Friday, February 8, 2013

If Image Capture shows multiple copies? Don't delete them!

I just had a bit of an iPad-induced panic attack, so I thought I'd let you all know what happened so that you can avoid the same fate. Luckily, Restore from Backup fixed me, but better to not have to do that, right?

With the recent release of the evasi0n iOS 6 jailbreak, I was all ready to upgrade my iPad (which is still on 5.1.1) and re-jailbreak. But I'm running out of space on my little 16GB-er, and iTunes said I had 3GB of photos, so I decided to clean house a bit first. As I've mentioned many times, I had a baby right after buying my iPad, and I've been using it to take little videos of him since we brought him home - meaning I now have a lot of video of him taking up room on my iPad.

I opened up Image Capture to import these videos onto my Mac and get them off the iPad, and an odd thing happened - it showed me as having three copies of every photo and video. I thought Well gee, no wonder it's taking up so much space! and promptly selected two of each video and hit delete.

Surprise! There weren't really three copies! Only one, and I just deleted them all! I checked, no longer on the iPad. No longer in Image Capture. It still showed ghost copies, but wouldn't let me do anything with them. All those precious videos of my baby, gone!

After panicking for a minute or two, I managed to get my head together enough to try restoring my iPad from the backup I'd made only ten minutes before. I'd never done this before, so I had no idea if it would work. The dialogue box says it will "only" restore contacts, calendars, notes, and settings, no mention of Photos, so I wasn't sure. And I'd heard people claim that it destroys your jailbreak, but that didn't matter since I was about to upgrade and re-jb.

Luckily, it did work. All photos and videos restores, and jailbreak was not touched, for the record. My iPad is now exactly as it was before I hit the delete button. I have now properly imported all those videos and they are safely on my hard drive. I also have a good 3GB of space open on my iPad, which is more than I've had in months.

So, lessons:

  • Every time you plug your iPad into the computer, make sure it's backed up before you do anything.
  • If Image Capture shows multiple copies of things, don't believe it. Act as though every copy is the only one.
  • If you do delete things unintentionally, Restore from Backup will fix it. It takes a good 15 minutes, though.
  • Restore from Backup does not destroy your jailbreak! (At least, this was true on an iPad 2 running 5.1.1 jailbroken with redsnow. No clue if it will hold true with the new stuff.)

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