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posted by [personal profile] emma at 05:57pm on 08/04/2011 under
Update: After all that it turned out to be trivial to restore them from within Gmail and they've happily synced back to my phone now :) Thanks [livejournal.com profile] pir!

I still need to poke it in the right way to get them into Address Book without wiping again, but that's less of an immediate concern.

Original post:

Okay, I'm having epic tech fail lately and I've got my head twisted around so much that I need an outside observer to come in and tell me what I'm doing wrong, and what I need to do to fix it.

Problem: My iPhone and Gmail contacts have been wiped.

Background: I have my iPhone set up to sync contacts to Gmail via the Google Sync option, setting Google as an Exchange account on my phone. This generally works great, with some confusing discrepancies that don't seem to sync across.

What went wrong: I opened Address Book on my Mac, after having the hard drive replaced and reinstalled. Address Book was empty. I scratched my head, made sure the checkbox was ticked for syncing with Google, and fed it my password again. I remembered last time that it took a while having the address book open for it to sync up, so I left it be. Then I got a text from an "unknown number" and discovered that my phone had forgotten everyone except the few discrepancies that never synced back to Google in the first place.

Solution? I think the only way to fix it at this point is to do an iTunes restore. However, what do I do to prevent this happening again? What order to I need to turn things on, what settings do I need, to get it all syncing up merrily again? Before the HD crash, Address Book had my contacts happily synced so I know it must be possible, somehow. I don't want to get it all working again only to open Address Book and wipe it all over again.

If you can point me at an article that tells me exactly what to do and how then great. Googling for the topic is currently just confusing me further.

My mail server is currently down, in the middle of me considering switching my mail to Gmail/Google Apps. Yet more tech fail. So I'll get replies as and when, I suppose. I'll check back here tomorrow morning for definite, when I'll have time at home to try and fix this mess!
Mood:: 'frustrated' frustrated
location: chalk farm
There are 8 comments on this entry. (Reply.)
mr_magicfingers: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] mr_magicfingers at 05:19pm on 08/04/2011
Sounds like it's set up so that Address book is the master account and when you sync'd it, it copied the contents (ie nothing) to the iphone. I think there's a setting in itunes for that. Your iphone then sync'd to gmail, and did the same thing.

I'm just guessing as I don't do the gmail sync thing as I've found it flaky like this in the past and rely on apple's address book and my phone, occasionally doing a full copy from address book to gmail. Then again, I don't tend to use gmail online much, using my iphone or mac as my email tool. If you're using other machines more then this solution may not work.

Do you have a time machine backup? If so, you should just be able to pull the address book database back from the time machine backuk and resync after setting the sync direction. ISTR there's an option to do a one-time sync from the mac to the iphone in a single direction, effectively telling it to wipe the phone and push the address book database to the phone rather than doing a bidirection sync.

Ah, just checked and it's in the Advanced section of Info tab in iTunes when you plug in a device and select it. It says Replace information on this iphone/ipad/etc during the next sync only, and you then tick the appropriate ticky box for the info you want to push over.

Hope that makes sense.
emma: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] emma at 05:24pm on 08/04/2011
I used to only use my Mac for mail, downloaded to Mail app, and my iPhone to access it as well. However I'm now finding that having webmail would be really useful for the times when I'm not at home but am at a work computer of some sort, whether at my own desk or on a client site, and don't want to tap out an email on my iPhone. I can currently send from my domain address using my Gmail, but not yet receive, which is why I'm thinking of changing over... but that's currently another problem! I've somewhat tied my head in knots thinking about it all lately, and my attempt to set up a catch all forward from my domain to Gmail failed miserably. I've just switched DW, LJ and FB to send directly to Gmail, at least while my mail host is down, so I should get the idea as to whether I want to switch to using it more permanently (and then still IMAP it all down to my phone and my Mac).

Okay, what you've said mostly makes sense! Opening Address Book was careless as I evidently didn't change the right setting in iTunes first (and had forgotten it entirely). I do indeed have a Time Machine backup but I thought I'd restored everything from it when I got my Mac back from the Apple Store. Not sure why it was therefore blank.

Okay, so theoretically if I can restore the Address Book backup, change the iTunes setting to sync Address Book to iPhone, I can theoretically then set it up to sync back to Gmail. Maybe. I'm still wavering on this bit. Hopefully someone who does the same sort of crazy syncing can shed a bit more light on that bit!
mr_magicfingers: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] mr_magicfingers at 05:32pm on 08/04/2011
Yep that sounds good. It might be that you have to go back into time machine a bit further to find a working address book database, depends how far back your backups go, but that would be my first thing to try.

As for iphone use, have you seen my folding bluetooth keyboard that I use, it's superb for being able to type things out on the go like that. I've had it for a few years now, and they're not made these days but you can find them on ebay cheaply. In fact there's a few up now. Think I paid about £18 for mine new.


Might be handy for you.
emma: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] emma at 05:36pm on 08/04/2011
It's fixed! Turns out there's a really easy way to restore contacts in Gmail. Easy when you know how :) I've got them back on my phone which was the main thing, so now I just need to get Address Book playing nicely, which I'll probably try tomorrow morning.

To be honest I have very little money right now so new things are not on the agenda! I also don't need to carry much more, especially when I should be thinking about adding a small toolkit and set of CDs to the things I carry around at work. When I'm in the office or on secondment it's easy to open up Gmail so once I get my email consolidated properly then it'll be fine. This will also have the side benefit of having only one address people have to worry about for the purpose of Google calendar invites.. currently I get a mix sent to my Gmail (currently the right one!) and my domain account, which doesn't easily go into my calendar. I confuse myself with it though so I can't expect other people to remember one account for one thing and one for another...
mr_magicfingers: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] mr_magicfingers at 05:43pm on 08/04/2011
Interesting, what was the solution?

I have a mix of 7 accounts for various personal and business things and have wondered about consolidating to gmail but don't think I want to mix business and pleasure etc just yet.
emma: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] emma at 05:46pm on 08/04/2011
"Gmail web version -> Contacts -> More actions -> Restore contacts... ?"

*headdesk* I could have saved myself several hours of mild angst!

Maybe a combination of two Google accounts, one business and one pleasure? You could manage the separate addresses/domains inside Google Apps relatively easily, from what I understand.

More later - must dash, culture awaits!
posted by [identity profile] pir.livejournal.com at 05:21pm on 08/04/2011
Gmail web version -> Contacts -> More actions -> Restore contacts...
emma: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] emma at 05:31pm on 08/04/2011
As if by magic! Thank you, I feel better now :) Still need to figure out how to get them across to Address Book without having it fail all over again, but I can worry about that later.


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