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Joolissa

iPhone Woes

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Hey all

I know there's at least 1 iPhone owner on here and a room full of Apple people, so I thought I'd write this and see if anyone had any ideas.

 

I got an iPhone back in Feb. and since then have experience my iPhone opening random apps upon waking it/unlocking it from sleep. It also does not shut down properly all the time, upon shut down, the little pin wheel will spin around, then freeze and the unlock screen pops up, (I can input my password if I felt like it and open the phone) only to have it shut down a few seconds later. I've confirmed with genius bar that this is not normal behavior.

 

I have restored multiple times from a backup

I have restored my phone at least twice as a new phone and reloaded everything on it

Genius bar did a deep restore on it

Genius bar did some even deeper thing, I think.. either that or I'm thinking that the 1 really deep reset was 2 separate events

Genius bar said the problem was some deep firmware thing that they hadn't seen since 3.0 came out or some such thing and if it continued after their deep reset to get the phone replaced

 

The problems persisted and I got my phone replaced.

 

Guess what..... it's happening again..... same issues. I have NO idea what I can do now and I can't find any information about anyone with a similar problem on google (which is worrying).

 

I also get app crashes and some weird activity within apps (what I thought was me hitting buttons, may actually be the phone clicking through things, especially in safari)

 

My best guess is that there is some app that is screwing up my phone, but how this is possible is beyond me, and which app it could possibly be or how I figure out which one it is, is also beyond me. I have asked multiple genius bar/apple people if an app can possibly be causing this and have been told no (this was before it happened on the second phone, so now maybe the answer will change?)

 

I'll be heading back into apple soon to pick up an ipad and take the issue to them, but if anyone has any ideas in the mean time as to where I might find any information or how to go about discerning which app is causing the problems if any, I'd appreciate it.

 

Woefully

- Jools

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Hi Woeful.

 

First, my condolences. What a horrible thing to happen to your new beast. Second, the folks at the Genius Bar aren't really geniuses but I'm sure you know that by now.

 

Since this happened on both iPhones this really sucky thing you're describing does sound like a corrupted download. But what do I know? I'm not a minimum wage Apple "genius". (I hear "Tap Tap Revenge 2" is acting up.)

 

If it's a hardware problem you might want to look at your own behavior (sorry but it had to be said). Did you leave your iPhone on the radiator over night? Use it in the bathtub? Expose it to microwaves (or gamma rays)? Could one of your pets mistaken it for a tasty treat? Or maybe you just dropped it? The more complex the device the more delicate it tends to be.

 

Even though it talks about iPhone 2.0, this article on eHow describes three types of iPhone crashes and how to handle them. It might help for your type of problem.

 

Remember, if you freeze up, and a regular Restart (i.e., press and hold the Sleep/Wake button until the slider appears) isn't working, you can force a restart by holding down the Sleep/Wake and Home buttons simultaneously for around 10 seconds.

 

Also, you might want to synch up to iTunes and look over your iPhone's Crash Log at ~/Library/Logs/CrashReporter/MobileDevice/<DEVICE_NAME>. Something might stand out.

 

Finally, if you replace it again, you might try a different outlet. I'm not pointing fingers but...well, you know.

 

If all else fails purchase some blue-gremlin repellent.

Or two cups and a string.

Thinking healing thoughts at your Beast,

- Thoth

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Thanks Thoth!

 

I am guessing that it is an app, but I would think that if it was an app, then I would be finding information on google from people who are having the same issue?

 

I have thought back over everything I've done with both phones, and I can't come up with anything I've done that would cause damage to them. We don't have radiators and it's not been in the bathtub. My cats haven't touched it as far as I'm aware and they each took a minor tumble, but nothing that I would suspect damage of. Most days it sits on the top of my bed's headboard (which is a cabinet) either flat on the surface or sitting in my alarm clock dock.

