5 Replies Latest reply: Jan 12, 2011 11:32 AM by m0gely
m0gely Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
I have a 4th gen iPod Touch that started exhibiting app crashes (multiple Apple and third party) in December. Apps would begin to launch then I would find myself back at the screen from where its icon is. Powering the iPod off then back on solves the problem temporarily but it may reappear again, sometimes within minutes. This problem gradually got worse until a few days ago when I decided to use the Restore option from within iTunes. That all went well and after the restore process iTunes prompted me to setup the device from scratch or to restore from a previous backup, of which I chose the latter. The app crashes continue.

I setup a Genius Bar appointment, described the problem and the steps I went through. He said to me my mistake was restoring from a previous backup that I had made, and that I should have set it up as a new device then just synchronized it. I asked him if my app data would be retained and he said he couldn't make any promises and that it depended on the authors of the applications as to whether or not their settings and history would be backed up under a normal sync. I went home after he "DFU reset" my iPod and followed his steps.

Not one third party application has retained any of my history or settings. I have also lost my Notes. I find it so incredibly hard to understand why restoring user settings has an adverse effect on the OS itself it's jaw dropping. I don't consider myself a heavy downloader of apps, but the apps I do have contain history and content that is valuable to me and represents a lot of invested time.

Was what I was told at the Genius Bar true? Is the only advice for me that I can use the device, but I can't keep my personal history if the device malfunctions because restoring it may reintroduce the problem? Why is the OS and the user data not separated? The backup feature of iTunes for the iPod seems completely useless for this scenario. It's a very fragile part of the iPod/iPhone experience. I'm hoping I'm wrong and someone will provide better advice and that this is not just bad design. I have backed up my previous backups, and will likely restore it anyway as it's preferable to not having it at all or trying to rebuild it.

iPod Touch 4th Gen, iOS 4
  • varjak paw Level 10 Level 10 (169,830 points)
    Was what I was told at the Genius Bar true?

    Based on what you've described, yes, that advice indeed appears to have been true.

    Is the only advice for me that I can use the device, but I can't keep my personal history if the device malfunctions because restoring it may reintroduce the problem?

    Sometimes yes, sometimes no. As with any computer system, it's possible for a file to become corrupted, and if that file is part of the backup, it can cause the same problem to repeat when restored. This can happen on your Windows systems as well (and actually isn't that uncommon; we're constantly having to rebuild systems from scratch because the backup contains the same corruption as the system itself, often breaking a user profile). This isn't an every-time problem with the iPhone, but it can happen. That's why you'll often find the suggestion made in these forums to restore as a new device when problems are stubborn and don't disappear after a restore from a backup.

    Why is the OS and the user data not separated?

    Sometimes it is but not always. It's in large part dependent on how the developer elected to write the application.

    Regards.
  • m0gely Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Sometimes yes, sometimes no. As with any computer system, it's possible for a file to become corrupted, and if that file is part of the backup, it can cause the same problem to repeat when restored.

    This ignores the issue. Corrupt user data should not be able to effect applications other than the one for which the corrupt data exists, or the OS itself. The OS/apps and the user's data should be mutually protected. The backup process should take this into account and the restore from backup process should allow the user to determine if the restore is to include only the user's personal data. If done this way, a personal data restore would not be able to reintroduce a problem where an application or component of the OS has become corrupt.

    If iTunes becomes corrupt on my PC/Mac, and I backup then restore the corrupt iTunes library (or the entire system), I expect iTunes to still have problems. I do not expect it to have an adverse effect on Excel.

    Sometimes it is but not always. It's in large part dependent on how the developer elected to write the application.

    I would like to know of one application that has the users settings restored in a manner outside the "restore" process such as sync. I certainly don't have all the apps in the app store on my iPod, but as mentioned, not a single app had data/account info/history restored from sync'ing. So I question the validity of this statement.
  • m0gely Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    bah. 1st effect = affect.
  • varjak paw Level 10 Level 10 (169,830 points)
    I have intention of getting into an argument with you on this. I provided my opinion based in your question, and that's all I will say on the issue. None of us are on the iOS engineering team, so we can have no direct knowledge about the tradeoff decisions made about the design that might have on such matters. If you want to comment to Apple about this, you can do so via the Feedback pages:

    http://www.apple.com/feedback
  • m0gely Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Arguments are just how people express differing points of view, but I get the feeling you may have taken my words as aggressive. I can assure you they weren't.

    I questioned your statement because I was told the same thing at the Apple store. That they couldn't be responsible for how 3rd party developers create their applications when asked if my data for my apps would be restored upon syncing. But even the Apple apps don't do this (e.g. Notes). So I am led to believe that some do, but no one has offered me a title I can look at as an example. For now, I believe the only way to restore one's app data is to use the provided restore process, which brings my crashing problem back.

    People backup their data so that it can be recovered from situations just like this. Stuff happens, and if the user didn't back it up then it's on them. But in this case, even though I have a backup, it is useless to me. This is bad design.

    No need to comment. I will send my feedback to Apple.