Version 3.5.0 - First backup incomplete

Hello, I was excited to see the new backup system released because my current backup is over 20GB. Since the day 3.5.0 was released I’ve been trying to get my first backup to complete. I’ve left it on the Backup & Export screen for hours at a time, and it still hasn’t completed the first backup. Wonder if there is anything else that would be helpful to have it complete and free up icloud space. Thank you for a great app.

I found for me, that it quite literally took a couple of weeks of overnights to complete the backup conversion.

I was able to check the progress by looking at the data that had been uploaded into the iCloud Drive Arc App Backups folder. It’s not really human readable, but If you look at the date modified, you can see if there have been recent changes. I poked around a bit more in the recent modified files and folders to look at what data had been uploaded. I was able to see some dates in the files to work out where it was up to.

It would be nice to have some kind of idea of progress in the app though.

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Thanks @Camson good to know, I had been looking looking in the backup folder and noticed things were changing, just wasn’t sure if it was stuck somehow. Just wasn’t sure if the changes I am seeing are from the new data from the last month. Glad there is an end in sight though, thanks!

Agree. I wanted to get this in, but it’d already taken many times longer than I’d expected to get the new backup system live, so I had to draw the line and ship it in its 90% complete state (with at least all the important parts fully tested and functional, just missing some of the niceties and polish).

@stephensmith The easiest way to get it done fast is to leave the phone plugged in to power, with screen lock disabled (iPhone Settings → Display & Brightness → Auto-Lock = Never), and Arc in the foreground. In that state, Arc will churn through the backups as fast as possible, and should be able to complete them within half a day.

As @Camson says, it’ll take much longer when relying on iOS’s allowed background task time each day. Though it’s quite variable, depending a lot on iOS’s moods. iOS might allow it to churn through relatively quickly, or could be a dick about it and make it drag out forever. That’s unfortunately one of the many things out of our control.

For checking progress, as @Camson says, you can look at the files in the Arc App folder. The most important ones are in the LocomotionSamples folder - the weekly sample files. Basically if you can count through those and see a file for every week that you have Arc data for, then you can consider it “done” in the sense that all the absolutely vital data is already in the backup.

The TimelineItem folder contains the next most important files, and those take the longest. But if any of those are missing at time of restore, Arc can still reconstruct the timeline items itself, so all is not lost. Basically if a TimelineItem file is missing during restore, Arc will create a new TimelineItem to wrap the appropriate samples, and you’ll have only lost things like the confirmed/correct Place for a Visit.

So for example if you had to do a full restore but without any of the TimelineItem files, you’d still get all the recorded data back in the timeline, you’d just have a frustrating mess to clean up, of unconfirmed trips and visits. Aside: I’ve done that cleanup tens or hundreds of times on my own data, because I use my own main database for most of Arc’s testing (real world data is best test data!) It’s a massive headache to clean it up, but is still doable. So yeah, in short: those LocomotionSample week files are the absolute most important, and the rest can be recreated after restore, so the sample week files are the ones to sweat over the most :joy:

One more minor detail: If iOS doesn’t allow Arc to let the backup properly finish occasionally, you can still check the file change dates on the sample week files for weeks where you know there’s new data (eg the most recent week). If that change data is up to date, then you’re all good - it’ll just the TimelineItem files that Arc hasn’t finished updating in the backup yet.

The backup system also prioritises getting those sample week files done first in each backup session, due to them being the most vitally important. So if a day’s backup doesn’t get everything done before iOS pulls the plug, there’s still a good chance the most important stuff did get done in time.