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  1.    #1  
    I've started this thread because there have been a lot of "my phone is doing this" or "my phone is doing that" type threads lately.

    Hopefully this will help users (both new and old) be able to troubleshoot some of the problems they are having. If you have any suggestions or additions, please feel free to add them!

    As is true with other FAQ threads, let's keep the troubleshooting out of this thread. If you have a specific question about your device, create a new thread with your question/problem, and we can work on the troubleshooting there.




    Troubleshooting a problem can either be very simple or nearly impossible. Most of it depends on how you troubleshoot the problem, rather than the problem itself. Here are some very simple steps that will help you isolate (and hopefully resolve) your problem.


    1. Check the bug list.
      It might already be a known issue. Why not take 30 seconds and check the bug list and see if it's already been reported? There are workarounds for many of the bugs listed as well.
    2. Search for the issue.
      Many issues that are posted up in new threads have already been posted (and often resolved) previously. TreoCentral (and other sites such as XDADevelopers) are great resources, and you can often find the answer to your questions/problems already posted. Searching is quick and painless, and how much better is it to find the answer yourself than to rely on someone else to do it for you? Try searching TreoCentral, and give Google a shot. If you still can't find the answer, move on to the next step.
    3. Can you replicate the issue, or is it happening randomly?
      If you can replicate the issue, make a list of what exactly you do to trigger it. If you know how to replicate it, then troubleshooting becomes much easier.
    4. Is it the phone, or something you installed/did?
      Despite many peoples complaints about how "buggy" the phone is (any phone, you'll find tons of complaints in every single forum ), there are very few root issues with the phones. The vast majority of issues come from third party software, changes to the phone (IE: registry tweaks), and corrupted data (bad restores, exchange server pushing bad information, etc). The next few steps will address how to test and see if it's really the phone causing the problem or something that was installed. They will also go into detail on some suggestions to better test individual pieces of software.
    5. Backup backup backup!
      This is one of those things that simply can't be stressed enough, yet is one of the most overlooked parts of using a phone. The phone has a backup program (Sprite Backup) built into it for a reason. The more backups you have, the better. Many people (including myself) use alternate programs (in addition to Sprite Backup) such as Dashwire to backup data to multiple locations, reducing the chances of losing all that important data. For the purposes of troubleshooting an issue, you want to make a backup of your current phone state so we can test to see if it's the phone, or the software installed. So take 5 minutes, and make a backup now. You won't regret it.
    6. "Helpdesk. Have you turned it off and on yet?"
      Soft resets are important to the way the device runs. Just like regular PC's, simply closing a program doesn't really shut everything down. All programs will leave pieces in memory (RAM) that they really shouldn't, and poorly written programs can leave massive amounts of memory in use. A soft reset is the only true way to clear those out. A soft reset is quick and painless, and as long as you make sure everything is saved first, you won't lose any data. (Bonus points if you get the reference. )
    7. Hard reset are good.
      Many people view hard resets as "bad" or something to do as a last resort. For me, it's one of the very first things I do when troubleshooting. Many times programs (or things we change, such as in the registry) don't really do what they are supposed to or were intended to, and can cause the phone to behave oddly or run incorrectly. But is it really the phone that's the problem, or what you added/changed? The only way to tell is to hard reset, and see if the behaviour goes away. And if you've made a backup (you did make a backup, right?), then you can do a hard reset and test the issue in as little as 30 minutes. If the phone doesn't do it without any changes or 3rd party software installed, then your problem lies elsewhere.
    8. Okay, so it's not the phone. How do I figure out what's wrong with the software?
      If you are troubleshooting an individual program, try a hard reset and then installing that one piece of software. Do some testing and see if the problem keeps occuring. If it does, then there's really not much you can do about it other than not using it or living with the problem. Regardless of which you choose to do, you should report the bug to the software vendor. Many times users encounter bugs, but never tell the developers about them. How are we supposed to fix something we don't even know is happening?
    9. It's not the phone, it's not the software. Your troubleshooting guide is useless!
      An important thing to always remember is: these are complex devices. Well, that and "Don't Panic!" Seriously though, often issues are introduced when multiple pieces of software are installed. If the issue goes away after a hard reset and installing that one single piece of software, try installing each application one at a time, and testing to see if the problem starts occuring. All too often I've seen where two pieces of software can run individually just fine, but install them both at the same time and you have a recipe for disaster! Go slow, take your time, and remember to make lots of backups, and you'll find that you can quickly isolate the problem child (or children, as the case may be).
    10. I've done everything you've suggested, and I still can't figure it out. Help!
      There are lots of folks who are very knowledgable about these devices, and who spend hours helping folks like you work through problems. If you've tried everything above, and still can't get it, try posting a new thread (don't just reply to this thread, or we might not see it). Make sure you include in the following information:
      • Symptoms of the problem (what you see)
      • How to replicate the problem (step by step instructions are best)
      • Have you hard reset and replicated the issue with a stock configuration?
      • What troubleshooting steps have you done?
      • What software do you have installed (make sure you include any tweaks you did)?

      And anything else you can think of. The more information we have, the more we can help you.




    Hopefully that provides some help and guidance to those in need. If you have any questions or suggestions, please feel free to post them up!
  2.    #2  
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