Thursday, May 23, 2013

And then the ipad crashed

Other people are kept up by babies, I am kept up and robbed of sleep by computer problems. I've had my first IPad since it was released, several years ago (3?). It was love at first sight. Then I really started to use it as electronic notebook with handwritten notes using the Noteshelf app. Your endless notebook! You can project your notes in meeting, send sketches to your colleagues, and always have all notes on you. Notebook love fest! Last fall I bought an iPad mini just to make it all more compact.

So, you can image my dismay when the Noteshelf app started crashing on me yesterday when I wanted to enter some new notes about a meeting. I tried several times, and the app always crashed. I gave up and waited until I would get home.

I started looking into a solution at 7pm and was still trying to fix it by 3am. By that point I had backed up the data to my Mac and the only option was to reset the IPad to factory settings and restore the IPad from a backup. The major conclusion was (still is) that the file that Noteshelf saves was corrupted and adding it back to a restored Noteshelf app still will not make the app start. -- I lost so much data I could have ripped my hair out. Yes, brave new world of electronic notebooks. The benefit would be to throw out things you don't need, but I'd preferred on my own terms! Note to self (and everyone): backup your IPad/IPhone data regularly! I am still trying to contact the makers of Noteshelf if the problem can be helped.

The other major problem was that the IPad still crashed. Constantly, with all application. It would write panic files to the diagnostics file. "SDA stuck low". Sounded very hardware-y.

I went to bed, and by 6am I was awake again. Since I could not fall back to sleep I decided to give in to my obsession about fixing the problem. How about recovering an older backup from Time Machine? I fiddled with the operating system and terminal window, navigating the Time Machine disk, but could not find any other backups that ITunes already told me about. I tried to restore the noteshelf file to my 1G IPad, but Noteshelf on that IPad would not start up. Thus, something wrong with the file. So, I decided to start with a clean slate (of notes), but the IPad would still crash every 2 min, and it is no way to work.

I was close to contacting Apple and pleading for a replacement, believing it must be a hardware problem, worrying that they say No way, jose, and I have to pony up money for a new one.

Until I found this on an Apple forum, and it WORKED! I did a different type of restore, a DFU restore, which I guess really wipes the machine clean, and set it up as a new IPad plus manually installed NoteShelf from ITunes (since I had paid for it already). And, low and behold, it works again! No more crashes! Happy Dance! -- Now, if only I could find a way to restore my Noteshelf data, I would hug the moon. --- so, in the hope that this might help someone else with a similar problem, I am posting it.

This is what helped:

Get all your data synced off the device, which is different from backing up in iTunes. If you're concerned about losing text messages you can pursue 3rd party software to extract them. When you're POSITIVE that you're not concerned with losing anything run a DFU mode restore on the device (youtube it). When this process is finished, select to set up the device as new, as opposed to restoring from a backup, and then sync your data manually back onto the device. I definitely quit all apps on my devices a few times a day, rarely power them off, hard reset every once in a while for fun, and I experience virtually no crashes. Maybe one app once a month. If this doesn't solve your issues, then you have a legitimate reason to ask Apple to replace your device. In or out of warranty is the only remaining question at that point. Hope this helps. I've seen this work countless times on my customer's products.

Youtube video to DFU reset your ipad.

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