Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Corrupt Photos in iCloud Restore

***Update - There is a Solution!!!***
Max - one of the awesome team here at Kempt came across this post in the apple discussion forums, we've tested the solution and it seems to work!!
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Over the weekend, annoyingly, I had my phone stolen. No, I didn't just lose it, it was a proper steal - I saw it happen and have the bruises to prove it!

Anyway, those of you that have ever lost or had a phone stolen will be familiar with some of the hassle that ensues - blocking the phone, changing a million passwords, sourcing a new phone & sim etc etc. Anyway - one of the hassles I didn't expect was getting the data restored. You see, I subscribe to iCloud and therefore backup runs every time the device is plugged in - so i thought I was safe there.

Sadly I have come across a rather serious problem with the iCloud restore process and, based on a bit of googling I'm not alone) that somehow in the process of doing an iCloud restore photos and videos in the camera roll can get corrupted. I started the restore and iOS told me it was gradually downloading my 1300-odd photos & videos but when the restore was complete only a few hundred photos remained - worse still, less than 100 were readable.

This was a HUGE issue for me as - stupidly - I hadn't backed up in any other way for a couple for years (yes I know it's stupid, did I mention it was stupid?).

As far as I can tell the issue seems to occur as the backup finishes, for some reason, at this point many of the files get corrupted or deleted.

Luckily for me I got bored of waiting for the restore to complete and took a backup of all the files in the camera roll a couple of minutes before it actually finished. This got me all but about 50-60 of my phots/vids back and, whilst I haven't checked that they're all 100% okay I have verified that significant numbers of photos and videos that were either absent or corrupt after the restore were present and AOK in the backup I took just before it finished.

Why this happens is a bit of a mystery to me but at least it might give users some sort of solution, albeit a crappy one. Basically, if you have problems with photos missing after an iCloud restore I can only suggest that yo try the following.
  1. Reset the device and set it up to restore from your iCloud backup.
  2. Wait for it to restore the vast majority of your camera roll but *importantly* not all of it. (You can check the number of files that have been restored at the bottom of the "albums" page of the photos app)
  3. When there are only a few items remaining, turn off wifi to prevent the restore from completing.
  4. Connect to a computer and take a copy of the contents of the camera roll as a backup.

Hopefully that should get most of your photos back.

Another thing I noticed is that - once the restore is complete - even the files that are there show up as being corrupted and therefore it's almost impossible to make backups of the files (unless you fancy going through them one by one). For this reason (and partially because I'm a bit paranoid!) I'd suggest that once the above is complete and you've pulled off any other data you want (files and the like) then I'd reset the device once more and start again with a clean install just to be on the safe side. Also, from now on, I'll be taking regular backups by other means!

So... hope that's helpful?!

Cheers

C