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  1.    #1  
    Newbie Cingular Treo 650 user? READ ME FIRST

    If you just got your Cingular Treo 650 and are experiencing problems such as resets, corrupt voicemail number, and other stability issues, read this post to quickly take care of the known issues of the Cingular Treo 650. If your phone continues to misbehave after trying some of the fixes suggested here, consider returning your phone as you may have a defective unit. I have tried to compile the most widely reported problems and fixes in one document to allow you to test out and determine the stability of your Treo 650 in the minimum amount of time with the minimum amount of hassle. However, some of the steps explained here require reinstallation of software and testing in a precise sequence which may seem tedious at times, but necessary to determine whether your unit is defective or not. Hope this helps the newbies!!!!

    1. STOP!!! Do NOT hotsync that phone (yet).

    Make sure your phone is working BEFORE you hotsync for the first time. Give it a full charge, and call Cingular to activate it. Make some calls. Call yourself from another line. Check your voicemail. Use it as a phone for a day or two. Yes, I know, you want to load all that cool software, you want to load up all you contacts and calendars, I mean, why did you get the phone is the first place? To talk to people, I assume, and if the phone is not working out of the box then adding software and hotsyncing is only going to introduce many variables making it very difficult to determine the cause of potential future problems. Trust me on this one – make sure the PHONE works first.

    2. The PHONE doesn’t work.

    If your phone works fine for a day or two, if it hasn’t reset when making or receiving calls, and if you can check your voicemail fine, then skip this section and go to step #3.

    So, the phone doesn’t work out of the box? It can be one of three things: a bad SIM, bad programming by Cingular, or a bad phone. Here’s how you narrow it down.

    Take out the SIM card tray (it’s the little card right next to the antenna and the SD card slot on the top of the phone). You can pull it out or pry it out with a fingernail. The tray will come out and it will hold the orange Cingular 64K “Smartchip” SIM, which is essentially the brains of the phone. It has been discovered that Cingular uses two brands of SIM cards: Gemplus and Axalto. They look exactly the same except for their part number. Treo 650s with Gemplus brand cards have been known to cause problems with resets, non-responsiveness of the phone, and voicemail number corruption. If the part number you see on the card ends with the letter G, you have a Gemplus card and probably a bum one. Go to your nearest Cingular store and have them exchange it for an Axalto card (one that ends in the letter A). They will reprogram the new SIM and exchange it for you. Then, go back and repeat step #1 of this document. J

    So, the phone still doesn’t work? Call Cingular Customer Care and have them recheck your programming to make sure you have all the correct features, and have them resend an update to your phone. While you are with them, see if they can do any additional troubleshooting and help you. It may take you a day or two of using the phone to realize whether what they did worked or not, or if you are having severe problems that you can recreate on demand, you may want to initiate the exchange process right then and there.

    Yes, exchange it, because obviously there is something wrong with your Treo if it doesn’t work as a phone. Some users have reported receiving defective units, and their replacements have been much better. It happens. Get it exchanged, and go back to step #1.

    3. If you are reading this step, it means your phone works as a phone. Congratulations.

    Now, its time to load up all that cool software and contacts and calendar entries – but wait! Are you a previous Palm device user? Do you have Palm Desktop already installed on your PC? If so, read on. If not, skip to step 4.

    The Treo 650 will not work properly with your existing version of the Palm Desktop software. The Treo comes with its own version on the CD which you should use. Also, the Treo 650 is notoriously unhappy when you try to restore old backup files from a previous device onto it. It just doesn’t like old stuff. So, these are the steps you should follow for a clean install.

    First, uninstall your Palm Desktop software. Go into Control Panel, Add/Remove programs, and uninstall it.

    Second, after that is done, go into your C: drive (presumably the place you had the software installed) and go into the Program Files directory. You will notice that the Palm directory is still there. Inside of that directory are old backup files that were NOT removed as part of the uninstall process – the same old backup files that, if left alone, will make their way onto your brand new Treo and make you very unhappy. Rename the directory Palm.old. You don’t want to delete it in case you want to get something out if it later on.

    During the install process you will be asked to create a Hotsync Name. If you did the above steps correctly, there will be no name on that list and you will have to retype or recreate your Hotsync name. If you skipped the above steps chances are your name will already be on that list for you to choose, not recreate. This is bad. If you choose to proceed do so at your own risk. I did, and I paid the price. I had to go back and repeat this whole step 3 to get it to work right. Trust me on this one.

