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all my contacts, notes and calendars are gone. when the iphone backs up does it copy everything? is there a way to get my important stuff back?

note: I didn't check 'sync contacts, notes, calendars' because I was travelling and had to use a different computer to sync our stuff. I assumed 'backup' and 'restore' meant something in this topsy turvy apple worldy. was I wrong?

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The backup function backs up all application data, system settings and user preferences. Data such as contacts, notes and calendars are only synced on request unless you are using something like MobileMe which syncs this data in the background.

If you didn't sync your contact, note and calendar data whilst you were travelling then your only backup remains on your primary machine. Restore from there and your contact, note and calendar information will be synced back from whatever applications you have designated as managers of that data.

From my own personal experience I have used and restored from MobileMe independently of iTunes successfully many times and continue to use that service for that reason should an iTunes or system backup ever fail for me. In future this functionality will be available for all via the iCloud service.

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It's worth noting that doing an ENCRYPTED backup will result in backing up the keychain, so you will need to spend less time entering credentials for accounts on the new device. –  David Jul 5 '11 at 17:47
    
exactly what I didn't want to hear. thanks though. –  victor Jul 5 '11 at 17:50
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If you have back up your data on iPhone, you can restore from the backup.

To restore information from a backup, use one of the following methods after connecting your iOS device to the computer with which you normally sync:

  1. Right-click (or Control-click) the device and choose Restore from Backup
  2. If you have a new phone, you can connect to iTunes and it will prompt to restore from your backup

Solution from Apple.com: http://support.apple.com/kb/ht1766

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