 

The strange activity started almost right away with the first phone. It's really hard to pinpoint when it starts, because it seems that the random apps opening is the first symptom. I was brushing it off as "I must have accidentally clicked the app before it fell asleep" for a while. It's only when it starts not shutting down properly that I notice it for sure. I don't shut the phone down much.

 

Thanks for the article, but none of those crashes fit the issue, though I have tried all the solutions. I think the first phone only completely froze up once.

 

I checked out the crash log..... are there supposed to be a ton of things in there? There's a aggregated-yyyy-mm-dd.crash for almost every day I've had the phone(s). There are also quite a few app crash reports, from apps I still have to ones I no longer have. There is also a Spring Board crash report from a while back. I remember the apple guys saying Spring Board had been crashing. There's securityd crashes from today and before as well.

 

If by different outlet you mean where I plug it in, they've both been plugged in multiple places, but if you mean a different apple store, then I've been to two different ones with the issue (they generally agreed), but the phones came from the same place, so if I get another one I guess I will try it from the other store. Who knows, maybe I have just managed to get two faulty phones in a row. ^_^

 

On the brighter side, my iPad skins got here today. I got a custom skin for the back of it on top of the regular clear one, it has one of my photographs on it, and I must say that it looks really awesome. I'm dying to get an iPad and stick it on there now. Hopefully I will get a chance tomorrow! We'll see. Otherwise it'll be this weekend or Monday. I'm hoping I don't have to practice patience much longer :(

 

- Jools

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A crash for almost every day you've had the iPhone? Even on days you don't actually use it? If so: weird.

 

I'm still betting on a corrupted download but I was thinking about what the two iPhones have in common, besides the seller and yourself, and had a thought: did you swap SIM cards? That is, is the SIM card from the first iPhone now in the second? It's a long shot, I know, but what do you have to loose? Swap SIM cards with someone else's iPhone (it has to be another iPhone) and see if it works.

 

Enjoy the skins.

(The skin is the best part of a deep fried iPad.)

- Thoth

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If that's what having that aggregated crash log file means, then yes, there's been one for almost every day since Feb (over both phones). The only days missing are March 30-April 5, April 14&15, & today, but I haven't plugged the phone in since 1am, so...

 

The Sim Card is a long shot, but it's true, the sim from the first went into the second as far as I know. Though I did just remember, that the first phone came from the AT&T store not the Apple Store. The second came from the Apple Store. They were both in the same mall though. :(

 

Unfortunately, the only person with an iPhone that I know lives in Boston. I will have to mention it to the apple guys though, maybe they will have an idea about that. Thanks for the idea!

 

^_^ deep fried iPad!

- Jools

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Thanks for telling me about the crash logs Thoth. I may have found a clue... in quite a few the aggregated crash logs, it mentions an app that I no longer have installed, though how that's possible after restoring as a new phone is beyond me. I think I will end up taking my computer along to show the guys these.

 

I feel the need for a magnifying glass, deerstalker hat, and a sidekick named Watson.

- J

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Thanks for telling me about the crash logs Thoth. I may have found a clue... in quite a few the aggregated crash logs, it mentions an app that I no longer have installed, though how that's possible after restoring as a new phone is beyond me. I think I will end up taking my computer along to show the guys these.

Good idea. Good luck to you and please keep us posted.

 

I feel the need for a magnifying glass, deerstalker hat, and a sidekick named Watson.

- J

How about a sidekick named Kitty or Snake?

Further reading: The iPhone of the Baskervilles.

- T

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To add my two cents, while I'm not an expert in the iPhone OS, I do know that it's Mac OS X in it's guts (and UNIX in its kernel). The way Mac OS X is set up is that applications themselves do not have access to hardware—they access "abstraction layers." What this means is that an application itself doesn't take control of the iPhone hardware, but it asks the iPhone OS to do something, and then the iPhone OS does it. So if your phone is exhibiting hardware problems (like random shutdowns) that is, as the "genius" said, a firmware or hardware issue. Point being, I think you actually got fair information there, and I can't imagine an errant app, even if it tries to trigger something relating to hardware, being the cause of a random shutdown or lock opening.

