How to retrieve precious text messages from Nokia 2610?
February 17, 2011 1:22 PM   Subscribe

Need to somehow retrieve SMS text messages from old, low-end Nokia 2610 cellphone. Please, someone save me from hours of mind-numbing thumbery. Details, including things I've tried, follow.

I am getting rid of an old, cheapo cellphone. However, I have about 120 texts on it that I need to keep. Trying to manually retype each one, with the date and time, has proven to be horribly time-consuming and tedious.

* Nokia 2610 candy-bar-style cellphone
* Dell Mini-10 netbook with updated Windows XP
* A cable, labeled CA-45. One end plugs into the USB slot on my computer; the other end terminates in a very tiny plug that fits into the port at the bottom of the phone.

Trial version of Oxygen Phone Manager
Trial version of Logomanager Pro Suite
A USB driver from Prolific Technologies, Inc. (The driver is recommended along with the cable on this page: . It is the one under "CA-45 USB Data Cable For Nokia" )

I haven't been able to get the computer or the software to recognize the phone.

Has anyone successfully been able to do this? Or have any suggestions? Holy cow, I would be so grateful.

- aj
posted by Alaska Jack to Computers & Internet (17 answers total)
Are you still connected to a network on the phone? Could you forward all the messages to Google Voice or something like that?
posted by selfnoise at 1:28 PM on February 17, 2011

What network is it on? Can you go into one of their stores and see if they can help you transfer what's on the old phone to your new phone?
posted by needs more cowbell at 1:36 PM on February 17, 2011

Does it have a SIM card? If it does you could get a sim card reader; or put it into another phone with bluetooth.
posted by a womble is an active kind of sloth at 1:37 PM on February 17, 2011

If all else fails, mail me the phone and I'll do it for you. :)
posted by Night_owl at 1:38 PM on February 17, 2011 [1 favorite]

Do you know if the cable (which presumably contains a USB-to-serial bridge) is recognized by the driver? If so (if it's the Phone Manager etc. part that's the problem) then you can probably extract the SMS messages by copy&pasting the proper commands (TSĀ 27.007 AT-style commands) into a terminal emulator. If not (if it's the serial connection that's the problem) then I'd try it an another computer to see.

In some cases the messages are stored on the SIM (AIUI, the older and simpler the phone, the more likely it uses the SIM for this instead of its own storage); SIM readers are cheap, and (although I haven't tried this) I assume they would allow retrieval of the text messages along with the phonebook and so on.
posted by hattifattener at 1:39 PM on February 17, 2011

Check out BitPim. They don't have anything in the docs about Nokia phones, but since it comes with a USB cable there's a decent chance you'll at least be able to connect to the phone.
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 1:40 PM on February 17, 2011

Did you try the official Nokia PC Suite?
posted by deezil at 1:41 PM on February 17, 2011

Find a friend who runs Linux, and ask them to retrieve the data using Gnokii.
posted by straw at 1:46 PM on February 17, 2011

Nokia GSM phones support the AT command set so you should be able to download your SMS with BitPim as Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug suggested. I've had a lot of bad lock buying generic CA-42 cables on eBay - actually both of the ones I've bought haven't worked correctly but the ($30) Nokia branded one did.
posted by ChrisHartley at 1:47 PM on February 17, 2011

Response by poster: Wow, lots of answers already! I'm at work now, but I can't wait to get home and try some of this stuff.

1. I thought about forwarding the message. The problem is, I lose the original date/time.

2. The network is an AT&T pay-as-you-go thing. I guess I could find an AT&T store here and ask them. That hadn't occured to me, frankly.

3. The SIM card thing is really interesting. Hang on, I have the phone with me, let me check ... Damn. The texts don't seem to be stored on the SIM card, and with this phone, there doesn't seem to be any way to transfer them to the sim card either. Rats.

4. hattifattener: The cable does seem to be recognized, now that I've installed the driver. But I have no idea what terminal commands to use.

5. Will try BitPim tonight and report back.

6. The official Nokia PC Suite does not support the 2610. I will give it a try tonight, however.

7. straw: Hey, I have a laptop at home running Xubuntu. Gnokii, hm? That is VERY interesting. Will be giving that a try tonight as well.

OK, you've given me a lot of leads. Will tackle this again tonight!

- aj
posted by Alaska Jack at 2:25 PM on February 17, 2011

Do you need them in text form? If not, you could take a picture of each message.
posted by zippy at 2:31 PM on February 17, 2011

If BitPim, Gnokii, or whatever don't work, then post here and I'll dig up a summary of how to use the 27.007 commands to retrieve texts.
posted by hattifattener at 2:37 PM on February 17, 2011

Response by poster: ok. thanks hattifattener!

zippy - that's a funny and clever solution, but yes, I need them in text form. +1 for good idea, though.

- aj
posted by Alaska Jack at 3:22 PM on February 17, 2011

Following up on zippy's suggestion, how about taking the pictures and running them through some freeware OCR program?
posted by codswallop at 8:45 PM on February 17, 2011

Seconding BitPim. You may need to download a driver specific to your phone, but the BitPim site can point you in the right direction.

Verizon wanted $40 or more for a cable and software.

I bought a cable for about a dollar, online and downloaded BitPim.
posted by Xoebe at 1:45 PM on February 18, 2011

Response by poster: Hi everyone, original poster here. I was all fired up to try these things last night, but got tied up and didn't get home until 10:30. Same with tonight. But I will tackle this stuff tomorrow morning and report back.

Thanks everybody!

- aj
posted by Alaska Jack at 5:37 PM on February 18, 2011

Response by poster: OK, many apologies for the delay. Real life intervened.

Anyway, SUCCESS. Although I did go the commercial route.

A bunch of people above gave great ideas. So I sat down with my computer and the phone and got ready to dive in. Then, as I was reviewing my options, I saw something I hadn't noticed before: On one of the forums I checked, one of the commenters said that LogoManager had worked for them, only after they uninstalled some similar software they'd previously installed.

If you remember from my initial post, I had installed Oxygen Phone Manager, which didn't work, then LogoManager, which also didn't work.

So I started things off by simply uninstalling Oxygen, and trying LogoManager again. I totally didn't expect this to work, but, BAM. There were all my text messages.

To export the messages, I did have to download the non-free version of one of the LogoManager Suite's components, which set me back $28. But at that point I was happy to do it.

THANK YOU so much, all the above, for offering ideas.
posted by Alaska Jack at 4:43 PM on February 23, 2011

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