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Contacts, Numbers & Call History Strangely Deleted? :(

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by Pantheist, Dec 17, 2012.

  1. Pantheist

    Pantheist Lurker
    Thread Starter

    HTC Desire
    Android Version 2.2.2

    Hi there,

    Unfortunately all contacts / phone numbers (and call history) stored on my phone have disappeared. I opened the following which seems to confirm it:

    HTC People > Menu > View > Phone (0)

    I know the numbers were stored there, but I don't know if this is on the 4gig SD card, or whether the phone has inbuilt storage. In any case I'm hoping it hasn't completely wiped them and I can at least recover some. I understand that in some instances, 'deleted' data is made available to be written over, but isn't actually destroyed.

    'Contacts Storage' shows 3.48MB (found by Settings>Applications>Manage applications>All). 'HTC People' however only shows 16kB.

    I tried reinserting the SD card, and I'm pretty sure it's in there and works alright.
    I tried HTC People > Menu > Import/Export > Import from SD Card > Phone, but it says 'Scanning SD card failed (Reason: No vCard file found on the SD card).
    I ran a trial version of 'Card Data Recovery' (Card Recovery Software to Recover Photos for Memory Card, SD Card) on the SD card which found pictures etc, but nothing that looked like it may contain info on contacts / numbers except some zip files. To recover the zip files I need to pay for the full version which is pointless if they don't have the contacts. I'm not sure what I'm looking for, if I'm looking in the right place, or if I'm using the right tools for the job.

    As for what triggered this, well everything was fine until my phone ran out of battery, then when I charged / turned it back on the numbers were gone. Prior to this, I had a disc icon which upon further inspection issued a warning that the phone was running out of memory. After the numbers disappeared, so did this icon so I'm wondering if it decided to delete my numbers because it had ran out of space? A while back that same warning came up & after I ignored it all my messages were all deleted and the warning disappeared. I figured every time the phone was full it would just delete the messages, though I was pretty annoyed it just did it without warning. Now my numbers?!

    I really don't know much about these phones, or if the warning and deletions are related. Stupidly I didn't back any of the numbers up so I'm in big trouble. If anyone can give me some pointers on how I might go about recovering these numbers I'd really, really appreciate it. I've spent a few hours looking for solutions on the web, but haven't had any luck. This thread was some help in describing my problem:


    If you need any further information I'll do my best to provide it. Please help!



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  2. Hadron

    Hadron Smoke me a kipper...
    VIP Member

    Sorry, just seen this on way to bed. Will try to have a think tomorrow.

    Contacts will be stored in internal storage, not sd.
  3. Hadron

    Hadron Smoke me a kipper...
    VIP Member

    OK, I don't know why this should have happened, but the best hope is the data are probably still in contacts storage. So the question is whether you can make them visible again.

    Unfortunately I don't have HTC's People app (custom ROM) so can't experiment with how this behaves. But I think the most important thing is to see whether you can get your contacts backed up.

    For a non-rooted user I'd usually recommend MyBackup, but that app's backups aren't readable by anything else. I found an app called "Super Backup: SMS & Contacts" which backed up my contacts to an xml file (another contact backup app I tried copied to csv, but only numbers & names). So before anything else I suggest installing and running an app like that, then look at the backup with a text editor (copy to your computer) and check whether the data are there.

    If you can get the contacts backed up safely you can worry about how to make them visible again. I suspect that if you install a 3rd party dialer/contacts app that might see them, ie that HTC's People app is what's gone wrong here. Don't know whether clearing data on People would help, but don't clear anything until you have a backup.

    I don't suppose you synced with your Gmail (ie have a backup of your contacts there?).
  4. Pantheist

    Pantheist Lurker
    Thread Starter

    Hi Hadron, massive thanks for your feedback, I'm at work at the moment but this certainly gives me something to chew on later.

