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10.6: Address Book 'negative' groups can cause issues System 10.6
After what appeared to be my straight-forward upgrade, I found my Address Book reported no content and then froze -- requiring a Force Quit. When I launched Mail, initially it would open looking normal, but then it, too, would freeze. (Note: Once the problem with Address Book was solved, Mail was then OK.)

For me, after several hours working with AppleCare technicians, the cause turned out to be that my Address Book under v10.5.8 included a Smart Group with a negative condition (i.e., "Card is not a member of any group"). This was the only Smart Group I had created. The AppleCare technician ultimately found a report that such Smart Groups are not being handled properly during the upgrade.

I had done a SuperDuper! clone (on an external hard drive) of my MacBook Pro immediately before doing the upgrade. With the AppleCare technician pointing the way, I rebooted into Leopard from that external hard drive, launched Address Book, and deleted the Smart Group. I then copied the ~/Library » Application Support » AddressBook folder from the external hard drive (after adjusting Permissions, as needed) to the comparable location on my MacBook Pro once it was rebooted from its internal hard drive in Snow Leopard. But I wasn't out of the woods quite yet. Address Book would now launch, but it still claimed no cards existed. (There were, however, the proper 5,000+ cards in the Metadata folder within that AddressBook folder.)

While having deleted the Smart Group within Address Book application under Leopard before copying that AddressBook folder was expected to have deleted all remnants of that group, the technician wondered whether that was, indeed, the case. He then had me search that Metadata folder within that AddressBook folder for any Smart Group file by typing "smart" in the search oval as that file's long cryptic name, would include "smart"--and such a file was found. (In my case, it ended with ABSmartGroup.abcdg.) I deleted that file, restarted the computer, and Address Book was fine. And as noted above, when I then tried Mail, it, too, was fine.

Along the way of trying other things that didn't work (e.g., transferring an Address Book Archive made under Leopard and importing it under Snow Leopard; doing Export Group vCards under Leopard and importing them under Snow Leopard), we found importing Group vCards under Snow Leopard doesn't preserve the Group identification and while, then, hoping to use Snow Leopard's Address Book's "Last Import" Group to identify the last import, we found that Group doesn't properly report just the last import. (The AppleCare technician is reporting those issues within Apple.)
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10.6: Address Book 'negative' groups can cause issues | 13 comments | Create New Account
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10.6: Address Book 'negative' groups can cause issues
Authored by: tchenj on Sep 04, '09 09:24:34AM

Thank you thank you thank you!
I was getting the dreaded beach ball of doom every time I launched address book and mail and it was really freaking me out (I kept imagining that I was going to have to do some sort of crazy wipe and reinstall... shudder).
Now both apps work without a hiccup :)
Thank you again for posting this hint



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10.6: Address Book 'negative' groups can cause issues
Authored by: dgkanter on Sep 04, '09 07:50:43PM

Addendum: Now that I was past the problem experienced during the upgrade--as described in my initial post--I tried re-creating my one "negative" Smart Group (i.e., "Card is not a member of any group") in Snow Leopard, but that froze the Address Book. I had done an Address Book Archive before trying that and restoring from that--plus doing a few of things done earlier to get Address Book running under Snow Leopard--got my Address Book back running.

Therefore an added Caution: Avoid creating any "negative" Smart Group in Snow Leopard v10.6 until there's some independent confirmation it's OK. (I'm awaiting v10.6.1 before I'd try again to create such a Smart Group.)



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10.6: Address Book 'negative' groups can cause issues
Authored by: bluesloth on Sep 04, '09 09:21:42PM

I have wanted to create a "Card is not a member of any group" smart group for some time and cannot see that option when trying to make a smart group in Address Book.

Where is the option?

Once I figure this out, I will wait to actually use it if it is indeed buggy.



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10.6: Address Book 'negative' groups can cause issues
Authored by: dgkanter on Sep 04, '09 11:37:18PM

"I have wanted to create a "Card is not a member of any group" smart group for some time and cannot see that option when trying to make a smart group in Address Book. Where is the option?"

File->New Smart Group
Set the condition with:
1st Pop-up Menu: Card (first in the menu)
2nd Pop-up Menu: is not a member of (last in the menu)
3rd Pop-up Menu: any group (first in the menu--followed by my regular Groups)

David



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10.6: Address Book 'negative' groups can cause issues
Authored by: mal0rd on Sep 05, '09 01:01:16AM

This is interesting because I had the same problem when upgrading from 10.5.4 to 10.5.5. I reported the bug through the developer bug report interface and it took them a little while but they found the issue - I just had to delete all my smart groups.

