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iRecovery Stick FAQ

*Do not remove the stick from your computer while the program is running.

Watch the iRecovery Stick "How To" Video:

General Questions:

How far back can I recover deleted data?
It depends on how much new information has been written to the phone since the data you need to recover was deleted. If you delete a text message and immediately receive another text message, you will likely not be able to recover the old message. However, you may be able to recover a portion of the message if the new text message is shorter, therefore taking up less space than the deleted message.

What types of data can I recover?
You can recover text messages, contacts, call history, and calendar entries from iPhones.

How do I update my iRecovery Stick?
Your iRecovery Stick comes with free updates. To update your iRecovery Stick, run the iRecovery Stick program, click on the Tools menu and select "Check for updates". If your stick is giving an updating error, click here.

How do I check which version of the iPhone operating system (iOS) my phone has?
On your phone, go to Settings, then General, then About.


How do I disable the Passcode Lock on my phone?
The iRecovery Stick will not work on phones with a passcode lock. To disable the passcode lock, you must first have the existing passcode to get access to your phone. Once you access the phone, go to Settings, then go to General, then Passcode Lock.

Does the iRecovery Stick run on Macs?
No. The iRecovery Stick only runs on Windows XP, Vista, and Windows 7 based operating systems. However, you can import iTunes backup files copied from a Mac to your PC and use the iRecovery Stick to recover data from those backup files (see the next FAQ for details).

Can I get a backup from a Mac computer and copy it over to a windows computer?
Yes. You will need to locate the backup file on a Macintosh in the following directory ~/Library/Application Support/MobileSync/Backup/" Save the entire directory to a flash dive. Once the file is on the flash drive, plug it into a Windows based PC. On the main screen of the iRecovery program, select “Start Import from iTunes Backup”. This will open a screen giving you the option to open backups from iPhones running the iOS up to 7.x. Next, select the drive letter of the flash drive, open the backup directory and select the manifest.plist or manifest.mbdb file.

How fast does it work?
Generally, recovery takes 20 minutes per GB of storage space on an iPhone, however, if there is very little data on the iPhone, it can take as little as 15 minutes. If you are loading backup files from iTunes, it only takes a few minutes to recover the data.

Does the iRecovery Stick leave anything on my computer?
Yes, the iRecovery Stick saves the data acquired from the iPhone in a case file located by default in C:\Users\{username}\Cases\CaseX.ds in Windows 7 and C:\Documents and Settings\{username}\My Documents\Cases\CaseX.ds in Windows XP.

How do I return the product?
If you bought it from a retail store, you must contact them regarding their return policy. If the product arrives and is defective and you would like it repaired, please contact Paraben. If you accidentally delete the program on the stick or format the drive, you can send it to Paraben to be reprogrammed as long as you provide return shipping.

How do I check for updates that come out?
Updates do come out from time to time to ensure the most data possible and to support new versions of iOS (the iPhone operating system). Under the Tools menu at the top of the program is an update option. You must be connected to the Internet for it to complete an update.

Does this work on iPads/iTouch?
Yes, we are able to acquire these devices successfully, you will not get much from them, since they do not have text messages, contacts, nor call logs.

Does the iRecovery Stick recover emails or MMS?
No, iPhones, iPads, and iPod Touches do not actually save emails or MMS messages in the backup files used for recovery.

Program and Interface Problems

I start up the iRecovery stick and either the program won’t run, everything is grayed out and I can't click anything, or I plug the iRecovery Stick in and there is nothing on it at all. What's wrong?
This can happen when certain files are missing or have been corrupted on the iRecovery Stick or the iRecovery Stick was formatted. Paraben can reprogram your stick if this happens. Go to http://support.paraben.com and request an RMA number and shipping instructions and we'll replace your product. Be sure to detail if the stick was working and suddenly stopped or if it never worked.

If you are on Windows 7, or Windows Vista, right click on the iRecoverystick.exe and click on “Run as administrator”. This can fix the problem if you see the iRecovery Stick program and it simply won’t run.

Sometimes, USB ports are bad. Try a different port or try it on another computer to be sure.

