Important Tips For Upgrading To WM6

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For those of you who have discovered the Windows Mobile 6 upgrade for your AT&T 8525, I am posting a reprint of my article from last months "How To Guide" to make sure your upgrade goes smooth and trouble free.

How to avoid problems with ROM upgrades

Overview:

Occasionally, device manufacturers and wireless carriers will offer major “ROM upgrades†for the Windows Mobile devices they market. When they do, they provide you with an installation file (on CD or downloadable) that walks you through the process, step by step. To avoid problems, follow these instructions to the letter.

Here’s how to do it:

The problem with performing ROM upgrades is that the instructions that come with it may not be so clear or are far too generic. If you botch a ROM upgrade, it can leave you with a non-functional device—commonly refer to as “bricked.†One of the first things to consider when upgrading is looking at whether or not you really need to perform the upgrade. Some upgrades are very minor in scope and may be more bother than they are worth if your phone is working well. Be sure to spend some time reading about what the upgrade fixes and check Web site forums to see if any new problems are generated by the upgrade. If you feel the upgrade is worthy, then roll up your sleeves and follow these steps:

1) Back up your data and other files. This is critical! Upgrades to phones almost always involve deleting all of the data in your phone’s memory and putting all of the settings and everything else back to a factory fresh state as if it were new. Back your data up either to a memory card or your PC. If you sync with Outlook or another PIM, your contacts and calendar will sync back to the phone. All other data will be erased. Also be sure to jot down any critical settings you might need from your e-mail accounts, browser favorites, installed applications, etc.

2) Perform a final synchronization and delete the ActiveSync partnership: After you upgrade the Windows Mobile device, it will appear to ActiveSync as a new device. ActiveSync won’t normally let you use an existing partnership device name again. Deleting this now will make that process easier.

3) Do a hard reset to restore your device to factory settings. This procedure is usually found in the user manual or on device manufacturer/wireless carrier support pages. Hard resets delete any user-installed applications that are running which may interfere with the ROM upgrade process.

4) Shut the phone off and remove storage cards. Since receiving a call during a ROM upgrade could cause problems, remove the SIM card from a GSM phone and put a CDMA phone in flight mode to disable the phone. Make sure to remove memory cards as well.

5) Make sure the phone is fully powered before beginning the ROM upgrade. If you have a power adapter, leave it connected during the entire ROM upgrade process. It’s also best that the battery is fully charged.

6) Connect your phone to your PC via your USB cable. Do not attempt a wireless connection. Since you deleted the existing partnership (step 2), ActiveSync will see the phone as a new device and ask you if you want to set it up for synchronization. Select “Cancel†and allow your device to connect as a guest. We don’t want to load the phone back up with data again. This connection to your PC must not be interrupted for any reason. Confirm that your cable is well connected and your PC is not busy doing other things that might interrupt the upgrade. In fact, don’t use your PC for anything else while this is being done.

7) Locate your downloaded ROM upgrade on your PC and double click it to start the procedure. Follow the instructions and don’t miss any specific steps along the way. Be patient. Sometimes these upgrades take time and even look like nothing is happening. If the instructions say this will take 30 minutes then wait 45. Most of the time, ROM upgrades run for just a few minutes and with this prep work we’ve done, your upgrade should be problem free.

Once complete, follow the instructions for rebooting or disconnecting the phone. After the phone has been successfully upgraded, you will then want to check its operation and then reestablish your ActiveSync connection and start reloading data, applications, SIM and memory cards, etc.

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