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Backups and space issues

Discussion in 'iPad Help' started by idave23, Oct 18, 2011.

  1. idave23
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    idave23 iPad Enthusiast

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    When I backup my iPad or iPhone to iTunes does the backup itself actually take up additional space on the hard drive? If so, does it take up the same amount of space each time I backup or is only the new stuff (new music and apps for instance) added to what was already there from previous ones? If each backup is on the hard drive and taking up space is there a way to delete the old ones to free up space?

    I'm having major space issues and have deleted pretty much all the extraneous programs I can and cleaned up duplicate songs etc. But I haven't been able to even do a backup of our two iPads ahead of the iOS5 upgrade due to lack of space. I'm gonna delete some of the more space-hogging apps off the PC but would like to find anything else I can get rid of. Thanks.
  2. richsadams
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    richsadams iPad Super Guru

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    The initial backup is a full backup and does take up space on your hard drive, thereafter backups are incremental so not a lot of additional space, and sometimes less if you've removed files from your iPad. There should only be one backup for each device in iTunes. You can view them by opening iTunes > Preferences > Devices.

    On a Mac the actual files are in:

    User/Library/Application Support/MobileSync/Backup

    IIRC on a PC they are in:

    C:\Documents and Settings\YOUR_USER_NAME\Application Data\Apple Computer\SyncServices\Local

    I believe the file is "data.syncdb"

    You should be able to check the actual size of the file(s) there. However DO NOT do anything with those files unless of course you know exactly what you're doing. :)

    Keep in mind, not everything is backed up. Music, videos and such are part of iTunes. For instance my iPad has about 50GB's of files, however the actual backup is only about 1GB (both on iTunes as well as iCloud). I'm not sure how much additional space the backup restore process requires however, if any.

    The good news is that once you've upgraded to iOS 5 you can use iCloud for backups instead of iTunes if you'd like.

    Here's a list of tips to follow prior to your upgrade:

    [h=2]iOS 5 Upgrade Troubleshooting[/h]
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2011
  3. idave23
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    idave23 iPad Enthusiast

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    Thanks for the great info as usual Rich. I definitely DON'T know what I'm doing so I'll leave those files alone.:) I'm gonna try and do a backup again tonight after deleting a few more apps. Hopefully it'll go through this time. Thanks again.
  4. richsadams
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    richsadams iPad Super Guru

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    Glad to help. Is there any money in the piggy bank for an external hard drive where you could store some of your PC's files either temporarily or permanently? I think I've seen some 500GB external drives for about $50 now. Or maybe you have an old hard drive laying around you could re-purpose with a USB/SATA dock? Just a couple of thoughts.
  5. twerppoet
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  6. idave23
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    idave23 iPad Enthusiast

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    Sorry I'm jst getting back to this. Yes, I'm considering some kind of external drive solution. I've freed up enough space to hopefully do the back up and iOS5 upgrade. BTW, I've got two iPads to do. How does that work? Will I need to download it twice or will it already be on the PC when I'm ready to do the second iPad?
  7. idave23
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    idave23 iPad Enthusiast

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  8. richsadams
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    richsadams iPad Super Guru

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    It's all done with smoke and mirrors...on the Interwebs...so each iPad has to be upgraded separately. Let us know how things go!
  9. waismanalon
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    waismanalon iPF Noob

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    Hi guys! When I try to load the iOS5, It tries to do a back and it tells me that there is not enough space for a back (it needs about 10GB and it shows 1.5GB free on C drive). I have about 200GB free in a different drive (G). How do change the backup location to G? Thanks!
  10. twerppoet
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    twerppoet iPad Legend

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    I don't know of anyway to change the backup location. You'll probably have to move some other files to the
    G drive instead.
  11. joeyteel
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    joeyteel iPad Fan

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    There's a way to do it using NTFS directory symlinks in Vista or later, but it's an involved process and I wouldn't recommend it personally since it is very easy to screw things up and render you unable to perform backups at all.

    You really are better off moving stuff like pictures, movies, and documents to your second drive instead if possible as has been mentioned. :)
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