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  1. #1
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    Raw text message file format (from *.nbf) description?

    Hi everyone,

    I'm stuck with few backup files (*.NBF) created using Nokia 3720c which contain ~7000 text messages (SMS) altogether which I must extract somehow.
    I've discovered that NBF files are actually ZIP archives, so I was able to unpack them and locate messages inside predefmessages folder.
    But messages are in binary format which I'm not familiar with. I have investigated few of them byte by byte and I was able to extract phone number (unicode string starting at offset 0x5F) and message body (also unicode string, starting at offset: 0xF6 + value of byte at offset 0x07, first two bytes at that offset define length of the string). I just cannot extract date/time information. I suspect that it's located somewhere between offset 0xB0 and message body but I cannot find any useful data in that area (I've checked all datetime formats I know about: DATE, FILETIME, DOS date/time, time_t and time64_t but nothing useful came up).

    Is there anyone familiar with this format, or maybe there is some format specification online (I've googled, but found nothing)?

    thank's in advance!
    aleksandar
    Last edited by raleksandar; 2010-07-01 at 04:07. Reason: typos

  2. #2
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    Re: Raw text message file format (from *.nbf) description?

    Hi there, raleksandar

    The backup file has been created to be handled with special tools. Sometimes there is a need for getting into the content
    otherwise too. Please have a look at this thread, the last message might be helpful to you. What comes to the exact offsets
    and low level structure of the file I need to check what is the current policy for that information.

    http://discussions.europe.nokia.com/...lp/td-p/500992

    Best Regards,
    [FONT="Comic Sans MS"][COLOR="Blue"][/COLOR][I]Marko Lumivuori
    Technical Support
    +358 40 8019330
    [email]marko.lumivuori@nokia.com[/email][/I][/FONT]

  3. #3
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    Re: Raw text message file format (from *.nbf) description?

    hi Maveric,

    thank you for your reply. Unfortunately thread you gave me will not solve my problem. I don't have problem with restoring my contacts (I had them synced with outlook express) but with text messages, I've tried to write a tool to extract all information I need (phone number, date/time and message contents) but I failed to do so because I'm unfamiliar with file format.

    If you would be able to share any information about exact file format description I would be most thankful.

    best regards,
    aleksandar

  4. #4
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    Re: Raw text message file format (from *.nbf) description?

    hi raleksandar,

    i know this thread is quite old but i was wondering if you managed to solve your problem, as i have a 7210 supernova's backup files that i'm no more able to restore dued to a "no backup file" error...

    let me know something if it's possible.

    thanks!

    mm1.

  5. #5
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    Re: Raw text message file format (from *.nbf) description?

    hi emmeemmeuno,

    I dunno about 7210 and what backup format it uses, so I'm afraid I cannot help you..

    Regarding my problem with *.NBF files I've discovered that date and time information is stored in NBF file itself (not in message files as I first thought so) as ZIP date/time field for that file (NBF is actually a ZIP format).

    But my current problem is that long messages are split in two or more files (my guess is that one message file can contain 250 characters of message at most) and I don't know how to join them.

    I haven't had much time to investigate the problem and I haven't played with these files for a long time (somehow I can't get enough spare time) but I'm still hoping that someone who can help me will come at these forums and take a look at this thread.

    Once I gather all required information about message format I'll write a tool which can extract messages from NBF to some more convenient format.. I just hope that day will come

  6. #6
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    Re: Raw text message file format (from *.nbf) description?

    Quote Originally Posted by raleksandar View Post
    hi emmeemmeuno,

    I dunno about 7210 and what backup format it uses, so I'm afraid I cannot help you..
    i think it' s the same of yours 3720c.

    Quote Originally Posted by raleksandar View Post

    Once I gather all required information about message format I'll write a tool which can extract messages from NBF to some more convenient format.. I just hope that day will come
    well, i hope so!

    do you know if is there a better way of browsing through messages than a txt editor? maybe an hex one?

    cheers.

    mm1

  7. #7
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    Re: Raw text message file format (from *.nbf) description?

    Quote Originally Posted by emmeemmeuno View Post
    do you know if is there a better way of browsing through messages than a txt editor? maybe an hex one?
    I've used HexEdit to investigate message files, it's free so you can give it a try..

  8. #8
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    Re: Raw text message file format (from *.nbf) description?

    Quote Originally Posted by raleksandar View Post
    I have investigated few of them byte by byte and I was able to extract phone number (unicode string starting at offset 0x5F) and message body (also unicode string, starting at offset: 0xF6 + value of byte at offset 0x07, first two bytes at that offset define length of the string).
    Inspired by this, when I somehow deleted all my contacts trying to back up my Nokia C3-00, I found that my Sent text messages followed this format and was able to write a quick script to extract my contacts: https://gist.github.com/laughinghan/6861452

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