Advisory: Safe-guard STRIP Data When Migrating to a New iPhone or Upgrading iOS

2010-09-30 20:00:00 -0400

It has come to our attention that there is a potential for inadvertent loss of data in STRIP for customers who have purchased a new iPhone to replace an existing one. This may also affect other iOS devices such as iPod Touch and iPad.

When setting up a new iPhone in iTunes, iTunes offers to restore the data from your old device on to the new one. It would seem that in some cases the process appears to have been completed successfully, but the user later discovers that while Contacts and data from other default applications is transferred successfully, STRIP and other downloaded applications are missing their data. Some users have found (including us personally) that doing a second “Restore from Backup…” operation completes the migration successfully.

However, some users don’t notice the failed migration right away, and have at times discarded the old device (thus losing access to its copy of Strip’s data), or have synced their iPhone with iTunes since the initial Restore, which has the effect, in some cases, of wiping out the old backups maintained by iTunes. In that unlikely situation, it becomes nearly impossible to recover the user’s data.

Avoiding the Problem Before You Make the Switch

If you are planning to migrate to a new device or upgrade your iOS operating system, you’ll want to do the following before you make the switch. We’ll go through the various steps below.

  • Disable automatic syncing in iTunes
  • Turn off encrypted back up (temporarily)
  • Take a fresh backup in iTunes, explicitly
  • Use Strip Sync to take an independent backup of your data

As always, we are here if you run into trouble, please get in touch.

Disable automatic syncing in iTunes

Make sure your iPhone is disconnected from your computer. Open up iTunes, go to Preferences → Devices, and make sure the checkbox “Prevent iPods, iPhones, and iPads from syncing automatically” is checked.

Turn off encrypted backup (temporarily)

Connect your iPhone (or iPad or iPod Touch) to your computer with the USB cable that came with your device. If iTunes is not running, start it. Once the device appears in the left-hand side of the iTunes window, click on it to bring up the Summary screen. Scroll down to Options, and make sure that “Encrypt iPhone backup” is not checked.

Take a fresh backup in iTunes, explicitly

Every time you sync, iTunes will take a fresh backup, but it doesn’t necessarily keep that backup around for later. Doing it explicitly will keep the backup around for later in case we need to do a Restore.

In iTunes, with your phone still connected, right click on your phone’s icon and name in the left-side view of iTunes. In the menu that comes up, select “Back Up” to initiate a fresh, unencrypted back up.

The process may take a few minutes to complete.

If you had turned off encrypted backup in the previous step, you can now turn it back on.

Use Strip Sync to take an independent backup of your data

To ensure that you can have an independent backup outside of iTunes, we’ve published a free companion utility for Mac OS X and Windows called Strip Sync. It is important that you download and configure Strip Sync on your desktop. Once installed you’ll be able to sync your data off your iPhone and into Strip Sync over WiFi.

You can download Strip Sync for free over here:

Be sure to follow the setup instructions for your operating system:

Strip Sync works over WiFi on your home or office. If you have problems syncing the most likely cause is a firewall or network issue, and a good first step is to ensure your workstation firewall is disabled or at least allowing incoming connections. Do get in touch with us if you need help.

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