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  1. LeeD's Avatar
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       #1  
    My 650 resets too too frequently. I've done so many hard resets, reinstall, reinstall fresh applications, that it makes me sick.

    In the effort to help improve the Treo650's stability, could you please list the following items,
    - dbCache settings
    - apps used
    - Rlock used, and which ones
    - current time since last reset, or reset frequency.

    To keep the format the same, I'd appreciate it if everybody just copied the format below, and just changed the answers to their configuration. Thanks! I hope this will help resolve some of our issues.

    DBCache Settings
    ---------------------------
    Clear type: DB
    Safe Mode: ON
    Auto Clear: ON
    Ask at softreset: OFF
    Clear at softreset: OFF
    App stop: ON
    Ctrl tap: OFF
    free < : 5M
    max < : 2M

    DBCache Settings for particular apps
    ---------------------------
    - Set all apps to have same settings as above, except:
    - all apps moved to moved to storage.
    Event Deq.: OFF
    First frm open: OFF
    App stop: OFF
    Ctrl tap. : OFF
    free < : N/A
    max < : N/A

    RLock used? and what apps?
    ---------------------------
    No

    Apps on Treo 650
    (Identify with * if moved to expansion memory via PowerRUN or something similar)
    (Identify with "ROM" if moved to ROM)
    ---------------------------

    *Aces Texas Holdem
    AddressXT
    Backup (BackupBuddyVFS)
    *Bejeweled
    *Berlitz
    Butler
    CityID
    Cleanup
    *Converter
    Crash (Crash Pro)
    DateBk5
    DBCache DA
    dbScan
    dbSetup
    DiddleBug (DiddleBug HR)
    Documents (Docs2Go)
    *Filez
    Fix AddrDB
    HandyShopper
    HandZipper
    iSilo
    JpegWatch
    *MegaCalc
    *Minibar
    PlecoDict (Chinese Mandarin / English Dictionary)
    PowerRUN
    pTunes
    Rlock
    ScreenShot
    *Solitaire
    StabilityTest
    StockMgr
    TealScript
    TopSecret
    Uninstall
    VersaMail
    WorldMate
    WPM
    *Zap!2016

    Time since last Reset
    ---------------------------
    Resets about 1-6 times a day, depending on use.
    Sometimes 1-3 days w/o a reset.
  2. #2  
    SInce adding dbcache and rlock my resets are down from about 5-6 a day to maybe 3 a week. I think the 3 a week are because a few apps I use are beta and after ##377# they are usually the culprits.

    DBCache Settings
    ---------------------------
    Clear type: DB
    Safe Mode: Off
    Auto Clear: ON
    Ask at softreset: OFF
    Clear at softreset: ON
    App stop: Off
    Ctrl tap: OFF
    free < : 1M
    max < : 3M

    DBCache Settings for particular apps
    ---------------------------
    all have same default settings

    RLock used? and what apps?
    ---------------------------
    yes
    4cast
    a-lex
    backupman
    butler
    clipper
    clockpop
    crash
    crystalpopupsuite
    cutpaste5
    dbcachetool
    docstogo
    fieldplus
    findhack
    fonts4os5
    handzipper
    kblightsoff
    keycaps600
    msafe
    msmount
    netselect
    newpen
    palminternals
    palmrevolt
    powerrun
    profiles
    pxaclocker
    quickswitch
    screenshot
    shortcut5
    skinner
    snapcalc5
    snapdates
    speedy
    TodayDB
    treohelper
    treonavitext
    voicedialer pro
    warmsync
    wassdat
    yahm

    Apps on Treo 650
    (Identify with * if moved to expansion memory via PowerRUN or something similar)
    (Identify with "ROM" if moved to ROM)
    ---------------------------

