HotSync Woes

February 03, 2003

Last May for my birthday, Michele gave me a Palm m515. It is a wonderful device that I use everyday. This is my third Palm, following a Palm Vx and a Palm Pilot (the original!).

It came with a USB cradle that worked for about a week. Then all I could get were messages about not being able to connect to my PC. I called Palm and they said they’d send a new USB cradle, free of charge. In the meantime I purchased a serial cradle so I could synchronize my Palm. When the new USB cradle came I put off swapping since it meant crawling around on the floor behind the desk to undo and plug in cables. Eventually I did the swap and was very disappointed that the new USB cradle wouldn’t work either. I tried the original on my wife’s PC with no success either. So I took the path of least resistance and went back to the serial cradle.

With my recent acquisition of a Powerbook G4, and my subsequent switch to it as my sole machine I needed to have a working USB cradle. So I once again tried both USB cradles and neither worked on the new machine. Other USB devices worked just fine so I was starting to suspect my Palm as the problem. When I called Palm they confirmed my theory, saying that some m515’s had a software problem that could be fixed with a reset chip they’d mail to me.

The chip came and I followed the instructions: backup the Palm to the chip, and then run the reset program it contained. This process took 8 hours, but once completed I was able to sync again, using the USB cradle on my Powerbook. Hubba hubba.

One of the cradles (I think the original) is on my desk at home and the other on my desk at work. The one at work works famously. This weekend I decided to try the one at home, only to get the same message I got last May. Phooey. And now the Palm refuses to sync using the previously ‘good’ cradle here at work. Double-phooey.

My thinking is that the original cradle is in fact damaged and it causes the OS in the Palm to not work with any cradle. At least I have the chip and can reset everything once again. This time I’ll be throwing the ‘bad’ cradle away.

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Mark H. Nichols

I am a husband, cellist, code prole, nerd, technologist, and all around good guy living and working in fly-over country. You should follow me on Twitter.