LifeDrive woes and thoughts

Discussion in 'Palm' started by straycat264, Nov 28, 2006.

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  1. straycat264

    straycat264 Mobile Consultant

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    If I'd posted this yesterday, as I'd planned, it would have been a slightly different post. Alas, my LD died last night (charging light comes on when plugged into the charger, but on switch / reset switch / usual tricks do not work)

    The very odd thing is that if I leave it off charge a while, then plug it back in, and hit reset, it will start and boot 30 secs or so later.... and will promptly turn itself back off and die again 30 secs or so after booting is finished. The usual nice bootup 'chime' is now a short piece of white noise. This started after a crash - so I suspect something is corrupted, and that it's turning itself off thinking the battery's too low (it's fully charged) - anyway - if I can, when I get home this evening, I'll see if I can get it to hard boot and hard-reset it before it dies again. Warranty's long gone.

    Finally fed up with the crashing, I had just done a hard reset & secure erase (for good measure) the day before, and hadn't reinstalled any software (barring eReader) - and it was still crashing - so I think there was some kind of hardware problem anyway. It does have update2 installed.

    Another thing - I'd been vaguely aware that booting had been taking longer than it used to. After the hard reset, I'd say it became three times as fast as before (must have been creeping up the whole time I owned it). Is this normal?

    My suspicion at the moment is that the drive itself could be faulty. Or possibly the battery. Or maybe both.

    Anyway - love the LD as I do (wouldn't have put up with the crashes this long if I didn't), it's time to do something drastic. As I see it, I have a few options.

    1) Buy a replacement LD. I think not - I might get lucky and get a problem-free one.... or I might not. Not going to risk it.
    2) Buy something else - looking on eBay now. Already put in a bid on a cheap Zodiac 2, just for the fun of it...
    3) Replace the microdrive on the LD with a CompactFlash card. I was actually toying with this idea before it died... but didn't want to risk breaking the LD. Now it's broken, I'm not sure I have anything to lose - and if it doesn't work, I can always use the card in my camera. Touted advantages are greatly improved speed, and a possible reliability boost. Possible disadvantages are that I kill the device for good (now less of a factor)

    Anyone got any thoughts?
     
  2. holvoetn

    holvoetn Still a moderator ...

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    You said you already tried all sorts of resets but did you also try the in-cradle reset ?
    Place your device on the cradle (or connect to charger or USB cable connected to powered USB port), then hit soft reset and leave charging for 3 to 4 hours. If the device turns on, switch it off again so it can have a nice charge.
    This resets the internal battery calibration circuitry.

    You might also want to check if your charger is still working properly (hence the suggestion to try the USB cable as well, provided you have that).

    From what I see in your post, I have the impression some rogue applications were installed on your device, which is confirmed by your statement speed was back to normal after a hard reset. Are you sure all your applications used are compatible with LifeDrive ?

    There is a pretty extensive discussion at 1src about replacing HDD with CF card. Most have reported succes. The replacement itself does not seem to be that complicated (pin-for-pin compatible replacement), but the SW part is something else (you will need to setup a linux-box as far as I understood ;) )
    It seems to be a major improvement on the lag and increase on battery time :newpalm:
     
  3. straycat264

    straycat264 Mobile Consultant

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    Thanks, Holvoetn.

    Didn't know about the in-cradle reset - I'll try that when I get home.

    As for applications - well - I'm not 100% sure, but I think so. However, it was still crashing when I'd just done a hard reset with security erase, and not re-installed anything at all bar eReader (which is definitely compatible)

    Setting up a linux box is no real hardship - I do run on a pretty new Mac though, which I assume will be good enough, given the BSD core.

    CF card option is looking pretty tempting.
     
  4. Streaky

    Streaky I can't remember

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    Is your LifeDrive still under warranty?
     
  5. Josser

    Josser Mobile Deity

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    My LD has not crashed in about a year and it is loaded with a ton of 3rd party software. You are not describing a crash, but a shut-down from a low battery condition. The Lith-ion battery has a smart charger built-in that monitors the charge cycle. The charge cycle reference data can and does get corrupted from time to time and the 'in the cradle/cable reset' will restore good charge profile data.
     
  6. straycat264

    straycat264 Mobile Consultant

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    Mine crashes constantly, hence the fact that I'd just done a complete hard reset / secure erase, and was about to start slowly re-installing software. It crashed regardless, before I'd re-installed anything bar eReader. Once I'd reset it from the crash, it went into the charge-cycle problem as described.

    It's well out of the warranty period by now.

    Quick note - I put it on the cradle as described (charger attached) - and hit reset. It sat there for a couple of minutes, then started booting up - got maybe half-way then turned off again. Is this normal behaviour? Doesn't feel quite right to me...
     
  7. Nine

    Nine Ooh NO, missus...

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    Yes - it will not achieve its best possible charge for at least 3-4 hours. There is still not enough charge for it to start. :)
     
  8. holvoetn

    holvoetn Still a moderator ...

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    Adding to this, fight the temptation and LET IT CHARGE for 3 to 4 hours ...

    It may thank you for that later on ;)
     
  9. straycat264

    straycat264 Mobile Consultant

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    Alas... it did not. I left it charging all night, no change. Oh well :(
     
  10. holvoetn

    holvoetn Still a moderator ...

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    Also tried with the USB cable connected to your Mac ?
    Maybe the charger is defect ?
     
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