    *Aces Texas Holdem
    AddressXT
    Backup (BackupBuddyVFS) Lock it
    *Bejeweled
    *Berlitz
    Butler Lock it
    CityID
    Cleanup
    *Converter
    Crash (Crash Pro) Lock it
    DateBk5
    DBCache DA Lock it
    dbScan
    dbSetup
    DiddleBug (DiddleBug HR)
    Documents (Docs2Go)
    *Filez
    Fix AddrDB
    HandyShopper
    HandZipper Lock it
    iSilo
    JpegWatch
    *MegaCalc
    *Minibar
    PlecoDict (Chinese Mandarin / English Dictionary)
    PowerRUN Lock it
    pTunes
    Rlock
    ScreenShot Lock it
    *Solitaire
    StabilityTest
    StockMgr
    TealScript
    TopSecret
    Uninstall
    VersaMail
    WorldMate
    WPM
    *Zap!2016

    Time since last Reset
    ---------------------------
    Reset tuesday 10-18 9:04am
    Everex Freestyle - Casio E-105 - Palm Vx - Treo 90 - Treo 300 - Treo 600 - Treo 650 - Treo 700p -Centro
  3. #3  
    I have this installed but it does not look like it is clearing the cache:

    Is there a way to "force" the cache to clear?
  4. #4  
    Do you have "Auto clear" turned on? If you do, then look at how much free memory DBCacheTool says you have (top of it's screen). Change the setting of "free <" to a value greater than how much free memory you have and that'll force it to run at least once.

    Note that if it can't clear enough memory, it will try after every app you run. Obviously that will be annoying, so go in and change "free <" to a smaller value.

    Also note that you should have a very recent backup of at least your Saved Preferences" db file - dbCacheTool has been known to inadvertantly cause it to get blown away during the cache flush. No one's figured out why/when it happens, but it can.
  5. #5  
    I used it for a while, but honestly didn't see it doing much of anything useful, so I'm not running it any longer... Didn't notice any "improvements" running dbcache or any problems after not running it any longer. I gave it a fair shake of about three weeks, no more.. Slows application switching down.

    rlock on the other hand rocks, I think it's essential personally. I haven't had a reset in at least five days now (since I upgraded Butler from 3.27 which seemed to reset daily) and haven't lost [un]saved preferences in about a month.
  6. #6  
    Quote Originally Posted by khaytsus
    I used it for a while, but honestly didn't see it doing much of anything useful, so I'm not running it any longer... Didn't notice any "improvements" running dbcache or any problems after not running it any longer. I gave it a fair shake of about three weeks, no more.. Slows application switching down.
    Lucky for you. If I didn't think it was mandatory for how I've got the Treo stuffed, I wouldn't use it either. I've optimized it as much as possible, but dbct is still required for me given how little free memory I end up with.

    Quote Originally Posted by khaytsus
    rlock on the other hand rocks, I think it's essential personally. I haven't had a reset in at least five days now (since I upgraded Butler from 3.27 which seemed to reset daily) and haven't lost [un]saved preferences in about a month.
    I agree completely. Good thing you upgraded to Butler 3.28. There was a memory leak in 3.25-3.27 which would eventually cause a reset. Everything's fixed in 3.28 and it's been rock solid for me.
  7. #7  
    what do you lock and how did you decide what to lock with rlock?
  8. #8  
    what is the "max>" setting and how do you use it?
  9. #9  
    "< Max" refers to total amount of free memory. When the amount available falls below this limit, dbCacheTool will run when in Auto Clear mode
  10. #10  
    how is that different from "free<"?
  11. #11  
    max is max contiguous free mem
    free is total free mem
    Palm Pilot-->Handspring Visor-->Treo 300-->Treo 600-->Treo 650-->Treo 700p+E62-->Treo700p+Curve (8300)-->Curve (8330)
  12. #12  
    so, should I set them the same?
  13. #13  
    Quote Originally Posted by tomvb2000
    Lucky for you. If I didn't think it was mandatory for how I've got the Treo stuffed, I wouldn't use it either. I've optimized it as much as possible, but dbct is still required for me given how little free memory I end up with.
    Mine is pretty stuffed, but I use ZLauncher and move all but my most frequent large apps to the SD card, so I usually have 6-7M of internal ram free.. I run VolumeCare, FindHack (not a hack , Butler, Fonts4OS5, LEDOff, TrafficStat, Agendus, KGT+, Crash Pro, KBLightsOff, and of course ZLauncher.

