Introduction

About one year ago I had the problem, that I could not restore my Sony PC Companion backup to my phone. Back then I was really frustrated, because I found no (free) solution to get to my phone book. After some research I found out, how the data is compressed, and I made a little program to decompress the data in a very simple way. With my solution you can extract data from Sony PC companion backup for free and the program works on all platforms. I for myself used it only to get my phone book, and this tutorial will be about how to get your phone book back, but in theory you can get back everything, if you know, where to search. The program won’t work if you encrypted your phone. If you want to get you messages back, take a look at this tutorial. If you want to do any of those I can help you via email.

My program got downloaded over 50.000 times and I got a lot of great responses, so chances this solution works for you, are rather high!
This tutorial is also available in German | Russian

Restore data in 12 easy steps

For this solution you need to install Java (RE)! Time estimation for the tutorial: 10 minutes

The program works on Windows, Mac and Linux, with this 12 step guide you will be able to restore your phone book, but you could use it for any other files too.

  1. Navigate to the folder your backup is saved to. By default your backup is saved to C:\Users\YourUserName\Documents\Sony\Sony PC Companion\Phone Backups
  2. You should find the backups with the file extension “.dbk”. Create a copy of your backup (ctrl+c, ctrl+v) just in case something goes wrong.
  3. The dbk extension is actually just a zip file, so you can just rename the file. If you see the .dbk extension in the file name you can skip this the step. Otherwise you have to disable a windows explorer feature. For that click in your opened window on organize -> Folder and search options and there switch to the tab View and disable the feature Hide extensions for  known file types.
    show guide to show file extensions in windows 7
    show file extensions in windows 7

    If you having this problem with an other version of windows just google “windows yourVersion show file extensions”.

  4. Rename your file copy to backup.zip (F2)
  5. Open your file (double click). If you have no program to open zips I highly recommend 7zip.
  6. Now you have to navigate to your contacts file. There are different folders for different android versions and phone models. Here is a list of possible locations:
    Applications\com.sonyericsson.android.contactsimpo
    Applications\com.sonyericsson.android.socialphonebook
    Applications\com.sonyericsson.android.contactsimport
    Applications\com.sonyericsson.localcontacts
    If none of these folders exist or has the wrong data, take a look at other folder in Applications\com.sonyericsson. If you find a new one please post a comment or send me an email.
  7. In the folder is a file called fullbackupdata. Copy this file to your desktop (Just drag&drop it there).
  8. Now download my program: Download (Alternative-Download)
  9. Extract”restoreData.jar” and also put it on the desktop.
  10. Almost there! Now double click on “restoreData.jar”. Within a few seconds a file with the name “restore.tar” should show up. If it doesn’t make sure that you have java installed and both files are in the same directory (e.g. desktop).
  11. Open the file with 7zip or a similar program.
  12. Now navigate through the folders until you find a folder with the name “f”. In this folder you should find a file named “full_backup_vcard.vcf“. This is the one you’re looking for. You can use this file to get your contacts on your phone again or you can also import them to your windows contacts. If you don’t find the file, go back to step 6 and try a different folder.

For all interested, the program is a fork of  Android Backup Extractor by Nikolay Elenkov. He actually did almost all work, I just added a few changes to make the program easier to use (for this particular problem). If you want to, you can download his program and compile it yourself, then you just have to fill in the needed arguments yourself.

Restoring encrypted files works, if they were password encrypted in android itself. If you set a password when creating the backup in Sony PC Companion, I sadly can’t help you (more information). For messages take a look at this tutorial.
I hope this program helped you. If so, I would be happy if you leave a comment or show your appreciation by clicking on the donate button. If you have any questions, leave a comment or write me an email. I’m also happy to hear from you, if you hadn’t had problems!

Join the Conversation

475 Comments

  1. PLEASE HELP — its really URGENT !!

    it opens only one contact in the “full_backup_vcard.vcf“ file.

    I have a Sony Xperia C6602 .

    Please Help

    1. Hello Digvijay,

      Are you sure it only contains one contact file. When you double click on the vcf file it will only show one contact, but when you interact with the window (either add contact or cancel) the next contact should pop up. You can Also open the file with a text editor (Notepad if you’re short of time, otherwise I suggest Notepad++) to see if there is only one contact.

      1. i found your way very helping and easy
        you are best in it while comparing to other methods

  2. Thanks Johannes.

    It first didn’t work because the java script correctly threw an exception: version 2 not supported. (experia z1, Sony PC companion backup)
    (run it at the command prompt to see the message)

    So I simply opened the fullbackupdata file with a hex/binary/text editor (textpad) and changed line 2 from “2” into “1”. Gave it a try.

    Now, the script produced the .tar file. When opened it did gave an error on one of its content files, but the other files were unharmed. Fine enough for me, I could read the notes.db file I needed (phone in repair).

    So, thanks again.

