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10.4: A caution on Address Book and Syncing System 10.4
Tiger only hintThis really isn't a hint -- it's a warning based on an experience I had with Address Book during a sync. I run Tiger and, during a sync, I was adding entries to my Address Book. I know that iCal used to not let you make changes while a sync was happening.

I assumed (yeah, I know about assuming) that, since Address Book didn't complain, it was safe. Well, when the sync was done, all I had in my Address Book were the two addresses I had added during the sync! Thankfully, I have .Mac and was able to recover my contacts from one of my registered Macs. If I didn't have that to fall back on, though, I would have lost all my contacts. I also noticed that iCal no longer compains if you open it during a sync. So be careful...

[robg adds: I haven't confirmed this one, but it seems like a reasonable caution to be aware of when syncing!]
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10.4: A caution on Address Book and Syncing | 8 comments | Create New Account
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10.4: A caution on Address Book and Syncing
Authored by: mayo2ca on Aug 15, '05 11:18:18AM

Submit a bug report at please :)

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10.4: A caution on Address Book and Syncing
Authored by: fresler on Aug 15, '05 11:53:25AM

Good idea and done!

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10.4: A caution on Address Book and Syncing
Authored by: mikego on Aug 15, '05 12:01:58PM

Aside from the .Mac backup, I also back up locally using the "Back up Address Book..." command under the File menu within Address Book. iCal (at least in Tiger) also has a similar feature. With the complexities of synchronizing, one can never play it too safe!

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10.4: A caution on Address Book and Syncing
Authored by: fresler on Aug 15, '05 03:24:53PM

Thanks for the tip! I didn't even know those options existed (guess I really should look at the menu items from time to time). Now, what would be really cool would be if one could write an AppleScript to do this and create a cron job. Unfortunately, I didn't see any backup command in Address Book's AppleScript dictionary.

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10.4: A caution on Address Book and Syncing
Authored by: visionaut on Aug 15, '05 03:43:04PM

I ran into a bug/problem/anomaly under 10.4 where my AddressBook mysteriously ended up empty after normal usage for a couple of weeks (10.4.0/10.4.1). The day I lost everything, index showed contents but the actual addressbook database and it's backup file both showed no entries. This was very disturbing - I had gotten no warnings/errors, just one evening everything was there as I was adding a new entry, and the next day when I went to lookup an address it all was gone. Upon a check of the Apple discussion forums, I found I was not the only one to have had this problem, but I couldn't see/find a fix anywhere (any suggestions were rendered dead due to AddressBook's 'autosave' feature, simply opning it up again after noticing all my entries were gone removed the one possible fallback I could have had). I also do not know if it's since been resolved. (Any bug/defect that causes unwarned loss of all data is pretty serious, and is hopefully fixed.) It doesn't appear to have reoccured, now running 10.4.2.

Needless to say, I've been VERY cautious with AddressBook since this experience - my only bad experience with Tiger. I run "Back up AddressBook..." all the time now. But looking though the saved entries (I have lot's of backup copies - my safety net in case I notice something missing too late after making a subsequent backup if I used 'replace') - I notice widely varying sizes of the backup files for what to me is a relatively stable/fixed size AddressBook. One day it will be 5-6 MB, the next it might be 9MB, and a couple of days after that it's back to 5-6 MB. During this time there's been no large data additions/deletions. Makes me still VERY suspicious of AddressBook. I just don't trust it's autosave on close (similar for iCal, though I haven't been burned with that). I've even given up on use of the AddressBook widget as one additional possible thing to eliminate - the whole 'two items have same file open for view/edit' circumstance making me nervous...

I'd be interested in knowing if others who are using "Backup AddressBook..." notice any large fluctuations is the backup file size when they wouldn 't be expecting it?

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10.4: A caution on Address Book and Syncing
Authored by: markformac on Sep 30, '05 01:39:04AM

The simplest way to perform the back up is to perform a Command+A to select all users and then select Export vCard from the File menu. This puts all users within 1 vCard for back-up purposes. I have 178 contacts with pictures and upon export my vCard size was only 3.8MB

Mark Brooks

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10.4: A caution on Address Book and Syncing
Authored by: PlxoGuy on Oct 01, '05 01:04:00AM

I have backups with the vCard which also is backed up online at It's free and very easy to import the vCard to plaxo. I caution to use the Firefox Browser if you are doing much more with plaxo than just backing up contacts. Safari will not display your calendar, notes, and tasks, it will just tell you that you've added them. Also, there is a plaxotoolbar beta for Tbird in the downloads section of plaxo. It's also free, but must be downloaded in Firefox to function properly.

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10.4: A caution on Address Book and Syncing
Authored by: MyronCramer on Jul 04, '06 08:14:22AM

I have had the same experience and believe that it is a bug in Address Book. I have verified that it isn't due to anything that I am doing with Synch. My problem is on a new Intel-based Mac Mini. This problem does not occur on my old G3 with MacOS 10.2.8 or on the G5 at my office (Mac OS X 10.4) to the best of my knowledge.

It may also be associated with using the Apple Mail program (which I don't use at the office.)

I have turned off Synch with Entourage, but that does not seem to be the issue either.

On one instance all of my .mac Address Book had also been deleted, so a Synch issue is not completely eliminated.


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