    Oh, and I rlock about 3M of those above programs, all except Agendus I think. I know Agendus doesn't run in an event handler, but it has its kooky alarm handler, but so far it seems okay out of rlock so I can put ZLauncher in there, which makes it lose its catgegories MUCH less often.

    Run pTunes a lot too, and rarely have troubles out of Blazer anymore. Although a few times in the past I have had "file too large" stuff out of Blazer, so I exited out and launched the dbcachetool, had it do a clear, then returned and I had enough free. But it slows things down entirely too much, but reading this thread I might try it again and lower the min value down, it was at the default 4M.
  14. #14  
    Quote Originally Posted by dgelfuso
    what do you lock and how did you decide what to lock with rlock?
    There's a big thread on it here and on some other support forums if you look around, but I personally lock anything that's resident.. Stuff that runs in the background all the time, like VolumeCare, Butler, Fonts4OS5, etc.

    (Note: The authors of VC and Butler both do their own lock/unlocking so using rlock is likely unnecessary, but I don't think it hurts..)
  15. #15  
    I noticed today that I still had .1a installed, so I figured why not, I'll update it to .2a and see if that make any difference.

    Still doesn't increase cache available, but my god it takes eons to switch applications now. "dbcache clear procesing..." shows up then about 20s of white screen. Had it set to 1M and 3M, with 2.5M cache free. So I set it down to 2M max and that stopped it for now, but when it gets low it'll of course happen again.

    Do you all really put up with it taking 30s to switch applications? Wow.
  16. #16  
    Ok, the most recent posts made me dig up an old post and add a bunch of related information to it to fully answer dgelfuso's questions. Please review and let me know what you think. Once it's been reviewed, I'll submit it to T|C's FAQ list and post on the MTDN Knowledge Base.

    Here goes:

    FAQ: Solving “out of (cache) memory” issues on the Treo 650.

    What is the problem?

    If you often get a "There is not enough memory available..." message (typically when you start Blazer) despite having a couple of MB of free memory, you are likely running into the hidden, secondary memory limit of the Treo650 - the NVFS (Non-Volatile File System) dbCache memory limit. Not everyone will run into this problem – it really depends on which apps you run and how much total memory they use. Note that this is similar to, but not the same as the Blazer internal web page cache. First, some background information.

    The Treo650 was one of the first Palm devices to use an NVFS memory system (also used on the LifeDrive and Tungsten E2 and T5). The good thing is that it prevents data loss when you run out of battery power. However, there are some new things to deal with in the current implementation in PalmOS 5.4 (Garnet). For a good overview of the NVS implementation, read this article first.

    From http://www.resco.net/palm/backup/aboutbackup.asp

    What is NVFS?
    Non-Volatile File Storage, i.e. a permanent storage that will survive even the battery removal.

    Unlike older Palm handhelds, databases are located in the NVFS storage and cannot be accessed directly. Instead, they are accessed through a reserved RAM area called DbCache.

    It is a kind of window into NVFS: Prior to use the DB must be copied to the DbCache and after the use the changes are copied back to NVFS and the DB may be removed from the DbCache to provide the space for other databases. For efficiency reasons the last step is delayed until the DbCache is full.

    DbCache is around 10 MB and you can have installed a lot more data in the RAM. You can even have a single database that is larger than the whole DbCache. This implies a fundamental consequence for the Palm programming: The position of the database or their records is no longer constant.
    The dbCache memory can be thought of as a "staging" area between fast dynamic RAM and slower NVFS/flash memory. The PalmOS cache manager is supposed to manage this fixed amount of memory so that updated data gets written back to flash while yet allowing new data to come in (when a new app is launched or database is opened) without the cache getting full again. Unfortunately, the PalmOS cache manager doesn’t seem to be effective enough in some situations resulting in these "There is not enough memory available..." messages.

