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Old Aug 26, 2010, 11:59 AM   #1
ZBoater
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Solution to slow iPad backup (sort of)

I finally "solved" my slow iPad backup problem. I say "solved" because it is still slow, but I now understand what is causing it. At the end of the day, it is still slow, but at least it completes.

After reading a TON of posts on the subject, I've come to the conclusion that there is more than one contributing factor to the slowness. Using the app here http://files.m4ko.de/applesync/ I was able to see what was going on.

1. Imported pictures - I had over 2GB of imported pictures and videos which took forever. A lot longer than you would expect 2GB of data to be copied off a USB 2.0 device. Not sure what method Apple is using to backup this data, but all I can say is that it is SLOW. I opened up the folder through Windows Explorer, copied the files off the iPad, deleted them on the iPad, and it helped speed things up A LITTLE BIT.

2. Apps - some apps take a lot longer to backup the first time than others. In my case, Zillow took 900 seconds. Yes, 900 seconds to backup. The Live View app I linked above let me see that some apps took a few seconds, some took a few minutes. If you have one app that is just locking up your backup for HOURS, then this will show you which one.

3. iPad backup is just slow - I tested the backup by adding docs to Goodreader, for example, and backing up again. Backing up that one document was slower than it was to copy the document using the import feature, so whatever Apple is doing to keep things in sync is adding some tremendous overhead.

I would suggest to backup often. After I found some offending apps that I deleted, the first backup took about 45 minutes. If I hit backup right after that, it was less than 60 seconds. As I added apps to test, it would range from 2-3 minutes each time. So it obviously skips what is already backed up. If you wait too long and install too many apps and files, your next backup may take longer. However, if you go 1 hour and are less than half way through, there is something hanging up your iPad. The LiveView app should show you what it is and at least you can delete the app, get the backup completed, and reinstall the app.

Backing up 16, 32, or 64GB of data (or less since music and movies are not backed up) really shouldn't be rocket science. Hopefully this may help those folks out there who have given up on their backup.

Cheers.
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Old Aug 26, 2010, 12:19 PM   #2
prot0type
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Quote:
I would suggest to backup often
That's probably why I have yet to experience any of these backups that last for eons as some have dealt with. I tend to do a backup at least once a week.

The only time it took 3+ hours while it was connected to iTunes was when I connected for the first time and that can be blamed on the 16gbs of music that transferred.
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Old Aug 26, 2010, 12:48 PM   #3
misterbig
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I hate waiting for my iPad and iPhone to backup since I usually like to sync and go, so I use BackupDisabler. It locks the iTunes backup database so iTunes will not perform the backup process at all. Works like a charm and has saved me a ton of time.
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Old Aug 26, 2010, 12:58 PM   #4
Zcott
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Just be careful about skipping backups! If you lose your device or have to return it, you'll be starting entirely from scratch.
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Old Aug 26, 2010, 01:13 PM   #5
misterbig
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Originally Posted by Zcott View Post
Just be careful about skipping backups! If you lose your device or have to return it, you'll be starting entirely from scratch.
Of course. I still do backups, albeit once a month when I have the time. You can easily unlock BackupDisabler anytime you want to perform backups.
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Old Aug 26, 2010, 02:02 PM   #6
Zodiak
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You could always backup to a solid state hard drive
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Old Aug 26, 2010, 03:05 PM   #7
cakbar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZBoater View Post

After reading a TON of posts on the subject, I've come to the conclusion that there is more than one contributing factor to the slowness. Using the app here http://files.m4ko.de/applesync/ I was able to see what was going on.
Thanks for those links. The second download is great. I can finally see how long everything is taking to backup. I've never had the really long backups, but they can still take >1hr. Those tools let me see that, rather than 1 app causing a problem, it was 3-4 apps that took >15mins each to backup. Anyone that has slow backups should definitely use the attached link.

PS. Pandora has been one of my big slow backup culprits. I would never have thought that would have been a problem.
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Old Aug 27, 2010, 06:56 PM   #8
ngenerator
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Damn, looks like my PITA app is Wired... Two issues (June and August 2010) and the bonus free issue and it's taken 4.482 hours so far. Oh yeah, and my backup bar is about 50% done/full.

Thanks for the links and the heads up OP, I'm actually finding out some really interesting stuff on MR lately
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Old Aug 29, 2010, 01:24 AM   #9
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I'm glad you guys found this stuff helpful. I still don't understand why it takes so long to copy some of this stuff. At USB 2.0 speeds it should be faster. But, it is what it is.
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Old Aug 29, 2010, 02:14 AM   #10
TangoDown
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Nice work.

There's a backup disabler that works with Windows as well as Mac.

http://www.digidna.net/products/backoff

Does the job for me.
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Old Jan 11, 2013, 04:43 AM   #11
Subu
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Originally Posted by Zodiak View Post
You could always backup to a solid state hard drive
Kills the whole concept of backup from wherever (office, home, hotel, ..on the go) ? or ?

Still what are the best options for backing up an iPhone 5 ? are there any good HDD that do it wireless ?

My iCloud experience
======================
I have less than 120 mb of data, switched OFF the photostream from backing up, use ONLY good wifi to backup, still after very limited (1 day) use, the backup to iCloud via wifi takes 3 hours+

If I do NOT / cannot backup for a week, I'm finished :-(

please help with practical tips

PS : (1) Oh , I did read the idea of deleting ALL apps and backing up, that is NOT a solution for me :-(

(2) I've heard people say back up during the night.. yeah I have tried, day / night everything, it isn't very different
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Old Jan 11, 2013, 08:25 AM   #12
CTHarrryH
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I didn't think imported pictures were backup - only the ones taken on the device or photo stream. I don't have much data so I don't have long backups.
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