Backing up multiple Apple devices to same PC as tech support for company

Posted on 2014-11-06
Last Modified: 2014-11-13
As the IT person for the company, I'm asked to help move data from one iPhone to another, or one iPad to another when staff upgrade. The person may or may not have an iCloud account, and I don't personally even have an Apple device. How can I best perform backups and restores of data with as little issue as possible, while using my PC? Will I need to have their iCloud or any other login information, or could I just plug in a device, use iTunes, choose backup (It seems a requirement may be that each device is named differently to avoid issues?), then plug in the new device and choose restore?

Will I need to deal with authorizing computers or anything else of that nature?
Question by:ruhkus
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serialband earned 500 total points
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I think the easiest, and likely quickest, way is to load iTunes, backup the old device, then restore to the new one.  The user should do this with their own accounts on their own systems.

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As serialband said, the user should do this with their own account on their own system. Doing it on your system will wipe out their content (music, videos, photos), as the device can only sync with one iTunes account at a time. I ran into this stumbling block when deploying iPads to our sales staff. I loaded the content from my iTunes account, but the users wanted to add additional photos and videos and could not do it without losing the content I had loaded.
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After the user has done this, you can run a script to backup their iTunes folders and settings to a centralized place.  You may as well also back up their entire local home directory.  That's going to be the easier way to get this done.  Apple isn't really a corporate system.  They have hacks to get it to do what Windows does, but it doesn't work as well.  It's still very much designed as an individual consumer end user product.

If you want to force the copies, you can schedule a script to run.  You can also turn on Remote Login and run a script from your backup server to pull the data in.  I would do both, just to be sure it does run.  Most users won't know to turn off the remote login, so it should stay on until you turn it off.  Also, if you're worried about ssh security of traveling employees when you turn on remote login, just change the ssh port to something other than port 22 and use a port above 1024.

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