I had to do a factory reset tonight. After doing so i lost almost all my contacts. Apparently they didn't get saved to my SD card. I tried to do a import to no avail. It gives me 2 options either gmail, i have no contacts, or phone. I chose phone it starts importing but won't import all of them just a handful.
Sorry to hear the troubles! Do you have any other source that has your contacts such as an older phone? If you do, you could always visit a store and have the data transferred that way.
I'm sorry you're having issues, in addition to what William posted, have you actually logged into your Gmail account to see if there's any contacts linked to your Gmail account? I had a customer once who had their contacts saved in a different sub group under Gmail and they didn't actually sync back to the phone until we moved them into a different group.
Contacts on Android don't backup to the SD card, they backup to Gmail, in the cloud. You can smash your phone on the ground, flush it down the toilet, get robbed, etc, then go buy a new Android phone, sign in, and there are your contacts, none lost.
Associate your Gmail account with the phone and it should take care of things once you've had a data connection for long enough (try getting on your home wifi to speed things up).
Does is strictly have to be a gmail account or can it be a generic google account? All my contacts are stored in a google account, but when I bought the phone I was told I had to have gmail, and now that is causing problems with syncing as well as some apps being tied to gmail. I can't delete that account without doing a factory reset. Will I be able to run my phone off a google account without gmail?
I believe that for regular Google accounts you can just activate your email portion of the account to turn it into a Gmail account. I could be wrong but if I remember correctly Google had just regular Google accounts before they introduced Gmail but after introducing Gmail they made the services the same and merged existing Google accounts with Gmail services which just needed to be activated.
The good news is that Android phones are very easy to back up any information you could possibly want if you do choose to reset your phone and change the Gmail account associated with the phone; you can back up your contacts, applications, text messages, etc. to your SD card and then import it back to your phone once it's been reset.