This article, Recover Lost Data From Your iPhone, in its "Method 1" suggests a promising method to backup iPhone's entire state, that is iOS settings, apps, email settings, media files, that is everything to the least detail, using Unix/Linux dd utility that makes an image of the iPhone's hard drive. This allows treating iPhone backups akin to snapshots of a virtual machine or global restore points, which is very useful. However, despite of the article's title, it doesn't explain how to actually restore an iPhone's state from a file produced by dd utility.

Any ideas how to restore from dd hard drive images? Or maybe suggestions about better methods to save/restore iPhone's entire state?


2 Answers 2


You'll need to JailBreak the device before restoring. Then you'll need to go through the same process you took to create the image, except the values of the if and of arguments will need to be swapped.

Additional Reading

  • Has anyone ever attempted this? I dont have a device I would try with this with. Wouldn't this also repartition the NAND so you could theoretically do OS downgrades if youi
    – Allison
    Commented Sep 20, 2015 at 22:08
  • You can only do this with the /private/var partition technically. Commented Sep 25, 2015 at 17:11

The problem I see is that there is not exclusive access to the NAND disks. The restoration software is attempting to update a live file system that is also in use by the current ios os

  • Hmm. Restoring an iPhone doesn't involve operating on "the current iOS OS". What specifically are you saying here?
    – bmike
    Commented Sep 25, 2015 at 11:26
  • If you are seeing the phone as a block-structured device, then IOS is providing that simulation to USB (or other connection path). SO, if it would allow you to write to the entire device, including OS, you would be over-writing parts the OS. What happens if a part not yet written makes a call to a part that has already been changed? Probably brick the phone.
    – WGroleau
    Commented Sep 25, 2015 at 17:16

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