I thought Apple might have sent a special, covert signal to my Treo 650 to kill it. It was quite suspicious that the phone function stopped working a few days before the launch of the iPhone. Conspiracy theories aside, everything worked fine on my Treo except for the phone. I could not make outgoing calls; incoming calls would ring through, but attempting to answer them would cause the phone to reboot.

Soft resets did nothing to remedy the problem. I contemplated calling Palm support, but I thought I would try a hard reset first. The short story is that the hard reset worked and restored my phone to working order. If you are interested in the long story, keep reading.

Palm’s site offers the hard reset as a solution of last resort for several problems. They also warn that the hard reset will wipe out ALL of the data on the handheld device. This sounds scary, but if your device is synced to your PC, you’re probably going to get it all back with minimal effort.

What follows is a step by step of what I did to get my phone working again and get my data back. Most of my preferences came back as did the third party applications that were installed on the Treo before the reset. Bluetooth device parings did not survive the reset. If you have any such devices, you’ll need to re-pair them.

Before we get started here, you should know that I’m working on a Mac PowerBook G4 with OS 10.3.9. I use Apple’s Address Book and iCal applications rather than Palm Desktop.

  1. Back up Address Book and iCal calendars to files. This might be overkill. But, the peace of mind is worth the two minutes of effort.
  2. Reconfigure all conduits so that the PC overwrites the handheld. This is important, if the conduits are set to sync, you might loose data on your PC as well. I also made this the default in case multiple Hotsyncs were needed (they were).
  3. Turn off the backup conduit.
  4. Perform a hard reset on the Treo as described on Palm’s website.
  5. * Perform a Hotsync using the USB cable. Allow the USB cable to loosen from the Treo so the Hotsync fails. This is a joke of course, make sure the USB cable stays firmly attached during this Hotsync.
  6. * Perform another Hotsync. It will fail for no apparent reason.
  7. * Perform yet another Hotsync. The third time is the charm.
  8. Set the conduits back to synchronize and turn the backup conduit back on.
  9. Hotsync again to make sure everything is working and the Treo is being backed up to the PC.
  10. Re-pair bluetooth devices.

* The multiple Hotsyncs should not be necessary. My game plan was to Hotsync until a Hotsync completed without errors. Your mileage may vary.

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