Recover Text Messages Full or Partial Edits off Your Girls iPhone - Getting at your iPhone Backup Files ~ Ask The Admin

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Recover Text Messages Full or Partial Edits off Your Girls iPhone - Getting at your iPhone Backup Files

After reading a story @ TuAw I devised an evil plan :)

They want us to use data recovery off of the iPhone constructively to restore your deleted text messages or to back up your sent messages.

AskTheAdmiN has other plans... As the title says you can not only do this on your phone but any phone you have physical access to. Say your girl writes 4 versions of a text message telling you that she is sleeping with your brother and father... But she chickens out because she doesn't want you to stop buying her diamond encrusted tiaras. Now you can recover each of the versions she entered in the phone!
So get all James Bond like on your girl in the middle of the night... Well James Bond like if he used a Mac because there is no PC version just yet.

Here's a nice way to recover notes from your iPhone without having to mail them to yourself--although it's not for the faint of heart. James Duncan Davidson located where iTunes stores its iPhone backup data--at least mostly. There's an error in his write-up.

It's actually stored in your home folder's application support directory in MobileSync/Backup. For me, that works out to be /Users/ericasadun/Library/Application Support/MobileSync/Backup. But getting back to Duncan Davidson's story, he took a peek at those files and noticed they were some sort of compressed SQLite3 files.

Following on that, "Mr. Flip", who is one of the iPhone web developer Google group members posted this simple extraction utility written in Perl. When run, it converts each of the backup files to a normal well-named SQLite3 db file. Following Flip's directions, I then downloaded a copy of the OS X version of SQLite Browser from Sourceforge and used it to view the contents of the backup db files.

Interestingly enough, when viewing the db files directly from the command line (via sqlite3 notes_01.db and .dump)

I discovered that the iPhone saved my entire history of edits for my note files as well as the actual final content.

SWEEET! CSI like recovery of your girlfriends iphone txt messages here we come!