Mac Contacts weirdness following Time Machine restore

One of the strange new entries polluting my address book. Click image for full-size version.

One of the strange new entries polluting my address book. Click image for full-size version.

Something weird is happening with my contacts list on my mac laptop and iPhone.

Background: Last week, my Macbook Pro’s hard drive crashed during a Snow Leopard install. The Apple Store replaced my drive, installed Snow Leopard, and told me to restore my data from my Time Machine backup. But Snow Leopard wouldn’t let me specify the correct Time Machine backup to restore from, so I had to bring it back to the Apple Store a total of three times (including my staying in the store for over seven hours to make sure my repair was handled correctly) to get them to restore my data. Yeah, the ordeal sucked, and deeply shook my confidence in Apple technology. Here are my tips to avoid a similar crisis.

What’s weird now: After this, my mac’s address book (“contacts” app on the iPhone) contained dozens of duplicate entries. I was able to merge these via the Card –> Look for Duplicates command on my laptop’s address book.

BUT…  I’ve discovered that dozens of new entries (maybe more than 100) have been mysteriously and inexplicably added to my database! Each of these are random collections of 10 or so e-mail addresses. (See picture) As far as I can tell, I have to delete these manually.

WTF? Has anyone else seen this happen? I’m hoping this is just some weird artifact from the grueling restore process, and that after I clean up the random e-mail entries the problem will go away. But it’s just weird…

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One thought on “Mac Contacts weirdness following Time Machine restore

  1. Amy, Something very similar happened to me. Took two days to fix. Luckily I sync Address Book with Google Contacts. I ended up with 9,000 contacts in Address Book. Finally reinstalled Snow Leopard, wiped Address Book (MobileMe and iPhone) clean and imported contacts from Google Contacts. All is fine now. I too could not import backups of the Address Book. And also because a new part (video card) was installed, Time Machine thinks it’s a enw computer and starts a new backup. I had 3 geniuses and a manager working on this but solved it myself with patience. There has to be a better way.

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