Wednesday 7 November 2007

Backup (Preferences, Notes, etc) data from jailbroken iPod Touch

If you have jailbroken your iPod Touch (not recommended, of course...) and perhaps added iPhone applications such as Maps, Notes, Mail, etc (not legal...), you might wish to back-up the data you create on said applications (given that iTunes isn't going to offer to help you out since you aren't using an iPhone).

So how to find and copy down the data to your PC?

This modmyifone thread: How to Backup lists a few of the 'data files' used by various applications. The tip that follows simply copies ALL files from /Library/ to your local disk.

Create a Windows batch file and place it in the same directory as folder named Library and a copy of pscp.exe, iBackup.bat
set IP=
set /p IP=Enter your iPod's IP address (eg:
pscp -r -pw alpine root@%IP%:/var/root/Library/* Library/

When you run this, the command prompt will appear and wait for you to enter your iPod's IP Address [Settings » Wi-Fi » (your net) » IP Address] . It will then download everything from your iPod's /Library/ directory, so you get the main data files and a whole pile of cache data as well - about 13Mb in all (on my device).

Points to note (based on an iPhone, of course):
  • /Library/Preferences/* is probably something you'd want to keep all of, just in case

  • /Library/Notes/notes.db is apparently an sqlite data file. There's an sqlite gui too (which I haven't tested yet). Hopefully it'll be possible to download/edit and upload this file.

  • /Library/AddressBook/AddressBook.sqlitedb is even named as an sqlite file. iTunes will sync this for iPod owners since it's built-in

  • /Library/Calendar/Calendar.sqlitedb - iTunes will sync this for iPod owners since it's built-in; in fact, it's one-way for the iPod because the Touch Calendar is read-only (for now)

  • /Library/Keyboard/dynamic-text.dat is apparently a mini-key-logger! I guess it's where they keyboard 'learns' (?)

  • /Library/Mail/* contains a whole pile of different bits - probably best to use IMAP and rely on your server copy for that

Please remember that I've only downloaded the data described above - I haven't had the need to upload any of it, so there's no guarantee that the copies are a perfect backup. But if you did lose your iPod for some reason, there's a chance it'd be recoverable.

I can't test on a Mac; but if you have one you can probably figure out how to use Terminal to grab the files.

UPDATE: sqlitebrowser works a treat

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the info.

    By the way, there's nothing illegal about jailbreaking and adding 3rd party apps. And it's very low risk. The worst that can happen is that you have to restore and then the iPod is as good as new.


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