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Question: Apple Configurator 2 and restoring backups

I'm bringing this up again because I am still failing with this process. On Feb 17, 2016, ccsdtech provided a workflow for setting up a batch of iPads. I've copied it below. But I have never been able to get it to work as I always fail at step 12 when I click on Prepare. It always tells me that the iPad(s) are already prepared, but Apple Configurator shows that the iPad isn't prepared. I go through the Erase procedure, Restore the backup and again when I click on Prepare, it tells me it is already prepared. Has anyone figured out how to get around this problem?


Instructions from ccsdtech on Feb 17, 2016:

  1. Unbox new iPad which will be used to create "Master" backup and connect to AC2. Use the "Update" button in AC2 to update iOS on the iPad if it is not updated out-of-box. If you are creating your "Master" from an existing iPad, right click on the iPad in AC2 and select "Restore". This will factory restore the iPad so you have a fresh start as well as update iOS.
  2. Use the "Prepare" button in AC2 to get your "Master" iPad into a supervised state. A few notes on this step:
    • I use Meraki MDM, but I do not yet enroll the iPad so I will select "Configuration: Manual" and then "Server: Do not enroll in MDM"
    • Make sure the "Supervise devices" box is checked. I do not check "Allow to pair with other computers" but set this to your liking.
    • Choose your organization or set up a new organization
    • When setting up my "Master" iPad I choose to "Show all steps" in the Setup Assistant. This allows me to ensure all settings are to my liking for my "Master".
  3. Once your "Master" iPad is supervised, proceed through the setup steps on the iPad to get it to the home screen. Then, right click on it and choose "Add > Apps" to add all apps to the iPad you will need on this cart. I will assume you have already logged into your VPP account and "purchased" (even if free) the quantity of each app you will need for your whole cart.
  4. At this point, get your "Master" iPad set up exactly how you want every iPad in the cart to look. This ranges from settings, apps, app settings, app placement / folders on the home screen, etc. I generally name the iPad "Cart X Master" so that my backup doesn't have any specific iPad number to it. Modify as you see fit.
  6. Before backing up your "Master" iPad, enable "Encrypted Backups" on the iPad by right clicking on the iPad and selecting "Advanced > Enable Encrypted Backups" and then typing in a password for when you restore this backup. I have found that more settings and app settings will be maintained when using encrypted backups whereas some things are lost if not.
  7. Back up your "Master" iPad by right clicking on it and selecting "Back Up"
  8. Next, we will create two separate blueprints. Your first blueprint will restore your backup and install your apps.
    • Click on the "Blueprints" button in AC2 and select "Edit Blueprints".
    • Click on "New" in the bottom left corner. Type in the name for your blueprint such as "Restore Cart X". Then, double click on your new blueprint to edit it.
    • Once in your restore blueprint, click on the "Actions" menu at the top of AC2 and select "Restore from Backup". Select the master backup you just saved in step 7. It should have a lock icon next to the name indicating it is an encrypted backup. You will be prompted to type in your encrypted backup password. You'll then see "Restore from: Cart X Master" in the "Setup" section of your blueprint.
    • Next, click on "Apps" on the left side of the screen. Click the "Add Apps" button and select all apps which were installed on this "Master" backup, then click "Add".
    • You are done with the first blueprint. Click the back ( < ) button at the top left of the screen to return to the "All Blueprints" area.
  9. Once again, click on "New" and name your blueprint. In this blueprint, we will apply our restrictions profiles, wireless profiles, and custom wallpapers if desired.
    • Double click your restrictions blueprint. Once in the blueprint, click the "Actions" menu and select "Modify > Wallpapers". Choose your desired images for the lock and home screen. I also highly recommend clicking the "Custom Text" button, hitting the plus ( + ) button, and selecting to display the device name on the lock screen. Click "Apply" and you will now see your custom wallpaper in the "Device" section of the blueprint.
    • Click on the "Actions" menu again and select "Add > Profiles". Browse to your saved restrictions and/or wireless profiles and highlight them, then click "Add". If you would like to verify they have been added to your blueprint, you can click on "Profiles" on the left side of the screen and see that they are listed there.
    • Click the "Done" button on the bottom right of the screen
  10. Now, we begin the process of getting the backup, apps, and profiles to the rest of the cart. First, we want to get the new iPads ready to go. If they're fresh out of the box, plug them in to AC2 and "Update" them to the latest iOS if needed. If they're previously used in your organization, "Restore" them to factory settings. This step basically repeats step 1 above.
  11. With your iPads all selected (maybe not ALL of them depending on how many you have... I generally do no more than 10 at one time), click the "Actions" menu and select "Apply > Restore Cart X" or whatever you named your "restore" blueprint.
  12. Once that has completed, ensure your iPads are all still selected and click the "Prepare" button. I use all of the same settings as in step 2 except I choose "Don't show any of these steps" for the "Setup Assistant" and this will allow your iPads to go directly to the home screen without any interaction. Click the "Prepare" button and after a few seconds you should see your iPads are now in supervised state.
  13. Rename your iPads by clicking the "Actions" menu and selecting "Modify > Device Name". I typically follow a pattern such as "Cart X iPad ##". You can type in "Cart X iPad" and then use the plus ( + ) button to automatically add the next number to each iPad. If you need to change the starting number, just double click the number highlighted in blue and type in the number of your first iPad. It will count up from there. Click the "Rename" button and your iPads should each have a unique name. **Sometimes, for whatever reason, I need to complete this step twice as the first time I send the rename command none of them actually rename. Just be sure to double check your starting number the second time as it will be wrong since AC2 thinks you have already used the numbers the first time**
  14. Finally, you will apply your restrictions/profiles/wallpaper blueprint. With your iPads highlighted, click the "Actions" menu and select "Apply > restrictions blueprint".

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Question: Apple Configurator 2 and restoring backups