It worked once, but now the iRecovery program will not start up. What happened?
This can be caused by a conflict with Windows. Uninstall Paraben’s iRecovery Stick Driver Pack through the Add/Remove wizard in Windows, restart the pc then reinstall the program.

When I try to run a recovery, the iRecovery Stick program crashes. What can I do?
This can occur when anti-virus or firewall programs prevent the iRecovery Stick from running properly. Disable any anti-virus/spyware/program blocking software and then reinstall the iRecovery Stick.

Sometimes, data on the phone is corrupt or there is something on the PC is causing a conflict with the program. You can help us trouble shoot the issue by turning on both logging options under Tools>Options. After the program crashes, you can send in the logs that are located in C:\Users\USERNAME\Logs (Vista, Win 7), C:\Documents and Settings\Username\Logs (Win XP) at http://support.paraben.com. Please provide a brief description of the error and basic information about the PC, such as what OS you are running and what version of the iPhone you have.

Whenever I hit any button or combination of buttons it gives me an error message (either create minidump, or it just closes). What’s wrong?
Something is blocking the iRecovery Stick from accessing certain features on Windows. Try right clicking on iRecoveryStick.exe and running as an administrator. If that does not work, try a different USB port, try a different cable, try a different iPhone if possible, or try a different computer. If that still does not work, go to http://support.paraben.com and submit a support request.

I receive an error saying the workspace is invalid (or something similar). What’s wrong?
Go to tools, then options, and try to point the default location for the cases to your desktop.

Connection and Data Download Problems

For most recovery issues, please try the following. If none of these suggestions work, continue reading the FAQ for more specific answers:

  1. Make sure iTunes is installed
  2. Make sure the iPhone is not password locked
  3. Make sure the phone has a valid SIM card in it
  4. Make sure the iPhone is on the home screen
  5. Try using a different cable
  6. Put the iPhone in airplane mode
  7. Run iRecovery.exe as administrator
  8. Try a different USB port
  9. Try a different computer
  10. Try a different iPhone
  11. Eliminate as many variables as possible so you can see what the problem is
  12. Restart the iPhone
  13. Try creating and importing a backup

It doesn’t show a phone when I click on Start Recovery. What is going on?
The iPhone is not being detected by the iRecovery Stick and most likely not by Windows either. Make sure iTunes is installed but that it is not running. Make sure the phone is powered on and plugged into a working USB port on your computer. Make sure iTunes is installed and recognizes a phone was plugged in. Try multiple USB ports and a new cable. If nothing you try makes it so your computer can see the iPhone, you may need to create a backup in iTunes then load the backup files for recovery. This will recover the same data as doing a recovery directly from the phone.

I was in the middle of a recovery when the connection was lost. What happened?
The most common reason for this is because a phone call or message was received by the phone during the recovery or because the screen lock was activated. Put the phone in "Airplane Mode" and disable the screen lock to prevent this from happening during a recovery.

Another possibility is there is a corrupted file on the iPhone. To get around this, complete a backup of the iPhone using iTunes and load the backup file into the iRecovery Stick and it will recovery all available data.

Finally, a bad cable or defective iPhone can cause this problem. Try making a backup of the iPhone in iTunes. If you can create a backup, import this backup file into the iRecovery Stick. You will recover the same data from the backup as you would directly from the phone.

Importing Backup Files

We recommend that you import any old backup files before creating a new one. Old backup files may contain deleted data that has already been overwritten on the iPhone. Once you recover any old backup files, we recommend you create a new backup and import that as well.

How do I recover data from a backup?
On the main screen of the program, select “Start Import from iTunes Backup”. This will open a screen giving you the option to open backups from iPhones running the iOS up to 7.x. To determine the operating system of your iPhone, go to the settings App on your phone and select General then About. The line named Version will tell you which version of iOS you are running. After you have selected the proper backup import, you will be asked to browse to the manifest.plist file. Depending on your computer’s operating system, the backup is located at:

Win XP, 2000 - Documents and Settings\USERNAME\Application Data\Apple Computer\MobileSync\Backup.
Vista, Win 7 - C:\Users\USERNAME\AppData\Roaming\Apple Computer\MobileSync\Backup.

