Recovery Toolbox for Address Book (Download) Recovering contact data from a corrupted *.wab file of the Windows Address Book is a step-by-step process. It is really important to closely follow the instructions on recovering corrupted files and stick to the sequence of steps during the recovery of a corrupted Windows Address Book file.

Using the Recovery Toolbox for Address Book Recovery tool to recover Windows Address Book contact data

The main steps of recovering a corrupted *.wab file:

  1. Selecting a corrupted *.wab file (a Windows Address Book file)
  2. Recovering the corrupted wab file of the Windows Address Book using the Recovery Toolbox for Address Book tool
  3. Viewing the recovered Windows Address Book data
  4. Saving the recovered Windows Address Book contacts
  5. Moving the saved contact data to a new Windows Address Book

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Step 1. Selecting the corrupted *.wab file (a Windows Address Book file) you want to recover

The Address Book Recovery tool recovers contact information from Windows Address Book files with the *.wab extension. After you start the program, take a look at the Source Windows Address Book file where the tool automatically enters the path to the *.wab file and the name of the *.wab file of the Windows Address Book (as shown in the picture). By default, it is the file that stores the current user's contact data. You can use the icon to change the path to the Windows Address Book file and select any other file for recovery (including a file that does not have the *.wab extension (see Note)).

Note: contact information can be stored in files with unusual extensions: wa~ or ~. The operating system creates these files as backup copies of the Windows Address Book and you can use them to recover contact information together with *.wab files.

Step 2. Recovering the corrupted *.wab file

There are two ways to quickly start recovering the Windows Address Book: by clicking the quick start Recovery Source File button on the toolbar of the program or by selecting the Action/Recovery item in the main menu. Right after that you will see a progress bar showing the process of recovering contacts from the corrupted Windows Address Book file. After that the Address Book recovery tool will display the list of recovered contacts in its window for viewing recovered contacts.

Note:
  • If you use the button or the Select Source File toolbar button to recover the corrupted file, the process will be started automatically after you click the Open button.
  • Recovery Toolbox for Address Book does not recover Digital IDs stored in the Windows Address Book.

Step 3. Viewing the recovered contact data

Recovery Toolbox for Address Book allows you to view contacts. Viewing contacts is similar to viewing contacts in the Windows Address Book. In addition to Windows Address Book columns, the window for viewing contacts in Recovery Toolbox for Address Book tool has the Creation Date column and a checkbox for selecting a contact is added to the Name column. Detailed information about a contact is displayed below the main list of contacts.

The + sign means that the contact was changed earlier. A click on the + sign opens a detailed list with previous states of the contact on certain dates. The Creation Date column displays the date when the contact was created.

The icon in the Name column marks contacts deleted from the Windows Address Book.

A checkbox before the Name column is used to select contacts that should be saved. There are two ways to do it: using the context menu or using the Action item in the main menu. Both ways will quickly help you select contacts that should be saved.

Step 4. Saving the recovered Windows Address Book contacts

Once recovered, contact data can be saved as Business Card files (vCard v2.1) with the *.vcf extension. If necessary, this data can be imported into programs supporting the PIM (Personal Information Manager) standard in the RFC 2426 format. Currently, most PIMs support exporting and importing in the RFC 2426 standard. The Recovery Toolbox for Address Book tool allows you to save all contacts in the list, the current contact or only the selected contacts. Click the Save Contacts(s) button. Select one of three variants in the popup window:

  1. Save checked records - save the selected contacts
  2. Save current record - save the current contact
  3. Save all records - save all recovered contacts

You will see a dialog box before contacts are saved. You should specify the folder to save the contact data to. By default, the contacts will be saved to files with names consisting of the contact's full names with the *.vcf extension (the vCard extension). If there is a file with the same name in the folder, a number in brackets will be added to the name of the file, for example: First Name Last Name [1].vcf - if it is the first file with the same name, First Name Last Name [2].vcf - if it is the second file, etc.

Note: the vCard v2.1 standard is not used to store information about NetMeeting and Digital IDs that is also stored in Windows Address Book contacts.

Step 5. Moving the saved contact data to a new Windows Address Book

Recovered and saved contacts can be added to the Windows Address Book one by one. To do it, just double-click a saved file and click the Add to Address Book button. To add a group of contacts to the Windows Address Book or to completely recover it, you should:

  1. Back up the *.wab file (copy the *.wab file of the Windows Address Book to a location you find convenient). Delete the corrupted *.wab file of the Windows Address Book from the folder where it is stored. Create a new Windows Address Book. Before you start creating it, close all programs using the Windows Address Book (Outlook Express, Microsoft Outlook, Address Book, etc.). After you delete the *.wab file, start the Windows Address Book application using the Start menu of your Windows operating system (select Start / All Programs / Accessories / Address Book). A new clean *.wab file of the Windows Address Book will be automatically created when you start the Windows Address Book application.
  2. Start the Windows Address Book and Windows Explorer at the same time.
  3. Select all recovered contact data in Windows Explorer. To do it, you should place the cursor on any file in the list of recovered contacts, press and hold down the Shift key and use the arrow keys to select the files with Windows Address Book contacts you need one by one. Or hold down the Ctrl key and select the contacts you need by clicking them.
  4. Capture the selected contacts using the left mouse button and drag them to the window with the new Windows Address Book. To do it, move the mouse pointer over any of the selected files and press the left mouse button. Holding down the left mouse button, move the mouse pointer to the window with the new Windows Address Book. Release the left mouse button.

Make sure that the recovered contacts are copied from Windows Explorer window to the list of contacts in the Windows Address Book.

Note: contact data are moved using the drag-and-drop method.

To copy a group of files at a time, we recommend that you open the Windows Address Book in the left part of the screen and Windows Explorer in the right part of the screen at the same time.

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