You think they would have learned by the time 10.6 came out.



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10.6: Address Book 'negative' groups can cause issues
Authored by: bigkm on Sep 06, '09 02:48:08AM

I'm not keen on smart groups as they don't really sync with the iphone

which is why i wrote a script puts everyone in the group "phone" that has a number but only if they arn't in the group "not phone"

works a charm so i can keep those people i don't want to see in my list on the phone as well



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10.6: Address Book 'negative' groups can cause issues
Authored by: melodrama on Sep 06, '09 05:56:49AM

There is a much easier way to fix this bug. Stay in Snow Leopard, navigate to ~/Library/Application Support/Address Book and remove the AddressBook-V22.abcddb file. Then search in the MetaData subfolder for files that contain "smart" and delete the one that seems to refer to your Smart Group. Open Address Book and all should be fine. No need to restart. There are several posts on the Apple Discussions board that mention this solution.

The problem returned for me when I (foolishly) tried to recreate the Smart Folder, although the spinning beachball stopped after about 5 minutes. Returned if I tried to do anything, like delete the group again!



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10.6: Address Book 'negative' groups can cause issues
Authored by: Bing80 on Oct 24, '09 05:54:38AM

Thanks-a-billion for your addition to this hint, it solved my problem.
I didn't have a beachball, but AB's window didn't show up properly.

I just deleted the two files you mentioned and, "boom", I was back in business!

Also hope Apple will look into improving Smart Groups in AB, since I'm really getting used to it in iTunes, LanRev, Remote Desktop and such.



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10.6: Address Book 'negative' groups can cause issues
Authored by: horkstow on Sep 07, '09 03:30:16PM

I have no smart groups, but still had problems with Address Book after upgrade to SL. No content, just the group names. It would not import from either a Leopard address book backup, or exported vcards in Leopard. Nor would the fix in the AB Help work. I finally got it fixed by moving all the Address Book files from my old eMac running Tiger, and then manually updating the 30 or so entries that needed attention.



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10.6: Address Book 'negative' groups can cause issues
Authored by: johnkornet on Sep 10, '09 08:31:24AM

I have a no-group smart group that works in 10.6. When I open Address Book or click the no-group group, I do get an annoying 20-second beachball but then the proper contacts are shown. Is this perhaps a function of the size of the db (I only have 391 contacts)? Or maybe that I did installed on an erased drive and synced the contacts in from mobile me? Who knows, but mine works.



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10.6: Address Book 'negative' groups can cause issues
Authored by: sydneyshan on Sep 10, '09 07:09:06PM

Excellent article - thank you so much for sharing your solution. It has solved my problem with the spinning beach ball and 100% CPU usage on one CPU when launching any app that uses Address Book related functionality (Mail, Billings App, etc).



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10.6: Address Book 'negative' groups can cause issues
Authored by: GSD Mom on Dec 06, '09 11:23:26AM

The suggestion in some of the posts to do without Smart Groups in OS 10.6 felt like a huge step back.

I am club secretary for > 300 members in an Apple User Group in Naples, FL. Club officers rely heavily on Smart Groups in AB as we sort our club related contacts by dues expiration, internet provider, types of classes taken, membership status etc. It is normal for over 40 member vCards to be updated each month; we send the updated vCards to each other to have similar Address Books.

The source of the problem appears to be having a Smart Group selected in AB’s sidebar when trying to import.

Many thanks to dgkanter , the author of this Hint, for pointing us to Smart Groups as the offending bugger, but in our testing, it wasn’t just groups with a negative condition that caused our problems. (We tried removing all Smart Groups with a negative condition in AB and still had import hangups.)


We’ve found a work around that lets us continue our use of Smart Groups in OS 10.6.
1. Create a new group in AB that is not a Smart Group, such as “New Cards”
2. Select New Cards group in the AB sidebar.
3. Import your vCard(s) as you normally would.
4. You now have visual confirmation that your import took in the New Cards group; now delete the vCard(s) just from the New Cards group (“Remove from Group”) so as not to erroneously affect the number of vCards in your AB.
5. The imported card will now of course be found in All Contacts, but also will be properly sorted among your Smart Groups.


Now if we could just get the Last Import group to work properly under OS 10.6 so it will reset with every new import, instead of its current cumulative behavior for all imports since OS 10.6 was installed!



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10.6: Address Book 'negative' groups can cause issues
Authored by: matthewcmaddox on Dec 17, '09 12:43:18AM

This appears to have been fixed in 10.6.2.



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