Random duplicate contacts on iPhone 4 4.2.7/VzW Exchange

Discussion in 'iPhone Tips, Help and Troubleshooting' started by leesweet, May 7, 2011.

  1. leesweet macrumors demi-god

    leesweet

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2009
    Location:
    Northern Virginia, USA
    #1
    First, let me say I can't find anything exactly like this in searching here or elsewhere. I thought this would be a bug in the recent releases, but I assume not.

    It's NOT:

    1. Mobile Me Contacts mixed with Exchange.
    2. Copies of all contacts.

    Background: New iPhone 4 (Verizon 4.2.7), Activesync'd to Exchange. Hundreds of contacts in Outlook. None in Mobile Me. (MM is just 'Find My iPhone', etc.) No other accounts have contacts, just Exchange.

    Here's what happens. Most contacts are being duplicated several times and it increases randomly. Also, if I make a change to a contact, it appears to create a new copy for that one (not overwrite the original).

    Worse than that, if I, for example, assign a ringtone and/or text tone to a contact, shortly I have a duplicate, and neither one has the new tones! Both settings are back to default. Worse than useless.

    I've tried removing all contacts (turning that switch off in settings, having it clear from the phone) and then having it reload from Exchange, that seems to last for about ten minutes (where we then get duplicates or the tone settings disappear).

    I've had all this data on three iPhones (3GS, 4 AT&T, and now this one), up to yesterday, no problems at all. No idea what caused this mess to start. The only thing I remember doing is linking several contacts to their parent, not liking how that worked (name-wise) and removing the links. Then all this happened. Connected? Who knows.

    Another fact is that I also have two iPads (4.3 and 4.2) connected to the same Exchange account) and they don't show this mess. So, I'm stumped.

    Anyone have any suggestions? Need more info?
     
  2. leesweet thread starter macrumors demi-god

    leesweet

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2009
    Location:
    Northern Virginia, USA
    #2
    Update... I cleaned all my contacts in Outlook, so there are no duplicates at all. Deleted/resynced all on the phone (turned the Contacts switch off, turned it on to redownload).

    Now, contacts with tones don't have them (I assume this data has no place to be saved in Outlook? Why not use a user field?). Reassigned those, and let's see.

    I'm thinking that some of the duplicates (the family in question, four kids, one mother) came from the linking/unlinking. However, there were dozens that were never touched, and did do the random copies.

    Now, they have no copies on the source side, and none on the phone side. Let's see if it lasts.

    I still don't get the actual original issue, and why contact linking doesn't seem to work... (when you link two contacts, the names data is intermingled incorrectly, like nicknames, company data, etc.)
     
  3. leesweet thread starter macrumors demi-god

    leesweet

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2009
    Location:
    Northern Virginia, USA
    #3
    And... After a day, all is still well. From the lack of any responses at all, and hundreds of views, I guess we have to chalk this up to a rare case of corrupted data. And perhaps the 'linking' did it. But it's sure strange that not all records had the issue, and that so many differing side problems came from it.

    Thanks to all that scratched their heads over it!
     
  4. rotrain macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 27, 2011
    #4
    Hi,

    Very similar problem, and will try your solution in a few days when I'm near a computer. The problem is with my father's phone and he does not sync his contacts, ever. So i'm not sure where the problem originated. He uses it strictly as a phone, and it never touches a computer.

    The phone adds random duplicate contacts, so if you save a number as John, it adds John1, but only assigns one of john's numbers to john1. Will try to let you know if it works.
     
  5. leesweet thread starter macrumors demi-god

    leesweet

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2009
    Location:
    Northern Virginia, USA
    #5
    I can't see how this happens to a phone that never syncs/downloads, etc. I assume you've done this, but be sure to do a hard boot: power and home all the way until the Apple logo comes back. Good luck!

    (And mine has been perfect since, contacts added both on phone and in Outlook without problems. Had to be the linking or a weird coincidence.)
     
  6. rkcoral macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2011
    #6
    Even I have been facing this random duplication problem ever since I upgraded to 4.2 (I didn't had this issue on 4.1).

    I have stopped syncing my phones with PC's since Palm-Pre days and with iPhone 2.5g and iPhone4 (4.1 OS) it was working fine.

    All my contacts and calendars stays on my personal GMail account and iPhone syncs it with the "Exchange" mode with no issues like duplication ever before.

    It randomly starts syncing it the contacts would suddenly starts disappearing and would start coming back (this time duplicating contacts randomly).

    I have my Facebook account linked from my iPhone as well (manual mode though). Brings-in the pictures and updated contacts when my friends on FB make changes on their profile.

    I haven't synced with it for over 3 month - so am ruling FB sync out.

    A while ago when I was about to search for a contact and it showed up 4 times. I have to stop everything and start searching for a solution. This page comes-up on top with Google Search. My case is not exactly this and I don't want to install the bloated iTunes on my machine to just sync it.

    BTW Apple finally launched it own service - so may be I will end up opening an account on their iCloud and may-be sync it with my GMail and FB to push all the contact over there.

    Rajesh
     

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