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Corrupt entry in iPhone's Contacts can cause issues iOS devices
After two iPhone replacements, five Genius bar visits, two new SIM cards, the 2.1 software update, and countless restores, I have identified a relatively simple fix for the following two iPhone problems:
  1. While in sleep mode, the iPhone hangs when receiving a phone call.
  2. The Contacts app launches slowly, and exhibits jerky scrolling (especially with large contact databases)
It turned out I had a corrupt Contact app record -- my own. I did all my iPhone testing (on both of my iPhones) by calling the iPhone from my home phone. Here's my theory of what happens when the iPhone get an incoming call:
  1. The iPhone detects an incoming phone call and awakens
  2. The iPhone grabs the caller ID information
  3. The iPhone application MobliePhone passes the caller ID information to the application Contacts
  4. The Contacts application looks in its database for a record that matches the caller ID
  5. If there is a match, a picture of the caller and name (if present), are displayed on the screen, and phone rings.
If that matching Contact record is corrupt, however, it takes a long time to open (maybe five to seven seconds). The MobilePhone application freaks out while waiting for the Contacts application, and the phone hangs. (I exhibited this problem 100% of the time on four separate iPhones.)

To identify the defective record, I opened the Contacts application, and tapped on the suspected entry -- and alas, it took five to seven seconds to open. I resolved this by simply deleting and re-creating the record, and now it opens quickly (in about one second). Incoming calls from this number no longer hang the phone after dozens of tests.

Another side benefit of identifying and replacing corrupt Contacts record(s) is the elimination of the slow launch and jerky scrolling problems. I have almost 3,000 contacts, and there is no hint of delayed launch or jerkiness after re-creating the bad entry. Bottom line: if your Contacts application launches slowly or exhibits jerky scrolling, you're a potential victim of a corrupt Contacts record.

Finding the record may be tedious, however. If the phone is hanging when certain individuals call, that's easy -- just delete and re-create those specific Contacts records. But if all you have is slow Contacts launch and jerky scrolling, you'll probably have to tap on each of your records, and make certain they open quickly. (There was zero indication of any record corruption in the Mac's Address Book application.)
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Corrupt entry in iPhone's Contacts can cause issues | 12 comments | Create New Account
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Corrupt entry in iPhone's Contacts can cause issues
Authored by: lowbatteries on Sep 18, '08 08:58:38AM

I really hope you submitted this to Apple's bug reports, great job doing the leg work and isolating the problem.



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Corrupt entry in iPhone's Contacts can cause issues
Authored by: wscody on Sep 18, '08 11:32:55AM

My first stop was the Apple feedback web page, where I documented this fix. My second stop was the Apple Genius bar, whose technicians were blown away by this issue.



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Corrupt entry in iPhone's Contacts can cause issues
Authored by: cweb on Sep 18, '08 11:01:45AM

Is there a verify / repair function available to see if any contacts in the database are corrupt? If a contact record is corrupt, does that imply that it is corrupt in your iphone AND Mac address book database?



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Corrupt entry in iPhone's Contacts can cause issues
Authored by: wscody on Sep 18, '08 11:38:16AM

I have not found any utility, either on the Mac or the iPhone, that can detect a corrupt record.

Also, in the process of troubleshooting, I exported a vCard of the corrupt record on my Mac, and then deleted the entry in Address Book. I then re-imported the vCard, re-synced the record with the iPhone and the corruption remained. I had to completely reconstruct the record and re-sync.

This would imply that the record is corrupted on both the Mac and the iPhone.

Another item: this problem manifests itself regardless of whether you use MobileMe or wire-syncing for your Contact database.



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Corrupt entry in iPhone's Contacts can cause issues
Authored by: MrLucky on Sep 19, '08 11:07:49AM

I wonder if all the moments I spend waiting for Contacts to scroll, added together, would be greater or less than the amount of time it would take to check every one of my 2,000 contacts for corrupt entries.



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Corrupt entry in iPhone's Contacts can cause issues
Authored by: wscody on Sep 20, '08 10:16:44AM

I suspect you already know the answer to this. It's definitely a drag having to check each contact manually.

The reason I've reported this to Apple is so they can fix this without subjecting a user to draconian measures required to isolate a corrupt entry.



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Corrupt entry in iPhone's Contacts causes duplicate contacts
Authored by: robclements on Sep 20, '08 10:20:14PM

I have experienced many duplicates appearing in the contacts list when the original contact became corrupted. It seems that every time the contacts would sync, another duplicate would be created. In my case it was serveral corrupted original contacts on the corporate Exchange Server. Each had hundreds of duplicates. I remove ALL duplicates and the original, then recreated the original contact. It's been fine since.



---
-rob@robclements.com--



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Corrupt entry in iPhone's Contacts causes duplicate contacts
Authored by: hotoru on Nov 14, '08 08:33:40AM

FIXED !
I believe I had a corrupt entry in my contacts. Contacts took at least 8 seconds after launch before usable. I have 1100 contacts. Here was my fix.

