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I attempted to update my iPad 3 (NOT jailbroken... yet) running iOS 7 to iOS 9 a few months ago, but ran into a major issue: whenever I tapped on "Continue" on the "Update Completed" screen, my iPad would simply restart itself and show the update screen, which often would be unresponsive to swiping. I know many others have had this issue when updating from iOS 7 to 9, and some found a fix, but before I'm prepared to wipe my iPad and depart with my data, I'd like to try to salvage as much of it as I can. Unfortunately, I was foolish and forgot to back up my iPad before I updated because I figured the update would go flawlessly, since it had been so smooth on my iPhone.

The challenge now is to try to gather as much data as I can before wiping. So far, I've been able to get my photos through the Photos application on my Mac running Yosemite, but I'd really like to get all of my data from the Notes app off of my iPad. In order to do so, I've used a few file managers, but can't find the directory anywhere, so it must be in root. Getting access to root would give me access to a lot of other data as well, so that would be ideal. But I know that root access is something you can only gain by jailbreaking, and I don't think my glitching iPad is even capable of being jailbroken at this point.

Given all of this, is it possible to get any other data off of my iPad before I wipe it? If so, how? Would jailbreaking help? And how would I jailbreak with my iPad in this state?

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All relevant data is in /var/mobile/. You don't need anything from /. The Notes database in particular is located at /var/mobile/Library/Notes/notes.sqlite. Without knowing anything else about your situation, the most effective way for you to backup your data might be to just copy over the entire /var/mobile/ directory.

Also, only versions of iOS 9.1 and lower can be jailbroken at the time of writing. And no, you can't restore to iOS 9.1.

Another thing you could try is to go into Recovery Mode, backup with iTunes, update to the latest version of iOS while still in Recovery Mode, and then restore your iTunes backup.

  • Thank you so much! How would I get into the /var directory in the first place, though? I thought that also required special access, similar to that which jailbreaking provides. – jmindel Feb 23 '16 at 16:18
  • No, you have access to /var/mobile/, and only that directory. That's where all of your applications, documents, and settings are stored. iFunbox and similar applications should do the job (I believe they work on iOS 9, but it's been so long since I've had to use them). – Andrew Larsson Feb 23 '16 at 16:22
  • I'm trying iFunbox right now (I've also used it a lot in the past), but when I look at the Raw File System tab, there's no private folder, so I can't get in to /var/mobile. – jmindel Feb 23 '16 at 17:27
  • It looks like most of these sorts of applications have you start at the /Media directory, which I'm guessing is the only place you have access to within root if you're not jailbroken. Because of this, I can't find /var/mobile anywhere. – jmindel Feb 23 '16 at 17:29
  • I was right. As it turns out, /Media's full path is /var/mobile/Media, so I don't know if there's any escaping the /Media folder unless I jailbreak, which, like you said, is now impossible. Are you positive your second solution works? – jmindel Feb 23 '16 at 17:36

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