FAQ: How to Reset Your Palm Handheld

Discussion in 'Palm' started by Steve T, Dec 21, 2001.

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  1. Steve T

    Steve T Mobile Deity

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    All handhelds can be reset in several different ways:

    Soft Reset

    A soft reset tells your handheld to stop what it's doing and start over again. All records and entries stored in your handheld are retained with a soft reset. After a soft reset, the Welcome screen appears, followed by the General Preferences screen.

    Use the reset tip tool (see below), or the tip of an unfolded paper clip (or similar object without a sharp tip), to gently press the reset button inside the hole on the back panel of your handheld.

    Reset Tip Tool: On most PalmOS handhelds, the stylus that comes with your handheld has a reset tip inside. To use it, unscrew the barrel from the stylus quill.

    Double-Soft Reset

    If your device doesn't seem to want to power up after a soft reset, and you've checked the other obvious solutions (fresh batteries, power button, contrast wheel, contrast button) you may want to try the 'Double-Soft Reset'. Simply perform a soft reset as directed above, but press the reset button twice in quick succession.


    Warm Reset

    A warm reset bypasses any system extensions (such as HackMaster hacks, OS patches, Alarm settings, etc) that are loaded on your handheld. Sometimes a damaged third-party application will try to respond to a reset but will fail and cause the handheld to 'hang'. Using a warm reset, you can start the handheld, then delete the damaged application before it has a chance to try to run again. After deleting the application, follow with a soft reset to start up the handheld normally.

    To perform a warm reset:

    1. Press and hold the upper half of the scroll button on your handheld.
    2. Using the reset tip tool (or a similar object without a sharp tip), gently press the reset button inside the hole on the back panel of your handheld.
    3. When the Palm Computing Platform logo appears on the screen, release the scroll button.

    If you're not sure which application is damaged, you can use a tool like ResetEmu in conjunction with a warm reset to help pinpoint the offending application.

    Hard Reset

    With a hard reset, all records and entries stored in your handheld are erased, except for the default or specimen databases predefined by the manufacturer (but see Extended Hard Reset below). Formats Preferences and other settings are restored to their factory default settings. You can restore any data previously synchronized with your computer during the next HotSync operation. If you're running OS 3.1 or earlier, and you're not using a third-party backup utility like BackupBuddy, you may need to reinstall your third-party applications.

    Never perform a hard reset unless a soft or warm reset does not solve your problem.

    To perform a hard reset:

    1. Hold down the power button on the front panel of the handheld.
    2. While holding down the power button, use the reset tip tool (or similar object without a sharp tip), to gently press the reset button inside the hole on the back panel of your handheld.
    3. Release the reset button.
    4. When the logo screen appears on the screen, release the power button.
    5. When the message appears on the handheld screen warning that you are about to erase all the data stored on your handheld, press the upper half of the scroll button on the front panel of the handheld to complete the hard reset and display the Digitizer screen.
    Pressing any other button instead of the upper half of the scroll button will perform a soft reset.

    Extended Hard Reset

    An Extended Hard Reset will completely erase your handheld, and will also bypass the creation of some default databases.

    This differs from a normal hard reset, which will automatically create the databases for the built-in applications, and will insert some specimen records into those databases: numbers for Accessories and Technical Support will be created in your Address database, a registration reminder will be created in your ToDo database, and several helpful memos will be created in your Memo database.

    In addition, a normal hard reset will also create a Network database with some default Network profiles for your Network panel in Prefs, and a file of several default MIDI alarm sounds will be created.

    If you have the Notepad application, a normal hard reset ensures a sample note will appear on your NotePad, and if you have the Mail application, an email message from 'Mail Help' will be automatically inserted in your handheld Inbox.

    An Extended Hard Reset will ensure that all of these startup files are not created.

    If you decide to perform an Extended Hard Reset and install one or more third-party applications that expect to see the built-in databases present, you may encounter an error. For this reason, it's suggested that after an Extended Hard Reset, you run each of the built-in applications (Datebook, Address, ToDo, Memo, and if installed, NotePad and Mail) at least once to ensure empty built-in databases are created.

    After an Extended Hard Reset, you will not be able to select alternate alarm sounds for Datebook alarms, but the default alarm sound will still be heard for appointments with alarms set.

