Apple iPad iTunes Uncategorized

Oh, and if you independently download the IPSW for #iOS update, this may enable you to do a normal update

Instead of updating by running \”update, and then searching for the downloaded file\” option, you might want to play around with copying the downloaded IPSW file into the following location.

First, close iTunes (just in case!)

Second, find your Application Data location (this will normally be under c:\\users or c:\\documents and settings and then your user name. If your folders are redirected then speak to your network admin (although whether they want Apple Device Updates on the network is another matter!)
If you are not sure:
start a DOS Command prompt (start, CMD)
type \”set APPDATA\”
this will show you the path that you seek 🙂

Inside that folder you will find \”Apple Computers\\iTunes\\iPad Software Updates\”. This location appears to hold the downlaoded file, so if you have already downloaded the file, then copy/move it here.

I cannot prove the theory as the update is now over, but as the file names are the same, I would hope that when iTunes starts up, it will see the file and then proceed to offer the update instead of offering up the \”downlaod and update\” option – which at Corylus Towers (in deepest rural Fenland) takes a bloody long time!

Apple Fail iPad iTunes Uncategorized

With #Apple it doesn\’t "just work", in fact it can fail and they can\’t help you. Don\’t upgrade to iOS5 without reading this.

Leaving aside the links they send you to fixes that will probably fix things, but they won’t support…
The iOS upgrade process is fundamentatally flawed.  At the beginning it wants to backup your device – good idea.  However (as I have discovered) it makes some pretty weird decisions about how much disk space is required – in my case it claims 20GB is required, but in fact only used about 500MB.  What I didn’t know it would do is do the backup, not verify it, and then perform the upgrade anyway.  So despite knowing the backup was smaller than expected my iPad was being upgraded anyway…
Because of the situation I was in, I was on the phone to Apple support when the upgrade process was finally made to start – so the backup happened and then the upgrade took place under their guidance, and then I got my iPad back.  But it was somewhat stark – no applications at all.  And no documents of in application data either.  Then the automatic restore of the iPad post upgrade failed.
So I got back onto Apple support.  The long and short of it is:
  • Backups are hidden away in your application data folders on Windows machines.
  • Backups may demand 20GB, but then only consume a few MB, but even if they only need a few MB you need that 20GB free first.
  • The backup before an iOS upgrade may remove all previous backups so that you have no fall back to iOS 4.x
  • The backup before an iOS upgrade is necessary (and if you cannot do it – you get a warning that it is a risk), however it is not verified, may fail, and you’ll not be told that the backup is bad before the Upgrade continues anywa, overwriting your setup.
  • Whilst Apple completely control the environemtn (hardware, software, app admission) their Tech Support says that inapp data or settings may corrupt a backup and make recovery impossible. And that’s not their fault, or their problem to fix.  Apparantly it’s mine.
If you have any in application content on your apple device then you need to make sure you have alternative arrangements for its protection:
  • some (like iA Writer, PhatPad etc) backup into the cloud with DropBox
  • some (like Pages etc) can backup through the File Sharing in iTunes (although in my experience not all your documents are exposed and therefore available to backup under iOS 4.x)
  • some will have iCloud backup after you get to iOS 5
  • some have the means to email yourself settings or data (and I do this)
  • some apps will store your settings in the cloud at their own services (Echofon, Feeddler using Google Reader for instance…)
In the end I have to accept that my iPad is little more than a factory reset, and I have to start again.  Many of my apps have settings in the cloud, or docs in the cloud so I should be OK, any that are not – I probably won’t miss (as I had been anticipating this issue and had been creating content defensively).
So my fix is to force App sync from iTunes to the iPad, overwriting anything there, and potentially any app data.  Once that is done, I then have the horror of rebuilding all my app group icons so that instead of 10 or more screens, I have 2 sensibly organised windows of apps that I can easily find, with the occasional exception where I use search instead.
I’m not stupid enough to believe that a backup should never fail and that Apple should be entirely responsible for the security and protection of my device.  But I am clever enough to know that that when a backup is a required step in an upgrade then a) the backup should be verified, b) the user should be advised of backup or verification failure and c) the user should be allowed to make an informed decision to go ahead without such a backup.
So – you should regard an Apple device as something that even the Apple tools may not protect, and in their own words, do not rely on a courtesy tool and instead make alternative arrangements for backup of app content and settings.  In the main, look for apps that allow you to use tools like DropBox et al for content, and apps like Feeddler or Echofon that can synchronise settings around the devices.
Finally?  I reckon if this story had been a Microsoft story instead of an Apple story…  imagine:
  • Paid for Microsoft support
  • An upgrade to an OS that fails
  • Microsoft support talk you through using Microsoft supplied tools to backup the system and implement the upgrade
  • The upgrade fails and you cannot restore your computer
  • Microsoft say that the failure is no longer their responsibility and that you are on your own, and wish you good luck with it.
I think some of the media and Microsoft ecosystem might have something to say.

