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  1.    #1  
    Hi,

    In this other thread, http://discussion.treocentral.com/sh....php?p=1419278, I've described a Verizon 755p that is entirely dead and unresponsive -- the LED, keyboard and screen show nothing even when I remove and replace the battery.

    So I have to swap out the hardware. This Treo has sensitive company data on it. Can anyone help me figure a way to wipe it?

    1. Even if I could reset the thing, the Palm knowledge base article on "zero out" and "factory resets" does not include a method for the 755p. (http://kb.palm.com/SRVS/CGI-BIN/WEBC...ase=obj(15574)). Does anyone know how to perform this reset (not simply a "hard reset") on this Treo?

    2. If nothing changes, I won't be able to reset this thing at all. I am wondering whether I should try to use one of those cassette/videotape erasers that uses a strong magnet to erase magnetic tape media. Does anyone know:
    a. whether this would have any effect on the nonvolatile flash memory that stores user data on a 755p?
    b. whether this would fry the rest of the Treo in such a way as to void the warranty?

    I would be very grateful for any advice. Many thanks.
  2. #2  
    1. To perform a zero-out reset on any Treo, set a password and hard reset. Of course, you need the Treo to be working to do that (or any other kind of reset).
    2. Good luck with that...it's going to do nothing except attract the magnet in the speaker...
    Be sure to check out SmartDeviceResource!


    Device Timeline: Palm III → RIM 950 → RIM 957 → Tungsten W → Kyocera 7135 → Treo 600 → Treo 650 → Treo 700p → Treo 755p & 800w → Treo 755p & Pro
  3. #3  
    De-solder and remove the rom chip? I dunno how else you would do it if the phone isn't even working.
  4. #4  
    It's a 10-day old phone...I don't think he would want to do that!
    Be sure to check out SmartDeviceResource!


    Device Timeline: Palm III → RIM 950 → RIM 957 → Tungsten W → Kyocera 7135 → Treo 600 → Treo 650 → Treo 700p → Treo 755p & 800w → Treo 755p & Pro
  5. #5  
    If you sent it in for repair/replacement, Sprint would hard reset the phone anyhow.

    Granted it's not the safest route, but you can be pretty sure they will do a reset before trying to resell it.
  6.    #6  
    I appreciate the info but I respectfully wonder if it's accurate. A zero-out reset affirmatively overwrites all data bits in memory with empty or random data. A normal hard reset only erases the NVFS directories, so the Treo appears to be empty but the data remain intact on the chip. It's recoverable by people who do that sort of thing for a living, or frankly by any curious technician at Verizon. I don't want that.

    I did set a password. But setting a password does not encrypt the data. It's simply a barrier to easy entry. Palm's Security app is trivially easy to crack, and there are free utilities to do that. So why would setting a password change what happens when the Treo is hard reset? How do you know?

    What makes your statement seem unlikely is that Palm offers instructions for a zero-out reset that make it very very difficult to do -- see the original link I supplied in this thread, (http://kb.palm.com/SRVS/CGI-BIN/WEBC...ase=obj(15574)). In fact I never did manage the trick with a 650, though I was sure I had followed all the instructions.

    Please let me know if I'm missing something. I am considering the extreme solution desoldering and destroying the memory chips, and wondering whether I'm willing to pay for a whole new phone.

    Even if there's no solution to my immediate problem, I'd really like to know whether there is a zero out / factory reset option for the 755. As I noted, it is not listed on Palm's knowledge base article.


    Quote Originally Posted by robin24k View Post
    1. To perform a zero-out reset on any Treo, set a password and hard reset. Of course, you need the Treo to be working to do that (or any other kind of reset).
    2. Good luck with that...it's going to do nothing except attract the magnet in the speaker...
  7. #7  
    With the comments you just stated and the fact that the company data is that sensitive, why is it on a treo in the first place?

    The only way you can confirm the data is gone from a dead unit it to either keep the chips or destroy the chips. Either way will not get you a replacement but if the data is that sensitive, you have no choice but to properly destroy some of the hardware.

    All of the resets require a functioning treo to perform.
  8. #8  
    Pretty much goes back to my de-solder the chip idea

    Again I really don't see why anyone would care enough to restore data from random broken 755p from random user. Standard procedure would be a simple fix whatever is causing the phone not to boot, hard reset, re-sell.
  9.    #9  
    ok, so for my next Treo - anyone know how to factory reset a 755p?
  10. #10  
    I think the 755p is covered by the article. Just not with a picture.

    Relevant products: Tungsten T5, LifeDrive, Treo 680, Treo 650, Treo 755p, Centro

    I interpret what I've seen as:

    If there's a password set, and you follow steps for a hard reset of a device, it will perform a factory reset.

    Brad
  11.    #11  
    Brad, thanks for the info. Robin24k, my apologies. It seems you may have been right.

    I was looking at this knowledge base article, which describes the extremely awkward method of doing a zero out reset on the 650. But this more recent article says: "If you've set a password on your smartphone, any hard reset will automatically become a Factory Reset."

    There is, even so, an irritating inconsistency in the article, which doesn't make completely clear that this covers the 755p.

