Previous 1 2 3 Next 80 Replies Latest reply: Aug 2, 2009 9:08 AM by hawk20011
tomagion Level 1 (0 points)
Hi All,

I'm hoping one of Apple's staff will respond to this post. I'm sorry it is long and rambling, but the interesting stuff is at the bottom, so stay with me...please. And yes I'm a bit frustrated because my lovely iPhone has now been tied up for 9+ hours... not a good user experience.

This post is really about the backup process itunes initiates whenever I attempt to sync my iphone. I've never yet seen itunes get to the end of the backup. After the first 6 hours I get board and stop the process. iTunes is installed on Vista 64.

Well last night I downloaded Itunes 3.0 update and kicked off the upgrade process in iTunes. All was well (and at the time of writing I guess still is). The backup kicked off at 21:54 on 17 June. It is now 8:11 on 18 June and the backup is still going. The progress bar is still increasing (no x available to cancel) and I've the folder location in open in Windows Explorer. Last time I looked the backup folder contained some 21,000+ files. 1st file plist.status was written at 21:54. iTunes backup is still posting files to this folder!!!

Using some pretty basic Windows Tools to see what was going on I found out the following.

Apple backup uses 3 processes, one a Windows Service called AppleMobileDeviceService.exe. Another process called AppleMobileDeviceHelper.exe and AppleMobileBackup.exe. They are all network enabled. AppleMobileDeviceService is the hub and listens on port 27015. It 'talks' to the other two services on various & variable port range in the TCP/IP stack.

Using Windows Performance Monitor I can see that the TCP conversation going on between AppleMobileDeviceService & AppleMobileBackup is running at between 9,000,000 Bytes a Minute (min) and 14,000,000 Bytes a Minute (max). That is 1.2 Megabits per Second (min) & 1.86 Megabits per Second (max). That too me is very slow when the USB 2.0 interface its connected to has a capacity of up to 480Mbits per second.

It occurs to me that the methodolgy Apple's Devs have chosen for the backup process appears to be incredibly flawed.

I can't test whether the backup is also using compression, although I hope so because of the 21,000+ files (and climbing) in the backup folder to date they only add up to 200MBytes. My iPhone has 7 of its 8GBytes used, so I could be in for a very long haul before I get my updated iPhone 3.0 software.

Apple, please this isn't a dig, I know I've got Windows on the desk (its my day job)but I love my iPhone and AppleTV.

Can you ask your Devs to explain why they chose to use such a slow methodology to underpin the iPhone backup service. Or, is it that the potential high speed backup that is possibel over TCP/IP is just very broken?

Lastly, when is Apple going to fix this, because this backup thing is very broken and giving your customers an incredibly poor user experience.

Anyway, hope this was a little bit informative for those suffering the same trying to get their iPhone upgraded to 3.0.



handcrafted+dell, w7+vista+2008
  • tomagion Level 1 (0 points)
    An update...

    The backup finsished @ 9:00AM and contained 21919 files an was 228MB in size.

    So, Windows users, if you think your backup has stopped open up the following folder "C:\Users\%username%\AppData\Roaming\Apple Computer\MobileSync\Backup"
    and check to see if Apple Bak Up is still depositing backup files in it. F5 to refresh and check the status bar to see if the file number increases.

    I'd still like Apple to provide so comment/answers on my original post though, because this should inform other iPhone users and improve their user experience.


  • speedy_un Level 1 (0 points)
    An answer to this is vital - my phone has taken longer than 9 hours, and is still running!
    So effectively I cannot install 3.0!
  • bmochi Level 1 (5 points)
    I found a simple solution that worked for me. I have the original Iphone and had tried to update to 3.0 and it seemed to take forever or looked like the progress bar got stuck. My work around the backup was to not update to 3.0 but instead sync first and when it came to back up I can click the x at the top to bypass backup and then it synced my new podcasts, apps, etc. When that was finished, I then clicked update in the summary window and it proceeded to update my Iphone. About 15 minutes later and a couple of apple loading screens keeping everything plugged in, my phone was successfully updated. Checked everything and new functions like search and memos and it all worked fine. Hope this was helpful and can help others bypass the backup process when updating to 3.0.
  • Sensible Matt Level 1 (5 points)
    I had the same problem (plus another one where iTunes told me that it couldn't get onto the iStore. Finally resolved itself).

