A Hawk Wings reader emailed me today with a depressing tale.
The Address Book had been wiped from her (or his) PowerBook, smartphone and .Mac account after syncing the Powerbook with a Nokia 6682, except for three contacts recently added through the new .Mac interface.
A rather weird email exchange with .Mac support followed, before a fix was found independently.
The names of the reader and the .Mac support person and the support ticket numbers have been removed.
The Hawk Wings reader contacted .Mac support:
I recently sync’ed my .Mac account with my Address Book on my PowerBook G4, and all my contacts were erased, but for the three I had recently added via the .Mac website.
I can be contacted by email at Xxxxxxx@mac.com or by phone at x xxx xxx xxxx. Please let me know ASAP how to fix this, as this is a very, very serious problem, with heavy consequences for me.
Xxxxx X Xxxxxxx
Thank you for contacting Apple and the .Mac Support Team. Based on the information provided in your email, I understand that your Address Book contacts disappeared after syncing with .Mac.
I’m sorry to hear that some of your data is missing, but data lost through .Mac Sync cannot be recovered.
.Mac Syncing is not designed to back up data, such as Address Book contacts or Safari Bookmarks. I recommend using an application designed specifically for data backup, such as .Mac’s Backup.
Backup allows you to automatically save photos, family movies, your favorite music, and other important documents to your iDisk, a CD, a DVD, or an external hard disk. This will lessen the possibility of losing any important messages or data in the future.
You can also save your important files to CD, DVD, or other removable media using Mac OS X instead of Backup, as described in these articles:
Puzzled, another attempt is made:
Let me clarify: I know .Mac syncing is not design to back up data. But I don’t think it’s designed to erase it, is it?
I do not sync my Address Book with my .Mac account and my cell phone in order to back it up. I do it, just as most of your customers, in order to be able to use the same contact info on my Mac at home, on my PC at work and on my smartphone on the go.
This “glitch” has caused an extremely severe damage to the personal use I make of .Mac, as well as to my professional practice. That is why I very strongly encourage Apple to make sure this never happens again to me, or to any other .Mac subscriber. This is an advice I am giving both as a faithful Apple customer and as an attorney at law.
Should this happen again, not only would I lose any confidence in Apple’s .Mac service — I would also probably consider seeking reparation.
Xxxxxx X Xxxxxxx
.Mac Support replies:
I apologize for any inconvenience that this issue might have caused. Based on the information in your latest email, it appears you might be using iSync rather than .Mac Sync.
I have forwarded your report to a .Mac Support specialist for assistance. After the matter has been investigated, a .Mac Support representative will respond to you with additional information.
I’m sorry for the inconvenience, and I appreciate your patience as we work to make your experience with .Mac more enjoyable.
Fortunately, the reader did not have to rely on .Mac support in the end.
The solution, using Address Book’s AddressBook.data.previous backup, emerged in a forum thread he started, basically following this macOSXHint tip for restoring lost contacts.
- How to recover missing Address Book data
- Export Address Book 1.3: vCards, Groups support
- Adium Book 1.3: Universal, multiple account support
- FacebookSync: facebook plugin for Address Book
- Export Address Book 1.2: Word 2004, FileMaker support
Tags: Address Book, backup, dotmac, erased, isync, mac, solution, support, syncing