Restore / Recover your messages / sms / text messages TO iPhone from iTunes Backup

I recently had a situation where I did an iTunes restore to an iPhone 5 (and iOS 7.1), and for some reason it did not restore all the personal data such as message history, call logs, photos, etc.

This was obviously highly frustrating! I have no idea why the iTunes Restore missed these things, and Apple support was no help. So, this article will probably help you if you are in a situation similar to what I was in: messages and other data were missing from iPhone after iTunes restore.

I found a lot of programs out there that would allow me to extract the messages and download them to my computer, but this wasn’t all that helpful. I really wanted to get them back on to the iPhone.

Well, I am pleased to report there is a program that does this, and it actually works! The program is called Backuptrans iPhone SMS Backup & Restore, you can find a link here:

I was able to restore over 75,000 SMS messages to the phone. No jailbreak required. I was able to merge those messages with a few message that were already on the phone since after the restore. I highly recommend this program! At the time of this writing, it costs $20USD, but in my mind it is well worth that cost as there is no other way (that I know of) to recover these to your phone (unless you are jailbroken, but this article is not about that).

One caveat: It will not recover MMS messages/pictures, only text. Also, it appears that it perhaps converts iMessages to Texts, but still, to get all these back on your phone is great! Also,  you do need to have a valid iTunes Backup that includes your messages.

There are instructions on their website but here are a few instructions to do the recovery:

  1. Purchase, download and install Backuptrans SMS Backup & Restore:
  2. You will have to turn off Find my iPhone and iCloud backup temporarily for this. So, go ahead and do that now.
  3. When you open the program, you will first want to load the iTunes backup that contains your messages. To do this, choose the option “Import SMS from iTunes Backup to Local Database.”Image
  4. You will be presented with a list of backups to choose from. Choose the backup that contains your messages, click “Confirm.” It will then ask you to give a name for the local database. Do this, and you will see it listed under Local Databases, like so:


  5. So, you will notice that it has all your contacts on the left, and all the messages on the right. NOTE: If you have downloaded the trial, it will only show you 20 SMS messages, so if you are not seeing all your messages, you probably don’t have the purchased version.
  6. Now, go ahead and plug in your iPhone. If you have a passcode you will want to unlock it. Also, make sure and turn off Find my iPhone and iCloud backup if you haven’t done so already (you can turn these back on once the process is complete).
  7. When you connect your phone it will “back up” your data. Give it some time to do this. You will now see your phone listed under “Devices”, and on the right side you should see all your messages on your phone (if you have any).
  8. This step is only if you want to merge the messages on your phone since recovery with your old messages. If you have no new messages, you can skip this step. Right-click on your phone under “Devices” and choose “Backup SMS from this iPhone to local database”.
    backuptrans3It will ask you which database to merge into. Choose the database that you created in step 4, the local database. It will now merge all your messages from your phone into the same database as your old messages.
  9. Now, once that’s done, it’s time to put your messages back on your phone! Right-click the database name under local databases (the one you created in step 4). Make sure to right-click at the databse level, not the individual messages level. Choose the option “Transfer SMS from Database to iPhone”.
  10. That’s it! It will now go through the process of uploading all those messages back to your phone.

One issue I did face was a message about insufficient disk space on the phone. I don’t know how much free space is required, they do not make that clear, however to be safe, you may want to do this process before adding music and other large media to your phone.

I hope this article helps! Let me know in the comments if this works for you.

Outlook iCloud Calendar – The set of folders cannot be opened. The information store could not be opened.

I got this error on iCloud Calendar for Outlook on Windows 8 and Office 2013.

The set of folders cannot be opened. The information store could not be opened

The solution for me was quite simple. I went to Control Panel –> Add/Remove Programs. Choose “iCloud” and click Change. Then, choose the “Repair” option (make sure Outlook is closed).

After doing the repair, my iCloud came back!


Solution – ceiling fan with remote randomly changes speeds / randomly turns on without warning (Hunter Ceiling Fan)

This isn’t really a computer issue, but it was something that was really annoying until I found the simple solution.

