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Treo Launcher crash+burn: How NOT to update your phone, and an example of how you will need your backups

So you know all about the iTreo launcher that I configured over the weekend. I was so excited about updating my phone that I threw out one of the golden rules of tech upgrades and instead of doing one thing at a time I went on a rampage:

- Updated Chatter
- Installed new Card Reader app
- Installed new USB Modem app
- Installed new kMeteo app
- Rearranged categories
- Renamed infrequently updated applications (thanks to Resco Explorer)

After making all of these changes I picked up a new battery and swapped it out. In doing so the phone obviously had to reboot. When it did you can imagine my surprise when it went into an infinite reboot loop.

Various soft resets didn't work -- the only answer was a hard reset which meant wiping all the data, prefs, etc. off the phone. Game over? Not quite, but it took a fair amount of science to bring it back to life where it should have been.

Thanks to Resco Explorer I had a backup from a few weeks prior (though it reminded me I should do weekly backups of the phone like I do my computer). So here was the methodical walk-through to identify what the problem was in the stack of possibilities above.

1. Restored phone from most recent backup on SD card
2. Set desktop sync software to overwrite handheld with important info like calendar and addy book (to make sure it's all fresh and the sync doesn't go awry
3. Make a new backup (backup #1 -- after Resco Explorer makes a backup it soft resets the phone so this also acts as a test of whether or not the changes affected the phone. If they did I would have to do a "hard reset" again and restore the phone from a previous backup.)
4. Set new categories (backup #2)
5. Install kMeteo and Chatter update (backup #3)
6. Install Treo Launcher (but don't configure) (backup #4)
7. Configure Treo Launcher to be default plus all prefs, backgrounds and icons ( backup #5)
8. Name all icons properly so the phone, as a whole, works (but doesn't have preferred app names) (backup #6)
9. Rename pssh to Terminal (replacement icon wouldn't show with default name) (backup #7)
10. Rename remaining apps and icons (backup #8) (phone crashed and previous backup did not work, revert to version 6)
11. Rename just DictionaryToGo to Dictionary (backup #8.1)
12. Rename just LJP to Nintendo (backup #8.2)
13. Rename kMeteo to Weather (backup #8.3) (confirmed crash, kMeteo the culprit. restore to 8.2 and do not rename)
14. Perform final desktop sync, make backup (#9), and run with it

The moral of the story:
- Keep regular backups of anything important!
- Do not update too many things at once or it will complicate the troubleshooting process. This goes for all electronics.

Posted by Aaron R. Deutsch on October 23, 2007 10:50 AM


Do not rename kMeteo. It will cause problem with notifications.

Posted by: Khertan at October 24, 2007 3:28 AM

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