    I don't have it synced with google or backed up, so as you can imagine I'm pretty distraught! The stupid thing is that I just bought a new SD card to sort out that 'low space' problem and work on getting my contacts backed up when this strikes!

    Unrelated, but I recently heard that if an atom was the size of our solar system, a neutrino would be the size of a golf ball. Totally amazing! Thought you might share my appreciation with a name like Hadron :)

    Once again, thanks and I will keep you updated on progress.
  5. Hadron

    Hadron Smoke me a kipper...
    VIP Member

    To be honest we don't have a good estimate of the size of the neutrino. We know that quarks are at least 10 billion times smaller than atoms, and expect neutrinos to be the same, but that's an upper limit - they probably are a lot smaller. I reckon that golf ball vs solar system is about 100-1000 times smaller than the experimental limit, but as I say I expect reality is even smaller ;)

    Sorry for off-topic - I'm afraid I actually am a particle physicist...
  6. Pantheist

    Pantheist Lurker
    Thread Starter

    Hello again,

    No luck with the software I'm afraid, but thanks to your post I now know the contacts will be stored on the phones internal memory rather than the SD card (if it's still there!).

    I figured the simplest thing to do (ideally), would be to find some software that would treat the phones internal memory like a disc drive or memory card after plugging in via usb. After a brief Internet hunt, I came across MyPhoneExplorer which, I was really impressed with.

    If only things were so simple.. as the software kindly directs me, I need to enable USB debugging on my phone (no problem), and install the ADB Drivers on my computer. Well, what a can of worms that turned out to be! I'll be taking another look at that this evening, but here's where I got yesterday.

    I have Win7 X64, & tried to follow the instructions here. First off it tells me to install the 32-bit and 64-bit Java Development Kits (JDK Kits), however I could only find the 64bit on the linked website. I didn't bother to look elsewhere for the 32bit because the instructions say it should work without it, just throw up the occasional error. No problem. So next I need to install the Android Development Kit (ADK), but when I download the linked file there is no .exe. A bit of Internet searching tells me no problem! I can just go to sdk\tools and run android.bat which launches the SDK manager and allows me to install the relevant bits ((Android SDK Tools, Android SDK Platform Tools, Google USB Driver package). Only, when I install these bits a new window is supposed to appear - A new window will appear – any items without a green checkmark require that you select them, then click Approve before you can proceed. , well this didn't happen, after installing the 3 bits the program just kind of sits there. No problem!(?) Lets move forward. I close the program, but apparently now I'm supposed to let the manager restart the ADB process, which I can't. There was no option to & the program is closed now. Moving forward, now I'm supposed to enable USB debugging on my phone, connect it and the driver should install. Well after enabling USB debugging & connecting this sadly doesn't happen either!

    So yeah, that's pretty much where I got with it last night. I'm gonna have a fresh look at it, find some different instructions. Will keep this thread updated incase there's anyone else out there that may benefit, and also in the hopes I can get this sorted :)
  7. Hadron

    Hadron Smoke me a kipper...
    VIP Member

    For adb installation this thread might be useful: http://androidforums.com/faqs/443072-adb-guide-updated-12-05-2011-a.html

    I think the "mini sdk" in there might be the simplest option for what you want.

    I'm afraid I've no experience of installing this stuff on Windows. For this job Linux and Mac are simpler in my opinion as there's no messing around with drivers needed.
  8. Pantheist

    Pantheist Lurker
    Thread Starter

    Hi Hadron

    After several hours I managed to install the ADB drivers, but unfortunately I can
  9. Hadron

    Hadron Smoke me a kipper...
    VIP Member

    The actual address book is in /data/data/com.android.providers.contacts/databases/contacts2.db. As the "db" implies this isn't a plain text file.

    As that's the phone's internal storage you won't be able to browse it like a disk drive. In principle you could use "adb pull /data/data/com.android.providers.contacts/databases/contacts2.db contacts2.db" to copy it to your PC. I say "in principle" because the problem is that you'll need root privileges in order to access that folder :(

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