If you are like me, the Nokia Lumia 900 will be replacing your Gen 1 Windows Phone in a few short days. Now would probably be a good time to think about how you are going to get your new phone setup and running to your satisfaction as soon as possible. Windows Phone currently has no backup/restore solution when migrating to a new device. While I am not a big fan of full device backups, having the ability to restore apps & app data, device settings and a few other key items would be a certainly nice plus. Until that happens though and after having done a handful of hard resets these past sixteen months, I put together a fairly comprehensive method to get back to where I was with minimal impact. Here are a few tips that have helped me and might avoid some frustration for you.
CONTACTS, CALENDAR & MAIL
This is the easy stuff. Enter your Live ID and everything will sync up with your phone in a few minutes. Add the credentials for any additional email accounts and you will be up and running. you will also need your credentials for Facebook/Twitter integration so have them handy.
With nearly 200 active apps and games, along with another couple hundred deleted apps, I needed an easy way to know what was current on my device. Using OneNote I created a few lists for my apps; Active Apps, Deleted Apps and Watch List (interesting apps that I might want to try out someday). Prior to picking up my 900, I will look over my Active list, moving unused apps to the Deleted list and making sure nothing is missing. When I am done with the housekeeping, I can print out the list and check things off as they are installed. Invariably, some apps will no longer be available in Marketplace (they disappear all the time) and this list will give me a chance to track them down or move them out of Active. A fair number of apps will require logins to reconnect with their servers, so you might want to have those handy before starting the reinstall process. I will usually go back and open every app once after installing to make sure I have not forgotten anything. Better than being disappointed when you can’t connect to something while trying to show off your new device.
Now that Reinstaller is available in the Marketplace, reinstalling your apps will be a bit easier, but it is still a good idea to have a list of the apps you want on your new device. You can use also use the Windows Phone website (www.microsoft.com/windowsphone) to manage this task.
I have a bunch of tiles on my Start Screen, a whole bunch. It took me a while to get things organized the way I like so I don’t want to “guess” what was where. I created a simple list to identify which tiles are where. These are the apps I will reinstall first to get me up and running quickly. It only takes a few minutes to jot down the order and saves a bunch of time when building/rebuilding a device from scratch.
This may be taking it a bit too far for some, but I have another OneNote list for Settings. I will be sure to update this list so that I can get my 900 setup as closely to my Surround on Day 1. While most of the settings (there are not that many) are all pretty self-explanatory, there are a few that could create a future “WTH” if not setup properly.
Although there is no global backup solution for WP, several apps provide their own solution for backing up to; SkyDrive, Dropbox, or a Developer’s site. Other apps will output data to a CSV file that can then be imported back to the app later. I have made an effort to only use data intense apps that provide backup solutions to avoid losing all of my hard work. Be sure to run all the backups on your existing device before installing and launching these apps on your new device.
I don’t want to sync ALL of the contents of My Music, Pictures and Video folders to my phone. In fact, it all wouldn’t fit. I have setup the My Videos folder to sync everything, although I first created a new folder for duplicate copies (different formats and resolutions) of videos. So I only sync what I want to. As I move music on/off my device all the time, it will take some hunting and pecking to choose what I feel like loading on my new phone. For Pictures, I created another list of the folders that I normally sync with my phone. Only takes a few drags of the mouse to get all the pictures back in sync. A word of caution. Once, when I reconnected my freshly hard reset phone, the Camera roll folder on my desktop was overwritten by the phone’s Camera roll folder, deleting a bunch of photos. So to be safe, be sure to backup your current Camera roll folder (My Pictures>Zune>your device name>Camera roll) before connecting a new device or reconnecting a hard reset device.
Depending on the number of apps you have installed, and the amount of data you sync with Zune desktop, this could take anywhere from a few minutes to several hours to get everything setup. But once it done, you can start enjoying your new device with everything you have become accustomed to. Hope this help you get up and running. Won’t be long now.