The tool in this article, CSV2IPD, reads text messages from CSV files and generates an IPD file that can be imported to Blackberry devices by Blackberry Desktop Software for devices running Blackberry OS 7 and older, or Blackberry Link for devices running Blackberry OS 10.
UPDATE (8 October 2014): I received a few comments from several readers stating that, although Blackberry Link recognized the IPD file as a legacy backup file and seemed to restore the messages successfully, no messages actually appeared on the device.
At first I suspected issues with the IPD file format generated by the CSV2IPD tool or some settings on the devices which delete old message, which turned out not to be the case.
After further research I found a hint here which pointed to a KB article by RIM describing the issue, KB34963 (SMS text messages from a BlackBerry smartphone running BlackBerry Device Software 4.5 to 5.0 or BlackBerry 6 to 7.1 are not migrated to the BlackBerry 10 smartphone). Although the English KB article has since been removed, I managed to locate a French version of the article, cached by Google. After reading the French KB, it seems that the problem is due to a Blackberry Link bug which results in all text messages not restored if an area code is not set on the OS 10 device. The solution to this is to set an area code, even if you do not use one, using the following steps:
1. On the Home screen, tap the Phone icon.
2. Slide your finger from top to bottom of the screen.
3. Select Settings > Smart Dialing.
4. Enter a three-digit area code (e.g. 214).
5. Select the Back button to save the changes.
With the area code set, the restore of the text messages should be successful and all messages in the IPD file should appear on the device. If you have a lot of messages, it may take a few minutes for the text messages application to update the message list – so be patient.
If the area code does not appear to be saved, select a country (e.g. United States) that is known to have different area codes for different cities. Blackberry OS 10 devices keep a list of countries that do not have area codes (e.g. Singapore) and will not save the area code settings if a country in the list is selected. After the SMS restore is completed, you can always set back the correct values.
With this workaround, all text messages from the IPD file generated by the CSV2IPD tool (and from the official Blackberry Desktop Software application) will be restored successfully on to the device. The format of the generated IPD file remains unchanged and compatible with Blackberry Desktop Software and other IPD utilities.
Take note that this issue only affects text messages restored from an IPD backup file while messages from a BBB backup file (newer format supported by Blackberry Link) are not affected. Hence the above workaround will not be necessary to restore messages from a backup file created by Blackberry Link, which is in the new BBB format, or for users using Blackberry OS 7 or older.
- 8 Feb 2015: Fix a bug where CSV2IPD would sometimes fail to generate the IPD file due to folder location issues. Fix some library issues and CSV2IPD now requires .NET framework 3.5 to run properly. Also apply some minor UI changes with better wording to make it easier to understand.
- 24 Mar 2012: Add text fields to allow users to specify a custom date format to be used for conversion. The format must be useable by .NET’s DateTime.ParseExact function, refer to this for details.
- 20 Jan 2012: Better support for Unicode characters. Sample CSV files with Unicode messages in various languages are included in the download. CSV2IPD will also report the number of successfully imported messages at the end of the conversion, not just the number of invalid records.
- 18 Nov 2011: Use .NET DateTime class instead VB6 CDate function to parse date strings (which may fail on non-English systems). Also added a log file (CSV2IPD.log) that can be used for debugging.
- 7 May 2011: Following a request from a reader, the program has been updated to handle CSV more robustly, supporting multi-line messages and messages having semicolons. It also reports the number of invalid records in the CSV file after the conversions. The source code and binary files have been updated.
- 1 Oct 2010: First release
Following my previous post on a Windows Mobile tool called SMS2IPD that would run on a Windows Mobile device and creates and IPD backup of all the SMS that can be restored to a Blackberry device via Blackberry Desktop Manager, a German reader contacted me asking how he could do the same for his Nokia phone.
Being no Symbian expert who could write a similiar tool running on Symbian phone, I advised him to use Nokia PC Suite to create a CSV backup of all his SMS. After that, I have written a tool that will generate an IPD backup from the CSV files.
The tool, CSV2IPD
The program, called CSV2IPD, accepts 2 CSV input files for Incoming SMS and Outgoing SMS, as demonstrated in the following screenshot:
The CSV for Inbox looks like:
sms;deliver;"+987654321";"";"";"2010.08.25 15:14";"";"Message 1"
sms;deliver;"+123456789";"";"";"2010.08.25 15:15";"";"Message 2"
sms;deliver;"+111111111";"";"";"2010.08.25 15:17";"";"Message 3"
The CSV for Sent Items looks like:
sms;submit;"";"+0123456789";"";"2010.08.25 15:15";"";"Hello world 1."
sms;submit;"";"+0123456789";"";"2010.08.25 15:16";"";"Hello world 2."
sms;submit;"";"+0123456789";"";"2010.08.25 15:17";"";"Hello world 3."
If your exported CSV file via Nokia PC Suite does not look exactly as above, you can use a text editor tool such as Notepad++ then use Find/Replace, perhaps with the help of regular expressions, to modify it. Make sure you do not have extra quotation marks at the beginning and the end of each line. If the delimiter is comma and not semicolon, use CSVEd to change it.
Finally, if your time column is in a different format, try to change the Date Format string. The format should follow the date/time format used by .NET framework. Refer to this article for details on the specifications.
Take note that the generated IPD file has only been tested on Windows and may not work on the Mac version of Blackberry Desktop Software due to file format differences. Unicode text messages are supported, just make sure that your CSV files are saved using UTF8 encoding. As always, remember to backup all data on your phone prior to proceeding.
For those who are interested, MagicBerry is a good utility to explore, split, merge or extract information from the IPD backup file. ipddump is an open-source Java-based tool that can also do the same for IPD files. To extract data from the newer BBB file format generated by Blackberry Link, you will need a paid tool such as Blackberry Backup Extractor.