Hooray, I can't even restore my iPhone

Something has again gotten corrupted in the iPhone music database, so I keep getting:

even though:

Which is amazing design: "Because I somehow think that all of the music won't fit, I will sync none of it. You're welcome."

So I just want to nuke it from orbit and re-install from local backup, and wait 5 hours for all the music to re-sync. But when I try to do "Restore iPhone" I get:

And if I put the phone into "Recovery" mode (hold down power+home for 30+ seconds), I get:

Latest iTunes, latest MacOS, latest iOS. Double-you tee fuck, Apple.

The only effect of doing a mere "Restore Backup" is that it blows away all my saved passwords. Thanks again for that feature, dicks. What year is this? Apple thinks that sane people store their password vault inside their heads?

Update: And after all this wheel-spinning, now "Autoimporter" won't launch when I plug in the phone; and it seems like every other time I plug the phone in, it tries to re-sync 5000+ tracks, and then says it failed to sync 4000+ of them. Also, the act of syncing makes iTunes on the desktop just stop playing at random times, because apparently copying files out the USB port and playing music at the same time is too confusing for it.

Previously, previously, previously.

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19 Responses:

  1. jwz says:

    Also can anyone explain what the "Manually manage music and videos" checkbox does? I can't see any difference.

    • Yuma Tripp says:

      It's for people like me, when you have something like 300 playlists and 250,000 songs, you can actually turn off what songs and playlists you want to put on said idevice.

      Some people with only 10 gigs of music may want to put everything on, while people like me with a terabyte can fit it all, and shouldn't.

      Also, iTunes has been borked forever now and although it was once amazing, they've designed away all the things that made it useful.

      I wish there were different versions for different users.

      • jwz says:

        I have more music than fits on the phone and have a few smart playlists selected, which is what gets synced. I saw no change in the syncing behavior when I checked or un-checked that box.

        Except now suddenly all of my music has converted from "music" to "other" again. How very.

      • anon3494 says:

        Every version of iTunes I have used has been garbage.

    • o.o says:

      I use it to drag & drop music and manage playlists directly on the device. I don't use iTunes as my media player on actual computers whenever I can avoid it, so I don't have playlists on my computer, but I do like the iPod Nano as my mp3 player. If you're basing things solely on playlists, it may not make a difference. If you wanted to, say, copy an entire album at once, can you d&d it with that option enabled?

      NB: I haven't actually changed this option in years, so it's entirely possible that it does something different, or nothing at all, at this point.

  2. jwz says:

    Also can anyone explain how to get AutoImporter to be able to import my photos without me having to unlock the phone first? As it used to be, and ceased to be some time last year.

    iTunes is capable of doing a backup of my SMS messages while the phone is locked -- including the attached photos -- but apparently the photo library is held to some completely different standard now, because Apple.

    • jmags says:

      They want you to sync your photos via iCloud, so I imagine you'll never be able to import without unlocking ever again.

  3. Frank Hecker says:

    To add to what others have noted: iTunes will not back up passwords and other password-like stuff (like OTP seeds in Google Authenticator) unless you check the box to encrypt the backup. This bit me the last time I got a new iPhone.

  4. Dan says:

    Did you try a different USB port? I had a recent problem very similar to yours, and it was cleared up by moving the device to a different USB port (on a hub instead of my main system).

  5. Glaurung says:

    "Ask different" thinks that this itunes error is related to itunes being unable to phone home to a signing server at apple. Make sure access to gs.apple.com is not being blocked.

    I have also run into similar but different stupid errors after trying to update ios on a phone that i had repaired with third party parts. If you got a new non-apple provided phone battery or whatever, that might be the culprit.

    • jwz says:

      Well, it's not. And even though there is no manner of cargo cult sympathetic magic I can envision where a battery causes a link-layer error, no. Not that either.

      • Glaurung says:

        I have just remembered what I had to do when I encountered a stupid "cannot validate the new OS software" error with an old Ipad a few months ago. Google told me to unblock an apple server that I had never blocked, just like the advice I got when I looked up your error. Probably it's the same error, they just changed it from an unhelpful number to an unhelpful message at some point.

        I did the restore on a completely different computer that had never seen that particular ipad before, and it worked perfectly. Go figure. Sigh. Jailbreakers fiddling with settings they don't understand is probably what infected the internet with the bad advice about unblocking apple's server in your hosts file. Sorry about that.

        As to batteries, i am sorry to inform you that, actually, If you use parts that are not blessed by apple, such as a 3rd party battery or 3rd party touchid button, then the validation step of itunes restore will fail with a mysterious error. Google "itunes error 53," for example. This applies to any parts that contain logic that the restore software can interrogate for genuineness.

        So, if you have changed any parts inside the phone other than purely mechanical ones, and used 3rd party parts, that might be the source of your problem. But try restoring on a different PC first.

  6. Ed says:

    Not that it helps now (but may help in the future) if you encrypt your local iTunes backups the Restore from Backup procedure will restore your backup with passwords preserved.

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