How to fix this annoying error which pops up randomly on some Android phones.
I have a friend who came over today with an Android phone which kept throwing up this error. I’d never seen it before so I was interested to know what caused it and how to fix it. A quick search threw up this page:
So the problem is more than likely some odd data (e.g. strange characters) in one of more contact or calendar entries.
Please don’t be alarmed by the length of this process: it isn’t that difficult, I’ve just tried to be explicit about the detail, although I can’t accept responsibility for any loss of data when following it.
NB: This process is written for a phone that hasn’t sync’d for some time (or at all) so the phone is the primary source of data and not the associated GMail account.
- On the phone: Export the data from the phone as it stands to a Micro SD card
- Move the files to a computer.
- On a computer:
- Import the contact and calendar entries into Gmail.com
- Look for the odd data and amend it.
- On the phone:
- Turn off contact and calendar sync
- Wipe the Phone contacts and calendar cache
- Re-sync it
1. Export the Data from the Phone
I found applications on the Android Market to export the contacts and calendar to .vcf and .ics files:
Contacts: You can use the native app (menu/Export) or one from the market:
I used Go Contacts
I used iCal Import/Export: give the export file a name (e.g. Calendar 20120108) select your Google calendar and export.
NB: if you have any data in ‘My Contacts’ or ‘My Calendar’ then it also needs exporting/importing as it will only be on the phone.
Once exported I found the files were in /mnt/sdcard/ so I used Astro File manager to move them to external_sd. Depending on your system you might not need to do this.
2. Move the files to a computer
I did this by emailing them to myself and saving attachments but you could also do it by plugging the phone in then in the status bar at the top, selecting “Usb Storage” and “Connect USB Storage”. This should work on PC and Mac.
3.1 Import the data into Gmail.com
Follow these directions to import the files
Be sure to import the calendar events into your main calendar (i.e. not UK holidays or anything).
Check the data is there: look for a recently added contact and event.
Once you’ve imported the contacts I recommend you search for and eradicate duplicates:
3.2 Search for and Amend the Odd Data
This step is going to be different for everyone but If you know of any contacts where you have used a lot of text in the notes field, someone with a huge profile picture or maybe calendar entries where you’ve copy/pasted directions from a website then I’d start there. Look for characters that aren’t a-z or 0-9 particularly accented letters or ‘strange looking’ characters.
If you can’t think of any entries like this then don’t worry: we’ll cover some alternative solutions below.
4.1 Turn off Contact and Calendar Sync
In Settings/Accounts and Sync/[your GMail account] turn off sync for contacts and calendar.
4.2 Wipe the Phone Contacts and Calendar Cache
1. Go to Settings/Applications/Manage Applications
2. Select the ‘All’ tab and select Contacts Storage
3. Click on Clear Data
Repeat for Calendar Storage
4.3 Re-sync the Phone
In Settings/Accounts and Sync/[your GMail account] turn on sync for calendar ONLY.
Wait until the sync has occurred and check that all appointments have been re-sync'd. Leave it for a bit to see if the original error re-occurs. This will establish if the error is with a calendar entry or a contact one.
When you are sure the calendar has sync’d and the error hasn’t been thrown then try syncing Contacts. If it throws the error now then you know it’s a contact that’s the problem.
Alternative Solutions for Re-Sync
Try only syncing some data e.g. only some contacts: in GMail you could move the majority to All Contacts (as only ‘My Contacts’ are sync’d) or export all from GMail to a local file as a backup then delete some (eg B onwards).
If you have any problems or questions please get in touch.