To view these files you must show hidden files, by right clicking on any file in the window and checking show hidden files. Each randomly named folder will be a DIFFERENT BACKUP, from a DIFFERENT DEVICE. Once you’ve selected the manifest.plist or manifest.mbdb, the acquisition will start.

Where is the iTunes backup file located so I can load it into the iRecovery Stick?
Open the manifest.plist file. You may need to right click on your backup folder and show hidden files.

Windows XP - Documents and Settings\USERNAME\Application Data\Apple Computer\MobileSync\Backup\random numberletterchain\ manifest.plist (or manifest.mbdb)
Windows Vista & Win 7 - Vista, Windows 7--C:\Users\USERNAME\AppData\Roaming\Apple Computer\MobileSync\Backup\random numberletterchain\manifest.plist (or manifest.mbdb)

To view these files you must show hidden files, by right clicking on any file in the window and checking show hidden files. Each randomly named folder will be a DIFFERENT BACKUP, from a DIFFERENT DEVICE. Once you’ve selected the manifest.plist the acquisition will start.

Can I get a backup from a Mac computer and copy it over to a windows computer?
Yes. You will need to locate the backup file on a Macintosh in the following directory ~/Library/Application Support/MobileSync/Backup/" Save the entire directory to a flash dive. Once the file is on the flash drive, plug it into a Windows based PC. On the main screen of the iRecovery program, select “Start Import from iTunes Backup”. This will open a screen giving you the option to open backups from iPhones running the iOS up to 7.x. Next, select the drive letter of the flash drive, open the backup directory and select the manifest.plist or manifest.mbdb file.

Recovered Data Questions

How come it didn’t recover ANY deleted data?
The most likely reason is there is no recoverable deleted data. The backup file which iRecovery mounts is the same file that deleted data is recovered from. Sometimes, iPhones immediately overwrite deleted messages so they are unrecoverable. Apple indicates 4 milliseconds is all it takes to overwrite this data. No other program available to the public will be able to recover more data.

I completed a recovery but I don't see what I was looking for. What happened?
The iPhone has a set amount of memory locations that messages can be saved in. For the most part these are taken up by the messages still saved on the phone. If you only see a few “recovered” messages, this is because either the phone is full with other data or the messages have been overwritten. Running the phone through the iRecovery Stick multiple times or using another product will not recover any more data than the iRecovery Stick has already recovered.

I see multi-media files but can't open them. Why? To open multimedia files that are recovered with the iRecovery stick but not showing correctly, you’ll first need to export them out of the iRecovery program to your computer (right-click on the file and select “Export”). After exporting out, they will usually show up as a binary.bin file. To open these files you will need to change the extension from *.bin to either *.amr or *.wav. These are the two most likely formats for Voice Memo’s and Voicemails. If the file still does not open then it is most likely damaged or an incomplete file and cannot be opened.

Some of the recovered pictures aren't showing up. Why? To view Pictures that do not show correctly in the iRecovery stick, you’ll first need to export them out to your computer (right-click on the file and select “Export”). After exporting out, they will usually show up as a binary.bin file. To open and view these files you will need to change the extension from *.bin to either *.jpg or *.png. If this doesn't work, you can try some of the other less common formats that pictures may be saved as such as *.bmp, *.gif, *.tif, *.wmf and *.emf. If the picture does not open correctly by changing to any of these extensions, then the file itself is most likely damaged or corrupted.

Some of the data types are blank after a recovery. Why?
This is most commonly because no SMS messages are actually stored on the phone. You can also try updating your iRecovery Stick or creating a backup and importing it.

How do I save a case file?
Go to file>Save as, and name it something so that you will be able to find it. Not just case 1. It should save as a filename.ds file, meaning you can transfer that file to different computers, and view it there. Also, since it is a .DS file, you can open it with Paraben’s Device Seizure if you own it.

How do I open a case from a recovery I did earlier?
Open up iRecoveryStick.exe, and go to open workspace, and select your case file.

Supported Operating Systems: Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7