I bought an original iPad when it first came out, my first Apple product, and it's been a great computer but recently it doesn't work anymore. Basically, the screen won't turn on.

Everything else seems to work. I know this to be true because I've touched the black screen randomly (Well, I remember the position of my homescreen apps), turned on apps, and heard sounds from the app. I just can't see anything.

Just to be clear,

  • I only have 1 PC desktop computer with Windows XP installed.
  • I like to think I know a lil' bit more on computers than the average person but that's about it. Please no advanced techie-talk.
  • My iPad has ios version 5.x. Uh... the one before Google Maps was removed. It's the 64Gb with 3g version.
  • I regret not enabling Apple's syncing thing before it broke. Apple icloud? Think would've stored my app data.

What is the problem:

  1. My main problem is, how do I take out the many files I have on that iPad 1?

    The files I'm most interested in rescuing include

    • Apple's photo app pics
      • Photos I've taken with camera and inserted
      • The pictures I've edited with some Adobe app
      • The screenshots I've taken
    • App data
      • Paper by Fiftythree - I created some nice illustrations with this app but don't know how to get it out
      • Browser bookmarks - Not a big deal but if possible.
      • Basically, any other app data. I can't remember them all and what I've had.
  2. What can I realistically do to fix my iPad screen?

    Sorry, it's my first Apple product, so I don't know what can be done if anything. I guess what are my options? If my iPad screen can't be fixed, what can I do with it besides throwing it in the trash? By which I mean is there something cool I don't know about? Just wondering.

Just to reiterate, my more urgent question is number 1: saving my files.

What have I found + tried:

  • I've connected my iPad, gone to iTunes, and noticed a tab where I can download and upload app files. I was able to extract my writing notes from the "ia writer" app. However, all other apps like the one from Adobe aren't there.
  • I thought I could still use my ipad by pretending to be blind and using voice command (I think they call it that) but don't know if can turn on the accessibility features with my current situation or know how to use it.
  • I wondered how to turn on the icloud thing even with the black screen -- assuming Apple's icloud will back up my data through the Internet. If the icloud thing is the best solution, I won't complain too much that I have to get another ipad to rescue my files.
  • Found I can still update the iPad's ios via iTunes. Would that help? Fear that since can't see the screen, the update might show some confirmation button and won't progress with install, making matters even worse.

How do I feel:

Guess it doesn't matter but aside from feeling down my iPad doesn't work, I can't at least take my files with me. In a way, my files are more important, especially my illustrations from the Paper app and the photos I took.

  • 1
    That's a bad situation indeed. Do you a backup of the iPad in iTunes? Do you intend to get a new one as a replacement?
    – nohillside
    Commented Mar 12, 2013 at 11:52
  • @patrix I did the iTunes sync thing many times before and after it broke. Is that the backup you're referring to. If so, yes. Honestly, not sure what to do. I spent a lot of money on that first one assuming it was going to be with me for many many years. 1k basically. (It was worth it though) I don't have much money to get the same one if I go that route. If I do replace it, I'll prob get the cheapest ipad mini. Still trying to see my options. Hoping it can get fixed cheaply.
    – damx
    Commented Mar 12, 2013 at 11:59

2 Answers 2

  • Connect the device to iTunes and force a backup using the menu command.
  • Restore that backup to another device and carry on with getting the files off.

You should be able to borrow someone's iPad for little expense (a few beers or buy them a Pizza) and then wipe your data once you're convinced you've exported all the data you care onto the computer or wherever it's going to live.

  • 1
    Ah, I didn't know you could do that. Although, I'm kind of a shy + loner person. Can you restore, as you say, to say an ipad mini? Just wondering.
    – damx
    Commented Mar 12, 2013 at 12:05
  • 1
    Yes - as long as the hardware and OS on the restore device are newer than the version on the broken device, restores are pretty flawless. You can even restore most backups across genres. iPad -> iPhone or iPad -> iPod and unless the apps are iPad only, the data will restore and then the universal app gets re-downloaded from the store to access the data.
    – bmike
    Commented Mar 12, 2013 at 12:10
  • Cool. Thanks @bmike. Now if I can just find someone with an iDevice...
    – damx
    Commented Mar 12, 2013 at 12:31

Either go and see a genius to see if they have some magic they can use, like special hardware, or jailbreak it using a tethered jail break and see if that lets you SSH into it or something. SSH includes SFTP, so you'll be able to connect to it and explore its contents with most standard FTP clients.

  • How would I go about jailbreaking it using a "tethered jail break and see if that lets you SSH into it or something"? Is there a great tutorial with step by step instructions that you know of?
    – damx
    Commented Mar 12, 2013 at 11:41
  • I'm probably not allowed to suggest you Google for this info but I did so and found this link (there are others): pcworld.com/article/242116/…. I'm not sure but I think most jailbreaks automatically activate SSH. I don't do it often though. Commented Mar 12, 2013 at 13:14

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