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Very Slow iPad Backup/Sync

376539 Views 422 Replies Latest reply: Jan 15, 2014 5:33 AM by Rickymane RSS
  • jtc4142 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Jun 4, 2010 11:48 AM (in response to Tim Harbison1)
    Well, an additional 5 hours and 10 minutes on top of the prior 6 hours and the ipad finally completed a backup. Switching cables had no effect. Total amount in backup folder is 4.4GB. Thankfully I don't think it tried to backup the one full length movie I have on it or else I'd be disconnecting again. A search in the backup files for its name is blank.

    As best as I can tell, most of the delay was with the video and pictures, not with the apps. It got a bit "hasty" when it hit the apps, only by comparison.

    I dread the next round. Where is Apple in this discussion and problem?
    PC, Windows XP Pro
  • John Corso Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Jun 8, 2010 8:29 AM (in response to kschipper)
    I have about 8 gigs of data on my iPad, including the Zinio app and 10 magazines. Backup is slow but steady, taking about 15 minutes.
    Mac Pro (early 2008), Mac OS X (10.5.4)
  • jtc4142 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Jun 8, 2010 1:58 PM (in response to John Corso)
    Not to over-post here, but I should add that the next sync was under two minutes. I have no idea what goes here.
    PC, Windows XP Pro
  • jofman Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Jun 9, 2010 6:50 PM (in response to Tim Harbison1)
    I believe kschipper (above in discussion) is on to something here... Using the location provided for backups (on WinXP) (C:\Documents and Settings\(your user name here)\Application Data\Apple Computer\MobileSync\Backup\), I watched as my iPhone and iPad backups executed .... The backups start off good and then drag almost to a stop ... Looking into the .mdinfo file with Notepad, you can see what application is being backed up ..... I found that the backups slowed to a crawl on the Pandora and AT&T myWireless applications.... I removed both of these applications from my devices and from iTunes and the backups complete well under 2 minutes for each device (iPhone 3GS and iPad) where before backups were taking well over an hour for each device.....

    Message was edited by: jofman

    Message was edited by: jofman
    HP Pavilion dv4000, Windows XP Pro, ipad .. iphone 3GS
  • Bookwormbooks Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Jun 10, 2010 12:34 AM (in response to jofman)
    I've had the slow backup problem with my iPad 64GB 3G since the day I bought it. I've tried all of the "solutions" here (none of which work), but I'll summarise them:

    1. Use only the new iPad USB cable, not older iPhone cable.
    2. Plug directly into my PC (USB 2.0)
    3. Disable Anti-Virus (Norton in my case)
    4. Make sure your bandwidth is free (so that iTunes) can connect to Apple.
    5. Install latest iTunes
    6. Perform clean install of OS 3.2 (restore to Factory settings).
    7. Delete GoodReader and Zinio reader.Indeed, delete any other apps holding any data of any significance.

    If I have left any out, do forgive me!

    All, in a word, USELESS!

    Yes, sure, without any apps or documents on the iPad it syncs, quickly. Fine - but what the heck is the point of that?! I mean, come on Apple; Goodreader and apps like Comic Viewer, or Comic Zeal, are what the iPad was designed for. It really, really, shouldn't take over 10 hours to back up one's data, (I have only about 5GB on the iPad at the moment).

    I can confirm that what others have said is true - the backup file (on my Windows XP PC in C:\Documents and Settings[username]\Application Data\Apple Computer\MobileSync\Backup\) saves the iPad content on a file by file basis with it's own *.mddata and *.mdinfo files, plus three overall "master" records, Status.plist, Manifest.plist and Info.plist. It's creating all these records that seems to take the time, even if you have a fast USB connection.

    There must be a simpler and easier way to do this - in 10 hours I could copy more than 300GB of data to an external drive - so why can't Apple devise a better way to do this?! Come on guys - sort it out.

    Oh, and to the users who say, never mind, just proceed without backups - well, when, like me, you tweak your settings to be just right - it's VERY frustrating having to go back and add those settings from scratch - life is just too short.
    iPad 64GB 3G
  • razzbee Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Jun 10, 2010 4:38 AM (in response to Bookwormbooks)
    Some new info on the slow backup front - unfortunately not a fix, but perhaps a developer will see all these posts and try and do something to fix them.

    I too had the slow backup with Zinio app - after following the advice listed above by kschipper (watching the files in the backup folder) I confirmed that Zinio was one of the apps causing the slow backups. As a test, I did what someone else did - remove the app and got a very speedy backup. I reinstalled it and proceeded to watch the backup. The first backup took very long...a second backup went very quickly implying that the backup only looks for changes - however, I then decided to open a magazine on my iPad and open a few pages - next backup extremely slow.

    After looking at the files, it looks like I see things like individual elements of the magazines such as what appeared to be a jpg image in the MDINFO file.

    I could be wrong, but if apps like Zinio are broken down into very small elements that make up the "printed page", then that would account for the slow backups - more files=more I/O=more time.

    Similarly, I had downloaded another app SmugMug, which I use extensively to share photos. I downloaded a bunch of my albums to the iPad, and during the backup process, saw a lot of thumbnail files being backed up.

