iPhone Backups

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iPhone Backups

Postposted on Sun Aug 17, 2008 11:30 pm

I've just realized that when I sync my iPhone, it usually makes a backup... and doing so usually takes quite a while (30 minutes). After reading around, I've discovered that these backup files are stored in ~Application Data\Apple Computer\MobileSync. After digging into this folder, it only shows about 70 megs of files (many weird file types).

Anybody else have experience with these iPhone backups?
Is this the only folder where backup information is stored?
What exactly is it backing up wherein the backup folder only shows 70 megs (I assume it's not backing up music/videos/photos)?
Why does it take so long (30 minutes) to do a backup if this is the case?
Is iTunes not "smart enough" to only add to the backup folder what's changed since the last backup (do an incremental backup)?

Sorry for so many questions... I just wanted to know if it's really worth having iTunes make these iPhone backups, considering it's taking a good 30+ minutes.
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Re: iPhone Backups

Postposted on Mon Aug 18, 2008 6:15 am

Music and video synced to the device isn't backed up there because it's in your iTunes library. The only things in that folder are SQLite databases with your actual data. You can actually browse the database. http://sqlitebrowser.sourceforge.net/
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Re: iPhone Backups

Postposted on Mon Aug 18, 2008 11:01 am

The only things in that folder are SQLite databases with your actual data.


What's considered "actual data"? ... and so I guess it's not doing an incremental backup (is that why it takes so long)?
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Re: iPhone Backups

Postposted on Mon Aug 18, 2008 11:06 am

your address book backup, any app data for the apps on the phone, that sort of thing. I don't think it backs up downloaded applications, but I could be wrong.
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Re: iPhone Backups

Postposted on Mon Aug 18, 2008 12:00 pm

Hmm... seems sort of unnecessary to keep backing up every time I sync, then. Considering that my address book is already backed up in the form of it being my outlook address book, and that most of my apps are games, so the content within them isn't that important. (I'm not really sure 30 minute backups to keep my tetris score are worth it). I think I've also heard that it somehow keeps previous (deleted) notes and texts... which I not only don't care to backup... but sort of think is creepy/weird that the iPhone doesn't "permanently" delete that information when you hit delete on your iPhone. I think the only thing making a backup would help with is if I had to get my iPhone serviced (i.e. i dropped it on the floor), or if I got a replacement phone (which I would probably never do, since I'm under contract and getting a new phone if I lose mine would probably cost in excess of $400). So yeah, I'll probably ditch the 30-minute backups form now on. Thanks for your help.
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Re: iPhone Backups

Postposted on Mon Aug 18, 2008 12:11 pm

man, 30 minutes sounds excessive for what's on your phone. If it's not important to you, disabling backups is probably your best bet.
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Re: iPhone Backups

Postposted on Mon Aug 18, 2008 12:22 pm

The problem is that applications are fully backed-up too -- which means that if you have games it'll keep copies of the entire game with all its data (not just personal bests and whatnot).
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Re: iPhone Backups

Postposted on Mon Aug 18, 2008 12:35 pm

OK then if the App store is like the music/video store, re-downloading your stuff is a huge pain in the ass...you might want to back up once in a while when you find time if you need to get teh phone serviced or replaced.
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Re: iPhone Backups

Postposted on Mon Aug 18, 2008 5:24 pm

http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=532189

Lol... Apparently people have been complaining about this. It looks as if part of the problem is that it's sending and gathering a catalog of all the crashes. Sending error reports is turned on by default and sort of inconspicuous when you first setup your iPhone (disabling the error-reporting service involves a little digging around after the fact). I'll try disabling this feature next time before I sync - hopefully that will make the "backup" process quicker (why Apple decided to have crash-reports sent during a "backup" is beyond me).
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Re: iPhone Backups

Postposted on Mon Aug 18, 2008 5:32 pm

I have the iPod Touch so it is similar enough that backup times should be comparable. I have about 2 gigs of mp3's/podcasts, probably 20 different apps, contact list etc. on my iPod. The entire sync operation doesnt take more than just a couple of minutes. Something strange is going on with your setup.
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Re: iPhone Backups

Postposted on Tue Aug 19, 2008 2:12 am

Fantastic news (sarcasm)... I tried updating to 2.0.2, and I immediately got an error. Went to the restore image which took an hour. Got back into my phone to find that all my multimedia (videos, photos, songs) were set to factory defaults (i.e. wiped) courtesy of apple. What a pile of crap. Now I'm having it re-sync and fill my iphone back with all my multimedia stuff. There's seriously something wrong in this whole backup/restore/updating department wherein my iphone gets wiped completely clean.
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