Restore backup of SMS messages to iPhone4, 4.2.1

Discussion in 'iPhone Tips, Help and Troubleshooting' started by jstreet, Nov 27, 2010.

  1. jstreet, Nov 27, 2010
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2010

    jstreet macrumors newbie

    Jul 10, 2008
    Hey all,

    Tried to upgrade my firmware to 4.2.1 today. For whatever reason, from the first iPhone to this one, all the updates seem to fail on my old desktop, so I have to do the full firmware restore, restore from a backup, and resync. I was prepped to do that, but not for what happened this time.

    Firmware upgrade failed, so I restored. Went to restore from backup and it failed b/c I ran out of HDD space. I cleaned off some stuff and tried again, failed again, same reason. I cleared off some more space, and went to try to restore my settings again, and found out that iTunes had made a new backup (of nothing, essentially -- the brand-new empty phone's settings) and overwrote the prior backup, at least in part.

    I was able to find "parts" of my backed up files in two folders. Specifically, I found the 3d0d7e5fb2ce288813306e4d4636395e047a3d28 SMS file. I can browse them with the iPhone Backup Tool so I know they're intact. But because I don't have a valid backup, I can't restore them. I've tried restoring from prior backups and just overwriting its SMS file with the more recent one, but I end up with an empty SMS app on the phone. This seems to be the checksum problem.

    I understand from other posts here -- -- that my options are to somehow hack the manifest's checksum for the SMS file so that iTunes accepts it, or to jailbreak the phone, replace the file, and update the SQLite database manually. I am not just not sure which would be the easiest, and I'm not familiar with any of the options. Does anyone have any suggestions?

    Thanks in advance.
  2. jstreet thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 10, 2008
    Solved my problem; all hail the Internet.

    I restored the iPhone to scratch, and then made a backup. I then took the two partial-backup folders (including my SMS messages, and most other things) and copied their contents on top of that "good" (albeit empty) backup. I used iPhoneBackupExtractor and in Expert Mode extracted basically everything to a temporary folder -- this made all the gibberish filenames into normal filenames and put them in their relative directories. I used redsn0w to jailbreak the phone, and then iPhoneBrowser to copy all the files back. I opened up the SMS app, and voila, my SMSes are back. I just put the MMSes back on, and the photos are going on slowly but surely. I think I got some app settings so I didn't lose all of those either, so it'll just be the process of reinstalling apps and putting them back in folders, but I think I'm saved.

    Many kudos to the iPhone Backup Extractor, redsn0w, and iPhoneBrowser people -- you all saved my life!

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