    4. Install the Palm Destkop software

    Install the new version of the Palm Desktop that came with the Treo. Install it into a new directory called palmOne. This will ensure you have a clean install.

    During the install process you will also choose which application you want to sync with (Palm Desktop or Outlook), and you will do your first sync. Good luck!!!

    5. Test the phone after the first hotsync

    Ok, so you hotsynced. Great. Now, test the phone for a little bit. A day or so. Make sure it works with this basic configuration. You have loaded your contacts, calendar entries, tasks, and updates to DocsToGo and Versamail. Before you go crazy installing stuff, make sure the phone works as is. Create a new contact. Dial a contact from your contact app. Create a new calendar entry. Change the category of the entry. In other words, USE IT.

    Is it resetting? Is it locking up? Is it misbehaving? Read on. If not, if it works great, go to step #6.

    You may have a corrupt PIM (personal information database) database. Sometimes PIM data becomes corrupt or there is some entry somewhere that is causing the Treo to become confused. I don’t have a lot of experience with this since it hasn’t happened to me (often), but here is a suggestion.

    There is a company called Pimlico Software which makes an excellent Datebook replacement software called DateBk5. They are currently updating it to work with the Treo 650, so wait for that, but in the meantime they have some free utilities you can use. You can find them at One of them is called dBScan, which will perform an integrity check on your datebook database. Give it a shot.

    Other than that, there is not much I can suggest at this point. Loading more software is pointless if your PIM data is causing resets. Some more drastic measures (only by trained professionals) would be to move all the contacts data to a backup directory on your PC, in effect deleting all your contact data from the main contact folder, and when you hotsync, from your Treo 650. That will eliminate all the contact data and leave the datebook, tasks, and memo data. You would do this to eliminate (or identify) contact data as being the cause of the problem. If your Treo continues to reset, repeat with the other data sets. Again, make sure you back them up properly, because you don’t want to lose your PIM data.

    Another word of caution – Versamail is notoriously buggy. At this point you shouldn’t have configured or used it, but know that this software is KNOWN to have stability and database corruption problems. If Versamail is causing you grief, visit the palmOne support site and check out this article,kb=PalmSupportKB,CASE=obj(36541),ts=Palm_External2001 .

    6. So your Treo 650 works? Congratulations.

    Now is time to start loading all that cool software. However, a word to the wise.

    There are two applications I would strongly urge you to consider. No, I don’t work for either company, and you are on your own if you use either of them, I am just saying I used them and they worked for me, and they make sense to me. Use at your own risk. Your mileage may vary.

    First, get a good backup program. I use BackupBuddy from There are other brands out there, so do your research before buying. I like BackupBuddy because it comes in two flavors – BB for Windows, and BBVFS, which lets me backup to the SD card.

    The goal of the backup program is to do a clean backup of your Treo NOW, before you start loading stuff on it. This will help in case something happens, you will be able to do a hard reset (wiping out everything on your Treo) and restoring to the state you are in now in under a minute. Make sure the software you get supports checkpoints – meaning separate backups for different points in time. This will help you go back to a particular point in time as needed after you've installed additional applications.

    The second program is an uninstall manager. This is a program that helps you uninstall software cleanly and completely, as a lot of Palm software is notoriously sloppy in the way it creates files and then leaves them behind when you delete the application using the default Delete command. I use an application named aptly enough Uninstall Manager from This application should be the first one you install (after doing your first backup, of course J ) as it will monitor every subsequent application you install and make sure it knows to remove ALL its files when you uninstall it using Uninstall Manager. Very nice.

    These two application types are must haves in the wonderful world of Treo freeware, shareware, hackware and software. There are many good applications out there, but there are just as many sloppy programs that will wreak havoc with your Treo, and having a good uninstall/restore option is prudent. The alternative? Doing a hard reset and going back to step #1 of this document and starting all over again. Painful.

    7. Let’s install some software!!!

    Start off with applications that are KNOWN to be compatible with the Treo 650. Most applications need a patch, update or new version to work with the Treo 650. Some applications known to work with the Treo 600 also work with the 650, but unless they SPECIFICALLY state they are 650 compatible, leave those for last. Read the README files that come with the applications. Visit the developer's websites. Do a SEARCH on these forums for the application name. A little research before you install will go a long way to a happy Treoing experience.

