Newbie Cingular Treo 650 user? READ ME FIRST

Discussion in 'Palm' started by ZBoater, Mar 4, 2005.

  1. ZBoater

    ZBoater Mobile Deity

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    Newbie Cingular Treo 650 user? READ ME FIRST

    If you just got your Cingular Treo 650 and are experiencing problems such as resets, corrupt voicemail number, and other stability issues, :eek: read this post to quickly take care of the known issues of the Cingular Treo 650. If your phone continues to misbehave after trying some of the fixes suggested here, consider returning your phone as you may have a defective unit. I have tried to compile the most widely reported problems and fixes in one document to allow you to test out and determine the stability of your Treo 650 in the minimum amount of time with the minimum amount of hassle. However, some of the steps explained here require reinstallation of software and testing in a precise sequence which may seem tedious at times, but necessary to determine whether your unit is defective or not. Hope this helps the newbies!!!!


    1. STOP!!! Do NOT hotsync that phone (yet).

    Make sure your phone is working BEFORE you hotsync for the first time. Give it a full charge, and call Cingular to activate it. Make some calls. Call yourself from another line. Check your voicemail. Use it as a phone for a day or two. Yes, I know, you want to load all that cool software, you want to load up all you contacts and calendars, I mean, why did you get the phone is the first place? To talk to people, I assume, and if the phone is not working out of the box then adding software and hotsyncing is only going to introduce many variables making it very difficult to determine the cause of potential future problems. Trust me on this one ? make sure the PHONE works first.


    2. The PHONE doesn?t work.

    If your phone works fine for a day or two, if it hasn?t reset when making or receiving calls, and if you can check your voicemail fine, then skip this section and go to step #3.

    So, the phone doesn?t work out of the box? It can be one of three things: a bad SIM, bad programming by Cingular, or a bad phone. Here?s how you narrow it down.

    Take out the SIM card tray (it?s the little card right next to the antenna and the SD card slot on the top of the phone). You can pull it out or pry it out with a fingernail. The tray will come out and it will hold the orange Cingular 64K ?Smartchip? SIM, which is essentially the brains of the phone. It has been discovered that Cingular uses two brands of SIM cards: Gemplus and Axalto. They look exactly the same except for their part number. Treo 650s with Gemplus brand cards have been known to cause problems with resets, non-responsiveness of the phone, and voicemail number corruption. If the part number you see on the card ends with the letter G, you have a Gemplus card and probably a bum one. Go to your nearest Cingular store and have them exchange it for an Axalto card (one that ends in the letter A). They will reprogram the new SIM and exchange it for you. Then, go back and repeat step #1 of this document.

    So, the phone still doesn?t work? Call Cingular Customer Care and have them recheck your programming to make sure you have all the correct features, and have them resend an update to your phone. While you are with them, see if they can do any additional troubleshooting and help you. It may take you a day or two of using the phone to realize whether what they did worked or not, or if you are having severe problems that you can recreate on demand, you may want to initiate the exchange process right then and there.

    Yes, exchange it, because obviously there is something wrong with your Treo if it doesn?t work as a phone. Some users have reported receiving defective units, and their replacements have been much better. It happens. Get it exchanged, and go back to step #1.


    3. If you are reading this step, it means your phone works as a phone. Congratulations.

    Now, its time to load up all that cool software and contacts and calendar entries ? but wait! Are you a previous Palm device user? Do you have Palm Desktop already installed on your PC? If so, read on. If not, skip to step 4.

    The Treo 650 will not work properly with your existing version of the Palm Desktop software. The Treo comes with its own version on the CD which you should use. Also, the Treo 650 is notoriously unhappy when you try to restore old backup files from a previous device onto it. It just doesn?t like old stuff. So, these are the steps you should follow for a clean install.

    First, uninstall your Palm Desktop software. Go into Control Panel, Add/Remove programs, and uninstall it.

    Second, after that is done, go into your C: drive (presumably the place you had the software installed) and go into the Program Files directory. You will notice that the Palm directory is still there. Inside of that directory are old backup files that were NOT removed as part of the uninstall process ? the same old backup files that, if left alone, will make their way onto your brand new Treo and make you very unhappy. :( Rename the directory Palm.old. You don?t want to delete it in case you want to get something out if it later on.

    During the install process you will be asked to create a Hotsync Name. If you did the above steps correctly, there will be no name on that list and you will have to retype or recreate your Hotsync name. If you skipped the above steps chances are your name will already be on that list for you to choose, not recreate. This is bad. If you choose to proceed do so at your own risk. I did, and I paid the price. I had to go back and repeat this whole step 3 to get it to work right. Trust me on this one. :rolleyes:


    4. Install the Palm Destkop software

    Install the new version of the Palm Desktop that came with the Treo. Install it into a new directory called palmOne. This will ensure you have a clean install.