 

How can a hardware issue travel from phone to phone? I really don't know. But I think Thoth may have got it right—the SIM card is the common thread between the two phones. It's possible that there is something just a little "tweaked" on it that sends the firmware into a conniption fit (that is the scientific term :lol: ). How does a sim card get tweaked? I haven't the foggiest. I don't think it's anything an application can do, and I don't think it's anything you did physically. I would guess that perhaps, the SIM card somehow was manufactured slightly abnormally, and you just got lucky. But that is just a guess. I guess the only way you'd know for sure is if the Apple store does another deep firmware wipe for you so that nothing untoward shows up in a crash log, things work normally for a while, then get screwy again.

 

If it *is* the SIM card, that's something that the AT&T store might be able to sort out for you; they might be able to activate a new SIM card for you with your previous account and phone number information. So ultimately, perhaps the combination of a "deep firmware reset" (so you're starting with a clean/non-compromised firmware) and a new SIM card is the way to get this to stop happening long term. But that's just my guess.

 

And I'm guessing that the reason you can't find out about this using Google is that this does trace back to a physical SIM card defect, which is probably an extremely rare occurrence. I've read about lots of iPhone issues, even some really bizarre things on "Jailbroken" iPhones, but nothing like this.

 

Good luck!

 

Orren

 

PS—I have had one hardware issue: I pulled the headphones out of the iPhone too fast, and was no longer able to use the internal speaker, a known hardware weakness in the iPhone 3G. The solution was to do a reset while toggling something (forgot what) repeatedly. I'm hoping in the next version, they'll make the headphone jack more robust! (maybe they already did in the 3GS models).

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Hey

Thanks for the input Orren! Though, I think you misunderstood what the phone is doing. It's wasn't randomly shut down or unlocked, but it didn't shut down properly. It would go to the shutdown screen with the spinning pin wheel, but then the pin wheel would stop and it would go back to the password/unlock screen (you could still see the pinwheel in the background). From that screen, I could wait and it would finish shutting down, or unlock the phone and then it would finish shutting down. Also, occasionally when I would unlock it (throughout the day) a random app that I hadn't left open would be open. I also started noticing actions clicking through without me pressing them, in some apps too.

 

Anyhoo, here's an update: I went to the Apple store in hopes of snagging an iPad (no joy.. no one has them *cries*, so now I'm on a waiting list for who knows how long) and I found my favorite genius (who's helped with this before) and caught him up on the story.

 

Since the issues traveled between phones, he doesn't think it's the phone anymore. I then mentioned the fact that the crash logs were consistently mentioning an app I no longer had and hadn't installed since Feb, and the file isn't even on my computer anymore, so he said, uninstall/re-install iTunes and restore the phone as a new phone and see if that fixes it. His thinking is that there is some bit of corrupted file left over somewhere that iTunes is still referencing. :lol:

 

So I've now trashed iTunes, and all it's preferences, (though I left the library for now) and then reinstalled it as well as restoring the phone and I haven't had any more issues (yet). It hasn't registered a crash log either, which I'm taking as a good sign, since there was a crash log from almost every day before. Hopefully this will take care of the problem. If it doesn't, the next step is to trash the itunes library along with a reinstall and if that doesn't work it's back to the Apple store.

 

I did mention the SIM card idea, and no one thought that could possibly be it, because they'd seen SIM cards cause weird software issues, but nothing like this. Your theory about it being slightly defective makes sense to me though, so I think if the issues continue beyond the iTunes idea, then I will stop by an AT&T store before returning to Apple and pick up a new SIM and see if that works.

 

Here's a question though: If I take all the previous crash logs/files out of the iPhone crash log folder on my computer, does it affect the ability of the phone actually report crashes? Cause I took them out, to easily see if a new one was registered.

 

Well.. here's hoping it's all good now!

- Jools

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Hi Jools.

... Hopefully this will take care of the problem. If it doesn't, the next step is to trash the itunes library along with a reinstall and if that doesn't work it's back to the Apple store.