    What can I do about it?

    There are five main options to workaround this problem.

    1. Make sure you are running the latest revision of the firmware. PalmOne has made some efficiency improvements in how it allocates memory which results in more free memory (biggest benefit is for PIM data). Palm OS updates may be checked here.

    2. Move applications to an SD card and launch them from there. You can use the Palm built-in launcher or a 3rd party app like zLauncher, Initiate, PowerRun or LauncherX to do this. The result is that while launching apps will be slightly slower, you will have more free memory since the launched app no longer takes up memory when it’s not running. Note that some apps must remain in onboard memory such as those that sync to your PC/Mac or those while are always running in the background (e.g. Butler, TreoGuard, ProfileCare, etc) and generate alarms or respond to certain events (time of day, ringtone/call managers, etc).

    3. Ensure you are running apps that were specifically designed to run on NVFS systems such as the Treo650. Given that databases may be moved around when PalmOS is managing the dbCache area, some apps need to be updated to be compatible. While this may not help your “out of memory” problems, it will definitely help prevent other crashes.

    4. If you can go most or all of the day before getting an “out of memory” message, the simplest approach might be to do a nightly soft reset (you may already do this in prep for nightly backups). The advantage is that a soft reset will automatically clear the db cache and allow you to start fresh where the db cache amount is very close to the amount of total free memory available. You can use apps like ProfileCare, mReset+LookAtMe, and others to schedule a nightly soft reset.

    5. Use dbCacheTool and Resco Locker.

    What is dbCacheTool and how do I use it?

    DBCacheTool is an app which clears the cache in order to make more room to load new data. Essentially, it does what the PalmOS built-in cache manager doesn’t do well on it’s own. You can find dbCacheTool here and a rough (computer) translation of the readme (from Japanese) is here.

    Some background on my Treo for comparison with whatever you might have:

    Sprint 650 running 1.12 firmware
    Apps always running: GoodLink, Causerie, mSafe, ProfileCare, Butler, zLauncher
    Free memory (flash): 2.6M (typical)
    Free dbCache memory: 1.5M (typical)
    The screen shot for how I have dbCacheTool set up is in the attached.

    Here are the notes on the dbCacheTool settings - my comments in ( ):

    clear type: DB (not entirely sure what the hotsync alternative does)
    safe mode: checked ('safe' sounded good)
    auto clear: on (to make it automatically run when needed - see free < and max < settings below)
    ask at softreset: not checked (annoying when checked)
    clear at softreset: not checked (clearing too early seemed to cause problems)
    free < 3M (see below)
    max < 1M (see below)
    Apps...: nothing set up (see below)
    free <, max <, and Apps...
    • "free <" means - purge the cache when the total amount of free memory goes below x MB

    • "max <" means - purge the cache when the largest contiguous chunk (max alloc/ation) of free memory goes below x MB

    • These are "OR" (not "AND") functions, so you can play with the settings based on your needs. For example, if you have an app which you know requires 2MB of contiguous memory (maybe some large database app), you would set "max <" to at least 2MB.


    For my Treo, I can't get max alloc/free above 1.5MB anyway, so I set "max <" to 1MB. I've got "free <" set to 3MB as that seems to allow me to run anything I need and yet minimize the number of times dbCacheTool runs and I have to wait for it to finish. Setting this value too high will cause dbCacheTool to run after just about every app and setting it too low would result in “out of memory” messages. You’ll need to experiment to see which settings work best for you. You can also set them to 0 to turn the check off completely but that defeats the purpose of the tool unless you use the dbCacheToolDA desktop accessory (see below).

