Nightmare on Palm Street

Reading through Dayo’s recent experience with his Nokia 5800 reminds me of a couple of times I have been caught in a narrow track. The story I have for today is that of how I came close to bricking my old Palm Treo 700p in December 2007. Here’s the story:

700p-e61i1It was almost a nightmare. I had purchased a Treo 700p on the Reltel (now ZOOMmobile) network. On the 8th of December 2007, the adventurous me went visiting Palm’s mobile portal and checked out their software section. There, I was told to download the MyPalm software application if it was my first time downloading software from them. Of course, it was my first time, so I faithfully downloaded and transfered the installation file to my Treo 700p.

Trouble started when I initiated the installation procedure. The 700p simply reset and right after the Palm logo came up, it reset again, and continued that loop. I did a soft reset (silly, as if that wasn’t what the phone was already doing): nada. I removed the battery: nada. It just went on reseting itself in an unbroken loop.

Every phone user dreads this scenario. Every smartphone owner dreads it more particularly. It can mean the beginning of the end.

After about 15 minutes of unbroken reseting by the Treo 700p, I booted up my laptop and inserted the CD that came with the Treo’s sales box. There, I found a detailed manual (the paper manual contained only information about doing a system reset). On the CD manual, I found the following info:

System Reset
A system reset, also called a safe or warm reset, can be useful if your device loops or freezes during a soft reset. Performing a system reset allows you to get out of the loop and restores limited functionality to your device in order to uninstall a third-party application that’s causing the problem. Note that after a system reset, you must perform a soft reset to restore full functionality, including the wireless features, to your device.

1. Press the Battery Door Release button and slide the battery door downward to remove it from your Treo 700P smart device.
2. While pressing and holding Up on the 5-way navigator, use the tip of the stylus to gently press the reset button on the back of your device.
3. When the logo screen appears, release Up.
4. Delete the third-party application that you suspect is causing the problem.
5. Perform a soft reset.

I followed the steps successfully up to number 3, but I just could not find the offending MyPalm application under applications, and so could not delete it. Eventually, using a file manager I had installed earlier, I sniffed out the rogue application, did the soft reset (step 4), and my 700p was back in good shape.

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Phew!

Back then, I had just began my journey down Palm Street, and then this incidence almost truncated my nascent adventure. Thank God the nghtmare was over quickly!

Unfortunately, these encounters do not always have happy endings. Some months ago, I ran a firmware update on my Nokia E90 and bricked it. Solution: a 2-week trip to Nokia Care. But then, that story is for another day…

Mister Mobility

I started blogging about mobile in 2004 as a fun way to share my passion for gadgets and mobile services. My other interests include digital media, speaking and teaching, photography, travelling, and dancing.

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