Finding iPhone contacts on external hard drive

Discussion in 'iPhone Tips, Help and Troubleshooting' started by theironist08, Sep 16, 2011.

  1. theironist08 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2008
    Location:
    Dublin,Ireland
    #1
    NEED to find my contacts file. I put a new hard drive into my macbook. My iPhone is currently in being repaired too and will be returned to me wiped clean. I did a full restore of my macbook last week. I currently have the external hard drive hooked up but don't know what file they're in.

    Did a search for this and some one said its the 'mobile sync' file, I can't find it. Anyone any idea?

    ----------

    UPDATE: Just found a file called 'metadata' from my backup which I think could possibly contain all my contacts. they are in '.abcdp' format and they won't import into address book. arghhghh why not?
     
  2. theironist08 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jan 29, 2008
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    Dublin,Ireland
    #3
    This seems to be the solution from that article:


    -after you turn off syncing quit address book and copy the metadata folder back to the address -book folder. delete the file homedirectory/library/application support/address book/AddressBook--v22.abcddb. start Address book. it will rebuild the database file from metadata and it should be imported into address book.
    no way, i think it's dangerous for the little data that i have, i hope in some tool or i must open every single metafile and copy/paste the information like number, name, mail, etc
    thank a lot


    I don't fully 100% understand this as my situation is slightly different and I'm obviously a little wary of doing something incorrect. Can someone tailor this for me so I can be confident executing this solution..?
     
  3. aristobrat macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    #4
    Worse case, can't you hold down the OPTION key while your back reboots, boot off the external, and restore your iPhone from there?
     
  4. theironist08 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #5
    Wasn't aware I could do that? Simply by holding option key?
     
  5. theironist08 thread starter macrumors regular

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  6. aristobrat macrumors G4

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    #7
    Yes, as long as you didn't go deleting System files off of the external. Did you try it?
     
  7. theironist08 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #8
    Thanks for the reply, was hoping you would. Trying it tonight as I wasn't sure entirely what you were saying.. Is this what you are suggesting?

    http://support.apple.com/kb/ht1948

    Also, if I do this, seeing as I backed up everything with time machine. I can simply boot up from external and do an iPhone sync with iTunes from that?

    Thanks for your patience, just never done this before, wasn't even aware I could.
     
  8. aristobrat macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    #9
    If you can boot from the external, right --- sync with iTunes and get your phone back to how it was. Once it's back to normal, boot back from your internal drive, and then sync again.

    One question. On your internal drive, did you copy the whole iTunes folder from your old system (external drive), or did you start a new iTunes library? If you didn't copy the whole iTunes folder from your old system over to the new one, when you go to sync your iPhone for the first time with your new system, it will want to erase all apps/music/sync photos from your iPhone.
     
  9. theironist08 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #10
    I connected to the external hard drive, then time machine prompted me. I chose some type of option which suggested that it was backing up everything. I'm sure it must have because there was 73/75gigs on that old hard drive and it seemed to back up the whole thing.

    Considering that 28gigs of that 73 were music, I assume it did. One more thing, if that works, is it not tricky to sync my iPhone to my new internal hard drive? I remember having difficulties with this before and like you said, it will want to erase iPhone so as to make it the same with the iTunes library on the new internal which is empty.
     
  10. aristobrat macrumors G4

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    #11
    I may have misunderstood your OP. Is your external drive the same HDD that was originally inside of your Mac?
     
  11. theironist08 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #12
    No its not, its a 1tb drive i bought for back up. However, I do have the other drive, although its out of the mac now. Can I still use the 1tb drive with the option key to boot up?
     
  12. aristobrat macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    #13
    Yes. If you can put the 1TB drive in USB or Firewire enclosure, you can press the OPTION key and boot off of it. Or worse case, you can put it back inside of your Mac long enough to get your iPhone restored.

    When iCloud finally launches, if you use it, it'll keep a copy of your contacts "in the cloud", so you'll never have to worry about this again. :)
     

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