--Opened address book on mac and selected ALL contacts (cmd-A)
--Export to vCard (also repeated as archive for safety)
--Delete all contacts
--Sync with iphone / mobile me and confirm updated on iphone
--Open Address Book and import from vCard
--Sync iphone and or mobile me

Dropped my launch to usable (scrollable searchable) time from 8+ sec to 3 seconds. Finally contacts is usable.
Hope this helps others.
Hotoru



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Corrupt entry in iPhone's Contacts causes duplicate contacts
Authored by: yingweb on Dec 30, '11 10:38:20PM
This solution almost works, just that you might loose a few fields that outlook doesn't support, like if you created your own labels for some phone numbers. I've investigated this issue thoroughly, since my biggest problem was a contacts photos database of about 300mb, that would cause some apps to crash. iDrive lite Another option is the freeware "iDrive lite". Backing up and then "clean slate restore" will fix your issues. This option still has a cavity, though. It might also loose some fields (not phone numbers, though). E.g. non standard (home/work) address fields. My Contacts Backup Pro I think it costs 2$. 1. You can backup your contacts to a vcf (will include all the fields, don't worry) and then send it to your self by email. 2. After doing so, an option in the program to delete all contacts will appear. 3. After deleting all the contacts, open the email on your iphone, once you click on the downloaded vcf it will allow you to add all the contacts. This will for sure fix any broken contacts and can also compact the photos db to workable sizes (so that some apps that load all contacts will not crash on loading or take monstrous amount of memory. Note: I've tested some other programs similar to My Contacts Backup (like ContactsTool, Air Contacts, XportContact), but some of them just crash on very big contacts photo files (I have about 900 contacts, about 300 of them with photos), and some loose some fields. good luck !

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Corrupt entry in iPhone's Contacts can cause overheating and freezing/lockup issues
Authored by: peterrosen on Jul 19, '10 04:18:07PM

I on on my 5th iphone. I tried everything (see my story: http://sites.google.com/site/ipfix411/ ). Nothing worked, UNTIL I saw someone's note on the Web about corrupt address book contact. I have verified, after updating to my 5th iPhone in my first year of ownership - including upgrade to iPhone OS4 which still gave the same problems (i.e. overheating and freezing apps) - that one or more contacts in my Mac address book was causing the problem. When I sync'd to a limited contact list (trashed all my contacts and began importing back small groups of contacts) everything worked fine. As soon as I imported back a different set, the problem returned. Now I finally can operate without having to reinstall everything, and time and time again, enter pertinent data. I figure I have lost about two months of life over this iPhone problem which neither genius bar visits or high level handling by Apple employee's failed to find and fix.

I am wondering if anyone would like to be part of a class action lawsuit regarding this "abuse" by a tool that Apple could not discover what was so problematic with? Please let me know if anyone is going to take this problem to the next level (i.e. getting my life time back is impossible - but I sure would like some form of appeasement if not money back (or upgrade to a new iPhone 4 - AFTER IT'S PROBLEMS are worked out!?



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Corrupt entry in iPhone's Contacts can cause overheating and freezing/lockup issues
Authored by: peterrosen on Jul 19, '10 04:19:20PM

I on on my 5th iphone. I tried everything (see my story: http://sites.google.com/site/ipfix411/ ). Nothing worked, UNTIL I saw someone's note on the Web about corrupt address book contact. I have verified, after updating to my 5th iPhone in my first year of ownership - including upgrade to iPhone OS4 which still gave the same problems (i.e. overheating and freezing apps) - that one or more contacts in my Mac address book was causing the problem. When I sync'd to a limited contact list (trashed all my contacts and began importing back small groups of contacts) everything worked fine. As soon as I imported back a different set, the problem returned. Now I finally can operate without having to reinstall everything, and time and time again, enter pertinent data. I figure I have lost about two months of life over this iPhone problem which neither genius bar visits or high level handling by Apple employee's failed to find and fix.

I am wondering if anyone would like to be part of a class action lawsuit regarding this "abuse" by a tool that Apple could not discover what was so problematic with? Please let me know if anyone is going to take this problem to the next level (i.e. getting my life time back is impossible - but I sure would like some form of appeasement if not money back (or upgrade to a new iPhone 4 - AFTER IT'S PROBLEMS are worked out!?



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Corrupt entry in iPhone's Contacts can cause overheating and freezing/lockup issues
Authored by: agentx on Jul 20, '10 06:33:39AM

So many of the problems have been with "Smart Groups" and this causes much of the chaos with Sync.

SyncServices is far from perfect although on the whole MobileMe and Exchange Sync is pretty good.
USB sync however is very annoying and tends eventually to screw up ( duplicate, address book corruption, group corruption etc)

Edited on Jul 20, '10 06:36:31AM by agentx



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