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Problems restoring WhatsApp backup from Jolla to XA2

asked 2019-05-13 12:16:13 +0300

Daedalus gravatar image

updated 2019-05-13 12:22:42 +0300

I've just recently upgraded from my trusty old original Jolla phone to the XA2. All went smoothly, Sailfish was booting on the XA2 without any trouble at all and I'm definitely enjoying the extra horsepower and nicer screen. However, my WhatsApp messages backup is not restoring for me. I created a backup file on my old Jolla, it's about 16MB. I transferred the backup to my PC via USB cable and MTP mode, then copied it to the same location on my XA2 in the same way (via MTP mode). When I installed WhatsApp, it didn't find the backup at all, instead starting straight after verification into the app, with my chat groups present but no messages. I tried renaming the backup file to the standard database file and reinstalling WhatsApp. This time it found a backup, but listed it as 0KB in size and dated 1970! Choosing to restore this backup didn't work - it failed after a couple of seconds of processing with a message saying sorry, we can't restore your messages.

Any questions I've already come across tend to suggest copying the entire android_storage directory. I did also try copying the entire WhatsApp directory from android_storage to the new phone, but it still came up with a backup of 0KB from 1970. After trying so many times (and reverting to my old phone to re-make the backup file), the WhatsApp verification step has blocked me for 13 hours, so I'm very limited in what I can try now. I sent a message to WhatsApp support, but immediately got a response telling me they don't support rooted devices and will not answer emails from me.

Is there anything I can do to get my messages over to my new phone? Is the 0KB and 1970 thing a clue towards some sort of issue?

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answered 2019-05-13 13:40:19 +0300

enwine gravatar image

I had the same symptoms a couple of months back when I made the change from J1 to xa2. The problem was that copying the old WhatsApp-folder to android_storage crashed alien dalvik (I guess this has been fixed in the latest update), and when copying the files succeeded, the permissions were wrong. Try the solutions suggested in my post, they did work for me:

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Thanks for the reply. I've tried both changing the owner of the directory in .android, as well as the parent folder, and tried the other suggestions of deleting the entire android_storage WhatsApp folder, reinstalling WhatsApp, copying over the backup database. No backup found. Uninstalled WhatsApp, renamed the backup file to remove the date from the name, reinstalled WhatsApp, found the backup this time but still says it's 01/01/1970, 01:00 and 0kB in size. Locked out of trying again now for 25 hours :( At least it appears to be working fine, other than losing 3 years of messages...

Daedalus ( 2019-05-14 00:37:21 +0300 )edit

I came across the same problem when trying to update a friend from Xperia X to XA2. The backup is found with date 1970 and restore fails pretty quickly restoring only a few very old chats. I'm trying to fix this issue for a few weeks now. Unfortunately, you always have only a few tries before WA restricts the activation temporarily.

What exactly did you do to solve this? There are a few tips on the linked entry.

SagaciousT ( 2019-05-14 15:11:01 +0300 )edit

I copied folders "Backup" and "Databases" from the old whatsapp folder to /home/.android/data/media/0/WhatsApp and then changed the permission of the folders with

devel-su chown -R media_rw:media_rw /home/.android/data/media/0/WhatsApp

This was done after I had installed WhatsApp, but NOT started it.

For some reason it didn't work the first time (although as far as I can see the permissions were changed correctly), but when I did it again, after starting WhatsApp the backup was identified correctly. I can't remember whether I had Alien Dalvik active when I did the chown, possibly not. Anyways I think a restarting AD is needed after changing the permisions. I did this with SFOS 3.0.2.

enwine ( 2019-05-22 13:35:45 +0300 )edit
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Asked: 2019-05-13 12:16:13 +0300

Seen: 184 times

Last updated: May 13