Data Disaster - Lost all my pics, text messages, and contacts during iOS 6 upgrade

Discussion in 'iPhone Tips, Help and Troubleshooting' started by AARRGGHHH, Oct 3, 2013.

  1. AARRGGHHH macrumors newbie

    Nov 25, 2011
    Various items were not lost. Files stored in apps (like Photo Safe and Video Safe) survived. My alarms and wireless settings survived. The phone numbers in my favorites list (but not the contact names) survived.

    My contacts and text messages are gone. Over 2000 photos and videos, many of a relative that died recently, are gone. The space occupied by the backup file on the Mac has been restored, so even the backup file itself is gone.

    I need to try to find some sort of forensic style data recovery software for the iPhone (or maybe for the Mac). I say "maybe for the Mac" because an attempt to restore a 3 year old back up file failed, and resulted in 9 GB of free space disappearing on the Mac, so some of the space taken originally taken by the current backup file on the Mac has been overwritten.

    I have tried one piece of software: Tenorshare iPhone Data Recovery. Unfortunately, it crashes every time I use it.

    So, I need a reliable data recovery app for the iPhone or software for the Mac. I desperately hope that someone can help.

    Thank you
  2. deeddawg macrumors 604

    Jun 14, 2010
    I have no ideas about software, but are the photos not in your photostream?
  3. verwon macrumors 68030


    Jul 26, 2011
    You've already been asked about photo stream….

    But does this also mean you had no iCloud backup?

    And are you talking about upgrading to iOS 7? Apple is no longer signing iOS 6.
  4. Spacial macrumors 6502

    Aug 29, 2013
    Try this service:

    We've used them at work for a laptop that was not backed up by the employee (fired) and dropped in a pool. Amazingly all data was recovered.
  5. AARRGGHHH, Oct 4, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2013

    AARRGGHHH thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 25, 2011
    If photostream is a part of iCloud, the iPhone is a 3GS that was running iOS 3, so there was no iCloud backup. If I'm wrong about photostream, please let me know!

    I'm guessing that the reason it updated to iOS 6 and not iOS 7 is the age of the phone, iOS 7 probably doesn't work on the 3GS.

    I'll definitely keep Drive Savers in mind. There's a lot of sensitive data on the phone, sending it out wouldn't be my first choice, but I'm also not ruling anything out.

    Edit: I got over my shyness pretty quickly and called Drive Savers. The price is $1000 (if that comes with a reasonable guarantee of success, I would do it) but they're only working with iPhones that suffer hardware damage (like dropped in water), not deletion.

    Thank you, additional suggestions are welcomed.
  6. deeddawg macrumors 604

    Jun 14, 2010
    Yes, phototream is part of iCloud, so an old 3GS on iOS 3 wouldn't have it.

    I'm out of ideas, sorry. good luck.
  7. lelisa13p macrumors 68000


    Mar 6, 2009
    Atlanta, GA USA
    What happens to the iOS if you restore to factory settings?

    These sorts of disasters, while this particular one could have been avoided by doing a little research into the advisability of attempting to upgrade a device so aged, are why it's so very important to MAKE A BACKUP OF THE DEVICE PRIOR TO UPGRADING. iTunes would have saved the phone's data in its prior state. I, too, have a 3Gs running the last version of iOS 4 (not even iOS 5) retired in a drawer after working perfectly thru Nov 2012 when I passed my iPhone 4 on to my son and brought the 3Gs home again.

    I don't mean to rub salt in the wound but I hope that you will always do this going forward. Sorry about your data loss. :( That is everyone's fear.
  8. declandio macrumors 6502

    Apr 3, 2009
    London, UK
    Do you use TimeMachine or something similar? You should be able to extract the SMS's from a backup in TimeMAchine, if you have it!
  9. steve-p macrumors 68000


    Oct 14, 2008
    Newbury, UK
    It's not just about upgrading though, I mean a phone could lost, stolen or just break. If there's anything of value on a device then it needs to be backed up regularly, period. While I feel for the OP and hope that they are able to retrieve their data, I also hope that others reading this thread who don't back up their phone often or at all might realise the risk they are taking. There's an age old saying in the computer world that data isn't data until it's backed up, just temporary files.
  10. deeddawg macrumors 604

    Jun 14, 2010
    To emphasize, this goes for computer(s) too. It's especially important for any portable device (phones/tablets/laptops) as they can so easily be lost/stolen/damaged.

    It is just so easy to do backups nowadays whether in the cloud or via external storage. I had a hard drive die with no warning a while back on a MBP13. I simply installed a new drive and restored from a Time Machine backup. Easy peasy, no crisis and nothing lost.

    If you use external storage for backup, don't forget to keep a recent backup at a friend or relative's house in case of fire/burglary.
  11. Beat563, Nov 2, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2013

    Beat563 macrumors newbie

    Nov 2, 2013

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