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Very Slow iPad Backup/Sync

377410 Views 422 Replies Latest reply: Jan 15, 2014 5:33 AM by Rickymane RSS
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Tim Harbison1 Level 1 Level 1 (90 points)
Currently Being Moderated
Apr 6, 2010 3:51 PM
I've seen a number of posts here about extremely slow backup/sync speeds and may have stumbled across the answer in one of them. I'm posting this in hopes of saving people with similar issues time when searching (and because I can't bring myself to post a "this worked for me" response to all of the threads I found on the issue).

My iPad seemed to be taking forever to backup and sync. It would eventually finish, but it was a go make myself a pot of coffee while it updates the 2 podcasts that are new kind of thing. Really irritating.

I didn't realize that I had been using the sync cable that came with my 1st Gen iPhone. It's universal, right?

Apparently, not. When I swapped out the old cable with the new one, it flew through the sync. How to tell the difference (at least on mine): The USB connector on the old one has sharp corners. The corners on the new one are rounded. That's the only difference I can see, but it made all the difference in the world.
17" iMac Core2Duo, Mac OS X (10.5)
  • mrmannym Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 7, 2010 5:12 PM (in response to Tim Harbison1)
    I was also using a generic usb cable and sync was taking over 2 hours. Went back to original cable and entire sync process took 4 minutes. I have used 10 gigs of 16, mostly music and videos. I labled the correct cable with a permanent marker to avoid making that mistake again.
  • Krustykat Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 8, 2010 5:04 PM (in response to Tim Harbison1)
    I had the same slow sync problem and swapping to the rounded cable that came with the iPad fixed it! thanks for figuring this out.
    iPad, iPhone OS 3.1.3
  • Shredrca Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    May 8, 2010 10:55 AM (in response to Krustykat)
    I have the same problem. Can you describe the difference in shape between the iPhone and the iPad sync cables? I have several at home and can't remember which one came with the iPad! Better yet, maybe post a picture. Thanks!
    iPad 32GB Wifi, iPhone OS 3.1.3
  • mystifier Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 25, 2010 8:33 AM (in response to Shredrca)
    I have tried swapping cable and USB ports. No luck. Backup is WAY SLOW no matter what. Mine takes hours. The actual sync takes minutes. If I kill the backup, I can sync very quickly. The Backup is the issue. Someone needs to find a real solution other than killing the backup. It should go much more quickly.
    Custom, Windows XP Pro
  • Bearster Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 25, 2010 5:10 PM (in response to mystifier)
    My first two backups each took over 6 hours to complete. I called Apple tech support. They first had me check for the two "problem" .dll files others have discussed here, they were not in my System 32 folder. Then, they had me run a sync/backup without syncing to any apps or data on my computer other than Contacts-- this essentially erased everything on the iPad. Then, a "restore" from iTunes to copy the original data and factory settings to the iPad.

    First backup after this process took less than 30 minutes. I added some apps. and the next backup was incremental and took about 12-15 minutes. Hope this helps someone. The info. posted in this forum was really helpful to me before and after I bought mine, especially on the various Wi-Fi issues others reported.
    Ipad, Windows XP Pro
  • jenhi Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 25, 2010 7:10 PM (in response to mystifier)
    I've had my iPad since launch, and have never experienced the slow backup issue....until yesterday!

    I read in some other forums that a single bad App can cause this.
    So luckily, the only thing I installed since then was the Zinio Magazine reader.
    That is definitely what killed it.
    I uninstalled Zinio, and the backup was fast again. Reinstalled Zinio, and it slowed it down to a crawl again.

    My 32GB iPad is nearly full, chock full of apps, books, docs, music and video, but my backup usually takes less than a minute, and any large data transfers or videos happen quickly through my USB cable.
    With this Zinio App installed, I actually timed it at a slow excruciating 30 minutes for the backup process!
    I don't even have any magazine subscriptions yet, just the freebies, and those only took up about 100 MB of data according to the free space difference.

    The Zinio App or iTunes is definitely broken somehow.
    Too bad, I was just about to order some subscriptions, but now I am going to chuck this Zinio App permanently and it will not come back unless there is a fix for this.
    iPad 32GB WiFi, iPhone OS 3.1.3, Windows
  • Borgen Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 26, 2010 6:51 AM (in response to jenhi)
    Removing Zinio fixed it for me too. Shame, i liked that app.
    iPhone OS 3.1.3
  • jenhi Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 26, 2010 9:31 AM (in response to Borgen)
    I did also report this to Zinio support,, and they did reply and say that they would refer this to their iPad developer to look into.
    Hopefully they can fix this.
    iPad 32GB WiFi
  • DSundin Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 28, 2010 12:06 PM (in response to Tim Harbison1)
    I too found that removing Zinio fixed the problem. RATS! I have multiple magazines and love the app... I hope they fix the issue.
    Intel QuadCore Extreme Custom Built, Windows 7, Ultimate 64-bit
  • Geekrk Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 28, 2010 2:39 PM (in response to Krustykat)

    SOLUTION FOUND TO SLOW BACKUP and SYNC!!!!! WHat worked for me was to disable my Norton Internet Security just for the scan and then it took seconds rather than hours to backup and sync Iphone and Ipad - Try it! You can put it back on right after. I actually diabled it DURING the sync and the speed went flying!!!

