Notes from Taiwan, Dead iPad, Comic Zeal Freeze Led to Forced Restore Mode

I can safely say that I am beyond pissed about my iPad. I spent the better part of an international flight typing up my notes on TRON: Legacy for a review in the SFRA Review, and today, I used my iPad for browsing and comic reading before it froze. No worries, I thought. I powered it off, and attempted to reboot it. Unfortunately, the iPad went into restore mode, and I was greeted by the iTunes plug-in screen. I watched YouTube videos and read lots of posts, but I could not find anything that disputed what I feared: everything on my iPad was lost and I would have to restore iOS.

I wouldn’t be so mad about this situation if:

  • Typing on Apple’s Pages and formatting all of those italics didn’t take so long.
  • I didn’t have to restore all of the apps that I had bought and wanted to use from the App Store.
  • I wouldn’t lose the media that I purchased from the App Store on the iPad after my last backup (TRON: Legacy soundtrack and the novel Atmospheric Disturbances).
  • I didn’t want to show my in-laws pictures that I had saved on my iPad.
  • My bookmarks weren’t obliterated.
  • My comic books weren’t erased.
  • My videos weren’t de-rezzed.

Y and I brought our iPads on this trip thinking that it would reduce how much stuff we had to keep up with. Y’s iPad didn’t transfer all of her photos, and now mine has just deep-sixed itself.

Y’s father was kind enough to let me install iTunes on his Windows XP enabled Acer machine so that I could perform a restore. The iPad seems to be working now, but it is wiped clean besides the default Apple software. I will grab some apps that I have already bought, but I cannot restore all of the media when my computer is half-way around the world.

I’m not entirely sure who I should be mad regarding this technology failure. Certainly, I could have brought my computer with me, but that defeats the purpose of a general computing device like an iPad. Apple’s hardware and software let me down by letting what I perceive to be an app’s problem to take down the entire device’s operating system, apps, and data. Is ComicZeal really at fault here? I haven’t had a chance to investigate other folks’ experiences with that software.

This is my experience, and I wanted to get it off my chest before I attempt to rewrite my review from my notes. Be warned and be careful with your iPad.

Coincidentally, my iPad locked up while I was using ComicZeal. I wonder if other folks have had similar issues with that software or other apps that have brought down the whole system on an iPad running iOS 4.2.

Published by Jason W. Ellis

I am an Associate Professor of English at the New York City College of Technology, CUNY whose teaching includes composition and technical communication, and research focuses on science fiction, neuroscience, and digital technology. Also, I coordinate the City Tech Science Fiction Collection, which holds more than 600 linear feet of magazines, anthologies, novels, and research publications.