Help - Itunes Holding My Contacts Hostage !!!

Discussion in 'iPhone Tips, Help and Troubleshooting' started by Eager Beaver, Oct 2, 2011.

  1. Eager Beaver macrumors 6502a

    Eager Beaver

    Sep 28, 2011
    Chicago, IL
    Hi, I have been an iphone user for almost 3 years and know them pretty well.
    (I have taken my 3g apart to replace the digitizer, and have jailbroken it, tweaked it to my liking, know the phone and the software pretty well).

    No longer under contract, I tried an iphone4 in the beginning of June, plugged it into itunes, loaded all my contacts, tx messages, etc from previous back-up.

    Well, this phone was amazing compaired to the old 3g, but the external antenna sucked, had a zillion "failed calls", and was forced to return it.
    (btw, I restore any phone before I return it)

    I used my 3g for a week, then grabbed a 3gs to try out, (biding time waiting for the new iphone in oct)
    Plugged it into itunes, restored from a previous backup, then used it for my alotted 30days, then backed it up, restored it, and returned it last week.

    So now I have my 3g again, but I'm missing 3 months of contacts.
    I try and restore it from my latests backup, but I get the message, can't restore from that backup cause i have older software on the 3g, and need to update my software.

    So I do a factory restore, then choose my latest backup, but it still wont work, saying I have older software, (even though when I plug into itunes, it says my iphone's name, and says I have the latest software.

    I tried to go to my next backup, same message - I tried to go back to a month earlier, no dice. (I tried 5 different backups, and the only one that worked, june of 2010) So now my iphone is missing over a year of contacts!

    I am super pissed that I cannot even manually open a file, and retrieve the lost contacts.

    FWI - I have restored this phone at least 7-8 times by now, and nothing I do works.

    FWI2 - Even though itunes says I have the latest software everytime I click "check for update", (I only show 4.2.1) -

    I am a 48yo business owner, and I NEED to get these contacts back.

    Any help here will be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks in advance - :)
  2. Enjoylife1788 macrumors 6502a

    Aug 22, 2011
    Havnt u synced it with outlook or some other software..

    If not then u have no option but to get a friends iPhone 3GS or iPhone 4 and then sync your contacts. Then transfer to Microsoft outlook or some online sync services like phonecopy or memova contactsync and then sync to your 3G.
  3. Eager Beaver thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Eager Beaver

    Sep 28, 2011
    Chicago, IL

    I have had my 3g for 2.7years, why would they change itunes so that I cannot restore my original stuff to my original phone?

    There has got to be a some other way, how could 1.3 years of important buisiness contacts be lost in itunes and unaccessable?
    I backed up my phone faithfully to Apple's itunes many times, always expecting
    accessability, (why wouldn't I?)

    Please guys, give me some more suggestions if you can think of anything :eek:


    Wait a minute, how do I grab a buddies 3gs or 4, and "sync your contacts"?
    Really, don't I have to restore his phone to factory settings, then, (and only then) I can select a backup from a drop down menu, and pick my lastest most complete backup to restore to?

    So please explain to me how I could grab my neighbors 3gs/4, and sync my contacts, (sounds great and I would love to try it).
  4. robgendreau macrumors 68040

    Jul 13, 2008
    I think you're right; I'm not sure you can selectively restore contacts from an iPhone backup as you might be able to do with a Mac and Time Machine (and even that's not trivial).

    But if you could borrow an iPhone with the appropriate older system and do the restore, and then export the contacts, and then later reimport them, that would seem to work.

    Or try searching for mobile-sync inspect; it's a google code toolkit for extracting contact info from the backup itself, which I think is a sqlite db. Not trivial. There are also utilities that run on Windows that can extract info from an iPhone backup (iBackupbot, I think).

    If you are cool with Terminal, then check out these links:

    The first tells you to download a couple of Mac applications that can open your backup, extract the AddressBook.sqlitedb file where your old contacts are, and then how to look into it with another application.

    But use the instructions in the second link to export, using sqlite3 in terminal, to a csv file. From there you'll have to do some massaging to get it into a form where you can import into a contact organizer or other database.

    And, obviously, back up your contacts somewhere other than iTunes….


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