Ok, with iCloud off, copy your user ~/Library/Applicaton Support/AddressBook/AddressBook-v22.abcddb off to some other folder and delete it from your user AddressBook folder. Restart Mac and try the import again (Address Book - 01-23-2012.abbu).
The user ~/Libary is hidden but you can get to it by opening Finder/GO/Go to folder and type ~/Library. Then navigate to the Application Support/AddressBook folder.
If this doesn't work, I'm out of ideas and hopefully someone more experienced than I can help.
Thank you, but I already tried that.
Now I think I have come a step closer to solving the mystery. So the thing is I can view all my old contacts in Time Machine. They were all stored under iCloud. There is a possibility that I just got the contacts On My Mac when I did the export. So now the question is, how can I restore the iCloud contacts from Time Machine. That doesn't seem to work even though all the data including pictures are there. Very frustrating...
Last time I backed up to an external drive was this weekend. But I can still find data from this week in Time Machine. So... I'm wondering, where is Time Machine data stored on the machine?
Sorry about that. Here's what I did (essentially I imported an old copy of my contacts).
Go to your users ~/Library/ folder, that is /Users/*username*/Library/Application Support/AddressBook/
If you cannot find your Library folder, do this: http://osxdaily.com/2011/07/22/access-user-library-folder-in-os-x-lion/
Now, in the AddressBook folder there should be (at least I still have those) files named Migration [...].abbu
Import the most recent one.
If that doesn't work, I have this folder called /Users/*username*/Library/Application Support/AddressBook/Sources in which there's a folder with what looks like a serial number for a name. Then on to Metadata. In that folder I have my current contacts (named like serial numbers too, file ending .abcdp). Open them and they should open up one by one in Address Book.
I hope that helps!
Hi, I found that by importing my Address Book Backup while disconnected from the Internet, Address book kept my contacts. I then opened the iCloud preferences from the System preferences and unchecked the Sync Contacts box. I turned Airport back on (or reconnected the Ethernet cable in some cases) and rechecked the Sync Contacts box in the iCloud preferences. All of my contacts were once again synced to iCloud. That seemed to solve this problem for me. I had erased all my contacts because I messed up a gmail sync.
Same problem. Importing contacts lets them flash into the contacts app, and then they disappear within a few seconds to match the empty icloud website.
btw. I'm in Mountain Lion on one of my macs, where Address Book is now Contacts
Spent 2 hours with apple support today with senior support person, and the following procedure fixed it for me
1. disconnect from internet (switch off wifi, or unplug ethernet cable)
2. in Contacts application, import all contacts
3. in System Preferences/icloud untick contacts
4. when prompted to delete or keep, choose keep (moves contacts to "on my mac")
confirm that the contacts are now on your mac
5. in System Preferences/icloud tick contacts
6. when prompted to replace or merge, choose merge
7. connect to internet
8. in Contacts application, drag all contacts from "on my mac" to "icloud"
9. in Contacts application, drag all groups (one by one) into "icloud"
confirm that all your contacts have been moved over and the groups are all ok
10. delete all the contacts in "on my mac"
11. in Contacts/preferences select default addressbook = "icloud"
12. sigh with relief
Come on, Apple, you have to do better than this.