    To perform an Extended Hard Reset:

    1. Hold down the power button on the front panel of the handheld.
    2. While holding down the power button, use the reset tip tool (or similar object without a sharp tip), to gently press the reset button inside the hole on the back panel of your handheld.
    3. Release the reset button.
    4. When the logo screen appears on the screen, release the power button.
    5. When the message appears on the handheld screen warning that you are about to erase all the data stored on your handheld, press and hold the upper half of the scroll button on the front panel of the handheld.
    6. While still holding down the scroll button, press, in any order, the Datebook button, the Address button, the ToDo button, and the Note/Memo button.
    7. Release the scroll button, to to complete the hard reset and display the Digitizer screen.
    Pressing some but not all the buttons while holding the scroll key will result in a normal soft reset. Pressing no buttons while holding the scroll key will result in a normal hard reset.


    Zero Out Reset

    On devices with non-volatile memory such as the Tungsten T5 and Treo 650, it's possible that a low level utility can still recover information from the device memory even after a hard reset. To ensure the device's memory is completely erased before you send it in for repairs, sell it, or otherwise pass it on to others, you should perform a Zero Out Reset.

    The hardware procedure is complex but works for both Tungsten T5 and Treo 650 and is documented here as 'Method Two': Resetting your device (zero out reset)

    The much simpler software procedure (Method One) only works for the Tungsten T5: simply ensure that you have assigned a password to the Tungsten T5 under Prefs, General, Security, and then do a Hard Reset as desrcribed above. This will automatically format the memory (i.e. perform a Zero Out Reset)

    Users of the Treo 650 must use the Method Two (the hardware procedure) if they want to perform a Zero Out Reset.

    Secure Erase

    On devices with hard disks such as the LifeDrive, you're provided two options during a hard reset: Quick Erase and Secure Erase. As it's possible that a third party can can still recover information from the disk after a Quick Erase, you should perform a Secure Erase to ensure the device's hard disk is completely erased before you send it in for repairs, sell it, or otherwise pass it on to others.

    A Quick Erase takes about five minutes, and a Secure Erase can take twenty minutes. Note that if your handheld has a password assigned, you are only provided the Secure Erase option.

    1. Slide the power switch to the right and hold it in that position.
    2. While holding the switch to the right, use the tip of the stylus (or a similar object without a sharp tip) to gently press and release the reset button on the bottom of your device.
    3. Wait for the reset screen to appear, and then release the power switch.
    4. On the reset screen, press Up to perform a Quick Erase, or Down to perform a Secure Erase.
    5. During the reset process, a status screen appears with the words "Quick Erase" or "Secure Erase" and a progress bar, followed by screens showing the palmOne, Palm Powered and LifeDrive logos.
    6. Then you will be prompted to tap the screen to align the digitizer and select the language you want to use on your device. A screen appears showing the palmOne logo and a progress bar.
    7. When the "Welcome: Setup your device" screen appears, the hard reset is complete. Follow the onscreen instructions to set up your device.

    FlashPro Reset

    On machines that have FlashPro (a third-party enhancement that provides user-access to free Flash memory) it is possible that moving a corrupted application into Flash will prevent the unit from responding to any of the three normal resets.

    The makers of FlashPro have provided for an additional reset procedure that will reformat your Flash memory.

    Never perform a FlashPro reset unless a hard reset does not solve your problem.

    To do a FlashPro reset:

    1. Hold down the memo/note button on the front panel of the handheld.
    2. While holding down the memo/note button, use the reset tip tool (or similar object without a sharp tip), to gently press the reset button inside the hole on the back panel of your handheld.
    3. Release the reset button.
    4. When the logo screen appears on the screen, release the memo/note button.
    5. When the 'FlashPro' message 'Hit the ToDo button to reformat flash' appears on the handheld, press the ToDo button on the front panel of the handheld to perform the reformat.

    Applications and databases you stored in Flash will be removed, and you will need to reinstall them.

    JackFlash Reset

    On machines that have JackFlash (a third-party enhancement that provides user-access to free Flash memory) it is possible that moving a corrupted application into Flash will prevent the unit from responding to any of the three normal resets.

    The makers of JackFlash have provided for an additional reset procedure that will temporarily hide applications you have moved into your Flash memory.

