1 2 3 Previous Next 39 Replies Latest reply: Aug 3, 2008 12:23 PM by David Ivey Go to original post
  • 30. Re: Address Book Contacts are Gone
    Mulder Level 6 Level 6 (8,980 points)
    You can restore your contacts from MetaData.

    First, you need to enable the Debug menu in Address Book. Quit Address Book, enter this command in Terminal and press Enter:

    defaults write com.apple.AddressBook ABShowDebugMenu -bool true

    Open Address Book and go to the Debug menu and choose "Revert from MetaData" and wait for it to finish. When it's done, all your contacts should be there, although any pictures you had for contacts may not be there. Immediately make a backup of your Address Book from the File menu and do that every time you make any change to your contacts.

    Mulder
  • 31. Re: Address Book Contacts are Gone
    Don Go Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I followed the steps from Mulder and nothing happened. "Revert from MetaData" and "Revert all MetaData" did nothing. Any other thoughts?
  • 32. Re: Address Book Contacts are Gone
    Mulder Level 6 Level 6 (8,980 points)
    Then it seems likely that you deleted your MetaData at some point, whether intentional or otherwise. Without knowing the specifics of your problem it's not useful to speculate. That's why you need to start your own topic with details of when this first happened, what you have done before this point to resolve it, and a complete profile of what you're running for OS version and model.

    Mulder
  • 33. Re: Address Book Contacts are Gone
    Don Go Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I don't even know what Metadata is. My problem is just like everyone else's on here. I was in Address Book and added 2 new contacts. I then quit the application and later went in to make an update and only one entry was there. The last contact I added. Very frustrating. I also tried the Disk Utility repair suggested earlier and that did not work either. I guess I am doomed.
  • 34. Re: Address Book Contacts are Gone
    Mulder Level 6 Level 6 (8,980 points)
    Did you look for the Address Book file? It should be in Home/Library/Application Support/Address Book and it's called AddressBook.data.

    Copy it to your Desktop. Start Address Book, then drag and drop the AddressBook.data file (if you have it) onto the application. With any luck, you'll recover most or all of your contacts that were previously there. If you don't have the try looking in Home/Library/Caches/com.apple.AddressBook/MetaData. In that folder should be all of your contacts you previously saved, as individual files with filenames that appear to be random strings of numbeers and letters. Create a folder on your Desktop and drag all those files into it, then close the Finder window.

    With Address Book open, select all of those MetaData files you just copied into the folder and drag them onto the Address Book window; your contacts should appear momentarily, depending on how many contacts it has to import.

    If either of these methods work for you, immediately make a backup by going to File > Backup Address Book. Keep one backup one a CD or external hard disk, as well as one on your Mac in the same folder as the original AddressBook.data file. Make new backups every time you make any change to your contacts.

    Mulder
  • 35. Re: Address Book Contacts are Gone
    Don Go Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Thanks for the other suggestions. Unfortunately they did not work. There were only 3 metadata files in the directory and none of them loaded. I am going to start all over again from the export from my work computer and then correcting all of the entries. It is a good thing I printed the address book about a week ago.

    Is the Address Book Archive a good way to import when this happens again?

    Thanks for your help.
  • 36. Re: Address Book Contacts are Gone
    Mulder Level 6 Level 6 (8,980 points)
    Is the Address Book Archive a good way to import when this happens again?


    If the only file you have is AddressBook.data, that's the only method you can try. MetaData also works if you have the data to begin with.

    Mulder
  • 37. Re: Address Book Contacts are Gone
    David Ivey Level 1 Level 1 (30 points)
    Thanks to all who posted tips and suggestions. The problem has been resolved for me, at least for the moment, with the latest update to Leopard and with the upgrade from .Mac to Mobil Me. I realize Mobile Me is still in it's very early stages and indeed I have noticed a few peculiarities in how it handles some syncing issues, but for the most part all of my problems with Address Book appears to be resolved. I didn't do anything to fix it, but rather the latest 10.5.4 update to Leopard seemed to help greatly. I have not experienced any other strange disappearances out of the address book - whereas before it was happening all too frequently. I am going to mark this question answered and I hope that all the rest of you who are having this problem are seeing improvements with the recent software updates from Apple. For what it's worth, make sure your OS is current with all the latest updates. And if you are not a Mobile Me user, it appears to be (so far) very stable and does a great job at keeping all of your computers up to date. I am happy with the service and seems to be a great improvement over dot Mac.
  • 38. Re: Address Book Contacts are Gone
    Double Bubble Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Im a fairly new Mac user. Slowly building up my contacts in Address book. On more than one occasion new contacts I've added have disappeared, updates to contacts have disappeared, contact I've added to Groups have dissapeared. At first I thought I was doing something wrong. Today loads of contacts I added about a month ago have gone.
    I dont use Time Machine (dont know how), dont have any form of back up, dont have a .mac, and dont sync with anything.
    I see from this extensive forum topic Im not alone.

    As Im new to Mac I was deciding whether to use Address Book or Entourage. This problem might make my mind up for me. Problem is you cant sync Entourage to ipod etc and struggle to use it with Time Machine... when they the day comes i get round to syncing and time machine that is
  • 39. Re: Address Book Contacts are Gone
    David Ivey Level 1 Level 1 (30 points)
    I am at a complete loss as to why you would be losing address book contacts when you are not syncing to an outside service. All of my troubles associated with losing contacts from the address book were directly attributable to syncing with the former dot Mac service. I was a member for a number of years and during that time I probably lost my contact information three to four times. As I've posted earlier, now with the new Mobile Me service up and running and all the bugs tweaked out, everything is good. All the mysterious disappearances have stopped and will hopefully stay that way.

    As for your particulars, I would suggest that if you are not planning on using Mobile Me then there are sufficient fail safe methods provided for you within OS X to help you to protect your data. First and foremost is to make sure you archive your Address Book data. I do this whenever I add new contacts or make edits to existing contacts. You can do this from the File menu>Export>Address Book Archive. Save the file to any destination you like for future importing in the event your address book loses it's contacts again.

    Secondly, Time Machine is a wonderful back up device that is extremely simple to set up and is easy. All you need is a second hard drive, internal or external, that is large enough to hold the contents of your main hard drive. I highly recommend you invest in an additional back up drive and turn Time Machine on and let it start backing up your data. There is really no reason not to do this right now. I have found Address Book to be a solid, stable program that has never given me any trouble on it's own. I have used Entourage in the past, and well, I don't use it anymore. I prefer the simplicity and integration of address book - especially now with the Mobile Me service. Good luck.
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