ysflight.com - I'm glad I purchased Apple Care.  How My iPad mini was broken and replaced and restored.


What I learned from this incident was that the Apple employees can use a magic for cloning an iPad or iPhone, not just the data backed up in iCloud.  You won't have to lose any data at all, as long as your old iPhone/iPad is minimally usable and is able to connect to the wireless network.

You can back up most of you data in your iPad/iPhone in iCloud.  But, not all data.  For example, you can store only a fraction of your photo collection in iCloud.  The rest of the photos are stored locally in your iPad/iPhone, but not backed up in iCloud.  Therefore, I was thinking in case I need to replace my iPad mini, I would lose all data stored locally in the device unless it is backed up elsewhere.

But, my understanding was not true.  Apparently Apple employees can use a magic for creating a clone of an iPad or iPhone over the wireless network.

About 10 days ago, Dragon Quest II for iOS was released in Japanese App store.  I downloaded and was playing.  But, this time, the enemy used the most horrifying magic against my avatar called Cessna, and his company Beech and Cirrus, which crashed my iPad mini so that I could not continue the quest.

Well, of course, it was just a joke, and Dragon Quest II App had nothing to do with why my iPad mini was broken.  But my iPad mini that I had been using since March last year broke.  It randomly crashes and reboots.  And, crashes again in the middle of rebooting, and reboot, crash, reboot, ....  After leaving it for half an hour or so, it was usable again.  Then it lasted 30 minutes or so sometimes, or started rebooting again within 5 minutes.  I had a feeling that it was less likely to lose conscious when it was fully charged.  So, it looked to me something to do with the power unit.  Something similar happens on a PC when the power-supply unit or capacitor on the motherboard goes bad. 

Anyway, my iPad mini was practically useless.  I used this iPad mini for seeing aeronautical (sectional) chart while I am flying a Cessna.  If it loses conscious when I am in the air, it's a big problem for me.  I have two more portable GPS units, so I won't get lost, but certainly it's not very comfortable.

If it was a hardware problem, there's almost nothing I could do.  I was glad I purchased the Apple Care protection when I bought this device.  If I hadn't purchased the Apple Care protection, the warranty would have been only one year, and I might have had to throw it away.  But, with the Apple Care protection, it was two-year warranty, and my iPad mini was covered.

Most of the data was backed up in iCloud.  But, the problem was my save data of Dragon Quest II.  It was not saved in iCloud.  Even if I could replace my device, the save data would be lost.  That's how I thought.  But, if the device is useless, it is useless.  It's just 10 days of playing.  I can do it again.

The one last problem was repeatability of the problem.  Once it starts rebooting, it keeps rebooting for 30 minutes or so.  But, after that, it was working as if nothing had happened.  Then it could work 15 minutes or so, then it would be difficult to explain the problem to someone at the Genius Bar.  Should I play Dragon Quest II until it starts rebooting?  It'd be odd.  So, I took a video when it started rebooting with my still-working 4th generation iPod Touch.

I headed to a nearby Apple Store with my nearly-dying iPad mini and the video in my iPod touch.  As I was worried, my iPad mini was working as normal when I turned it on in the Apple Store.  So, I explained the problem to an employee and showed him the video.

He did some diagnostics, and then agreed to replace the device for no charge.  I suppose he saw some sign of a hardware problem.

It was nice.  They gave me a replacement right away.  But, my Dragon Quest II save data was lost....  Not really!  Apparently, Apple employee can use a magic that makes a almost-complete clone from the old device to a replacement device, not just the files backed up in iCloud.  To my surprise, my Dragon Quest II save data was copied to the replacement device.  Also my photo albums were copied.

It looked like this.  The employee used a secret command to create a temporary space on the Apple's server where all the device-local files are copied.  Then, used another command on the new replacement device that lets the device fetch files of the old device from the temporary space on the server.  Unless otherwise, it didn't fit within my 5GB iCloud storage.

Only things that were not copied (as far as I noticed) were MP3 music files and passwords for various services.  I usually don't buy music online.  I am still buying CDs and manually make MP3s.  That way I can control where the files are stored.  So, I have all MP3s in my hard drive.  It's not a big deal to restore them to the new device.

My old iPad mini served very well to me.  Now you can acquit yourself of the duty.  Rest in peace.  Well, probably that guy will be disassembled and usable parts, like touch screen will be re-assembled to be sold as refurbished.

Probably, I gave too hard a duty to my old iPad mini.  I carried everywhere in my cargo-pants pocket.  Probably it was subject to a weak bending moment all the time, and maybe it caused a fatigue failure of the logic board, which might have grown a small crack.  But, I can swear I never dropped it or hit it on a hard object.

Actually, I had to switch my cell phone and have just bought iPhone 5s.  My 10-year old Motorola ROKR is too old for AT&T network, and will be disconnected end of this month.  Since I have iPhone, I don't have to keep my iPad mini in my pocket any more.  I can keep my iPad mini in my bag and use my iPhone for quick access.  I will be more gentle to my new iPad mini.

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