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BlackBerry® Bold™

New Member
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎07-26-2013
My Device: Bold
My Carrier: Verizon

Extracting contacts from an old .bbb file without overwriting contacts/calendar/etc currently on the BB



This is my first time posting here.  I'm trying to help my dad out with his BB.  About one year ago, my dad retired and his company's IT group backed up his data (produced a .bbb file), then wiped the phone clean.  He never got around to restoring the contacts from this bbb file into his phone.  So now he's operating in an unfortunate intermediate state of having manually entered ~100 contacts into his address book, modified his calendars and other personal data, but not having access to his ~3,000 contacts from before the clean-wipe of his BB.


So naturally he wants to merge the old ~3,000 contacts from his .bbb file with the ~100 contacts currently in his phone.


I don't want to just do a restore to the old .bbb file because he will lose his newly (manually) entered information (contacts, calendar, etc. -- right?).  Ideally, I'd like to pull out his 3,000 contacts from his .bbb file and merge them with his ~100 contacts currently in his BB. 


But after a few hours searching online, I have not figured out how to extract contacts from the old .bbb file.  I've tried using MagicBerry, but that program fails to read the .bbb file (this is unfortunate, because I've been able to generate a .bbb file for his current phone setup and extract contacts as csv from that using MagicBerry). 


For what it's worth, on a mac, I renamed his old .bbb file to .zip.  After unzipping, I find that the Databases/ folder contains 111 .dat files (but no .ipd file).  In principle one (or more) of these .dat files contains the contacts.  Is there a way to generate a .csv of contacts from the .dat file(s)?



So I'm open to any suggestions here.  Some thoughts I've had are:

1) merge the two .bbb files (but not sure what tool to use for this)

2) extract contacts from the old .bbb file (again, haven't found the right tool for that)

3) revert the phone to the state it was in ~1 year ago by doing a BB restore using the old .bbb file (but then I need a way to re-integrate the current data -- contacts, calendar, photos, etc) into the reverted version of the phone.)


I'm sure there are other options too.  Please let me know some suggestions.  Also I've assumed that a restore to a .bbb file will wipe out any existing contacts/calendar/etc, but if that's not true, let me know.


Thank you,


Hall of Famer II
Posts: 51,919
Registered: ‎11-28-2008
My Device: Z30/Z10/Q10 (, Playbook (
My Carrier: TMobile USA

Re: Extracting contacts from an old .bbb file without overwriting contacts/calendar/etc currently on the BB

Hi and Welcome to the Community!

The process I'd recommend is thus:

  1. Extract, from the old BBB file, the contacts to a CSV
  2. Import those into Outlook or some other compatible PIM
  3. Export, from the BB, the contacts to a CSV
  4. Import that CSV into Outlook
  5. Reconcile all of the data in Outlook
  6. Clear the Contacts database on the BB
  7. Configure for USB sync between Outlook and the BB


If Outlook or no other PIM is available, then the alternative is to merge the CSV's on the computer, and then reimport that into the BB (removing steps 2, 4, and 5, and doing this instead of step 7).


Now, to your issues with this...


For step 1, you may need to try a different BBB reader app...there are many, and each may have different capabilities. If it fails, the support resource is of course the developer of the BBB reader app you are attempting to use. Sorry, but never having to do what you need to do, I have no direct experience with any of them...but a few seconds searching with Google should provide you with several choices.


For step 3, you must use a PC...I don't believe there is a method via MAC.


Indeed, for all of this, if you can only use MAC, then we need to move this thread over to the MAC-specific board, as that's where you'll need to be asking for help.


Good luck and let us know!



Occam's Razor nearly always applies when troubleshooting technology issues!
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