How can I fix an aborted iPhone restore?
December 10, 2009 11:01 PM   Subscribe

Restored my iPhone to factory settings (after backing it up) in an attempt to fix an app updating issue. Now I can't restore all my previous stuff because iTunes says "the backup session failed." Please help.

My (non-jailbroken) iPhone 3GS backed up normally in its previous sync, and the restore was going smoothly until I got to the "set up your phone" step and chose to restore from backup. It got up to the point of actually starting to put things back on my phone after the preliminary set-up kind of thing, then there was a problem: It said the restore had failed because the phone had been unplugged. (I didn't unplug it, but I may have jostled the cord.) I then started over with trying to restore from the backup and, after a few minutes, got the error message saying it couldn't be restored because the backup session failed. Another attempt (and another) got the same error. I am super freaking out here. How can I get my iPhone back the way it was? If I can't get it back, what do I do now? Can I get anything back? My contacts should still be on my SIM card, right?
posted by Captain Cardanthian! to Technology (7 answers total)
Mac or PC?
posted by maniactown at 11:22 PM on December 10, 2009

The iphone doesn't keep contacts on the SIM.

If you have a Mac, they're in Address Book. If you have Windows they're in Outlook or Windows Contacts. Open one of those apps and you should see them there.

Check out this support article from Apple:
posted by birdherder at 11:35 PM on December 10, 2009

Response by poster: I have a PC, running XP. My contacts were all previously on my SIM from my old phone (I've only had an iPhone for <3 months).
posted by Captain Cardanthian! at 11:46 PM on December 10, 2009

Response by poster: birdherder, I've already read that page and tried to restore from the backup again, but I got the same "iPhone disconnected" error.
posted by Captain Cardanthian! at 11:48 PM on December 10, 2009

Best answer: You might get lucky and be able to restore from an older backup by right-clicking on "your iPhone" (the name) in iTunes and choosing "Restore from backup". It's possible that an older backup will be in that popup list.

If there's not an older backup to choose from, you might be able to get at the contacts data in your corrupted backup by using an SQLite browser for Windows to extract data from the files located in C:\Documents and Settings\USERNAME\Application Data\Apple Computer\MobileSync\Backup
Maybe somebody else has specific software recommendations for the SQLite browser.

Good luck.
posted by maniactown at 1:17 AM on December 11, 2009

Best answer: iTunes probably doesn't modify the backup upon your access to it, so either a) your backup has always been corrupted, or b) some files on your iphone needed to access the backup were corrupted.

If a), sorry, try backing up from previous backups.

BUT if b), try simply restoring to factory default again, and then backing up. Most likely than not, that should probably work.
posted by suedehead at 4:32 AM on December 11, 2009

Response by poster: It's fixed! Thank you all SO MUCH for your help.

and now I have to wait a week to ask my condom question, but oh well.
posted by Captain Cardanthian! at 6:54 PM on December 11, 2009

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