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Rebuild old address book after clean install of 10.2 System
I did a clean install of Mac OS X 10.2 and after doing so wanted to see what some of the new apps looked like. One of them was the Address Book. But then later, I wanted to import my old addresses from another system. The help documentation for the Address Book said that the application would automatically import an old database when the Address Book was run for the first time on an upgrade. But I didn't upgrade, I did a clean install. But don't fear, you can still do it later (assuming you have previously backed up your Address Book!). Here is how you do it:
  1. Quit the Address Book application if it is open.

  2. Copy your old address book database, which can be found at /Users -> username -> Library -> Addresses -> Address Book.addressbook, to your new system and put it in the same location (you may have to create the directories depending on what level you copy the file from).

  3. Rename the AddressBook folder found at: /Users -> username -> Library -> Application Support -> AddressBook. I renamed mine AddressBookZZZ.

  4. Run the Address Book application again. It should discover the old database and rebuild the AddressBook folder and files in the Application Support folder.

  5. If everything went OK, then you can delete the AddressBookZZZ folder as it is no longer used.
If, for some reason, things did not go correctly, just rename the "ZZZ" file and you'll be back to where you started.
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Rebuild old address book after clean install of 10.2 | 5 comments | Create New Account
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Another way
Authored by: macgizmo on Aug 28, '02 10:23:09AM

You can select all in your old address book contact list and drag them to a folder on the desktop (back them up to another drive, etc.). Then do your clean install. Launch the new Address Book and drag them from the backed up folder to the new app - that's it.

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address book error upon upgrading to 10.2
Authored by: suz56 on Aug 31, '02 04:34:46PM

I upgraded to 10.2 August 27th from 10.1.5. Now my address file is missing at least half of my entries.

I imported contacts from Entourage and Palm desktop when I started using 10.1.5 exclusively (in June) then began adding new listings and corrections to Address Book only.

I copied my user folder to another hard drive prior to install. The old file that I backed up came in as a double of the most of the files (but not all) when I imported it on top of the new one.

When I started adding some of the addresses that had disappeared a weird thing happened. Example My sister Jody disappeared but when I made a new contact for her her photo from the missing entry mysteriously appeared in the new contact.

The files missing are not alphabetical first or last name, age of file anything that I can see that might lend itself to operator error.

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From anonymous...
Authored by: robg on Sep 02, '02 10:20:55AM

This was submitted as an anonymous hint, so I'm posting as a comment here, as it may be relevant...


I tried the OSXHints method. I had not backed it up, but my old addressbook had not been deleted; indeed it still opens fine under 10.1.5. However, when it's imported and converted, all I saw were two out of the hundred or so records in the original database.

Opening the same file on a 10.1.5 machine and poking around revealed a interesting fact: the two addresses that transferred were categorized as "unfiled". The rest were all categorized as "Temporary" (remember this? No? Don't feel bad, grin...)

Editing the entries in 10.1.5 (turning off all Categories) and then re-importing as described at OSXHints fixed the problem.

Oh, and another thing: many of my entries had only the email address. In 10.1.5's Address Book, an entry with blank name fields showed the email address in place of the name. 10.2 merely shows "<no name>". So add a name to any unnamed entries when prepping for the move to 10.2.

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RE:These methods did not work for me
Authored by: chrisoft on Sep 10, '02 06:50:59AM
What I did to get it working after a clean install is this:

I deleted ~/Library/Application Support/AddressBook
Then I put the original 10.1 address book folder back in ~/Library/Addresses (and I put also the pictures back in ~/Library/Images/People)
Finally I relaunched the address book app and it imported everything with pictures and all. No need to rename the files or anything 8)

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I goofed but it worked anyway
Authored by: barryjaylevine on Sep 13, '02 11:33:07AM

I misread the original post and, instead of renaming the folder, I simply renamed the file (from to I placed my old Addressbook folder in the same location as spec'd in the original post and, when I launched the app, it automatically imported all of my addresses and names (if names existed for those entries). I then quit the app and deleted the file as a new had been created.

THANK YOU for the tip!

(Another satisfied macOSXhints user)

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