the window displays “iPad Unavailable” message.

Looking for a way (any way) to get the iPad back to normal WITHOUT jumping to latest iPadOS. I have the older (no longer being signed) .ipsws, and have data backups. Do not care at all about anything on the device, but do not want to update to latest iOS.

Think here are tools designed for this purpose however striking out.
Anyone run into this, find work arounds?

I don’t know, but I would talk to Apple Support

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Try Recovery Mode - how you get to it depends on which device, but it should help.

Oh, Apple specifically designed his to update to latest version… going out of my way to avoid that. Was hoping someone here might have gone through the process.

If you do recovery mode, find the appropriate ipx, it might install.

You can only install older iOS/iPadOS versions that are still signed by Apple.

Which version do you want to install, on which iPad model?

True…and of course Apple only signs the latest few versions…otherwise this would be easy and done. Apparently there are tools that would support restoring iPads w/original iPadOS…one of them is is called 3uTool, which is PC only.

That would probably require “SHSH blobs”, which you should have saved when Apple was still signing your iOS version… (or did you?)

sadly no. not even sure how to save them on an unjailbroken device - don’t you need it jailbroken to save out the blobs?

I don’t think a jailbreak plays a part in this, but I’m not sure.