Our labor-saving devices do tend to be a lot of work.

 

I did mention the SIM card idea, and no one thought that could possibly be it, because they'd seen SIM cards cause weird software issues, but nothing like this.

There's a first time for everything. Were the other "weird software issues" even close to your situation?

 

Your theory about it being slightly defective makes sense to me though, so I think if the issues continue beyond the iTunes idea, then I will stop by an AT&T store before returning to Apple and pick up a new SIM and see if that works.

You might want to have them test one of their cards in your iPhone first, or test your card in one of their iPhones. At least that way you can have some confidence that the problem is in fact a bad card.

 

Here's a question though: If I take all the previous crash logs/files out of the iPhone crash log folder on my computer, does it affect the ability of the phone actually report crashes? Cause I took them out, to easily see if a new one was registered.

I've removed crash logs from crash folders with no affect on the ability of the system to add more logs.

 

Orren mentioned earlier that: "The way Mac OS X is set up is that applications themselves do not have access to hardware...". This is true simply because this is how all operating systems are set up; The OS sits between the hardware and the application programs. Can an application program contain a "hook" into the hardware? Yes, and it does it the same way the OS does it. But this typically violates standard coding practices. Unfortunately the black hats could not care less about violating standard coding practices. So, yes, it is possible to mess with the hardware and even with the OS itself. Actual damage to the hardware by a deliberately malicious app is exceedingly rare. I've only seen four cases of this in my life and none of them on Mac products. (Three killed the fan and one screwed up the targeting of an old green-phosphor CRT.)

 

Virus? Maybe but unlikely. I still think the SIM card is the most likely culprit if only because it is a common denominator. But your iTunes program is also a common denominator. (Good thinking Apple Genius. That one slipped by me.)

 

So, as you say, here's hoping it's all good now!

-Thoth

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Thanks for the input Orren! Though, I think you misunderstood what the phone is doing. It's wasn't randomly shut down or unlocked, but it didn't shut down properly. It would go to the shutdown screen with the spinning pin wheel, but then the pin wheel would stop and it would go back to the password/unlock screen (you could still see the pinwheel in the background). From that screen, I could wait and it would finish shutting down, or unlock the phone and then it would finish shutting down. Also, occasionally when I would unlock it (throughout the day) a random app that I hadn't left open would be open. I also started noticing actions clicking through without me pressing them, in some apps too.

 

You're right, I did get it wrong. Sorry about that!

 

Anyhoo, here's an update: I went to the Apple store in hopes of snagging an iPad (no joy.. no one has them *cries*, so now I'm on a waiting list for who knows how long) and I found my favorite genius (who's helped with this before) and caught him up on the story.

 

Sounds like the Apple Genius may actually be worthy of his title! :lol: I hope the problem is now solved!

 

 

Here's a question though: If I take all the previous crash logs/files out of the iPhone crash log folder on my computer, does it affect the ability of the phone actually report crashes? Cause I took them out, to easily see if a new one was registered.

 

As Thoth said, it's not a problem. The system automatically generates them anew if you clear them out. So no worries.

 

Take care,

Orren

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There's a first time for everything. Were the other "weird software issues" even close to your situation?

Yes there is, but I don't believe they were anything like my issues.

 

You might want to have them test one of their cards in your iPhone first, or test your card in one of their iPhones. At least that way you can have some confidence that the problem is in fact a bad card.

The problem with testing someone elses card is that the stuff doesn't happen consistently/right away and I would probably need to test another card/have my card tested in another phone, for at minimum a week, but probably more like a month. I think it'd be simpler just to get a new card and see if the problems went away.

 

 

Sounds like the Apple Genius may actually be worthy of his title! :lol: I hope the problem is now solved!

Haha yea, he does seem to be one of the good ones. Ironically enough he doesn't have an iPhone!

 

Thanks for all the input guys!

