Many people have visited my iPhone Lost Contacts post (5 solutions to the problem) from a few months ago. Apparently everyone still has iPhone issues.
A recent visitor (thanks garykob!) to the site posted a possible “Solution #6” that involves Windows XP and leverages the Windows Address Book. You can see his solution on the Apple Support Forums, or you can follow his steps below.
As a note, I believe this only worked because at some point, the contacts were stored in Windows Address Book. It’s very likely that your contacts might be there, and you may not even know it:
- iTunes -> Devices -> My phone -> Summary Tab -> change [ ] Back up to iCloud to [x] Back up to this computer
- iTunes -> Devices -> My phone -> Info Tab -> [x] Sync contacts with Windows address book -> Apply/Sync -> Success!
The discoverer of this fix says that Windows address book was never synced to, and this worked. Again, I expect at some point something sync’d with Windows address book (and the fix isn’t complete).
Please let me know how it works for you!