Our Hunter ceiling fan has a remote, and we found that it would randomly turn itself on, or change speeds in the middle of the night without warning or for no reason. We replaced batteries in the remote but that didn’t fix it. I did a quick Google search and a bunch of other people had similar problems. My favorite solution someone posted online: “Maybe your ghost is hot.”

Anyways, I discovered that there is a dip switch on the receiver and remote that sets different frequencies. If you are having this issue, it is likely that something else around you (a neighbor’s garage door opener, or some other device) is interfering. I saw a lot of reports that these ceiling fan remotes work from incredibly far distances.

So, the solution is to change the dip switch. Here are a couple links to Hunter manuals that discuss this:

Owner’s Manual
Informational PDF

CrashPlan Pro for Linux: Stuck at “Waiting for Backup” or “Connecting to Backup Destination”

First off, I want to give a shout-out to a very helpful post. Thank you to Bryan for posting these tremendously helpful posts on how to get CrashPlan up-and-running on headless Linux server (aka: pretty much any Linux Web Server).

Installing CrashPlan on a Headless Linux Server
Using the Windows CrashPlan Client to manage a headless Linux server 

Also there is more on CrashPlan’s own site about this here.

Anyways, so the rest of this article assumes that you have successfully gotten CrashPlan installed on your Linux server, and that you are able to manage it via a remote client and select folders for backup.

So, what happened to me was, I got everything configured correctly, but still could not get the backup going. These are the symptoms I faced:

1. The folders were successfully selected; I could see them on CrashPlan’s web interface as selected
2. CrashPlan PRO Online (CrashPlan Central) was selected as the destination
3. No matter  what I tried, it would just sit there saying “Waiting for Backup” or “Connecting to Backup Desitnation” and would say 0 files completed.

These are the troubleshooting steps I performed:

1. I verified that ports 443, 4242 and 4243 were allowed for outbound connections
2. I tried restarting the CrashPlan Engine multiple times
3. I even uninstalled and re-installed CrashPlan completely
4. There were various posts online about versions of Java and changing things with the Java install. I didn’t think this was the problem for me…so I would suggest you skip those steps if you see them.

I eventually started looking at the logs, and found this Java error in one of the log files:

Exception in thread "W30145090_ScanWrkr" java.lang.NoClassDefFoundError: Could not initialize class com.code42.jna.inotify.InotifyManager
at com.code42.jna.inotify.JNAInotifyFileWatcherDriver.<init>(
at com.code42.backup.path.BackupSetsManager.initFileWatcherDriver(
at com.code42.backup.path.BackupSetsManager.startScheduledFileQueue(
at com.code42.backup.path.BackupSetsManager.access$1600(
at com.code42.backup.path.BackupSetsManager$ScanWorker.delay(

Now, as far as I understand it, inotify is only needed if you want to do scanning for real-time file changes. I actually didn’t even want to do this, so I disabled that, but it still didn’t find my problem.

I finally came across this post on CrashPlan’s own site that has a viable answer! Unfortunately the title of the post doesn’t say anything about “Waiting for Backup” so it is hard to connect it as the solution for this particular issue. Thank you to Renee S from CrashPlan for posting a viable solution that works on that forum!

Basically, the short of it is, CrashPlan doesn’t have the right parameter on the /tmp/ folder it needs to perform the backups.

Here are the instructions to get it to work again. 

1. You will need to create a new tmp folder for CrashPlan on your Linux server. Here are the specifications for that folder
– They recommend putting the directory in a user’s home directory (not root’s)
– The user CrashPlan was installed under must have write permissions on the directory you create
– IMPORTANT: The directory must be without the noexec restriction.
– So, for example, your directory might be: /home/myname/crashplan-temp

2. Once you have your temp folder created, you need to edit the run.conf file which is located here: /usr/local/crashplan/bin/run.conf

3. Open up this file, and look for this line:

SRV_JAVA_OPTS="-Dfile.encoding=UTF-8 -Dapp=CrashPlanService -DappBaseName=CrashPlan -Xms20m -Xmx512m -Dnetworkaddress.cache.ttl=300 -Dnetworkaddress.cache.negative.ttl=0"

