Thursday, September 16, 2004

Killing my Palm m505.

The real reason for this post is to document how to do a hard reset on a Palm m505. I always have trouble with this, even finding documentation on it, so now that I know--for the third time--I'm putting it here to make it easier for me to find.

Before doing all this, I swiped the memory card from our camera and stuck it in the Palm to make a backup.
  1. Put a pointy object into the reset hole in back and release.
  2. Hold down the power button as the palm is rebooting.
  3. When the "Palm powered" logo comes up, release the power button.
  4. It then gives you the option to erase its memory.
I used this thing for ages without ever using the USB cradle that came with it for anything other than charging. I got a serial connector just to do backups because I didn't have a USB port. I didn't sync with any desktop software either; I'd just copy everything out of the device once a week.

Then, when I got this new Mac, I thought I'd try actually syncing it with desktop applications. I noticed quickly that I couldn't get any computer to recognize it. Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X all acted like it didn't exist. Since the serial connection worked, I concluded that it was a problem with the cradle.

I got a used cradle from Amazon. Same problem. I finally did some research. I found this from 2002 saying that it's a common problem, and customers are getting screwed.

I found this which suggested draining the battery and a hard reset took care of the problem. So that's what I'm doing now. I set the auto-off timeout to its highest value (three minutes). Every so often I turn it on with the night light, and I poke it when I remember so it won't fall asleep.

I tried putting a clip on one of the face buttons, and it sat and spun on that for a few minutes. Then it figured it out and went back to sleep.

Poking it over and over on my long drive to work got me most of the way there. After it appeared to give up, I gave it another poke in the reset button, and it came back. Apparently, when it gets low enough, it has power but refuses to turn on. Pushing reset is the only way to get it to make it use up its reserves. I'm not sure that's necessary for my "fix," but I'm continuing to torture this little device all the same.
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