If you have an iPhone that's passcode-locked, especially with message that iPhone needs to be connected to iTunes, you may want to try to unlock it by jailbreaking, installing SSH and messing with the filesystem. (tcprelay.py from usbmuxd is very helpful for SSHing if the iPhone doesn't connect to a known wireless network.) There's this tutorial on installing SSH on a disabled iPod, which doesn't use tcprelay.py and is targeted for Windows users, but it should nonetheless give you the starting info.
Before you start you may want to discover which software version is installed on the iPhone.
Current redsn0w, 0.9.11b4, displays the device name, ECID, and software build when you use the "Fetch SHSH" functionality. There's also "Identify" functionality which should do the same thing, but you won't be collecting SHSH blob (it's a good idea if you want to downgrade in the future.) Build name is a string similar to iPhone2,1_5.0.1_9A405 and can be used to obtain the correct .IPSW for your device, enabling you to jailbreak the device and to install contents of "SSH Bundle.tgz". Most important thing is – fetching SHSH blobs is a non-destructive operation.
(All files mentioned are googleable.)