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Vinod Menon
Vinod Menon, Support Specialist
Category: Mac
Satisfied Customers: 2866
Experience:  worked as a Tech support Associate for Apple products
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How do I recover photos from a crashed iPhone 4 I got back

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How do I recover photos from a crashed iPhone 4? I got back from a trip where I'd taken hundreds of pictures, iTunes suggested update to iOS 4.3.5, the update failed and now iTunes says I must restore. When I turn on the iPhone all it does is shows a USB cable with an arrow pointing to an iTunes logo. I fear restoring will kill the hundreds of pictures that had not been synchronized with iTunes. Pain. How do I try to extract my photos from my iPhone prior to restoring?
Extra Info: my iPhone has a soft token on it, and normally will not let me see the device until I have input the soft token PIN. Currently, when I connect the iPhone to my PC I cannot see the iPhone through "computer" icon that shows drives and devices.


I am Vinod. I will try my best to help you resolve this issue.

Unfortunately, we have no other way of backing up the data in the iphone. However, since the update failed, I would suggest you to restore the iphone. After restoring, it will give you two options,

1. Restore from backup
2. Set up as a new phone.

Select the option "restore from backup". This will make sure that you will get all your info back (including the photos, videos etc), unless you are extremely unlucky.

Hope this info helps. Let me know if you have any difficulty.

Thank You
Vinod Menon and other Mac Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

How can Restore from back up recover photos that were on the iPhone before it crashed, but were not backed up?
when you try an update - before updating the phone, it will automatically make a backup of everything in it (excluding the music, movies and similar content). So if the update fails, that backup should be there and when you click the option "restore from backup", everything should be restored.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
When I click on "Restore" the only option it gives me is "Restore and Update" which it warns will reset all settings to factory settings and "all of your media and other data will be lost."

That's exactly what I'm trying to avoid. Isn't there anyway to crack open the file system to view the photo files at least?
There is no other way since the phone is showing a usb cable and an itunes logo. Don't will not loose anything...let's hope for the best..

After restoring and updating, you will definitely get the option of "restore from backup"
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Aren't you assuming that the update process (which failed on the first attempt) successfully backed up my photos? If it failed before completing the back up, aren't I erasing my photos with this step?
As I said, It should have backed up all your photos, unless you are extremely unlucky. So I believe a restore from backup would definitely bring back all your photos.

We don't have a different option other than to restore the phone.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
How long should this restore from back up take?
A restore would take around 5-10 minutes, or may be more depending on your internet speed. After that "restoring from backup" time would depend on the size of data you had in the iphone, may be another 5-10 min
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I'm trying it. It says Restoring from back up will take 31 minutes. If it recovers everything I would have more than 14 GB of media and photos. However, it is only the last 1 GB or so that are irreplaceable...the clock ticks...will you be around for another half hour?
yes...I will be here for another 1-1.5 hours...:)
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Any idea why the iOS 4.3.5 update failed?
Not sure...most probably there was a network interruption while updating....
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Ah. Ok, the good news is the pictures seem to be there. Thanks. About a dozen apps are missing and I have to give it a password XXXXX for MS Outlook, but on the whole salvageable. Thank you.
Great to hear that....:)

You have a great day....!!

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