Treo #5 coming up

by Volker Weber

Timm has called today. He is swapping my Treo #4 for his, which has not crashed in five months of heavy use. This one -- let's call it #5 -- is known not to have any hardware or firmware issues. If I break #5, then I know it is my setup. Either my SIM card, or one of the applications I use.

My plan is to run it plain vanilla for a few days. If it has not crashed in a week, I will put the SD card in. If it has no problem with the SD card, I will restore all data and applications. Should it crash then, I will need a long time to find which one causes trouble. If I only could reproduce the error at will ...

Nick has reported he has no problems at all. Stefan is fine since he dumped the latest Chattermail and went back to 1.05. Timm and I so want to find the source of those reboots.


By the way, I also have reboot problems with my Tungsten T3. It's a standard installation, no addtions. This happens, if I go to my contacts and then try to send a phone number via Bluetooth to my mobile phone.

Frank Stangenberg, 2005-08-23

Enter shortcut .9 at the search prompt and tell me which firmware version you have.

Volker Weber, 2005-08-23

Vowe, if you are getting bored during your debugging process, you might also want to have a look at the following links about the Treo's NVFS:,

There are just so many contradicting reports out there about which applications cause crashes for many users, while they work perfectly fine for others, that "simple" programming bugs might just not be the final reason.

It often seems that one or the other installed tool, "hack" or helper app causes problems with other applications, since removing it, increases stability, despite the programs shouldn't interfere with each other... And so on. And we all know, it is a frustrating task to hunt these mysterious side-effects down. :-(

So, some of the "explanations" in the links above could come quite handy here. What if there are indeed issues with the Treo's NVFS and its according DB cache?
What if some apps (especially the "large" ones, e.g. mail programs, the browser, the phone, etc.) need more cache than available and therefore trigger a probably imperfect cache garbage collection?
What if registered handlers (e.g. of background apps) really get "swapped out" of the cache in this process and cause a soft reset when trying to get called?
What if the program blamed for the reset then, is innocent? Can we always trust the #*ERR result? (I would doubt that.)

(However, most of these questions are more or less speculations.)

Although it might sound wrong to install even more obscure tools with the aim to increase stability, one might want to have a look at some of the apps in the following discussion (DB Cache Tool, Resco Locker):

Unfortunately, there are the usual contradicting experiences: Seem (!) to help some users, causing crashs for others. So, no silver bullet either. ;)

Probably also helpful for debugging problems with background tools and sluggish Treo behavior might be PalmInternals:

Knowing, which program hooked into which Palm OS notifications, can be quite useful and might help to identify culprits in the background.

I surely wish you good luck, vowe!

Uwe Walter, 2005-08-23

Thanks, that was very helpful. Palminternals has revealed a very good candidate for the trouble maker: The IR Keyboard driver.

Volker Weber, 2005-08-23

Boom. Reboot. It was not the keyboard driver.

Volker Weber, 2005-08-23

Can you list the apps in your standard setup? (Sorry if have listed this in an earlier entry)

I keep getting the feeling that my Treo (Sprint PCS, so CDMA) has problems dealing with multiple network stacks: Bluetooth + phone, etc. It also has an acknowledged problem with SSL as a background process (Chattermail).

Mine is now having a problem staying connected to Sprint for data, and sometimes even the phone staying on. Makes it a little less useful as a phone when at the end of a day I look down and see it's been off for some undetermined length of time...

Kevan Emmott, 2005-08-23

My goodness. You are certainly stressing the poor little thing, vowe..!

I understand this did happen because you restored your setup and not in plain vanilla condition, right?

I agree with Kevan and (related to the entry title) would like to say: More input! We need more input! ;)

Probably someone can come up with a hint, saving you one or the other test...


Uwe Walter, 2005-08-23

Kevan, I am too lazy to do that. If I post a list, the next things I need to do is cough up all revisions, where to get the programs, what alternatives there are for other platforms and on and on.

Uwe, no I did not restore. Made that mistake with #3. It is a plain vanilla setup. Data synced into the device and then installed all applications. No "Saved preferences" for instance.

There is a simple condition: As long as I leave the phone off, there is no crash. As soon as I switch on the phone, one of the next wake-ups will trigger the next crash. Press the red receiver button, light does not come on for a second. Reboot.

Volker Weber, 2005-08-23

A bit late, but hopefully not too late. Palm-OS Software: v.5.2.1
Flash-ID: 00V5A1442EFV-R. Hope that is the firmware.

Frank Stangenberg, 2005-08-29

Old archive pages

I explain difficult concepts in simple ways. For free, and for money. Clue procurement and bullshit detection.


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