Total iPhone Backup - requires jailbreaking
Feb 17, '11 07:30:00AM
Contributed by: rlinsurf
iTunes never seems to backup all the data I need on my iPhone. So what I wanted was a way to access the root level of the device, and be able to copy everything, even all system and invisible files, to a backup on my computer's hard drive. The way to do this is to use a combination of the great iOS mount utility, PhoneDisk, and Rsync run from the Terminal.
[crarko adds: Note that to access the root level of the device, it must be jailbroken. Otherwise you can get more detailed (and perhaps quite useful) access to the sand-boxed area of the filesystem without jailbreaking, but ultimately it's not a different area than what iTunes backs up unless you jailbreak. This was not clear in the original text of the hint.]
This will create a full backup of all files on you iOS device.
- First download and install PhoneDisk.
- Make sure your iOS device is connected via USB to your computer. Run PhoneDisk to mount the device.
- Under the PhoneDisk menu, goto Preferences, and rename your device to a single simple word (i.e., no spaces or other extended characters), under Use this name as mount disk name:. In my case, I just used 'iPhone' for the name.
- Make sure that you have the latest version of rsync. Once installed, use the following command in Terminal, replacing the specifics of your home folder, your device name, and your backup location:
cd /volumes;/usr/local/bin/rsync -avv --protect-args 'iPhone'/ 'Macintosh HD'/Users/Home/Downloads/iphone_backup
[crarko adds: I haven't tested this one. As noted, you'll need to edit the paths in the Terminal command to match your arrangement.
Note: As has been pointed out in the comments; this requires jailbreaking the iOS device to actually get to the root level of the filesystem.
PhoneDisk (like PhoneView) exposes parts of the filesystem not visible in iTunes, but it is still inside the sandbox and the procedure given here wouldn't really backup anything more than iTunes does without jailbreaking. This doesn't diminish the value of these utilities, of course. You can access things individually you'd have to really hunt for in the iTunes backup folder hierarchy.
My apologies for the confusion.]
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