    Unfortunately, two apps that I would love to use have now been removed from my iPad until this issue gets resolved, which hopefully it will.
  • Pappasbike Level 3 Level 3 (555 points)
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    Jun 11, 2010 10:49 AM (in response to Tim Harbison1)
    I just ran into this problem today. The length of time for the backup wasn't extreme - about 15 minutes or so - but definitely longer than I had previously experienced which concerned me. After reading through these posts I deleted the Zinio app and as others noted the next backup was almost instantaneous. I like the app but I'm not comfortable keeping something on my ipad that causes such behavior. Until there is an update to the app that remedies this it stays off.
    Macbook Pro 15" 2.4 Late '08, Intel iMac 20" 2.4, Mac OS X (10.6.3)
  • Don Trammell Level 3 Level 3 (620 points)
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    Jun 11, 2010 11:16 AM (in response to Tim Harbison1)
    I'm not convinced that Zinio is the problem. I have it on my iPad and it syncs fine.

    I also enable and disable backups as a way to test it and still my iPad functions fine with Zinio. This might be a Windows related issue. Earlier there was an issue with iToner that was causing problems but this was related to Macs, and the company that developed iToner fixed it.
    MBP17 Inch , 4 gig of ram,, Mac OS X (10.6.3), Shure SE 530's, iPhone 3G, Nikon D300s, Nokia E72
  • bj10au Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Jun 12, 2010 12:53 AM (in response to Tim Harbison1)
    I have had similar slow backups that seem to be related to the Zinio app. I have contacted Zinio about the problem and they sought additional information, so hopefully they are working to resolve the problem. Note that I have a Mac, so the problem does not appear to be unique to syncing with a Windows computer.

    When I first loaded Zinio and a few magazines, the next backup too about so long I had to interrupt the sync. Then next time I went to sync I got the message that I need to restore my iPad which I did. The restore only took a few minutes, but the Zinio app and the magazines I had downloaded were missing.

    I installed the Zinio app again and downloaded some magazines and the next sync too more than 4 hours to complete although I only had just over 4GB on my almost new iPad. Subsequent syncs have not taken that long, but still appear to take too long.

    I'm not prepared to remove Zinio as it would remove more than 50 magazines I have now downloaded. I've downloaded previous issues of some mags which I had on my Mac ... ones I had purchased from Zinio over the past few months in anticipation of being able to read them on my iPad when I finally able to purchase one here in Australia.

    As I write this, I'm doing a sync and the the bar has only moved about 5% or the way across the gauge in more than 20 minutes, so it looks like I'm in for another loooong backup.

    I have been reading some magazines on the iPad since the last backup and I could be wrong, but it appears that the backups take much longer if I've been reading magazines since the previous backup than if I have not done so.

    I sure hope Zinio sort this one out soon as the excessive backup times are very irritating.
    iMac 24", Mac OS X (10.6.2), iPad 64GB 3G
  • Pappasbike Level 3 Level 3 (555 points)
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    Jun 12, 2010 4:06 AM (in response to bj10au)
    I got in touch with Zinio by email and they got right back to me. They realize the problem and are working on it. The suggestion was to stop the backup by clicking on the x in the window which will then revert to just a sync with no backup. That's not acceptable to me at this time so I've deleted the app for now. I believe each time you read a magazine you're downloading the issue which causes a lengthy backup the next time. I'm just glad I found the thread I thought my ipad was hosed when I saw how long it took for the backup. I'm glad it was only 15 minutes or so, hours would have given me a stroke!!
    Macbook Pro 15" 2.4 Late '08, Intel iMac 20" 2.4, Mac OS X (10.6.3)
  • PeterH80 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Jun 12, 2010 5:26 PM (in response to Tim Harbison1)
    I can confirm that this isnt just an issue with Zinio, i have been doing a lot of testing over the last few days and it seems that any app that you can synch external content with causes the slow backups.

    the apps i have tried so far

    Comic Zeal
    Good Reader
    Quick PDF+

    A bit of info from my experiences and testing-

    my backups would take 2+ hours to backup my ipad, sometimes longer (well it felt like that anyway). some people mentioned that zinio caused problems with backups, so i deleted it, but that didnt really make a difference.

    so last night i decided to test it out and see what is the problem.

    I did a full restore of my ipad, set it up as a new one so it wouldnt load my old backup into it. after that i started putting apps onto it a few at a time, then backing up to see what the times were like.

    backup were running fine, like in the order of less than a minute. i loaded about 8gigs of video back onto it, still backups were extremely fast. I put a book into iBooks, and the backups remaind quick.

    I then put zinio back onto it, as i wanted to see what the problem was with this. again backup was fast <1min. i then downloaded the free copy of national geographic, wow, the backup slowed down again. not the the extent of before, maybe took 20-30mins to complete the backup. this was just one magazine i will add. if i remeber though after that initial backup after downloading the magazine, the backup was quicker again.

    I bought the ipad in the hope of loading it up with a lot of comics, so i installed comic zeal onto the ipad. i loaded 1 comic in cbr format onto it, again, the backup slowed down again, i then put a couple more on and yep, even slower again.

