A few days ago the USB port on my Nokia Developer gift device Lumia 800 died. I need to get another phone, and as I don’t have another phone where I could restore the backups from my dead phone, I started wondering what could I salvage from those backups that are on my hard drive?
The first order of business was to discover where the Windows Phone app for Mac actually stores the backups. I wasn’t familiar with the "Containers" stuff on Mac, so it took me a while, but now I know they can be found under the following location:
/Users/<username>/Library/Containers/com.microsoft.Windows-Phone-7-Connector/Data/Library/Application Support/Windows Phone/Devices/<deviceid>/Backup
Armed with this info, I can now dig deeper. Already I would appreciate if someone could tell me is there any nifty way to recover data specific to an app ("Isolated Storage") ? I need to recover a save file for the Dragon’s Blade game.
Updated 7.3.2013: I soon discovered that the backups are encrypted using some Microsoft encryption method, but also found a way to wiggle the USB cable just the right way to be able to charge my phone, and so I was able to manually retrieve my data from the device. So my investigations on this front have come to an end. However, I would like to use this space to complain that after getting a Lumia 820 to replace my dead 800, I’ve found that while the cloud backup features in WP8 are very nice as such – or "als solcher" as German patent language says – there appears to be NO WAY to backup any APPLICATION DATA. App makers are expected to save any important data to the cloud, however seems that many of my favourite apps actually don’t do this. Sigh.