    Hope this works for other people
    Cyberpower PC, Windows 7, Quad core processor
  • Don Trammell Level 3 Level 3 (620 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 29, 2010 2:09 AM (in response to Tim Harbison1)
    See my post here:

    to find a solution for backups.
    MBP17 Inch , 4 gig of ram,, Mac OS X (10.6.3), Shure SE 530's, iPhone 3G, Nikon D300s, Nokia E72
  • kschipper Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 2, 2010 3:47 PM (in response to Tim Harbison1)
    Also posted elesewhere but of use to those following these messages.

    How to determine which application is causing a slow backup.

    If you are using a Windows computer you can determine which application is causing the backup problem. I am using Windows 7 and will describe the procedure. I believe you will find similar information on previous versions of Window and on a Mac with slight location and nameing differences.

    First, what a backup does is to copy your information to a location on you hard drive (I know, we all knew this but needed to start at the beginning) On a Windows 7 computer you will find it at the following location: C:\Users\kschipper\AppData\Roaming\Apple Computer\MobileSync\Backup\b0fa9840a350ec400e966556b4fed968145b9285

    To view this information you will first need to go into you View options and to tell Windows to display hidden system files. (Windows...Open Windows Explorer, press the Alt key...Choose tools from the Menu which will now be available...Choose Folder Options...Select the View Tab...Click radio button "Show hidden files, folders, and drives")

    Now navigate to the folder shown above. Note that the user name will not be my name but will be your user name and the long folder name follwing Backup will be a Guid (random number). If there is more than one GUID then choose the one with the latest date.

    Inside the folder you will find a listing of hundreds of files (especially if you have tried backing up in the past, successful or not.) Sort by date and look at the most recent files. (Note that you can do this while a backup is occuring, just make sure you do not try to open the most recent file as that is the one currently being written to.)

    If you double click on one of the MDINFO files listed under File Type you can find the out which file is being backed up. (Tell windows to open the file with your text editor Notepad. Be sure not to make any changes to this file. The MDINFO lists the file while the following MDDATA file contains the actual data being backed up.

    On my current backup (now running over 6 hours) I opened files randomly up through the listing until I found one that appeared over 5 1/2 hours of that 6 hour period (all other data was backed up in less that 30 minutes). Turned out it was the Zinio data (could be other applicaiton you your iPad. Every text item and every photo was being backed up separately.

    Example of Text File:
    ^StorageVersionXMetadataWVersion[AuthVersion[IsEncryptedS1.0O¸bplist00ÔTPathWVer sionXGreylistVDomain9Documents/Users/822511155/500431154/416122744/page206.pdfS3.0AppDomain-com.zinio.ZinioiPad'.jno  S3.0S1.0   " + 3 ? K O

    Note the AppDomain-com.zinio.zinioPad at towards the end of the file. All MDINFO files have an indication in this area of the app or data being backed up.

    Unfortunately knowing all of this only provides you with information and very few options. 1) Delete the offending application. (Tested on Zinio by individuals elsewhere on Apple support forum)2) Just endure the long backup times until this is fixed.

    I have sent the above information to Zinio but have not received any response.

    Hope this helps.
    Dell XT2 Laptop, Windows 7
  • jtc4142 Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 3, 2010 11:49 AM (in response to Tim Harbison1)
    Thank you kschipper for the detailed file information. It helped at least to put some light on the process. But I have yet to have a completed backup as I use my office PC, due to the calendar and contacts, and the hours have been so long for a completion that I would have to leave it overnight. I don't want to do that.

    As I type now, my backup is well into the third hour and the majority still to go. I won't make it again today. As far as I can tell, it's crawling through pictures and videos and hasn't even gotten to the apps yet. And I have used only about 10G of the 64G available. I have tried unsyncing everything but the apps, as I don't have a reliable backup yet to risk losing an app, and no differences.

    I'll give the cable idea a try as it's likely I switched them with the iphone. But then the iphone gave me a long backup yesterday. I'm really not sure what's happening here.

    By the way, and this may be obvious to many but never occurred to me, be sure you have disk space to backup your GB's from the ipad. I keep forgetting the limited size of the office hard drive.
    PC, Windows XP Pro
  • jtc4142 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 3, 2010 4:39 PM (in response to Tim Harbison1)
    Quick follow up: I abandoned the backup after 6 hours. Only 2.28 Gb recorded in Backup folder. But I don't think it's the cable as my reloading of a movie went reasonably fast.
    PC, Windows XP Pro
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