It's like a Time Machine, but not the good kind
January 25, 2011 5:13 PM   Subscribe

How can I get iTunes to let me select an older backup to restore?

I recently upgraded my 3G from iOS 3.2 to 4.2.1. I backed it up before I started, and then the upgrade software backed the phone up again.

However, once the upgrade was complete, the data on my phone was rolled back to July '10. In other words, iTunes restored an older backup -- and in the process lost all of my photos, contacts, chats, etc. from the past six months. GRR.

When I look in ~/Library/Application Support/MobileSync/Backup, I can see several backups from the date in question. But the very earliest one (which iPhone Backup Extractor shows as being the one I want) does not appear in the Restore Selected Backup list.

So my question is: How can I get that earliest backup to appear in the Restore Selected Backups list?

And for bonus points, why did iTunes do what it did? And is there something I should do differently to keep from running into this kind of crap with future backups?
posted by ottereroticist to Computers & Internet (2 answers total)
so you get as far as the screen where you can select from a menu labeled "restore from backup of" with a menu of dates in it, but it's only showing one menu item per date and thus excluding the specific backup you want to restore?

have you tried moving all the other (later, incorrect) backups from that date out of ~/Library/Application Support/MobileSync/Backup and seeing if the restore then works correctly?
posted by russm at 8:56 PM on February 9, 2011

Response by poster: Yes. Moving the other folders results in the Restore from Backup... option disappearing from the drop-down menu.

My partner took the laptop (which is still on Applecare) and the phone (which is not) to the Genius Bar, on the premise that the problem is with iTunes, not the phone. Four geniuses they had trying to figure it out, and nothing.

I've pretty much resigned myself to losing six months' worth of iPhone data. But I cannot say that I'm happy about it.
posted by ottereroticist at 11:45 PM on February 10, 2011

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