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#55068 - 06/29/20 06:17 AM Restoring contacts from TimeMachine
Rain Offline


Registered: 07/17/11
Loc: London UK
I have a MacBook Pro 13" late 2013 running Sierra.
A year or so ago I made a note in one of my contacts (just a name).
I just went to look at it and found it was gone!
Also when I try to restore from TimeMachine all of my contacts say "no cards".

Any thoughts?

Thanks


Edited by Rain (06/29/20 06:30 AM)

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#55069 - 06/29/20 06:31 AM Re: Restoring contacts from TimeMachine [Re: Rain]
joemikeb Offline

Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
Several possibilities occur to me, but some additional information would be helpful in narrowing down the possibilities.
  1. Had you been able to successfully read the note previously?
  2. Before attempting the Time Machine Restore, were the cards readable?
  3. Are any of the Contacts entries readable since the attempted Time Machine restore?
  4. Describe the process you used in restoring from Time Machine.
  5. Specifically what file did you restore from Time Machine?
  6. How did you choose the date you restored from?
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joemikeb • moderator

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#55074 - 06/29/20 01:47 PM Re: Restoring contacts from TimeMachine [Re: joemikeb]
Rain Offline


Registered: 07/17/11
Loc: London UK
Thanks for looking, here goes:
1 I saw the note once, quite soon after I wrote it. About a year ago.
2 I can read all of the cards in the 'live/current' version of Contacts just the note is missing.
3 All of the cards are still readable in my "live/current" version of the Contacts
4 I closed all application except Contacts, I selected the card I wanted to see (the one I wrote the note on), I entered Time Machine, I went back to a date about 6 months ago. This was blank so I tries some other dates and they were all blank.
5 I didn't restore anything as they were all blank.
6 I guessed a date soon after the date that I thought I wrote the note.

I have tried other contact cards and it's the same error message.
Hope that this helps.
Thanks

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#55075 - 06/29/20 02:23 PM Re: Restoring contacts from TimeMachine [Re: Rain]
MacManiac Offline
Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Paradise....on the central Ore...
I just went through a very similar recovery process from Time Machine a few weeks ago.....I had done a system upgrade on my wife's MacBook Pro and in the process I had made the assumption that she REALLY hadn't intended to keep Draft Emails in her Drafts mailbox going back for several years - I WAS WRONG!

So into the Time Machine I went looking to recover those 20 plus deleted drafts for her to maintain copies of in the brand new folder I created on her machine rather than in the Mail.app drafts folder.

Here's what I found out - Time Machine might take quit a bit of time to pull up what you are looking for and display it for you......you will need to be VERY PATIENT to ensure that it has enough time to do what you asked it to do.

I spent a LONG time waiting for it to show me more than just a blank page, but in the end I was able to recover ALL the deleted files for my wife and to this day I am still a hero as a result......initially, I started as a goat for having binned the files by mistake.

Best of luck on your re-try, and please let us know how it goes......
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#55076 - 06/29/20 04:16 PM Re: Restoring contacts from TimeMachine [Re: Rain]
joemikeb Offline

Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
When you "went back", were you in Finder or Time Machine and specifically, what file(s) were you looking at that were blank? Contacts' "cards" are records in an SQLite database and cannot be viewed without using the database system. Time Machine doesn't have the ability to recover individual database records; you can only recover at the file/database level. ☹️
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joemikeb • moderator

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#55106 - 07/04/20 12:42 AM Re: Restoring contacts from TimeMachine [Re: joemikeb]
Rain Offline


Registered: 07/17/11
Loc: London UK
Hello, and sorry for my tardy response.
I have now tried the "long wait" with the restore. I left it for 12 hours initially, but when I returned to it the machine wouldn't respond to my mouse/keyboard inputs, so I left it for a further 12 hours and it's now responding but there's no sign of any restored data.
When I "went back" I was in Time Machine. I opened the contacts application to the card I wanted to restore and then Entered Time Machine and scrolled back through the dates I had backed up (about once a month), all cards were blank.
Are you saying that I have to restore the whole of my contacts database?

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#55107 - 07/04/20 01:03 AM Re: Restoring contacts from TimeMachine [Re: Rain]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
I can't help with your issue, but I will suggest that in the future you back up your contacts via Contacts > File > Export > Contacts Archive which will leave a restorable file in your documents folder.
_________________________
The new Great Equalizer is the SEND button.

In Memory Of Harv: Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. ~Voltaire

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#55108 - 07/04/20 02:35 AM Re: Restoring contacts from TimeMachine [Re: artie505]
jchuzi Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: New York State
I had no idea about the ability to archive Contacts. That info could be very useful and I immediately backed up my Contacts list as you suggested. Thanks, Artie! cool
_________________________
Jon

macOS 10.15.5, iMac Retina 5K 27-inch, late 2014, 3.5 GHz Intel Core i5, 1 TB fusion drive, 16 GB RAM, Epson SureColor P600, Photoshop CC, Lightroom CC, MS Office 365

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#55109 - 07/04/20 02:41 AM Re: Restoring contacts from TimeMachine [Re: artie505]
Rain Offline


Registered: 07/17/11
Loc: London UK
Good idea, thanks

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#55110 - 07/04/20 03:01 AM Re: Restoring contacts from TimeMachine [Re: jchuzi]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
I'll suggest that cruising the menu bar of every new app you launch to see what possibilities it offers beyond what you were expecting is more valuable than cruising System Prefs after each upgrade.