- Jules

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I'm happy to report that so far it looks like killing itunes and getting a new copy has seemed to work. I'm no longer registering crashes everyday and haven't seen any of the issues I'd been having before....

 

 

...yet! :ph34r:

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I'm happy to report that so far it looks like killing itunes and getting a new copy has seemed to work.

Ah. So simple an answer yet so elusive.

I hope you didn't lose too much, and nothing irreplaceable.

I wonder what problems peopled suffered in the early age of the telephone. Cross-talk? Broken bells? Mice?

And what problems will people suffer with their phones in the next 50 years? Festive ear wax? Jimmy legs? Personality transference?

As Robert Browning said: "Grow old with me, the best is yet to be."

 

Best of luck.

- Thoth.

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Quite elusive!

 

Nope, didn't loose anything irreplaceable. The only things really affected could either be restored through in-app back ups (like my tracking apps, notes) or were game scores/progress, which I've re-done so many times now it doesn't take me nearly as long as it did the first time! lol.

 

Cross-talk isn't done haunting phones. I've gotten it a few times when talking to one friend of mine who lives in the city, the weird thing is that sometimes only one of us hears it.

 

Festive ear wax!! Hahahaha!!! Personality transference would be scary though... What about being sucked into the Matrix? lol!

||o||||e

-j|o|s||

||||l|i||

 

(lol that was my sad attempt at making my name look like the scrolling matrix-y thing. HA!)

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Haha! Does that say my name?

 

I find it interesting that every character in that picture is upside down.... Is that how it is in the movie too?

- Jools

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Haha! Does that say my name?

I wish. Actually it's a still from the movie.

 

I find it interesting that every character in that picture is upside down.... Is that how it is in the movie too?

- Jools

Yes! Fun fact: in Matrix-1 they wanted the "cascade" characters to look vaguely Japanese so they inverted the Latin alphabet, Arabic numerals and some common symbols. In Matrix-2 they added actual Japanese characters to the mix (using kanji, katakana and hiragana symbols). Looked cool.

 

-T

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Neat!

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The Matrix Cellphone — The Ultimate App Download.

In many circles, there is only one movie: The Matrix. The others were so horribly bad that they were wished out of existence. :)

That's what happens when you forget the writing and focus on sets and SFX.

 

:lol:

Good strip. I read through about 30 of them. Thanks

- T

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Well, Unfortunately, my gremlins are back and they have bred and started a colony on my iPad as well. :):D

 

I'm completely baffled still and am getting really sick of having to restore my devices and lose all my info. I'm going to try trashing everything that has anything to do with iTunes on my computer and rebuild everything from scratch.

 

If that doesn't work, I'm going to make 3 or 4 genius appointments in a row and make a slave of a genius or two and hopefully get it figured out.

 

If anyone has any ideas or suggestions, let me know. I'm will to try just about anything now.

- Jools

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If anyone has any ideas or suggestions, let me know. I'm will to try just about anything now.

 

Whatever the problem is, it seems to be hidden pretty deep! I'd imagine that the frustrating and ultimate solution is to do a complete hard disk wipe and reinstall Mac OS X, all applications, and then data from there (making sure you install NO preference files, etc. just apps from CD, and your homemade files from backups). Hopefully it won't come to that, but on the flip side, you might want to consider jumping to that step sooner rather than at the end, just so you don't have to keep repeating the "data corruption dance" every few weeks until you've exhausted all your other possibilities.

 

As much as that sucks, at the very least it seems pretty clear now that it's a software, and not a hardware issue. That's gotta be worth something.

 

Good luck!

 

Orren

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Unfortunately I think you are right, but I have a couple of major problems with that option......

 

1. I share a family pack of iLife and the person with whom I share it with lives in New England, so I don't have easy access to the disks.... *sigh*

 

2. Most of my apps don't come on CDs, they were download only. What do I do then? I don't want to lose all my apps. Steve knows me, so I'm sure he'd provide me with a new license, but I don't know the developers of all my other apps. I believe I have the DMGs and license codes for most of them, is there a solution for the others or am I doomed to lose them?