4. We need to add an additional paramater specifying the new temp directory. This is done using this form:<path>

where <path> is a pointer to the directory you created in step 1. This can be added to the BEGINNING of the line, right after the quotes, so using the theoretical directory listed in step 1, it might look something like this

SRV_JAVA_OPTS=" -Dfile.encoding=UTF-8 -Dapp=CrashPlanService -DappBaseName=CrashPlan -Xms20m -Xmx512m -Dnetworkaddress.cache.ttl=300 -Dnetworkaddress.cache.negative.ttl=0"

5. Once you have that saved, restart CrashPlan on the Linux server for good measure, then it should work!

A couple tips if it still isn’t working:

– Make sure you have appropriate permissions on the directory you specified
– a few people had success changing the ownership to nobody:nobody  (chown nobody:nobody). I didn’t have to do this, but it might work for you

I hope this fix works for you!

Windows – recovering unsynced files from Sync Center / delete profile and lost files

I ran into an unfortunate situation: I had a user on a machine that I removed from the domain. The domain was set-up to sync files to the server via Sync Center. Unfortunately the computer was no longer in the domain.

I removed the computer from the domain, which was fine. However, when I went to copy the files from the old user profile, they were not there.

So, where do the files go when they are unsynced, not on the server, but not in the user’s “Documents” directory?

The answer is quite simple. They are in:


Once you get in that folder, you will find copies of any unsynced files, including files from a user that you may have removed and can no longer log-in as.

The only caveat is, you may have to grant yourself permission to see the folder and sub-folders. How to do this exactly is different in different versions of Windows, but generally speaking you need to:

1. Right-click “CSC” and click properties
2. Click the “Security” tab then “Advanced”
3. Click “Change” to change the owner
4. Assuming you are an Administrator on your computer, choose “Administrators” to make all Admins the Owner
5. Click “OK”, and if there is an option to “apply permissions to all subfolders” do this as well
6. Once you are the owner, you should be able to give yourself permissions to work with the files. Now, you can navigate into the CSC folder and find the appropriate user

iPhone – trying to connect Facebook to Instagram – Facebook Login Failed

I had repeated problems connecting Facebook to Instagram on my iPhone 5. I would click “OK” when it asks for permission, then it says: “Facebook Login Failed. Make sure you’ve allowed Instagram to use Facebook in iOS Settings -> Privacy -> Facebook.” The frustrating thing is, I DID already have it set to “Yes” in iOS settings, it still failed. 

Anyways, I found the solution on this forum post:

The short version of what to do is here:

1. Log in to Facebook on your computer
2. Search for Instagram (type “Instagram” into search)
3. Click the “App” Instagram (not the page)
4. You should see an option “Send to mobile”

On your iPhone you should now get a notification, and it should work!

Thanks to shookim for posting this solution on the Apple forum.

FIX: Windows 8 screen flicker / horizontal lines dell latitude e6410 nvidia NVS 3100M (especially out of standby)

I recently upgraded my Dell Latitude E6410 to Windows 8 pro. I noticed this strange issue with the following symptoms:

– There would be this really awful screen flicker / gray horizontal lines across the entire laptop LCD screen. They were straight lines, but would sort of move around, and also the screen flicker would be worse around the edges.
– It looked the worst after coming out of Standby, or if the screen was off for a while (but not booting up for the first time strangely).
– Sometimes it would go away after 15-20 minutes.
– I have an external monitor, and the external monitor did NOT exhibit the same behavior.

Doing some searches online, I tried these solutions that did NOT work:

– Replace the LCD: This was a recommended solution on many forums, so I had Dell replace the LCD. It didn’t fix it.
– Upgrade to the latest Windows 8 driver from NVidia’s website. This did not work.
– Try the latest driver from and Windows Update. This did not work.
– Turn off the Ambient Light Sensor in the BIOS.

So, this is what finally did work: 

I downloaded the A08 version of the NVIDIA NVS 3100M drivers from Dell’s website, as I saw recommended here (thank you wang11ss for posting the solution!). This fixed it for me!

