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Im looking to upgrade my iPad to iOS 5.0 but deleting the media is not an option. I do not have access to the original computer that I used to place all the photos onto the iPad. Any suggestions on how to update the iPad and still retain the photos/ make it easy to reapply them to the updated iPad?

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Where do you intent to upgrade from, Mac or Windows? – patrix Dec 28 '11 at 14:25
What about apps? Will I lose them? – user17594 Jan 22 '12 at 17:35
Apps are always available for re-download from The App Store, both on your computer and on any iDevice that is authorized to your iTunes account. @Sassy – jbharper2 Jan 23 '12 at 10:51

The Macroplant family of programs for Windows and Mac, including the free iExplorer, permit you to mount an iPad in Windows Explorer or the Mac Finder and copy files out from the iPad's directory structure to your local hard drive.

I use the free iExplorer a lot. I don't have any experience with Macroplant's other paid apps with additional capabilities.

This could provide you with an inelegant but effective solution that would enable you to retrieve most of your media.

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If you plug your iPad into any computer, you should be able to save the photos on that computer. Apple doesn't control the photos, so you can move them between devices.

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You can use any computer, Mac or PC, to remove the photos from your iPad. Just plug in the device and use the photo management app of your choice to pull them off . The easiest way is iPhoto or Aperture of you have a mac. If there is other information that you need to remove, such as music, videos, or any 3rd party app data, then you'll need to go a little bit further. There are many programs out there that allow you to mount and extract data from your iDevice, all with varying features, success rates and price tags. The previously mentioned "iExplorer" is a nice free option. My personal preference is "PhoneView" by ecamm. It is Mac only and is available for 19.95. They also have a seven day free demo so you can make sure it works for you. The great thing about PhoneView is that in addition to the basic mounting and data transfer abilities of some of the other apps, it also gives you full and easy access to 3rd party app data, call logs and SMS logs as well as voicemail (iPhone only).

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