 

3. What about my iApps? How do I back them up? I've never purchased an app, but I have gotten paid apps when they were featured for free. I'm not sure that I can re-download them for free. Can I just copy the files from the computer to a backup and re-add them to my library?

 

4. Won't putting my files back onto the computer also re-add the corruption, what ever it is?

 

5. How in the world do I reinstall a mac anyway?

 

I appreciate your help & suggestions!

- Jools

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Unfortunately I think you are right, but I have a couple of major problems with that option......

 

Sadly, full reinstalls are always fraught with problems, even for the best of us that are obsessive about cleaning our system and backups. :D

 

The best advice I can give you is that if you decide that a full reinstall is the thing to do, rather than just doing it "pantser style" to plot out how to take care of each of your issues. If this means that you won't end up doing your reinstall for a week, so be it. For example:

 

1. I share a family pack of iLife and the person with whom I share it with lives in New England, so I don't have easy access to the disks.... *sigh*

 

Email/call/write/send smoke signals to your friend or relative now, asking for him or her to send you the DVD (or a copy), or to make a disc image (Using Disk Utility, a free Apple utility in the Utilities folder) and put it on an FTP server that s/he has access to for you to download (you can expand the DVD as a disk image and install from that).

 

2. Most of my apps don't come on CDs, they were download only. What do I do then? I don't want to lose all my apps. Steve knows me, so I'm sure he'd provide me with a new license, but I don't know the developers of all my other apps. I believe I have the DMGs and license codes for most of them, is there a solution for the others or am I doomed to lose them?

 

If you have the DMGs you're in good shape. If you don't, go to the website for each app, and see if you can download a fresh DMG file. If you can't, write to their support address, telling them that you had this app (giving them a serial number or whatever will prove it) but had to do a reinstall and need another DMG. Whenever I've done that, I've always gotten a download link, no problem.

 

3. What about my iApps? How do I back them up? I've never purchased an app, but I have gotten paid apps when they were featured for free. I'm not sure that I can re-download them for free. Can I just copy the files from the computer to a backup and re-add them to my library?

 

You can do just that! :) In fact, we have three Macs in our home, and each Mac has a copy of all the iApps. You can just copy the iTunes > Mobile Applications folder to as many computers as you'd like.

 

4. Won't putting my files back onto the computer also re-add the corruption, what ever it is?

 

Ultimately, it depends where the corruption resides. But if the operating system and application files are all brand new, the odds are much lower. And if you install your OS from the CD and your Apps from the DVDs/DMGs, they'll also be completely fresh. It's possible that if one of your iApps is what is causing the problem, then yes, you'll bring it back. But didn't you already try removing your iApps and seeing if that fixed it?

 

BTW, it's very doubtful the problem is an unrelated data file, like a picture you created a year ago, etc. Even if something like that gets corrupt, it's not going to affect iTunes/iPhone/iPad.

 

5. How in the world do I reinstall a mac anyway?

 

Your Mac came with a DVD that had a name like "system disk" or "system restore" or something like that. You'd put that in the drive, and there should be an option to restore this Mac. If there isn't, just "Install Mac OS X" is basically the same thing. Click that. On one of the very first screens, there's an option to do a "clean install" which means that it puts a whole new system on the disk. There will likely be a "Customize" button in that window, that will have an "erase hard drive" option. Do all that, and it will erase your disk, then put a fresh new system with all it's system apps on your computer. After that, go to system update, and it will bring everything up to the current version of stuff.

 

My advice is that if you want to go this way, take your time to get everything you need in hand first. So if it's going to take a while to get the iLife disks, your missing DMG files, backups of your iApps, etc, that's fine, just put off the complete reinstall for however long. Then give yourself a day to basically do the actual erase/restore system/reinstall apps and data procedure. If you plan everything out, it will be tedious (time to catch up on reading! :) ) but it will go smoothly, if slowly.

 

I hope that made some sense!

 

Take care,

Orren

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