    The intent of the Apps->AppDetail settings seem to be to override the free < and max < settings on an app-by-app basis. However, I’ve never gotten them to work on the 650 (perhaps they work on the LifeDrive, T2 or E2 devices). On those screens, you'll see the following options:

    [ ] Event Deq.
    [ ] First frm open
    [ ] App stop
    [ ] Ctrl tap.

    free <
    max <

    Based on my interpretation of the readme and notes in this 1src forum thread, these options control when dbCacheTool will check the amount of available memory against “free <” and “max <” settings you’ve chosen:
    • Event Deq – when an event (button press, screen select, etc) is completed (dequeued)

    • First frm open – after the app starts when it first displays a screen (form)

    • App stop – when the app finishes and returns control to the launcher

    • Ctrl tap – when a screen button (form control) is complete


    Because backup operations touch every file in memory, they can fill up the cache quickly. To avoid this problem (assuming the Apps->AppDetail settings work), creating a backup app-specific setting would be useful to ensure the cache was cleared just before backups are run.

    What is the dbCacheToolDA app?

    The dbCacheToolDA app is a desktop accessory. You can use it with McPhling and other apps like it, but I use it with ZLauncher. It allows me to have an icon for DBCacheTool in the bottom bar, so it only takes one press to get a small dialog showing amount of free memory and a "Clear" (now) button. Pressing the Clear button allows you to force a cache clear whenever you want or need to. If you don’t want to use the dbCacheTool Auto Clear function, this would be a way to clear the cache manually.

    Is dbCacheTool a perfect solution?

    Unfortunately no, we really need the PalmOS cache manager to be perfected to avoid all other problems. In my experience, I’ve seen two types of problems using dbCacheTool.

    1. App-specific crashes
    When dbCacheTool runs, it can move databases around in order to make more cache available. If another app didn’t expect that to happen, it may try to access that data using the original memory location which may no longer contain the expected data. I’ve seen this happen with Causerie and GoodLink when the “Clear at soft reset” option was checked. GoodLink and Causerie both reference runtime libraries which often get moved by dbCacheTool after a soft reset. The result is either a system crash or error messages indicating the app can no longer find certain runtime libraries. The solution for GoodLink was to turn off the “Clear at soft reset” option and use Resco Locker to lock Causerie into cache so it’s files won’t be moved.

    2. Lost preferences
    Fortunately this is rare, but since the PalmOS API doesn’t offer a standard way to clear the cache, dbCacheTool sometimes acts too aggressive in clearing the cache which can sometimes cause the Saved Preferences db to get corrupted. The only solution seems to be to restore the Saved Preferences.db file from a backup. There are other known causes of the “lost prefs” reset such as having “Enable Local Network Time” checked on Sprint/Verizon CDMA phones and rogue Exchange Manager entries. Fix the former by unchecking the option and the latter by using Butler to automatically fix those entries.

    What is Resco Locker and why might I need it?

    Resco Locker is a free utility which locks apps into dbCache so they can’t be moved by a cache clearing. From http://www.resco.net/palm/locker/ :

    Resco Locker is a utility that keeps applications locked in memory on NVFS systems. While Resco Locker can be formally used on non-NVFS systems, it cannot do anything useful here.

    Why to use Resco Locker?

    Main reason is the safety. NVFS brought changes to the Palm OS programming and not all applications reflected them. (Those that were last time updated prior to NVFS release, could not.) One of the most frequent problems is that the Palm databases are no longer fixed (in RAM). That's exactly the problem that is targeted by Resco Locker. For more detailed explanation of the NVFS specifics see please the discussion on the Resco Backup product page.

    As a side effect, applications locked in memory need less time to load, which in turn may increase the performance of your handheld.
    How do I use Resco Locker?

    In general, you should lock any apps that are constantly running in the background (e.g. TreoGuard, Fonts4OS5, KeyCaps, ringtone/call managers, etc) if they don’t automatically lock themselves into cache (Butler and GoodLink are two examples which lock themselves). Background apps are those which automatically respond to some type of event like the time of day, a hotsync operation, or a particular button or key press. Foreground apps are those you specifically need to launch yourself.

