iphone sync after re-installing windows XP

Discussion in 'iPhone Tips, Help and Troubleshooting' started by JohnCageFrancis, Dec 23, 2011.

  1. JohnCageFrancis macrumors newbie

    Dec 23, 2011
    Hello and thank you in advance for any help. I've searched the forum and found similar questions but not exactly what I'm looking for.

    My only computer is an old Dell that runs windows XP SP2. I am planning on reformatting the hard drive and re-installing windows once I get this question resolved, ideally today.

    I have backed up all of the "my documents" folder to my external drive. That includes the iTunes folder, but I also permanently keep a lot of my iTunes library on the external because my PC's hard drive is very small

    I have the new iOS and regularly back up to iCloud

    I understand the advice is generally to back up your itunes library.

    -How much of the iPhone's data is backed up in that process?

    -How do I retrieve that data once I've reformatted?

    -What steps do I need to take to make sure that data is retrievable via the external hard drive?

    I'm most concerned about all the apps, bookmarks, settings, application data, text messages, etc.

    Thanks so much!
  2. Leonard1818 macrumors 68020

    Nov 15, 2011
    I just did this a week ago except I formatted my win 7 laptop.

    Like you, I had a lot of my music in my profile > My Music > iTunes
    but I also had some being referenced from a "Music" folder on my desktop and maybe even some on my external HD on my network.

    Here's what I did personally:
    1. Backed up iTunes folder in my user profile. When you're done with the restore and you re-install iTunes, you will copy this back into the profile. This is where all of your iTunes settings and stuff is stored.

    2. Backed up any other music sources to my external HD.

    3. Formatted.

    4. Reinstalled iTunes.

    5. Manually copied over my iTunes folder back into my profile. At this point there were some broken links to some songs that were referencing my external HD and my "music" folder which no longer existed.

    I personally took this opportunity to consolidate everything. I let Apple make copies and decided to break all ties to the "music" folder and my external HD. This took some time but now I've got everything in my iTunes folder, no other references anywhere else and I can backup my iTunes folder to my external HD (I am going to just set it up so "My Documents" references my network drive).

    I think between backing up your iTunes folder in your user profile and your iCloud backups, You should be fine. As soon as you re-install iTunes after the format and then you log into the store using your Apple ID, it will pick up all of your apps and stuff.

    Hope this helps. I would recommend taking this opportunity to consolidate your music library as I did. It will just make things much easier moving forward.
  3. JohnCageFrancis thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 23, 2011
    Leonard, thanks for the response, that is encouraging that this won't be too arduous.

    I'd like to know specifically what I need to do to be 100% positive I won't lose anything (apps, app data, contacts, etc) on my phone. (Music isn't a big deal - it's easy to just drag and drop that back into the phone.)

    If anybody has specifics about the process that would also be helpful.

    I know that I will reformat, reinstall iTunes, and then I will plug in my iPhone and then...what will happen? Itunes will recognize it as a new device and offer to wipe it clean, I assume. So what, specifically, do I need to do before I plug in my phone so that all my data will be intact and I won't have syncing issues?

    I backed up my phone via iCloud this morning and just backed it up onto my computer a few minutes ago. Does anybody know how exactly I use that backed up data to help me in my future predicament?

    Thanks again.


    Also I probably could have more succinctly just phrased my question as:

    What do I need to do before and after a windows XP reinstall so that I can be able to sync my iPhone again without losing any data, contacts, or having to reinstall apps, etc?
  4. Leonard1818 macrumors 68020

    Nov 15, 2011
    So here's soemthing else I referenced:


  5. JohnCageFrancis thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 23, 2011
    That was a very helpful link, thanks!

    My notes are:

    Find "mobil applications" folder

    (I did find it and saw all my apps there - it's actually on the external)

    Check iTunes folder preferences settings so I can reset them to be the same way once I reinstall

    BEFORE reformatting the boot drive, de-authorize the computer with my iTunes account

    After reinstalling itunes, re-authorize the computer with the iTunes account BEFORE syncing with iPhone


    So now I suppose the questions I have are:

    What do I DO with that "mobile applications" folder besides backing it up and making sure the iTunes directories know where to find it?

    If the right backup files are in the right directories once I reinstall and set up iTunes, will the process of syncing my iPhone be somewhat seamless or am I still going to have to jump through some hoops and possibly get some data wiped out? Will I have to manually put the backed-up apps back on the phone?

    Also, all of the above covers applications but what about system settings, text messages (I do want to keep those), application settings and data, and most importantly, contacts?

    Thanks again, all input is welcome and helpful...
  6. JohnCageFrancis thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 23, 2011
    Am I over-thinking or being overly cautious?

    I'm still hesitant to reformat until I feel confident in the syncing process.

    Any input is appreciated and merry christmas!

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