    To do a JackFlash reset:

    1. Use the reset tip tool (or similar object without a sharp tip), to gently press the reset button inside the hole on the back panel of your handheld.
    2. Release the reset button.
    3. Immediately AFTER step 2, press and hold down the Memo button. If you do this correctly, the Alarm will sound.
    4. Once the alarm sounds, release the Memo button. This should allow the Palm handheld to reset correctly, but the contents of Flash will not be visible until you run JackFlash or perform a hard reset.
    5. Run JackFlash and then move the items that were placed into Flash back into RAM.

    This procedure does not remove any data from Flash; it hides the contents of Flash from the handheld. You can still use JackFlash to access any valuable data.

    Debug Reset

    Sometimes while upgrading the Palm OS, there will be a connection interruption or other problem that will render your Palm completely unusable, due to an incomplete operating system.

    The debug reset will open up your serial port to allow an OS install utility to write a replacement OS directly to Flash.

    A debug reset should be done when OS upgrade instructions call for it.

    To do a debug reset:

    1. Press and hold the lower half of the scroll button on your handheld.
    2. Using the reset tip tool (or a similar object without a sharp tip), gently press the reset button inside the hole on the back panel of your handheld.
    3. When the Palm Computing Platform logo appears on the screen, release the scroll button.

    On some models (but not all) the debug mode will be indicated by a flashing square in a corner of the screen.

    Thanks to Be3G for information on Double-Soft Reset and for information on Extended Hard Reset

    Edited May 20, 2005 to include information on LifeDrive Secure Erase
     
  2. r_danby

    r_danby Mobile Evangelist

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    Thank you, appreciated.
     
  3. MasterGoa

    MasterGoa Newbie

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    Is the battery charger reset documented?

    Seems many users resolved GLC issues by
    doing a reset-button reset while in the charger and battery about half charged...

    Is this documented somewhere???
     
  4. Steve T

    Steve T Mobile Deity

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    No, but good point, thanks MasterGoa... I'll work on a paragraph on battery charge reset and get it into the main FAQ.

    Unfortunately it's not do-able for all rechargeable Palm OS devices... in the Sony NX series, for example, the reset hole is completely covered when the unit is in the cradle. Having said that, though, Sony do provide a small adaptor for travel-charging...
     
  5. taffeybailey

    taffeybailey Mobile Enthusiast

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    Thanks Steve for all the info, man it must of takn u awhile to type all that out but just to let u know I did a hard reset and all is back to normal now... Thanks again for the help and I saved that message for fucture considerations....Taffeybailey
     
  6. Dolce Vita

    Dolce Vita Newbie

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    Greetings...
    I've tried numerous soft, warm, and hard resets but get absolutely zero activity on my screen. When the problem first appeared yesterday, after hard resets I'd get as far as the calibration screen, then it would turn off and freez again. Now I get can't get any activity at all on my screen. I'm fully charged....don't know what else to do. Any ideas? Thanks.
     
  7. Steve T

    Steve T Mobile Deity

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    You don't say what kind of Palm you have... is it a V or Vx?

    Check that none of the buttons are 'stuck' down, in particular the contrast button, which can occasionally get caught in the casing.

    On the off-chance that the machine has FlashPro installed and a corrupted application is in flash, try the FlashPro reset described in the FAQ above.

    If none of that works, then you'll need to get it repaired... if it's under warranty (or even if it's out of warranty) www.palm.com/support will guide you to repairs, or alternatively look at www.gethightech.com

    Cheers
     
  8. efnicholls

    efnicholls Mobile Enthusiast

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    Is there any reset that will affect how the battery charging curcuit works?
     
  9. Steve T

    Steve T Mobile Deity

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    Yes, although never officially documented AFAIK, it's believed by many that doing a reset while the device is in the cradle, charging, will recalibrate the battery charge circuitry.

    Of course, that means you have to be able to access the reset hole while the handheld is in the cradle... something you can't do with some Palm models such as the Sony NX60/70V.

    Cheers
     
  10. efnicholls

    efnicholls Mobile Enthusiast

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    Swapped the battery, did hot sync and battery still not charging.

    The removed battery charges okay in my other palmV

    Wonder if the charging system can be reset. I notice on the M500 board some suggestions that if the unit is left with a dead battery for a week it will reset the voltage regualtor. Anyone have any experience with this on a Palm V?
     
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