Changes in System Prefs will get your attention and get you looking sooner or later, but you'll never know what you're missing if you don't check your menus. (I used to have a whole laundry list of things to check to make sure they were perpetuated after upgrading, but nothing was ever out of whack, and I've gotten out of the habit.)
_________________________
The new Great Equalizer is the SEND button.

In Memory Of Harv: Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. ~Voltaire

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#55111 - 07/04/20 03:48 AM Re: Restoring contacts from TimeMachine [Re: artie505]
jchuzi Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: New York State
Another excellent suggestion! You're on a roll, Artie. laugh
_________________________
Jon

macOS 10.15.5, iMac Retina 5K 27-inch, late 2014, 3.5 GHz Intel Core i5, 1 TB fusion drive, 16 GB RAM, Epson SureColor P600, Photoshop CC, Lightroom CC, MS Office 365

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#55112 - 07/04/20 07:34 AM Re: Restoring contacts from TimeMachine [Re: Rain]
joemikeb Offline

Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
Originally Posted By: Rain
Are you saying that I have to restore the whole of my contacts database?
That is what I am saying. Even if you have created a backup database, if you attempt to open it you are presented with the two alternatives shown here
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joemikeb • moderator

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#55113 - 07/04/20 09:29 AM Re: Restoring contacts from TimeMachine [Re: joemikeb]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Originally Posted By: joemikeb
Originally Posted By: Rain
Are you saying that I have to restore the whole of my contacts database?
That is what I am saying. Even if you have created a backup database, if you attempt to open it you are presented with the two alternatives shown here

Which shouldn't present any sort of problem if the backup is updated as its underlying info changes.
_________________________
The new Great Equalizer is the SEND button.

In Memory Of Harv: Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. ~Voltaire

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#55115 - 07/04/20 11:43 AM Re: Restoring contacts from TimeMachine [Re: artie505]
joemikeb Offline

Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
Originally Posted By: artie505
Which shouldn't present any sort of problem if the backup is updated as its underlying info changes.
That would mean creating an additional backup file every time anything in the database changes, which is what Time Machine does automatically. Why re-invent the wheel?
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joemikeb • moderator

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#55116 - 07/04/20 11:55 AM Re: Restoring contacts from TimeMachine [Re: joemikeb]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Originally Posted By: joemikeb
Originally Posted By: artie505
Which shouldn't present any sort of problem if the backup is updated as its underlying info changes.
That would mean creating an additional backup file every time anything in the database changes, which is what Time Machine does automatically. Why re-invent the wheel?

Each new backup overwrites the previous one, so Time Machine actually reinvented this particular wheel, and it improved on the original substantially by allowing us to access earlier backups that would be lost with the "Export" method.

On the other hand, though, many people, and I"m one of them, don't run Time Machine, and we're at least somewhat protected.


CORRECTION: Backups are archived, NOT overwritten.


Edited by artie505 (Yesterday at 07:46 AM)
Edit Reason: Correction
_________________________
The new Great Equalizer is the SEND button.

In Memory Of Harv: Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. ~Voltaire

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#55119 - Yesterday at 03:07 AM Re: Restoring contacts from TimeMachine [Re: artie505]
Rain Offline


Registered: 07/17/11
Loc: London UK
Ok, thanks for the suggestions/solutions.
I appreciate your help.

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#55120 - Yesterday at 04:14 AM Re: Restoring contacts from TimeMachine [Re: artie505]
jchuzi Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: New York State
Originally Posted By: artie505
I can't help with your issue, but I will suggest that in the future you back up your contacts via Contacts > File > Export > Contacts Archive which will leave a restorable file in your documents folder.
Although I don't need the information now, it would be good to know. If I need to restore my contacts in the future, am I correct in assuming that I go to the File menu in Contacts and click Import, and then select the archive that I had previously made?
_________________________
Jon

macOS 10.15.5, iMac Retina 5K 27-inch, late 2014, 3.5 GHz Intel Core i5, 1 TB fusion drive, 16 GB RAM, Epson SureColor P600, Photoshop CC, Lightroom CC, MS Office 365

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#55121 - Yesterday at 07:48 AM Re: Restoring contacts from TimeMachine [Re: jchuzi]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Originally Posted By: jchuzi
Originally Posted By: artie505
I can't help with your issue, but I will suggest that in the future you back up your contacts via Contacts > File > Export > Contacts Archive which will leave a restorable file in your documents folder.
Although I don't need the information now, it would be good to know. If I need to restore my contacts in the future, am I correct in assuming that I go to the File menu in Contacts and click Import, and then select the archive that I had previously made?

Clicking on File > Import and double-clicking on a backup file itself both result in this pop-up.

As per my correction of my earlier post, you can select which of your archived backups to install, which is Time Machine's precursor.
_________________________
The new Great Equalizer is the SEND button.

In Memory Of Harv: Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. ~Voltaire

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#55122 - Yesterday at 08:05 AM Re: Restoring contacts from TimeMachine [Re: artie505]
jchuzi Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: New York State
Thanks! That looks very easy, and I hope that I won't need it. smile
_________________________
Jon

macOS 10.15.5, iMac Retina 5K 27-inch, late 2014, 3.5 GHz Intel Core i5, 1 TB fusion drive, 16 GB RAM, Epson SureColor P600, Photoshop CC, Lightroom CC, MS Office 365

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