Friday, October 28, 2011

My tips and gotchas to upgrade your iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPod Touch, and iPad l or iPad ll to IOS 5.0

My tips and gotchas to upgrade your iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPod Touch,
and iPad l or iPad ll to IOS 5.0

We all love our Apple iPhones, iPads and iPod Touch devices but it gets really scary when it is time to upgrade the devices to A new IOS.

Since I personally own each one of these devices I learned firsthand the headaches of trying to get them upgraded to IOS 5.0 without losing all of my apps data and contacts.
It is actually a more daunting task than it should be and Apple and ITunes have a major flaw at the end of the hours long process that COULD cause you to lose all of data! Scared yet? You should be.

I had to lose almost everything on my iPod Touch 4 before I picked up on the problem.

First and foremost here are a few things you should do before you begin to upgrade any of your devices.
-Upgrade your version of iTunes to the latest version on your computer. This is critical!

-if you have a lot of Calendar events and contacts go to the app store and get Mobiun Copy. It will easily copy all your contacts and events to the cloud for later restore should things go wrong.

-For photos and videos get the Simple Photo and Video Transfer App from the app store, that will allow you to backup and transfer your photos wirelessly to your desktop computer.

-If your Apps support it back up your data to Evernote, Google Docs or Dropbox first.

-When your device is connected in iTunes be certain to transfer all of your purchases by right clicking on your device in the left pane of iTunes and choosing to upload your purchased items from the context menu.

- Backup your device from within iTunes.

-I can't speak for iTunes on a Mac but on a PC, iTunes is going lock up and stop responding at some point. Windows Task Manager won't kill it, only a reboot will get you going again. Of course this is the last thing you want to do during an upgrade. Do yourself a favor and download a free program I have been using for years that is a staple in my quick launch called Dtaskmanager by Dimio. You can download it free from this link Just scroll down the page to the Dtaskmanager program. Note this page for later because there are a lot of other great free apps here you will find useful. Anyways, just download the program directly to your desktop and it will run from there when you click on it. The benefit of Dtaskmanager is it has a kill task override choice that will definitely kill any task that is not responding. No ifs and or buts. This is a lifesaver for preventing reboots and really stopping a program.

-Make sure all of your apps are up to date from the app store on your device.

-Turn off the lock screen on your device. It will mess up reboots during the upgrade

-Turn off power save features and screensavers on your computer prior to the upgrade.

-Close all other programs on your computer, don't use your computer for anything else during the upgrade.

After all this you should be ready to upgrade your Apple device to IOS 5.0 after you stop all apps and restart it.

Eject your device, press the iButton twice to show all running apps in the bottom bar, push and hold the first app until it starts shaking. Press on the X of each of the running apps in the bar to close them. Next push the iButton once more to stop the apps from shaking. Now turn off your device by pushing and holding the button on the top side until slide to power off shows. Slide and power off your device and then once it is off turn it on again by holding the top button until the apple logo appears. Your device should now be ready to upgrade.

Plug the cable into your computer and the device and when your device shows in iTunes choose upgrade when given the choice. Be CERTAIN to read each screen along the way when you are proceeding through the upgrade. The upgrade will back up your device and will stop the process if there is a problem backing up. You will get an error -35 message if your backup is corrupt or there is not enough room on your hard disk to back up your device. STOP if you get this and quit the upgrade. Kill iTunes with Dtaskmanager if you can't get out of it. Make space on your hard drive, you can explore to your iTunes backup folder in your profile in documents and settings and delete the backups (or move them to an external drive to save them) Reboot your computer, start iTunes plug the device in, cancel the upgrade prompts and do a backup again of your device. Now eject and reconnect your device and start the upgrade process again.

iTunes will backup your device again and then begin to download the IOS 5.0 upgrade, this will take between 7 and 25 minutes depending on your Internet speed. This is where patience pays off. It could take a loooong time for the upgrade to complete, hours even depending of the size of your device. BE PATIENT! Let iTunes do it's thing.

(NOTE since I wrote this Apple seems to have fixed the below, and the progress bar WILL continue, so ignore the below directions unless it doesn't)

When the upgrade is complete your device will reboot, the upgrade tells you to keep your device connected. Here is where I had the problem with every one of my devices, the iPhone 3GS, the iPad and my iPod. What happens when your device is reconnected after the reboot is IOS 5.0 begins the setup process on the device. iTunes on the hand begins to supposedly be restoring your data on your device and shows a progress bar, but it lies! Your device is waiting for you to accept the apple terms of service and go through some initial setup screen!! This is imbecilic on Apples part. What happens, you guessed it, is iTunes locks up and stops responding! WTF. So what I did is go through the screens on my device (iPad, iPhone 3GS, etc) to put in the initial items and accept to Apples TOS. Then I used Dtaskmanager to kill task override the no responding iTunes again. Rebooted my computer again,started iTunes, plugged in my device and the did a restore from iTunes. After the restore all was fine and I had IOS 5.0.

Now my problems may have been specific to my Windows 7 computer, but I doubt it.

For my 4 devices it took me 4 days to upgrade them all. I devoted a day to each of them.

One final suggestion is, do not pick a day that there is a chance you could lose power, like a thunderstorm or snowstorm. The last thing you want s for your computer to go down during the upgrade. Good Luck and Happy Upgrading

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