Backing Up Phonebook and Calender from Phones Not Supported by PC Suite


Restoring all your contacts and calendar birthday/anniversary entries after losing your cellphone or complete phonebook is such a pain in the neck. Who would not want to save himself from the pain of messaging the sender of every SMS you receive saying “May i know who is this? I lost my cellphone/I lost all my contacts?”.

If your phone is hi-fi ( read supported by PC Suite Softwares ), then you may back up your phonebook through it.

But what if your phone is one of the ‘sasta, sundar, tikau’ (inexpensive, beautiful and durable) Nokia phones (or any other brand for that matter), like mine. Here is an easy method to back up your phonebook even from models not supported by PC Suite Softwares.

We use Linux operating system and Gnokii software. (Although gnokii is also available for windows, but i haven’t tried that one yet.)

Gnokii has options for managing various features of your phone. Here only backing up and restoring contacts and calendar are described.
The list of supported cellphone models and the corresponding datacable models can be found here.

All you need is a data cable for your phone, Linux Operating system (I have given commands for Ubuntu and Fedora here, others are similar).

If you don’t have Gnokii Installed, you will need an internet connection.

You can install gnokii in Ubuntu by typing
saurabh@morpheus:~$ sudo apt-get install gnokii

and in fedora by typing
saurabh@morpheus:~$ yum install gnokii

Now copy the sample configuration file ‘/etc/gnokiirc’ to your home folder as ‘.gnokiirc’.
saurabh@morpheus:~$ cp /etc/gnokiirc ~/.gnokiirc

Open the file in gedit or vim and change the value of the three variables (port, model and connection) in the [global] section of the .gnokiirc file.
For my phone (Nokia 2626) these settings worked.

port = /dev/ttyUSB0
model = 6510
connection = serial

You can check out the settings for your phone model here.

To Back up Your phonebook in VCARD format (into the file myphonebook.vcard)

saurabh@morpheus:~$ gnokii --getphonebook -v ME 1 end > myphonebook.vcard

P.S.: This does not delete any contact from your phone.

To Restore your contacts back to the phone from the VCARD file.

saurabh@morpheus:~$ cat myphonebook.vcard | gnokii --writephonebook -m ME

Similarly to backup Calender

saurabh@morpheus:~$ gnokii --getcalendarnote 1 end -v > mycal.vcal

To Restore your calendar

saurabh@morpheus:~$ gnokii -writecalendarnote mycal.vcal 1 end

Now, Wasn’t that simple? :)