You can find the A08 drivers here. (This link does a search for nvidia nvs 3100m, you then need to find the appropriate drivers for your computer). I would recommend you get the Win7/Vista 64-bit or 32-bit Graphics Driver (the ones posted 11/10/2012), either file number R287175.exe or R287174.

Here are direct links, I don’t know if these will continue to work:

Win 7/Vista 32-bit (can be used for Windows 8, in my experience)
Win 7/Vista 64-bit (can be used for Windows 8, in my experience)

In order to get this to work correctly, my suggestion would be to UNINSTALL any previous NVIDIA drivers from Add/Remove Programs before installing using this driver. 

Let me know if this works for you!

Program Recommendation: Input Director – control multiple computers with the same keyboard and mouse

Have you ever found one of those little programs that is incredibly simple, but you find incredibly useful and it works just the way you want it to? Oh, and that’s free? I have found Input Director to be just such a program for me.

What this program allows you to do is control a second computer (or more than two) with the keyboard and mouse from your primary computer. My primary system is a laptop, and I also have a desktop attached to the monitor on the side (so that I can always leave the desktop on and connect to it remotely if needed). I wanted to be able to control that desktop with my main computer as if was attached as a third monitor. This does exactly that. Your mouse will continue over to the other computer as another screen, and you can also control the computer with your keyboard. (I don’t even have a KB & mouse attached to that secondary computer). It works just the way you’d want it to as well. It is a wonderful program and I highly recommend it.

The only recommendation I would have if you do use it is, make sure you are using static IP addresses in your networking, and use the IP addresses as the computer names. I’ve found this gives the best seamless & problem-free operation.

Oh, and did I mention that it’s free? Check it out today.

Input Director

Chrome Application Shortcuts Windows 7 Taskbar icon fix icon resolution / size (and prevent Chrome from changing it back)

One of the great features of Google Chrome are “Application Shortcuts”. If you haven’t used these, they are a nice, convenient way to launch frequently used web apps from your desktop/taskbar in their own window. To create a new Application Shortcut, in Chrome click the wrench that expands options, then choose “Tools” and “Create Application Shortcuts…” from the tools sub-menu.

Here is a sample of 3 application shortcuts on my taskbar on Windows 7 (I outlined the shortcuts in red):

Although Application Shortcuts are a convenient feature, one of the annoyances of them is that they use low-resolution 32×32 icons. So, when you add them to your Windows 7 taskbar they appear pixelated and look bad. To further add frustration, if you change the icon, Google Chrome will often change it back automatically when you re-launch the program.

Here is how to change your Google Chrome application shortcut to use a high-resolution icon and preserve it so Chrome doesn’t automatically change it back.

  1. First, you need to find a higher-resolution icon of the application you are adding. You’ll want an icon at least 40px by 40px. I would recommend at least 64×64 or larger. The tricky part is you need an icon with the extension .ico. You can search on to find a hi-rez image of what you want (just search for your program with ‘icon’ after it). However, most images online are .jpg or .png. You must convert the image to .ico. The fastest, easiest way to do this is to use an online converter such as ( NOTE: I do not endorse this particular site–use at your own risk. It’s just an example, but it worked well for me. You can also convert it using a standard Windows Editing program such as PhotoShop as long as you have the right plug-in.
  2. Once you have your .ico image, \save it to a folder in your computer you can keep…perhaps in My Documents somewhere, or possibly even in the Google Chrome folder (somewhere you can leave it and it won’t get deleted).
  3. Create an application shortcut on your desktop for the application you want to change the icon.
  4. Find the icon on your desktop, right-click and choose properties. Then, choose “Change Icon…” and change the icon to the .ico image you downloaded in step 2.
  5. Click OK twice to close out and save.
    KEY: This next step (step 6) is critical to prevent Google Chrome from changing the icon back. It is a workaround, but it works for me and is the only way I could find to keep the icons the same:
  6. Now, right-click on the icon and click “Properties” again (yes, you do have to close and re-open the properties window).  Click the “General” tab and then click the checkbox next to “Read-only” near the bottom. Click OK.
  7. Now, drag the icon down to your taskbar and you are done! You should now have a high-resolution image on your taskbar that will stay that way.