Monday, July 30, 2007

iPhone Problem Solved: When iPhoto Stops Syncing / Importing Photos

Before I bought my iPhone I sold my Canon Elph digital camera

A) In anticipation of using the "First Apple digital camera to be released since 1997" (The Apple Quicktake 200 digital camera was discontinued in 1997)

B) So as to raise funds to make my iPhone purchase. I got $260 on eBay for a package that included my camera and a few accessories.

I made a commitment to the iPhone camera before I even purchased my iPhone to use the camera as my one camera source. I knew if it was even HALF AS GOOD as my Quicktake ... it was going to be my favorite camera.

About 10 days ago I experienced my first iPhone problem. iPhoto just randomly stopped syncing with my MacBook. It was critical ... because I was literally making a sync to my computer every few hours as I was using my iPhone as my camera for my eBay pictures.

This problem is indicative of the "import button" in iPhoto being grayed out and "unclickable". As you can see here:

As with ANY problem, before troubleshooting, make sure you have your computer backed up - in particular your iPhoto libraries and pictures. There is a minute possibility you will lose them.

Since I'm in local area technical service for the iPhone as an AT&T employee I tried the following:

1) Power cycling the iPhone ... this is done by holding down the top right button for 5 seconds until you see the note "Slide to power off". Confirm the power off by sliding the slider to the right. Allow the iPhone 10 seconds of no power without being docked or in a charger. Press the top right "black" button again to turn the iPhone back on. Give the iPhone TWO FULL MINUTES for a reboot.

Check for syncing ... working? Great! If not ... continue with the second part of step #1 below.

From the home screen on your iPhone, touch "settings" (the icon with the gears) .... touch "reset" ... touch "reset all settings" ... confirm reset. This shouldn't do much to your settings but there be a few things such as ringtone; that have changed or reverted to factory original settings

I still had the problem at this point, but it is necessary to eliminate this procedure in order to properly diagnose the issue. If your phone still has an importing issue ... continue to Step 2. We will now determine if the problem is your iPhone or your Mac's software and possibly fix the problem with this step.

2) Rebuild iPhoto Libraries - do this by holding down the Apple & Option keys on your keyboard when launching iPhoto. Check the options that apply to you.

Still didn't work? Try this:

Go to your hard drive, double click, go to Applications, find the application "Image Capture" ... it may be located in your Utilities folder.

Launch "Image Capture" - click on "Download All"

If this worked ... iPhoto is corrupt. Please reinstall iPhoto on your computer by following these steps:

Click through to Hard Drive >> Applications > Utilities >> Disk Utility

Highlight your hard drive by clicking on it's name once.

Click "repair permissions".

Once finished, restart your Mac. Reintall iPhoto, REUPDATE iPhoto with the "Software Update" choice in the Apple Menu.

Still didn't work?

3)Go to the Apple Menu in the upper left corner of your screen. Choose System Preferences. In the fourth row down choose your 1st preference pane for "Accounts"

Click the "orange lock" that has the caption "Click lock to make changes" ... you will be prompted for a password ... type in your password if you have one ...

Click the "+" ... this will allow you to create a new account on your Mac. make the name "test" with a short name "test". Create a password. Verify the password. Check "Allow user to administer this computer" then click "Create Account"

In the "other accounts" menu you should now have a user titled "test"

Go to the Apple menu ... choose "log out _______"

Log back in as the user "test" that you just created. If you do not have the option of typing in a specific user on the log in screen ... please Google for directions on how to change this preference.

Under your "test" account ... launch iPhoto. Is "Import" still grayed out? If not, go ahead and import your photos. Create a new folder on the desktop. Drag any photos you want to keep to the new folder you just created. When finished, drag this folder to your hard drive (off of the desktop)

Log out

Log back in as your original user.

iPhoto should now be able to import your photos in your original iPhoto Library / User account.

If not, you probably should call 1-800 SOS-APPL and get iPhone customer service. They will most likely walk you through these steps again. If the problem persists, you have a hardware problem.

Simplified steps for review:

* Try hardware resetting the iPhone
* Software reset the iPhone
* Trying repairing your Mac
* Try rebuilding iPhoto
* Reinstall iPhoto
* Try syncing with a new user account

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