Apple Fail iPad iTunes Uncategorized

Where do iTunes backups go on a Windows PC with redirected folders? After 70 minutes with #apple support iTunes for Windows #fail again. #Mobius

Time for the iOS 5 update to hit the iPad and wanting to have the vanilla user experience I elected to wait until Apple’s servers and my middle of the rural blackout zone ISP connection to hold up long enough for iTunes to complete the download of the iOS update.
So, backup the pad, transfer the purchases, sync up and hit the magic Update button.
Despite having ½TB of free disk space the pre-upgrade backup would not proceed because there was insufficient disk space.
Turns out that despite Apple support\’s certainty that the backups should be on the C: drive, if you have redirected AppData and home folders (an entirely reasonable business decision), then iTunes insists on backups to the redirected folder.  Apple support then suggested that as iTunes and the device is more of a domestic device that this is sensible.
So then it turns out that iTunes does not have the capability to redirect the backups anywhere.  So they send me a link to a fudge.  Thus:
Dear P J,
Thank you for contacting Apple.
Your support Advisor, , has a follow-up message for you:
Based on the details you provided, we think you might find the following information helpful:
We want to help you get the best service and support for your Apple product. Please visit our award-winning Support website to find product information, tutorials, troubleshooting steps, and much more.
One catch – this is not supported by Apple.  So should I take a backup, and redirect it this way, then Apple cannot help me sort things out.  How to turn an iPad into an expensive paperweight.
Not acceptable.
We discuss it further.
Apple Support suggest I do my backup to iCloud (assuming I have purchased enough capacity there).  I (not so gently) observe that he is suggested I upgrade to iOS 5 to do a backup to iCloud so that I can then upgrade to iOS 5.  I am now fully on the Apple Support Mobius Strip
So, where does the backup go? I ask.  Some scurrying around on their information systems and eventually we discover it is not the home drive as previously stated (I knew that because I’d already looked), but the redirect Application Data folder.  There I find the backups.
Eventually, after further discussion we come to the conclusion that after backup I can move the folders (\\Apple Computer\\MobileSync\\Backup) to my local disk.  This will save my server from having an extra 20GB or so to backup each night.
Apple support then went on to suggest that the obfuscated location is good for security and this is why the location of the backups cannot be changed within the iTunes interface.  A red rag to a bull, we discuss.  Apple support eventually come to the conclusion that password protection of the backup might be a better security approach.  But maybe I could make a suggestion at their website.  I do, the webpage does not exist…
When the page works, enchantingly the only OS I can report problems on is OSX.  It seems for feedback purposes, Windows does not exist to Apple.

Apple iPad iTunes Uncategorized

#iPad and #iTunes – why i am giving up on films. #fail

I am now giving up viewing films on my iPad. I have a blog in preparation on the experience of a windows person with their first Apple device, but in the meantime, having tried to download 6 films to watch on flights, and had 4 fail with iTunes having to sort out refunds, i am giving up.

Either the iTunes infrastructure is no good for films, or the support desk is not good enough at *really* sorting it out.

In frustration, Peter