  3. After extracting restoreData.jar I could not find restore.jar file to create a .tar fromthe script.
    I’ve used 7zip to extract ( your active download file is blocked in Saudi Arabia where I stay) I have download it from other website.

    regards,

  4. Thank you for this program. İt would be better if u mention java_home environment for jre. But it worked great for me. THANKS again

  5. Hi. I renamed the .dbk file to .rar, I opened it, I have “com.sonyericsson.android.socialphonebook” folder, but there is no file called “fullbackupdata”. There are 12 files with nonsense names and beginning wit @, and one file without @. I opened it with Notepad, but it’s just the “CallLogList”. I need my contacts…

    1. Hey there,

      I’m not sure how you managed to open the zip file as a rar, is it really possible?!
      But to your question: Try to look in other folders, have you tried all of these:
      Applications\com.sonyericsson.android.contactsimpo
      Applications\com.sonyericsson.android.socialphonebook
      Applications\com.sonyericsson.android.contactsimport
      Applications\com.sonyericsson.localcontacts
      If not, do so, and if you can’t find a file and you are sure that you did include your contacts in the backup, then you can drop me an email (You can send me your backup, or I can help you via teamviewer).

      1. Hi ! I just renamed the Back Up file as .rar and opened it with WinRAR. There was only “Applications\com.sonyericsson.android.socialphonebook” folder, but a file with a name “fullbackupdata” was not present.
        Anyway, I added my Google profile, but there was no result. I mean – no contacts in the phonebook. Then I decided to remove the profile from the phone and tried many times to restore from the various Back Ups, that I made in the last year – Full Back Up, only contacts… but nothing happened. Only with my last (full) Back Up there was something interesting – my call list was restored and for a couple of seconds there were all the names of the contacts in the list, but then suddenly they were replaced with the numbers. And again no Contacts in the phone book – I had only my call list, SMS and pictures restored. But then I decided to add my Google profile again, I don’t know if I made something different this time – but after a couple of minutes all my contacts were there! I wonder now, if I should have made the Restore with my profile already added?
        Anyway, I am happy now. Thank you for the quick response and the willingness to help. I downloaded a program called “My Phone explorer” and exported the contacts as a .csv (which I can open with Excel) and as a . vcf (which I think I can import back again in case something goes wrong again)

        1. Hm, that is a pretty unsual way, but cool that you managed to find another way, and thanks for posting the solution, maybe somebody else can use it too, if my method doesn’t work for her or him 🙂

          I guess it doesn’t really make a difference whether you activated your account on your phone or not.
          What I would be interested in, is if you tried to find your contacts in gmail or not. Normally, if you have synchronization activated (which I hadn’t) you should find all contacts in gmail.

          1. Actually, I wasn’t sure if my Sync was on before I flashed my phone, luckily it was 🙂 I thought that having a Back Up is enough. But in my case – it didn’t help at all. I have another phone – Samsung Galaxy S2, and restoring it’s backups worked every time well. And I can also open the backup file with the contacts without having the phone – through the Samsung software on my PC. Not the same here – I can not open the .spb file using Sony PC Companion. I have no idea what software use the best Sony models (since I use primary my Samsung, and my Sony Xperia U as a 2-nd phone), but Samsung Kies is much more useful than Sony PC Companion.

  6. hi,

    i ve installed the java but still when i double clicked on restore.jar, the file restore.tar is not showing up. kindly help resolve this issue.

    1. Hey there,

      Well there can be a lot of possible Errors, try to use my program via the command line to get more feedback. Here is how you do it:
      Press windowskey + r, type “cmd” and then hit the enter key. Now the windows command line tool should pop up. there navigate to the folder where your files are. In case you stored them on the Desktop, you just have to type “cd Desktop”. There you then have to execute the file, you do it with this command: “java -jar restoreData.jar”
      If there is an error, you should get some information on where the problem lies.

      If that is too complicated for you, you can also send me the file, and I will get the data out for you 🙂 (My email is public@deml.io)

      1. Hi. I also do not get the restore.tar file. I am at a loss as to how I can get my contacts back (Sony Z1 compact). Please help.

        1. Hi there,

          Well with that much information I can’t really help you, but
          – You can send me your fullbackupdata file and I restore it for you
          – You can use the program with the console to get feedback on what went wrong and then post it here

          If you want to send the file to me my email address is public@deml.io

          1. I was using z1 compact now its in repair hence i was trying to get contacts from PC Companion backup i did all steps as per mentioned, I got a “restore.tar” file and open it with Win Zipper but i could not find subfolder F only folder i got is com.sonyericsson.localcontacts and now i am clue less what to do.Please help me with VCF file i am sharing my fullbackupdata with you on given Email ID.

          2. Hello Johann, I really need to get my contacts from my Xperia z , whose display is a lost cause. Can you please help me recovering the files? i did everything fine till step 8 or 9 but then couldn’t succeed in retrieving my contacts.