    More troubling to me is it's now very much unclear that a factory reset and a zero out reset are always the same thing. In the first link above, it specifies that a zero out reset overwrites your data with zeros and ones to make recovery very difficult. In the second article, it says at the top: "A factory reset reformats your device" for an extra layer of protection beyond a hard reset. But we all know that reformating a computer hard drive does not overwrite the data, and that the data can be recovered with relative ease.

    On this factory reset page, it says of the Centro, the 700p and the 680: "If you performed this reset correctly, the screen will go blank after several minutes, and you will not be able to turn on your device. The charging LED will not light up. (any other activity - such as the Palm OS logo and then the Applications launcher appearing - means the reset was performed incorrectly; try again) Your device will appear 'dead.' To wake up your smartphone, perform a soft reset." This is much the same behavior obtained by doing all the gymnastics for a zero out reset on the 650, and the several minutes seem to confirm that many megabytes of information are being overwritten. For the 650 on the factory reset page, it does not describe this kind of behavior -- the result is a quick return of the Palm logos, as in a normal hard reset.

    The 755p is not mentioned specifically in this connection. I guess I'll have to hope that, as seems logical, it behaves more like a Centro and 700p than like a 650.
  12.    #12  
    Another thought occurred to me for folks concerned about whether data on any Treo is truly being overwritten (not merely formatted or simple-erased) by whatever form of hard reset or factory reset.

    Seems to me it would go a long way toward ensuring security if you just synced the Treo with empty databases and filled it up with applications (or any other non-sensitive data) before hard-resetting. In other words, overwrite the memory yourself with nonsensitive information. So for a Treo 650, for those of us who can't seem to make a zero-out reset work (I always get the rainbow debug screen), just sync with 28+ megs of inconsequential stuff, then hard reset. Repeat if desired.

    Does this make sense or am I missing something?
  13. #13  
    It kind of makes sense, but it won't be a thorough wipe. The zero-out reset seems plausible as it takes a while to complete, I've performed it on my two old 650s that I sold and the 700p I returned to Verizon.

    I don't know how valuable the data is to you, but I wouldn't think it's worth the full retail price of a new Treo (you're already locked into contract), $579 + tax...
    Be sure to check out SmartDeviceResource!


    Device Timeline: Palm III → RIM 950 → RIM 957 → Tungsten W → Kyocera 7135 → Treo 600 → Treo 650 → Treo 700p → Treo 755p & 800w → Treo 755p & Pro
  14. Devtodi's Avatar
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    #14  
    Quote Originally Posted by gellmanb View Post
    ok, so for my next Treo - anyone know how to factory reset a 755p?
    rofl
    I've seen things you people wouldn't believe...

    Roi Batty


    palm IIIe(clear plastic)/m130/Tungsten E/Sprint Treo 650/Treo 755p
  15. #15  
    Quote Originally Posted by cavingjan View Post
    With the comments you just stated and the fact that the company data is that sensitive, why is it on a treo in the first place?
    If I need the data, I've got to put it somewhere. The Treo makes more sense than a post it
    And if it's a lot of data, it's a good place to keep it. While the SD chip might be a good spot since you can remove it, it's easy for someone else to remove it too (and maybe you don't notice for a while).

    If I lose the Treo, I do know I put on a password and maybe no one will try to get it off (if I lose the post it, I know it's compromised).

    But if I'm sending the treo back to palm, I'd feel pretty obligated to try my best to erase it.

    Even if something as basic as student data is on there (if you were a teacher), I'd want to try my best to delete it before sending it back.

    Gary
    Sprint Treo 755p (previously Sprint Treo 700p, Sprint i500, Sprint i330 [yuk], Sprint i300, Sprint StarTac, Verizon StarTac)
    Mac 12" 1.5 GHz PowerBook (Constantly tethered to my Treo)
    Gary Said... (my blog) or The Daily Meme
  16. #16  
    If its that sensitive, it should on a properly secured server or computer system that you can remotely access with the treo. Anything that you put on an unencrypted device or drive is to be considered the same as an open file sitting on the park bench.
  17. #17  
    Hi, is anyobody figured out how to do zero-out reset on 755p?
    I've managed to get rainbow screen somehow (by pressing up,power and hotsync buttons and reinserting the battery (since there is no reset button)) but not the zero-out.
    Putting the password and resting doesn't work IMO, because it takes almost no time to do it. It doesn't show loading black bar as it's described in palm article and as I remember from 650's times. For comparison re-loading firmware (updating, even though mine was updated already) takes like half an hour. Also it doesn't show dialog of choosing the language. So I suppose it's not zero-out reset.

    Thanks.
  18. GSMacLean's Avatar
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    #18  
    If the Treo was dead anyway, and I really wanted to ensure the data on the NVRAM was never read by anyone, I'd take a couple thin wires, hook them up to 20 or 30 volts or so, and move them across the various wires on the NVRAM chip inside. Enough that it would destroy the internals of the chip, but not enough to leave any physical evidence (you don't want to use enough voltage that the chip burns through the top of the package).
  19. #19  
    I think the best way of getting rid of information is to give to somebody to use it for free. Don't apply any voltage to the chip it's a most satanic thing I could imagine

    By the way, is there any known zero-out reset. Even restoring from the card backups someting then restores from that backup.

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