Workaround for “empty-contact-list” problem in Nokia PC Suite

I recently lost my good-old Nokia 6100 mobile phone. Luckily, my provider KPN gave me a new one for free, a Nokia 5500 Sport. After a few weeks I found my old phone and was very happy that I had my 150+ contacts back 🙂

The Nokia PC Suite software made it look like I could simply copy all the contacts, but unfortunately the Contact List for the 6100 model in my Nokia Phone Browser always shows up empty 🙁

However, I was able to make a Full Backup using the application. That yielded a .nbu file, which upon inspection held the contact details in VCARD format, but smeared together with lots of binary poop.

I created a webpage that will parse an .nbu file, and give back a zipped VCARD file containing all your contacts. You can then simply drag this into the Contact List of your new phone.

I have used this to export 219 contacts from my Nokia 5500 to an HTC Hero.
You need to install vCardIO, then simply copy the contacts.vcf into the root of the SD card and import all of them.

TODO: I need to add a X-IRMC-LUID property to avoid multiple additions…


  1. Dear Tienhuis,

    Thank you very very much for your nbu2vcf converter. You save me an overnight and I am happy again on my phone.:)

    I wish you a great family picknick or anything else you’d like to get.

    Best regrads,

  2. Its a fantastic solution I have a small problem phone Model Nokia 6270 has two name fields Firstname Lastname.

    Lots of Lastname are common due to this it seems. Duplicate vcf files getting created with the data pertaining to first in the list. Kindly help in solving this issue.

    Example :

    anand peter
    vivek peter
    norman peter

    it generates three peter.vcf in the output .zip file with anand peter content. Hope you understand my explanation

    Thanks & Regards,


  3. My NBU file is about 25 MB, is it possible to extract vcf files from your site.

  4. After several attempts of using various softwares, I had given up all hopes of recovering back my contacts untill I discovered his site. Guys, if you are looking out to convert your contacts from nbu to vcf…this is the ultimate site. Sincere thanks to Dick Visser, a genius, for creating such a great converter and also helping me convert a relatively huge nbu file of 25mb.Appreciate his assistance and prompt replies to my emails and helping me convert my nbu file succesfully. Great work. Way to go dude! Wish you success in everything you do. Good luck and God Bless.

  5. The best program i’ve found since norton commander!!
    I owe U, big time!

    saved me last 3 hours of sleep b4 work (already spend 4 trying to fix my n80)

    many many thanks

  6. btw – is there any way of loading text msg back onto mobile (i backed it up as contacts) but didnt got any back, fortunetly i’ve copied it to separate catalogue b4 whole update. but looks like drag and drop doesnt work in this case.

    thanks again anyway

  7. Many thanks to Dick Visser!
    This is the most helpful application I ever used online!

    thank you very much for all the help and special attention.

  8. You sir, are a legend. This did the trick of moving my contacts from an N70 to my new LG. Thanks!

  9. Hi Dick,

    Is there any chance I can convince you to share the code you use for this? I am trying to extract the sms’s from a backup of an old phone before I donate it to a friend in need…



  10. Tienhuis,

    You’re the greatest. I too have spent all day extracting my contacts so I could transfer them to another phone. Apart from all my bluetooth problems, this was a real mess as well, but this is a great solution. Thanks!

    de mazzel

  11. Hello Dick..i was just trying out your software to convert around’s still just uploading so i’m just waiting for that….in the mean time i was wondering if you could help me with extracting my calendar and sms as well…thank you let all of us using this solution by the way…Tc

  12. Thanks mate, you have saved me huge troubles with this as I had lost my phone. Thanks again, life saver

  13. Is it possible to recover vcf data for calendar?
    Please help me, even telling me how to modify the file (but if you have enough time and you want, you can do it yourself – bad english, sorry =_=)

  14. Hey man, Just flung a 50 meg .nbu file at yer site. Took nearly an hour to upload but it was well worth it. Many thanks, been trying for ages to extract the numbers from that fat .nbu.


  15. hmm think 288mb is a bit too much for your site… it just returns to the inital screen after a little while..

  16. Thanks a billion! I’ve been trying to move contacts from my Nokia 6500 to my Mac for a loooong time and this works just great! Thumbs up!

  17. Thank u very much , ive got all my contacts back.
    Can u please help me out in extracting all the note files from my nbu file . I really have some important files in them plzzzzzzzzzzzzz……

  18. I did another thing when moving contacts from one phone to another: Using PC Suite 7.0, opened Contacts Manager (or whatever it’s called in english), selected all, press Ctrl-C, opened Explorer, found a suitable directory, pressed Ctrl-V and voila, all my contacts as .vcf files !

  19. Appreciate the help… You saved me a lot of trouble… Thanks a bunch

  20. Just tried this but it doesnt work for me because my file is not an nbu file mine is a ngr file, im not sure if this is a new quirk with the nokia software or summat. have you got any ideas on how i can read an ngr file? any help will be apreciated as i had my phone stolen and ive got no way of getting all my contacts back i thought that once i had saved my contacts using the nokia suite then they would be easily accesible, how wrong i was its a bit naught of nokia to save them this way.

  21. OMG. i can’t believe i actually found a solution! do you have any idea for how long have i tortured myself with that? finally, i have All my contacts with full information. It even recovered the caller pics! for that, you have my eternal gratitude. Seriously, you’ve really done something important. So you can add Nokia N73 to the list of working phones and Pc Suite version

    Thank you!!

  22. thanks Ravi…you saved the day….had to copy more than 450 contacts…God bless you

  23. I want to copy texts to my pc from Nokia 6500 slide. PC Suite copies them but not with the message wording. Older versions copy the message text but not the new one. Can anyone help please?

  24. heyy dude..

    quite very effective software…..

    but my problem is that i’m having all the contacts with me in .vcf format and want to convert them either in .svc or .tab format so that can be copied in the lg cell…

    can yuu please help me out in d same ?????

  25. This was an absolute LIFE SAVER!! I sent my E71 for repair, when I got it back Nokia PC Suite would not restore my contacts list!!
    Using this website got 350 contacts back and it took less than 5 mins!

  26. Hi Dyonisius Visser,
    I was digging through the whole net to crack the nbu file and you have done it thru your site and PHP pgm. Hat off to you.Thank you very much.I could extract my 280 contact i was feared of lost after a firmware upgrade.Thank you very much.

  27. HI.
    I uploaded a 192mb file but the site has not returned any zip.
    Kindly advice

  28. Have a nokia 6500 classic – when I select “Move Contacts” from Phone to Sim it tells me there are 657 contacts (which is correct). The message then asks “Are you sure?”. When I select yes, it then tells me that my phone contacts is empty. I know it is not! I am desperate to retrive the numbers from this phone? Any ideas please?

  29. bonjour,
    a propos de votre page web qui consiste a transformer un fichier vcf a partir d’un nbu je me demandais si vous n’aviez pas une page web qui ferait aussi le contraire car je dois faire passer mes contacts d’un htc a un nokia 6500c

  30. bonjour,
    a propos de votre site web qui consiste a transformer un nbu en vcf je me demandais si vous n’aviez pas une autre page qui ferait le contraire aussi

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