    I got so frustrated by the backup time that I cancelled the operation (by sliding the cancel-bar on the iPhone). I then re-booted the iPhone and closed & re-opened iTunes and tried another sync. The progress bar quickly zipped along to the point where I'd previously cancelled, and then it continued in a steady, re-assuring, manner. I then did another sync to make sure all was OK - this was a pretty quick operation.

    Hope that helps.
  • wskahle Level 1 (0 points)
    I deleted the backup file and I've been watching the backup process create new files in the backup folder on my HD. The precess ran smoothly until 90% of the progress bar was full. It took about 15 minutes to get to 90%, but even though the backup folder continues to show new items are being added its been about 30 minutes without any visible movement of the progress bar in iTunes (8.2). I'll let it keep running to see if the download process completes and post the results. I now have almost 6500 items in my backup folder which represents about 500 MB.

    Hoping that once I get through one download successfully that future downloads will be less painful.

    Message was edited by: wskahle

    No dice, not I'm going to remove all the large apps and sync then try and back up again.

    Message was edited by: wskahle
  • kgabor00 Level 1 (0 points)

    My problem is too.
    3.0 install, backup 10+hours, and i stop them because not enought time, and if call me the backup is broken. yeah.
    my post link:

    help!!! thx!
  • Eric Sellars Level 1 (0 points)
    I have successfully installed the 3.0 update, but am still noticing inordinately long backup times every time I sync the phone. It has been synced several times now since 3.0 installation and should have nothing new to back up but still takes as long as a fresh backup would.
  • eneorb Level 1 (0 points)
    I had the same long backup times. On my Windows PC a new Apple USB driver (04/09 date) had been installed. I rolled the driver back to the previous one and it fixed the problem.
  • Albert Swearengen Level 1 (0 points)
    Nice to actually see a message with information in it. I have been having this backup problem for a few months now, avoiding backups to skip the wait times.

    Now going to version 3.0 it is necessary. Like the original poster, I also found that over 20,000 files are being saved slowly in the backup folder, a new file every few seconds. I'm using an Ipod Touch, so this isn't just an Iphone problem.

    The back up has been running for about 15 hours so far, i'm at only about 65% complete.

    I'll probably end up with screen-burn in on the Ipod after this long.

    The system is Microsoft Vista, using Itunes 8.2.023
    The Apple Mobile Device USB driver version is dated 04/15/2009 ver 6.0.9999.43

    I've got about 800Mb in Apps, 5.5GB Audio, 100MB Video, 300MB Other, and about 180MB Free space.
  • razzler Level 1 (0 points)
    Similar situation. First backup after the 3.0 update on a 3G using windows XP. I'm about 85% there, and it has taken an hour and a half at least.
  • CorwinRathe Level 1 (85 points)
    One thing to remember too is Vista is real sucky at file copying. If you have XP and Vista to compare to you'll see a big difference. Not sure if that is adding to the problem of long backups or not but it could very well be.
  • kayjh Level 1 (135 points)
    Are Mac OSX users experiencing the same backup times??
  • Scott Kennedy Level 1 (5 points)
    I am having this delay in backup on my Mac running 10.5.7 with iTunes 8.2 and iPhone 3G running 3.0. I went for 20-30 second sync times to over 9 hours sync times.

    This *****. I'm thinking of disabling the Boolean setting for backups and live without a backup until this is solved.

  • Madelline Level 1 (35 points)
    The main cause for the longer backup time for 3.0 is because the photos in your camera roll are now included in the backup file. Before, you had to manually import them and that was a problem for a lot of people because most times they just lost their photos. This was a big problem (and it would be for me too!!) so with the feedback we, along with our customers, have sent to our engineers they have added these photos to the backup file. For those of you who haven't seen this, here is some info on how to decrease the backup time:

    Improve backup and restore times...
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