    During the install process you will also choose which application you want to sync with (Palm Desktop or Outlook), and you will do your first sync. Good luck!!!


    5. Test the phone after the first hotsync

    Ok, so you hotsynced. Great. Now, test the phone for a little bit. A day or so. Make sure it works with this basic configuration. You have loaded your contacts, calendar entries, tasks, and updates to DocsToGo and Versamail. Before you go crazy installing stuff, make sure the phone works as is. Create a new contact. Dial a contact from your contact app. Create a new calendar entry. Change the category of the entry. In other words, USE IT.

    Is it resetting? Is it locking up? Is it misbehaving? Read on. If not, if it works great, go to step #6.

    You may have a corrupt PIM (personal information database) database. Sometimes PIM data becomes corrupt or there is some entry somewhere that is causing the Treo to become confused. I don?t have a lot of experience with this since it hasn?t happened to me (often), but here is a suggestion.

    There is a company called Pimlico Software which makes an excellent Datebook replacement software called DateBk5. They are currently updating it to work with the Treo 650, so wait for that, but in the meantime they have some free utilities you can use. You can find them at http://www.pimlicosoftware.com/utilities.htm. One of them is called dBScan, which will perform an integrity check on your datebook database. Give it a shot.

    Other than that, there is not much I can suggest at this point. Loading more software is pointless if your PIM data is causing resets. Some more drastic measures (only by trained professionals) would be to move all the contacts data to a backup directory on your PC, in effect deleting all your contact data from the main contact folder, and when you hotsync, from your Treo 650. That will eliminate all the contact data and leave the datebook, tasks, and memo data. You would do this to eliminate (or identify) contact data as being the cause of the problem. If your Treo continues to reset, repeat with the other data sets. Again, make sure you back them up properly, because you don?t want to lose your PIM data.

    Another word of caution ? Versamail is notoriously buggy. At this point you shouldn?t have configured or used it, but know that this software is KNOWN to have stability and database corruption problems. If Versamail is causing you grief, visit the palmOne support site and check out this article http://kb.palmone.com/SRVS/CGI-BIN/WEBCGI.EXE?New,kb=PalmSupportKB,CASE=obj(36541),ts=Palm_External2001 .


    6. So your Treo 650 works? Congratulations. :D

    Now is time to start loading all that cool software. However, a word to the wise.

    There are two applications I would strongly urge you to consider. No, I don?t work for either company, and you are on your own if you use either of them, I am just saying I used them and they worked for me, and they make sense to me. Use at your own risk. Your mileage may vary. :cool:

    First, get a good backup program. I use BackupBuddy from www.bluenomad.com. There are other brands out there, so do your research before buying. I like BackupBuddy because it comes in two flavors ? BB for Windows, and BBVFS, which lets me backup to the SD card.

    The goal of the backup program is to do a clean backup of your Treo NOW, before you start loading stuff on it. This will help in case something happens, you will be able to do a hard reset (wiping out everything on your Treo) and restoring to the state you are in now in under a minute. Make sure the software you get supports checkpoints ? meaning separate backups for different points in time. This will help you go back to a particular point in time as needed after you've installed additional applications.

    The second program is an uninstall manager. This is a program that helps you uninstall software cleanly and completely, as a lot of Palm software is notoriously sloppy in the way it creates files and then leaves them behind when you delete the application using the default Delete command. I use an application named aptly enough Uninstall Manager from www.northglide.com. This application should be the first one you install (after doing your first backup, of course :D ) as it will monitor every subsequent application you install and make sure it knows to remove ALL its files when you uninstall it using Uninstall Manager. Very nice.

    These two application types are must haves in the wonderful world of Treo freeware, shareware, hackware and software. There are many good applications out there, but there are just as many sloppy programs that will wreak havoc with your Treo, and having a good uninstall/restore option is prudent. The alternative? Doing a hard reset and going back to step #1 of this document and starting all over again. Painful.


    7. Let?s install some software!!!

    Start off with applications that are KNOWN to be compatible with the Treo 650. Most applications need a patch, update or new version to work with the Treo 650. Some applications known to work with the Treo 600 also work with the 650, but unless they SPECIFICALLY state they are 650 compatible, leave those for last. Read the README files that come with the applications. Visit the developer's websites. Do a SEARCH on these forums for the application name. A little research before you install will go a long way to a happy Treoing experience.