    Comic zeal do mention something about backups on their itunes app page.

    I deleted comics zeal off the ipad, and to test, i downloaded a couple of comics in the marvel app. backups were super quick again.

    I tested apples pages app just as a comparison, loaded a small spreadsheet into it and not much slow down in backups, but it was a small file.

    I was hoping that after the initial long backup after loading some files into the ipad, the subsequent backups would be quick again, but alas, it does not seem the case. i have just plugged it in again to test this morning, and yep, the backup is taking longer, not to the extent of before (so not 2+ hours) but i think maybe 10-20mins again, i put this down to me not having much content in any of the apps.

    Another test i am just running at the moment, i downloaded a newspaper in pressreader. no other newspapers except the one i just download, backup is taking a long time again, slower than comic zeal by the look of it.

    so it seems that adding external content, wether you download it or copy it across using itunes, into some applications can cause problems with backups.
  • daveywankenobie Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Jun 16, 2010 3:11 PM (in response to PeterH80)
    I have exactly the same issues. I have very little content in Good Reader, but chew through a lot of stuff in ComicZeal. After a particularly heavy conversion session I added a gig or so of new material last night, and boy do i regret it.

    Now in my 2nd hour of backing up (zzzzzzzzzzzzz).

    In all honesty I haven't had much good to say about backups on the iPad so far. Even initial backups were painfully slow, without anything alien loaded on to burden iTunes.

    Adding an app that has the (horribly slow and ungraceful) capability to sync such as the two above grinds it to a halt. It's slow to transfer to the iPad, and slow to back up :o(

    Problem is i love ComicZeal so I cant remove it - but would be extremely grateful if Apple (or the dev) fixed this.

    N.B. I've tried updating iTunes and deleting older backups in case of corruption. Seems like the only thing that works is good old fashions patience - which frankly is wearing thin!!!
    iMac 24inch, Mac OS X (10.6.3), iPhone 3gs, iPad 32gig 3G, Unibody Macbook 13inch
  • rainermaria Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Jun 17, 2010 8:33 AM (in response to daveywankenobie)
    Now I´m in the sixth hour of syncing. What the **** is this? I haven´t installed any ZINIO or other reader programs, but I have more than 18.000 pictures. He´s optimizing them one by one!!!! Every time I sync!
    When I connect to my iPhone afterwards, he´s optimizing again!!! For a smaller screen, I suppose. This is absolutely unacceptable!!!!
    Win-PC, Windows 7
  • MadTater Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Jun 18, 2010 12:21 AM (in response to Tim Harbison1)
    I believe I've figured out what's going on, and it's going to take Apple some time to fix the problem.

    It looks like two files are generated for every data table stored on the iDevice. There seems to be a lot of overhead in creating each of these pairs. I notice my disk writes (Activity Monitor) goes in sub-second spurts, averaging about 2 MB/sec during the backup phase. 64GB at that rate would be insane.

    It also seems that it's not able to save only the changed part of the data set. If it's changed, it dumps the entire thing. Meaning...touch a magazine in Zinio and it resaves the ENTIRE magazine. My guess is that's because the magazine file contains which page you were on too.

    I get as much as 25MB/sec when the iPad is uploading an app to my MacBook Pro. Obviously it's not a problem with the USB 2.0 interface, and there's no significant CPU load at any time.

    I do embedded USB firmware and might just put this thing on our USB analyzer to confirm. If Apple wants help, I'm willing to volunteer some time, but I'm certain they have good people already.

    Fixing the problem would require the following steps:

    1. Optimize the "file name negotiation" part of your protocol.
    2. Add an "rsync" like component so that the data transferred is a change set, not an updated record/file/entry.
    3. Alter your transfer protocol to do "streaming" instead of doing a single transfer at a time. You want big "bulk" transfers going across every time the host controller queries you. It doesn't look like the iPad's hardware is limited. You should be able to push a solid 40-50MB/sec during the entire sync operation. That means sync'ing my 64GB iPad would take ~30 minutes anyhow...not instant, but reasonable.

    At <2 MB/sec, I'm looking at a solid 24 hours to sync. Not good!

    Please do something!
    iPad 64G with iPhone OS 3.2, Other OS
  • Don Trammell Level 3 Level 3 (620 points)
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    Jun 18, 2010 1:18 AM (in response to MadTater)
    This is exactly why I do not bother with backups. Second, why anyone relies on a backup is beyond me. It's like doing an oil change and putting the used oil back in. If you have any corrupt settings or files, you restore them to a formatted system thus negating the purpose of the restore. Some have said that it takes too long to put in all the settings but I chalk that up to pure laziness. I would rather spend an extra 15 or 20 minutes and have a fresh system than take the chance to restore something that mighht be corrupted. Just my opinion though. I have been using Zinio since the iPad came out and the only problem I initially has was that iToner was causing slow syncs. After their fix things are syncing like normal. You (plural) might want to reconsider going backups as in many cases they are more harmful than helpful.
    MBP17 Inch , 4 gig of ram,, Mac OS X (10.6.3), Shure SE 530's, iPhone 3G, Nikon D300s, Nokia E72
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