    Another way to determine which apps runs in the background is to use the free PalmInternals utility to check the list of apps which register for hede notification. Finally, you may need to search the forums or contact the developer if you are not sure if an app should be locked or not. For example, VolumeCare and ProfileCare (from GoTreo Software) are two apps that run in the background but due to the way they are written, do not need to be locked.

    Is it possible to lock too much with Resco Locker?

    Apparently yes. Lock too much cache memory and it won’t be available for anything else so you might not be able to run some of your large apps. The more memory that's locked, the more often other apps are going to get swapped out of the cache. So I'd recommend only locking those apps that really need to stay in the background all the time and then only the ones where using Resco Locker seems to help. Resco Locker has a 4 MB app lock limit.

    Summary

    This is a complicated issue, but hopefully this article will help share what information the Treo Community has figured out. We can only hope that PalmOne will continue enhancing PalmOS and improve the stability and usefulness of our favorite device – the do-everything, know-everything Treo.
    Attached Images Attached Images
  17. #17  
    Wow, that was an awesome overview. Funny thing is that while I was reading it I upgraded to 1.17 FW and I think Palm figured out the clearing the cache issue. With 1.15 I had to reset after running BackupMan if I wanted to use TomTom. Even using dbCacheTool didn't always clear enough memory for TomTom to run. Now, TomTom runs just fine no matter what I do before.

    Wooooooooooohooooooooooooo!
  18. #18  
    Quote Originally Posted by dgelfuso
    Wow, that was an awesome overview. Funny thing is that while I was reading it I upgraded to 1.17 FW and I think Palm figured out the clearing the cache issue. With 1.15 I had to reset after running BackupMan if I wanted to use TomTom. Even using dbCacheTool didn't always clear enough memory for TomTom to run. Now, TomTom runs just fine no matter what I do before.

    Wooooooooooohooooooooooooo!
    That's great!! No armcode error in TT5 even after BackupMan?? That's impressive. What a good news.

    Can you confirm? Just run BackupMan (the best cache eater!!!) and the TT5.
    Please confirm!!!
    Ciao.
    Vittore
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    HS Treo 180 -> HS Treo 270 -> Palm Treo 650 GSM (1.71-1.20ENA Custom) + Treo BT Headset + TomTom 5.201 & Holux GPS 236 BT Slim
  19. #19  
    Quote Originally Posted by dgelfuso
    Wow, that was an awesome overview. Funny thing is that while I was reading it I upgraded to 1.17 FW and I think Palm figured out the clearing the cache issue. With 1.15 I had to reset after running BackupMan if I wanted to use TomTom. Even using dbCacheTool didn't always clear enough memory for TomTom to run. Now, TomTom runs just fine no matter what I do before.

    Wooooooooooohooooooooooooo!
    That would be excellent news! Been nothing but rumors that the next fw release would provide a proper cache manager but this is the first close-to confirmation. Please provide more info/experience as you can.

    Hopefully us CDMAers will get the update soon as well. I guess it's only fair we have to wait our turn since we got the memory efficiency fw update before GSM did.
  20. #20  
    Quote Originally Posted by tomvb2000
    What is the dbCacheToolDA app?

    The dbCacheToolDA app is a desktop accessory. You can use it with McPhling and other apps like it, but I use it with ZLauncher. It allows me to have an icon for DBCacheTool in the bottom bar, so it only takes one press to get a small dialog showing amount of free memory and a "Clear" (now) button. Pressing the Clear button allows you to force a cache clear whenever you want or need to. If you don’t want to use the dbCacheTool Auto Clear function, this would be a way to clear the cache manually.
    Really nice overview Tom.

    From my experience however, clicking clear with dbCacheToolDA (accessed via zLauncher) doesn't actually do anything. I've hit it multiple times and checked dbCache right after and the amount of space in the cache is always the same before and after.
    Palm III > HS Visor > Treo 600 > Treo 650 > Treo 750 > Treo Pro > PrePlus GSM

    "95% of all software issues are due to USER ERROR."
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