    DocsToGo has an update already. Start with that. Also, they have a utility program in their website (dataviztech.prc) that allows you to move the programs to the SD card after you’ve installed them. This will get you back 4-5MB of main memory, which is precious.

    After every couple of application installs, do a checkpoint backup. If you are using BackupBuddy for Windows it can do a checkpoint backup every time you hotsync, which is nice. I use BBVFS for convenience, as I can store multiple checkpoints on my 1GB card and restore any one of them at any time in under a minute. This is why I suggest you start with KNOWN applications first, as they are less likely to cause problems. I would install one or two apps, use them, use the phone for a while, before I go on to the next one. If you are impatient (like me ) and want to do them all at once, install one at a time and do checkpoints so you can restore back to a point in time where a specific app was installed.

    Leave the suspect apps (beta software, software not specifically designed for the 650, etc.) for last. I would leave those off altogether, but the lure of cool apps is sometimes too strong. Be prepared to pay the price – if your Treo’s stability is compromised, you have no one to blame but yourself. USE AT YOUR OWN RISK!!!!

    8. Oh Oh!!! I am getting resets!!!

    Well, something you installed may be causing the resets. You also cannot discount the possibility that the Treo went bad. Possible, but unlikely. You will now have to uninstall each app you've installed, starting with the last one, until you get a stable Treo back. It is a simple process of elimination.

    If you go back uninstalling all the way to the first app and you still have problems, a hard reset and a restore to an earlier checkpoint may be in order. Sometimes the Treo's memory becomes corrupt or cluttered with stuff, and a clean start is the way to go. Glad you bought that backup software, aren’t you?

    What was that, you didn’t buy it? Sorry to hear that.

    If you go back to the beginning and you still experience resets, learn from your experience in step #1. Hard reset and make sure the PHONE works. If it doesn’t, you may have a defective phone. If it does, something loaded on it is causing it grief, and you will have to do some detective work to find out what it is. Its almost comical you have to do this to a PHONE, but hey, this is more than just a phone, it is in essence a portable computer, so treat it like one.


    I hope this has proven helpful to newbies and experienced users alike. As always avail yourself of the forums on the internet, like , which are excellent resources of information, and you have access to lots of people with similar interests and experiences willing to help you. Now go forth and enjoy your new toy!!!!

    Cingular Treo 650
    Click here to see what's loaded on my Treo 650
    Do you like my dog? Visit his website!!!
  2. #2  
    Whoa, NICE. This has been needed for quite a while now. I know a lot of people object to too many stickies, but this deserves to be at the top of the list. It used to take a lot of digging to piece together this information.

  3. #3  
    Great post Z. Gets right to the point and will make life much easier if people will follow your advice.
  4. #4  
    seems very sensible. Thanks for the tutorial!!!
    I'm not weird... I'm gifted!!!
  5. lms
    lms is offline
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    29 Posts
    Nicely done - I nominate this for stickiness.
  6. iomatic's Avatar
    629 Posts
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    645 Global Posts
    Tooting my own horn; though not as comprehensive:

    toot toot!
  7. #7  
    Great job ZBoater! THis should definitely be a sticky!
    T750 w/Cingular
    Black Jawbone
  8. #8  
    very nice.
    Nokia 3585 > Moto i60c > Moto i90c > SK Color > Nokia 6820 > Nokia 6230 > Treo 600 > Treo 650 > BB 7100 > BB 7105 > BB Pearl > Treo 755p > Treo 800w
  9. #9  
    Has anyone using a Cingular Treo 650 tried adding multiple addresses in their contact record?

    In my T650, if I add all three addresses and fill them up (Work, Home Other), and complete all fields (Address, City, State, Zip, Country), the OTHER STATE field does not stick, and goes away.

    I have tried it on 3 different T650s, and all have the exact same problem.

    I'd love to hear from someone else who has or does not have this problem.

    Thank you!
  10.    #10  
    Sent you a PM. Happens to me too. I suggested you open a new thread so experienced users may comment, as they may skip this FAQ thread for newbies.
    Cingular Treo 650
    Click here to see what's loaded on my Treo 650
    Do you like my dog? Visit his website!!!
  11. #11  
    Thanks Zboater. Many newbies and specially former Treo 600 owners would benefit from this info and avoid a lot of aggravations. I pretty much followed this type of set up which explains why my locked Cingular T650 is working like a charm for almost a month now.

