8 Replies Latest reply: May 3, 2010 5:27 PM by Allan Sampson
Bryan Swagerty Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
I recently was forced to restore my iPhone using a backup from about a month ago. I didn't realize that several contacts had since been added and not synced, so they don't exist on the backup I used. Is there anyway to recover these contacts from the phone itself?

iPhone 3G, iPhone OS 3.1.3
  • Allan Sampson Level 10 Level 10 (123,370 points)
    If the most recent backup is from about a month ago, this indicates that was the last time your iPhone was synced with iTunes since your iPhone's backup is updated as the first step during the iTunes sync process.

    If you haven't synced your iPhone with iTunes for about a month, any new contacts added to your iPhone since the last sync have not been synced with the supported application on your computer and are not included with your iPhone's backup, so there is no way to recover these contacts.

    I usually don't go more than a week without syncing my iPhone with iTunes, and I also have a MobileMe account which provides for syncing contacts and calendar events over the air with my iPhone. After a new contact is entered on my iPhone, it is synced with the "cloud", which in turn is synced automatically with the Address Book on my Mac, and vice-versa.
  • Bryan Swagerty Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    It's actually funny because I plugged my iPhone in the same day just to run a backup and when I returned it said sync complete. It wasn't until I had to restore it that I realized it didn't sync. Strange. But back to the point - is anyone aware of a more sophisticated method of data recovery - i.e. dump the iPhone image onto the hard drive and using some kind of recovery software pray that some of the contacts exist on the partition?
  • Allan Sampson Level 10 Level 10 (123,370 points)
    You're welcome.
  • Lawrence Finch Level 7 Level 7 (29,465 points)
    There is no way to recover deleted data on an iPhone except through backup. Which is why using one of the Push account types for contacts and calendar is such a good idea. MS Exchange (there are commercial exchange sites), MobileMe, gmail, Yahoo all provide over-the-air near real time sync of contacts and calendar.
  • Bryan Swagerty Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    I appreciate the responses guys. I do, however, find it hard to believe that the book is closed so simply considering the stories I've heard of people recovering data from hard drives even after they've been reformatted. Granted, this case is a flash drive, but I'm still waiting for a miracle chance that someone has encountered this before.
  • Bryan Swagerty Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    http://modmyi.com/forums/file-mods/237321-how-iphone-data-recovery.html

    This gives me a lot of hope. I'm just not aware of how retrieve contacts specifically in the drive hierarchy. Thanks!
  • Lawrence Finch Level 7 Level 7 (29,465 points)
    Yes, all you have to do is jailbreak your phone. And hope doing so won't overwrite any of the data you want to recover. And give up your warranty.

    Good luck!

    If it were me I would just re-enter the contacts.
  • Allan Sampson Level 10 Level 10 (123,370 points)
    Unless a hard drive was securely erased when reformatted, it is possible to recover data stored on the drive before it was reformatted only if the portion of the drive where the data was previously stored has not been overwritten by new data.

    If this is possible with the iPhone, the longer you continue to use your iPhone before an attempt is made to recover the deleted data with a data recovery utility, the greater the chances the area on the flash drive where the data was previously stored will be overwritten by new data.