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Switched to Pre 3... Palm profile was out of date. Any options? (X-Post)
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Old 01/19/2013, 08:02 PM   #1 (permalink)
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I am x-posting this from the Pre forum since it deals with the Pre 3 as well..

I have been a Palm Pre user through Sprint for several years. This week, I decided to move to the Pre 3 under the Straight Talk BYOP program. Everything worked well for the switchover as far as the number porting was concerned and I had the Pre 3 up and running in less than an hour after initiating the port.

My problem starts when I look at my contacts on the Pre 3 and notice several missing names. It turns out that my Palm profile data was over a year old and I am missing some important memos and contacts.

I am sure I have checked the backup settings on the old Pre several times over the past year and have even done a manual backup a few times recently. But now I'm stuck with an old profile backup and I doubt I would get anywhere by contacting HP/Palm...

No big deal, I figured I'd just fire up the old Pre and get the info.

Well, I found out the hard way that I would not be able to access the data on my old pre after the switch. I was locked out. (I should have been more careful)

After researching a bit, I ran the activation-bypass tool and was successful in accessing my old Pre which now appears to have wiped all of my data.

In hindsight, I guessing I should have:

1)Backed up the palmdatabase.db3 file to my computer using webosquickinstall.
2)Exported my contacts using the ##66623# code in the phone dialer and imported them into Google contacts.
3)Double checked the last backup date on the old Pre to make sure it was up to date.
4)Switched my old Pre into airplane mode thus preventing a lockout until I was certain that the switch was successful.

It's too late for that now...

I am able to see my old photos when I mount the old Pre to my desktop via USB. I already had fresh backups of all of that though.

I tried to run a data recovery application (Data Rescue 3) from my mac and I do get recoverable files but I don't think that I am accessing the area of my pre where the palm database file would be.

I am wondering if there is any linux trickery I can use to copy an image of the webos portion of the Palm to my desktop so I can try to recover my old palm database.db3 file (or what remains of it)

I was reading about a "dd" command in linux that would copy a partition byte by byte including the "empty" space as an image. If I could copy this directly from the phone somehow, would I perhaps have luck then mounting this image to my desktop and running my data recovery software to look at this empty space for my data? Am I totally barking up the wrong tree?

Its not a life or death situation but I sure would like to try a little more before giving up.

Any Ideas?

Other than the missing data, I am loving the Pre 3 so far...
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Old 01/19/2013, 09:09 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Hmm... Well, the database is encrypted, and the key is stored in /var. So if you want to try recovery, you have to find both the original key (whose partition have been formatted and has been overwritten), and also try recovering a jumbled DB once you have the key.

There was a thread about backups not working for Pre3 a while back (now fixed), but in there is a tool I made that allows you to see what backups are uploaded to the backup server. Have a look at that program, and see if there are actual recent backups on the server.
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Old 01/21/2013, 03:31 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I got the webOS Backup Gizmo working after installing the following certificate on my computer:

/var/ssl/appsigning/appsigning-bundle.crt

I found 50+ files listed in the Backup Gizmo. Several of these files were from 10/19/2011 all within a few minutes of each other. These files have long names with no extensions. These would have been from my original pre.

All of the rest of the 40+ files were from the past few days. (since I have activated the Pre 3) They all had long file names with .enc extensions.

I guess my old Pre had not been backing up. I am sure the backup app was showing daily backups everytime I checked and I had performed a few manual backups along the way as well.

It seems I am out of luck getting a newer backup.

Thanks for the help and the tool GMman.

If I had found a newer (before the switch)backup what steps would I have taken to apply that to my phone?
Would I choose a file from the manifests directory and just click download or is it more complicated than that?
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Old 01/21/2013, 10:03 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Impostah has a feature that allows you to restore older backups. If that fails to work, you could always modify and hard-code the backup you want in the backup service, and when it's done revert the file.
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