    Should be made a sticky, I think. :-)
    Visor Deluxe, Prism, Visorphone, Treo 270, Treo 600, Treo 650, and am eagerly waiting for the next generation Treo...but that the iPhone????
  12. #12  
    Quote Originally Posted by ZBoater
    Sent you a PM. Happens to me too. I suggested you open a new thread so experienced users may comment, as they may skip this FAQ thread for newbies.

    Any thoughts to suggest?
  13.    #13  
    Quote Originally Posted by emtreo
    Any thoughts to suggest?
    No, not really. Like I said, start a NEW thread rather than add to this one, so experienced users can comment. Many experienced users may skip this thread as it is meant for newbies with general stability problems with the Cingular Treo 650s, not to discuss problems with the Contacts app.

    Go to the General Software Forum page and create a new thread with the title "Contact app not saving State info. Help?" and describe your problem there. That way more forum viewers will be able to see the problem, and perhaps someone may be able to help more.

    I personally do not use more than one address, so this has never been a problem for me. I created a new contact and added the three addresses just to test it out, and like I said it happened to me too. The only thing I can think of off the top of my head is that this is a bug with the contact application, at which point I would also suggest going to the palmOne site and reporting it. Try going here and posting the question there as well.

    Good luck!!!
    Cingular Treo 650
    Click here to see what's loaded on my Treo 650
    Do you like my dog? Visit his website!!!
  14. #14  
    Great post....this is what TC is all about.
  15. m99
    m99 is offline
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    15 Posts
    I just got my treo650 today. I follow all the instructions above but I have one question. If I remove the Palm desktop software, how do I get my contacts and calendar entries from my old treo600 to the new one?
  16.    #16  
    Quote Originally Posted by m99
    I just got my treo650 today. I follow all the instructions above but I have one question. If I remove the Palm desktop software, how do I get my contacts and calendar entries from my old treo600 to the new one?
    That is a good question. I assume you do not use Outlook, and you use Palm Desktop for your PIM data. With that setup, I think you would reinstall the new Palm Desktop over the old one, and rename the Backup directory to prevent the old stuff from coming over in the next sync, but I am not 100% sure.
    Cingular Treo 650
    Click here to see what's loaded on my Treo 650
    Do you like my dog? Visit his website!!!
  17. #17  
    Are these steps any different for a Sprint 650? More importantly, where in your instructions do I transfer my existing contacts to my new 650.

    I just got my 650 as an upgrade to my 600, and I want to start from scratch with everything except my contacts list. How do I transfer over just my contacts and leave everything else behind?

  18. #18  
    Quote Originally Posted by ZBoater
    That is a good question. I assume you do not use Outlook, and you use Palm Desktop for your PIM data. With that setup, I think you would reinstall the new Palm Desktop over the old one, and rename the Backup directory to prevent the old stuff from coming over in the next sync, but I am not 100% sure.
    Actually, reinstalling the new palm desktop over an existing one can get really buggy. It did not work for me. The desktp would freeze every time I launched it. If you must use the new desktop for some stange reason (you really don't need to. The old palm desktop is just fine for hotsyching), it is best to:

    -Backup the old device
    -Move (copy) the backup folder somewhere safe
    -Uninstall the old palm desktop
    -Remove the palm directory, if it's still there. Some uninstalls are cleaner than others
    - Delete any reference to Palm or US Robotics in Win registry.
    - Reboot computer
    - Install new Palm 650 desktop - specify during installation whether to use Outlook or Palm PIM
    - Copy the backup you saved in a safe place into the new palm directory
    - Hotsync T650
    - If you still need to hotsync your old device, give it a new user name.
  19. #19  
    Me likey the posteeeee Great job!!!!
  20. #20  
    TonyH: Can you please clarify the following steps:

    - Copy the backup you saved in a safe place into the new palm directory
    - Hotsync T650

    Assuming directory MYNAME (with contact etc. data from old version of desk top) is moved back under C:\program files\palmone (the new install of plam desktop). When you Hotsyncyh the T650, will is automatically recognize the data under MYNAME and synch?

    thank you.
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