Just recovered iPhone backup from time machine!

Hi!  This post is NOT about cooking, or nutrition, allergies, etc…  This is just about daily life challenges… Like trying to bring your iPhone back to life!

I love my husband dearly, really, he is truly fantastic…  So, my husband is my #1…and then comes my iPhone.   We don’t have kids or pets, so I guess it is ok to say that 😉

I have an iPhone 3G, which is probably now considered older than a middle aged citizen… has it been almost 3 years since the release?  That is ancient, right????  Regardless of age, for me my iPhone is just an extension to my brain and I just love it!

I am a very active iCal calendar user on my iPhone.   My iCal is just like my mother…  it reminds me to take my vitamins, it tells me when to go to the doctor, when to eat, when to clean, when to work, when to party, etc, etc, etc…  So, yes, I schedule EVERYTHING and have many reminders throughout the day in order to stay organized and get things done.

So, on September 7, 2010 Mr. iTunes “told me” to upgrade the iPhone software…  And then the chaos began…  My whole life was erased from that day on (plus future entries) back to  3 +  years ago!   My calendar was gone!  There was just NOTHING left!   I tried to sync again several times and make it work… (you know, like when you were a kid and tried to bring back to life a dead bird or fish, etc…).  Then, after trying to resuscitate my iPhone, I realized that  the iTunes backup with my lost data was gone too!

I realized how much I depend on this little machine…   I felt quite lost without my daily reminders, calendar, etc…!!!   Fortunately, I had most of my schedule for the rest of the month on a little board I keep on my office!  But my history and anything after September was just gone!!!

After devouring the web for hours and trying different things here and there, I finally figured out what do to get my data back.  And… it WORKED!!!

If you keep reading my blog you will see that I am pretty stubborn.    Giving up is not an option for me.  I am a problem solver and I know that if the solution does not exist yet there must always be  away to figure it out or to work around it…

Now, let’s go to the practical stuff.

LITTLE DISCLAIMER:  Please, do not take what I say as “the word” since I am definitely not a techie…  I just have a profound need to get things resolved and learn a few things here and there on the way ;p   Now, proceed at your own risk…


“I have a 3G or 3Gs iPhone, downloaded iPhone software 4.0.1  and now my iPhone is super slow and/or I have lost my iCal entries and/or contacts, etc…”

After doing A LOT of research on the web I learned that this is a glitch from software version 4.0.1 (thank you Apple!).

What NOT to DO:

1.  DON’T try to sync again or backup before you read the whole post and figure out what would be your best choice.

2. DON’T restore your phone to factory settings – NOT YET-.

3. DON’T panic! ;p

What TO DO:

1. Make sure you have the latest iTunes version (10.0.1 as of today).

2. If  you HAVE NOT SYNC. AGAIN since the “incident”, the last iTunes backup of your phone should still have all of your lost data.

–  Upgrade to new iPhone software version 4.1.

–  Follow directions on iTunes to restore iPhone to factory settings.

–  After going to factory settings, iTunes will give you the option to create a new iPhone or to restore from backup.

–  Choose BACKUP from iPhone, otherwise you will lose everything.

That should do it since the newest iPhone software (4.1) seems to have fixed the glitch.

3. If you DID SYNC your iPhone after the incident and LOST the backup with all of your data, use Time Machine to recover it.

–  Click here and follow tutorial.

– This will show you how to restore your iPhone from a previous time machine backup date (when your iPhone had all data and was working properly).

4. If you want to downgrade your iPhone to the previous software version (3.1.3) before things went downhill and see if that works for you, click here.

This might not be useful anymore since now the newest software version seems to be working ok for older phones… But, here it is just in case.  Again, I know nothing, so you decide!

I made all the mistakes.  Right after upgrading to the new software and freaking out from losing my calendar I went back and did another upgrade, which included a new backup of my iPhone on iTunes…  I did that a couple of times.  Now I know that iTunes only saves the last backup you make and the previous ones get automatically erased…  So, I did not have a good backup to use for restoring my phone!   Also, this whole iPhone 4.0.1 software from hell had a glitch that erases backups or something like that…  So, if you did what I did and your GOOD backup is gone and you don’t have TIME MACHINE, you are basically screwed…

From now on BACKUP periodically!!!  Get Time Capsule or a large capacity external drive (1TB?) and activate Time Machine.

Please, don’t ask me questions about how to do this.  I installed time machine years ago and don’t remember how to do it anymore…  Just google “time machine setup” or look on youtube for a tutorial.

Thank God I do have Time Machine.  After trying everything without any luck I just followed this tutorial and voila!!!  Now I have my old calendar back and my iPhone is fast and efficient again!!!

Hope this helps someone, somewhere 🙂

Please comment and let me know how it went, ok?  Thank you!

‘Til soon,



5 thoughts on “Just recovered iPhone backup from time machine!

  1. Hi! I realize this was posted two years ago, but I have been searching the web for annnnything that could help me and you seem to have had the same issue I’m having now. When I went online to different forums, and even on Apple Support, I discovered that before restoring your iPhone back to factory settings, iTunes will give you the option to back it up first. That is my problem. I haven’t backed up my phone other than two times which I deleted after reading somewhere that deleting them will fix my problem (which was clearly a load of bologna!). But I figured if iTunes is going to allow me to back up my phone BEFORE I have to restore it, then I can restore it with the back up and have all my data again.
    But iTunes doesn’t give me the option to back up my iPhone before I restore it! DX

    I have a 4S btw! I needed to update it to iOS 5 which is why I connected my phone to my computer and got in all this mess!
    Oh, and my iTunes is updated to the latest version, I did a software update just yesterday. I want to go to the Apple store and ask what’s wrong with my phone!! DX

    If you have any idea, please help!! Thanks!


  2. I have lost all my data on my iPhone because when I have tried to sync it says my backup is corrupt. I do have an iTunes backup on Time Machine but I have no idea how to use it. I also have a clone of my hard drive on another drive (made with CCcloner) but that one does not work either, I cannot boot from that external drive for some reason. Isn’t this odd? 3 backups, one does not work and I cannot reach the other two… I am getting mad, I want my life back. 🙂

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