A coworker told me about a recent Verizon security update for the Treo 700p only. He only discovered it after one of our number had his 700p cloned. He told me this was a no problem update – just back up and run it.
You have to know that this sounded too good to be true.
After backing up, I ran the update, which promptly failed at the first reboot. Just to be sure, I let it run for forty five minutes, during which time it sat there and stared at me. I swear that if you listened closely, you could hear it snickering at me.
So I run the update again. It seemed to progress quickly and without issues. This was just fine with me, as I needed no additional adventures that day.
After the update, the software advised me to reactivate the phone by dialing *288, option 1. I did so, at which point it told me the activation had failed.
Of course it had failed. It was a software update and a phone call. What could possibly go right about that?
I called Verizon, thinking I’d invite them to come by and fix it personally, as I was out of patience long before I made the futilie attempt at updating the phone. The tech was very nice, as usual, and nailed the problem right off the bat. He asked if I pressed option 1. Then he told me I really needed to press option 2.
I took this opportunity to jump into the conversation and point out that Verizon’s own software told me to use option 1. Yes, he knew about that.
Ok, phone activated. But no data.
Went to do restore, which took a while. I knew it would, as there was a lot of data to restore. I was less than pleasantly surprised to check the phone and see that there was not a single shred of my data on it. Not a saved date, a note, or a contact.
Somewhat less than amused, I checked Outlook. SURPRISE! All the data had been sucked out of Outlook (Exchange). It was a completely blank slate.
Coworker tells me that it’s no big deal; we can just do a restore from backup of the Exchange server. Coworker2 asks if I have a backup on my SD card. Yes I do, but it’s older.
Checking the SD card, I located two separate backups, one from three months ago. I brought up NVbackup to do the restore and spent a few minutes attempting to figure out how to do a restore. This turned out to be somewhat complicated by the fact that NVbackup couldn’t find the backups. I could definitely see two but the program couldn’t.
Coworker2 also uses NVbackup and gave me some ideas as to where to look. He finally told me this was really weird; he’s never seen anything like it before.
Am I surprised? Not a bit. `Never seen anything like it‘ is almost a mantra of mine.
Ok, path of least resistance is to do an Exchange restore, which will put back all the missing data. I fire up the backup client to perform the restore. My first question is whether I restore using L for lefty or S for strat. This was quickly answered when I checked and found I wasn’t listed in either of them.
I’m not shy (duh) and will be the first to admit I’m a bit scatterbrained (and possibly dyslexic), so I’m used to double and triple-checking myself. After three tries, I decided to call in some help.
Coworker comes over and I suggest he have a look. He starts to look confused. He looks under L and S and comes up with the same answer I did. He goes back to his desk to check further.
At this point I decided to go with Denial (that old river in Egypt). It was quite apparent that either I missed my name in the backups or that Coworker was going to make it appear. I had faith. Or, more likely, I was using Industrial Strength Denial<tm> (with three times the power of Regular Denial!).
Coworker (Mr. No Problem, we’ll just restore to Exchange) says, “Huh. It should be there.”
I agree wholeheartedly.
Coworkers allows that, in fact, it isn’t there.
For lack of anything encouraging to say, I mention that, “Well, this is a bit *%&#ing unfortunate, isn’t it?”
Coworker assures me it’s fixed.
Well, when he says fixed, he means that my data will now get backed up. He does not mean that my old data has been recovered.
Have I mentioned that this is my department yet?
Returning to my backup on the SD card, I set about trying to figure out which files to restore. Palm likes to change the names of certain important files (just to keep things fresh I guess). Coworker2, who has had to do this more than once, gives me the correct file names to restore (copy back to RAM).
Halleleujah! I now have my calendar and contacts back. As of three months ago, unfortunately. But it’s better than nothing at all.
While attempting to get my blood pressure back into the Merely Dangerous range, I did a post-mortem to try and figure out what went wrong. Coworker2 said it could be explained by the sync being set to HANDHELD OVERWRITES DESKTOP.
Oddly enough, that’s precisely what it was set to. And it was precisely ME who set it that way, on purpose, as I use the Treo as master and sync to multiple pc’s. I think Palm should really put a warning in there about this. It’s not something one normally thinks about. They also failed to note that your data will not get restored until you re-setup the device on the pc and choose the same device name you had before.
Today I discovered my memos were missing too. I copied over the correct file to restore my memos and got a bonus: the second file I copied overwrote the categories file. Have I had enough yet?**
After a few hours I wanted to call my wife and have her pick me up from work. I was actually frightened of what would happen if I got behind the wheel of my car. It might simply refuse to drive or forget which wheels are supposed to go in which direction. Fortunately I don’t have to rely on anybody else to backup my car.
**Special Palm Rant Section
No, I’m a glutton for punishment. Look at the facts: I have a Verizon Treo 700p. It’s over three years old. In over three years, Palm hasn’t managed to put out a worthy successor. It hasn’t gotten faster, it hasn’t gotten more stable, but it sure has gotten prettier. Yes they changed a few keys and took off the external antenna bump. That’s supposed to be an update?
The software updates to the Treo have largely been a disaster, with the exception of the upgrade from the 180 to the 650. The lack of a Palm linux client is shameful.
I like the 700p. I will keep it until I find something better, whether from Palm or a different company. I will not use a Windows phone or any product with a lower case `i’ in front of it. There have been rumors of a Palm linux OS for over a year. The latest projection is mid-2009.
While the Great Unwashed at work are eyeing Crackberries and eyePhones, I’m at a serious disadvantage:
- Will my Treo hold up until mid-2009?
- Will Palm hold up until mid-2009?
- Will whatever comes out in 2009 be a halfway decent upgrade to the 700p?
- Will the Great Unwashed develop repetitive stress injuries from using trackballs?
- Will my wife ever be a three-input girl?