Now – I had done this for my iPad 2, which I back up to my laptop’s iTunes, and that had taken around 5 minutes to restore, and another 30 for the 150-odd apps to re-sync afterwards.
My iPhone was backed up to iCloud, reportedly using 3.0GB, so I expected that might be a bit slower….
Boy, was I in for a surprise.
In the Bad Old Days of Windows 3.1 and Windows 95, we used to joke about the Microsoft Progress Bars… you know, the ones that turned out to have no connection to how long the task would really take. They’d race ahead, showing good progress, and then sit for minutes and minutes with the progress bar not moving at all.
This is nothing, compared to iCloud.
Firstly, it took at least 10 minutes for the iPhone to report any time estimate at all. When it did, it was “6 hours”. Not good. I was due to go out for the day, so I left my phone restoring over home wifi, and took my iPad to work.
When I got back, ten hours later, had it completed? Heck, no… it still said “2 hours”…
By the evening (4 hours later), it was down to “42 minutes remaining…”
By the time I went to bed, another six hours later, it was saying “under a minute remaining”. As it had been for the previous hour.
When I woke up, 6 hours later… it still reported “under a minute remaining”. That’s TWENTY-FOUR HOURS from start!
I gave up. I reset my phone and started from scratch. And then thought to check whether my laptop still had a backup from before I started using iCloud. It does – from 3 weeks ago. I’m currently restoring that, and it’s forecast to take 30 minutes.
In retrospect, I should have tested this before, rather than waiting until I actually needed it – as you always should for backups. Now – I have no idea why my restore was THAT slow – my internet connection isn’t great (10Mbps, usually), but 3.0GB isn’t that huge a size.
iCloud Backup? Never again. I’m keeping my backups where I have control of them.
What do you use DVD-Rs for these days? Sharing movies? Archiving data?
I’ve got something like 50-100 DVD-Rs. All carefully labelled; all sequentially numbered, with carefully organised folders inside. Photos, projects, annual email archives.. all boxed, indexed, and backed up, with a duplicate set of discs at another location.
So… as I build up data I want to store long-term, I save it to a folder (Music, Apps, Personal, etc). When that gets to around 4.7Gb, I organise a directory structure, burn it to DVD, burn a copy or two for backup, and make a note to take the backups next time I go away. And it takes time. Lots of time. And plenty of room for mistakes.
And now I’ve decided, in this era of 500Gb HDDs for under £50 – why bother?
I can have one HDD in my Media Center with the entire contents of all my DVD-Rs.
I can have a full backup at a friend’s/relative’s house, on one external HDD, also around £50
I can sync the backups easily using something like SyncBack, either by bringing the external drive round for a day, or over FTP/the internet
And when’s the last time I checked all my DVD-Rs are still error-free? I can error check an entire HDD monthly with a scheduled command.
So that’s decided. I’ve bought 2 x 500Gb Samsung Spinpoint T’s – actually quite small these days – and that’s my data archives for the next few years. And by the time they’re full, I’ll probably be able to pick up a 2-3Tb drive for less than these cost.
That’s a lot of photos.