    DocsToGo has an update already. Start with that. Also, they have a utility program in their website (dataviztech.prc) that allows you to move the programs to the SD card after you?ve installed them. This will get you back 4-5MB of main memory, which is precious.

    After every couple of application installs, do a checkpoint backup. If you are using BackupBuddy for Windows it can do a checkpoint backup every time you hotsync, which is nice. I use BBVFS for convenience, as I can store multiple checkpoints on my 1GB card and restore any one of them at any time in under a minute. This is why I suggest you start with KNOWN applications first, as they are less likely to cause problems. I would install one or two apps, use them, use the phone for a while, before I go on to the next one. If you are impatient (like me) and want to do them all at once, install one at a time and do checkpoints so you can restore back to a point in time where a specific app was installed.

    Leave the suspect apps (beta software, software not specifically designed for the 650, etc.) for last. I would leave those off altogether, but the lure of cool apps is sometimes too strong. Be prepared to pay the price ? if your Treo?s stability is compromised, you have no one to blame but yourself. USE AT YOUR OWN RISK!!!!


    8. Oh Oh!!! I am getting resets!!!

    Well, something you installed may be causing the resets. You also cannot discount the possibility that the Treo went bad. Possible, but unlikely. You will now have to uninstall each app you've installed, starting with the last one, until you get a stable Treo back. It is a simple process of elimination.

    If you go back uninstalling all the way to the first app and you still have problems, a hard reset and a restore to an earlier checkpoint may be in order. Sometimes the Treo's memory becomes corrupt or cluttered with stuff, and a clean start is the way to go. Glad you bought that backup software, aren?t you? :D

    What was that, you didn?t buy it? Sorry to hear that. :(

    If you go back to the beginning and you still experience resets, learn from your experience in step #1. Hard reset and make sure the PHONE works. If it doesn?t, you may have a defective phone. If it does, something loaded on it is causing it grief, and you will have to do some detective work to find out what it is. Its almost comical you have to do this to a PHONE, but hey, this is more than just a phone, it is in essence a portable computer, so treat it like one.

    THE END

    I hope this has proven helpful to newbies and experienced users alike. As always avail yourself of the forums on the internet, like www.TreoCentral.com , which are excellent resources of information, and you have access to lots of people with similar interests and experiences willing to help you. Now go forth and enjoy your new toy!!!!

    ZBoater
     
  2. Dick Tracy

    Dick Tracy Detective/Moderator

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    Great job ZBoater. I think this deserves a sticky! Mods?
     
  3. NYDude

    NYDude Mobile Enthusiast

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    Fantastic document, Zboater. It confirms that I've followed all of the correct trouble-shooting steps, and am now on Hold with Cingular to see about exchanging this lemon.
     
  4. WyreNut

    WyreNut Palm Aficionado

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    Bravo Zboater! I echo Dick's sentiment... this should be made into a sticky post.

    I'm sure you've saved many folks some frustration. Lord knows we all have enough in our daily lives.

    WyreNut
     
  5. catronl

    catronl Wizard

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    Thanks ZBoater. I am waiting for my 650 to be delivered and when it gets here I will follow your instructions. Thanks again --- great job. :D
     
  6. Graylock

    Graylock Mobile Consultant

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    Great article, ZBoater. Only one thing is not clear--what method do you recommend for migrating over contacts, tasks, appointments, etc. from a previous Palm installation? Since you rename the old Palm folder, these will not come down automatically on the first HotSync.
     
  7. sfguido

    sfguido Newbie

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    Does the 650 absolutely REQUIRE the latest Palm software as supplied on the CD?

    I'd like to install the old Palm Desktop 4, which I know will sync with Chronos Organizer for Mac (it did on two 600s), but not if it's going to screw up the 650.
     
  8. ma21635

    ma21635 Mobile Evangelist

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    ZBoater -

    Great synopsis of the situation.
    - - - - - - - -
    Graylock -

    I beamed these down to my T650. You can beam one or all down. Be patient, the beam takes a few minutes if you have a lot of entries and/or contacts. You need to beam each category down independent of the other.
    - - - - - - - -
    sfguidio -

    You like playing with fire! More than one reply, including several that I authored, warn that the old software will in many case wipe out the functional software on the T650 thereby causing undue heartburn. Instead of buyer beware in this case, the phrase that is more appropriate in your case might be 'violator beware'.

    mra ;)
     
  9. ZBoater

    ZBoater Mobile Deity

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    Yes, it is. The new desktop installation downloads information from the Internet and installs it on your Treo.
     
  10. ma21635

    ma21635 Mobile Evangelist

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    Zboater -

    What do you believe is downloaded from the internet during the T650 installation process?

    mra

    :confused:
     

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