iPaq HX2415 WM5 ROM Update available

The iPaq hx2000 series ROM upgrade for Windows Mobile 5 is available.

The update itself does not clean out and reformat all your data, I’m glad to say – ofcourse, YMMV 🙂

I do seem to have less SD card disappearances and less hangups. It’s not any faster, if that’s what you are wondering. For that, you’ll need to change some registry settings.

For the english firmware update, there is also a seperate Bluetooth update, which I can’t install – I don’t have enough storage space left ! For the bluetooth update you need 5 MB (hopefully only during install, please let that be true!) and I only have 2 to 3 MB left over.

And that is aftermoving the Temporary Internet File folder to my SD card and installing everything up to Pocket Informant to my SD card.

I’ll have to see if I can’t recuperate some RAM by lowering my cache settings – I set them so they use up 8MB of memory, so lowering those values might help me get over that magickal 5 MB limit.

Funny, as I recall I used to have about 12 MB free – but that was before I started installing lotsaprogs…

The trouble with the hx2415 is that it has only 64 MB (flash)RAM that is divided between stored programs (your c:drive so to speak) and the actual RAM where you program is executed in. Even if you install most of your programs on your SD or CompactFlash card, most of these install the today plugins and other dlls in your windows folder, thus bloating your program folder, making your executing space smaller and smaller.

All the new PDA’s that run WM5 really need 128 (flash)RAM – they should have no problems installing stuff.

Hardware Pocketpc Windows

Active Sync Woes : use a Bluetooth connection !

I’ve had it with the irregular, unresponsive, plug-and-pray manner that Active Sync and Microsoft in general work with USB connections to PocketPC’s. Either it’s Active Sync not syncing or ‘Unknown USB device’ for my cable, it’s just gone on too long.

And I’m not the only one – I’ve read several comments over the last few days that people are getting fed up.

After all my troubles trying to get my Active Sync USB connection going again, removing and reinstalling AS and USB drivers, even going so far as to install AS beta 4.2, I still could not get a connection. So I went the other route and bought a PEABIRD bluetooth usb module.

It was actually 0.50 € cheaper in the FNAC than the D-Link BT120 module which I knew about, plus it promised EDR – Bluetooth 2.0 instead of regular 1.1 Bluetooth that D-Link offers.

After the Toshiba drivers and utilities are installed, setting up Active Sync was a snap (well, almost). I first put both devices discoverable, paired the devices (for some reason or another, the only way that pairing works well for me is when I start the pair process from the pocket pc), and then discovered the services that were offered on each and created the relevant shortcuts for them, both on the pc and on the ppc.

Once that was done, I then set up an Active Stink, sorry Sync connection choosing to use Bluetooth to sync.

To get an actual sync working, I have to do the following steps :
1. Start Bluetooth serial connection on the pc (it has attributed itself COM40 !) using the shortcut it created.
2. Start AS on my pocketpc (making sure that Bluetooth is active)
3. Click the Sync button

and voila ! Sync auto-starts and everything works just fine.

Speed of sync is fine, although I suspect that my pc is only BT1.1 capable, it still works reasonably fast. I set both Bluetooth services back to non-discoverable again, plus only paired devices can connect. This should give some security.

All in all, it slightly more work starting the Sync, but so far all my Sync attempts have worked first time. No more install and re-install hassle (let’s hope so).


Active Sync 4.1 woes (Unknown USB Device) and solution !

This morning I synced my pocket pc with my workpc. Everything went fine, update as normal. In the afternoon I did so again. Suddenly my extension cable was recognised as an ‘unknown usb device’ and whatever I tried, it no longer synced.

Active Stink didn’t even see my pocket pc anymore, it just saw the connection cable.

Googling found me this workaround (which didn’t work) :

When synchronizing with my Desktop pc my Pocket PC is not recognized by Windows 2000 when using a USB cradle.
Cause: Windows 2000 has identified your Pocket PC as an unknown USB device. The drivers were not installed properly.


1. Print or copy these instructions. This is for Windows 2000 only.
2. Remove your Pocket PC from the USB cradle.
3. Go to My Computer, right click and select Properties.
4. Click Hardware and then Device Manager.
5. Right click USB Devices and select Uninstall.
6. Go to the Control Panel and select Add/Remove Programs.
7. Locate ActiveSync and Uninstall it.
8. Reinstall ActiveSync.
9. Perform a soft reset on your Pocket PC.
10. Place your Pocket PC back into the USB cradle and perform a sync.

This might work for you, but it wasn’t enough for me to get AS functioning again.
So what else can you do ?

Well, when you check your AS installation, you’ll find a subdirectory ‘drivers’ in there. Compare the file wceusbsh.sys in there against the one in your %windows%drivers directory (this differs depending on the windows version you are using). Particularly check the date when the file was modified.
In my case, the one in my windows drivers directory was from 2004 while the one in the AS directory is more recent,from 2005. So I did two additional things :

  • I right-mouse clicked on the wceusbsh.inf file and selected ‘install’ – just in case this had failed during AS installation.
  • I copied the file wceusbsh.sys over the one in the windows drivers directory.

After rebooting the pc and soft-resetting my ppc, Active Stink worked fine again ! W00t !

So I include this whole procedure just in case someone else has the same problem.


PocketUAE update

I completely missed this since I was mucking about with my psp, but Pocket Insanity has a new version of PocketUAE out since January. It includes bug fixes for on-screen keyboard and definable keys.
Go get it for your mobile device.

Sadly, for the psp (which you have to admit, has a bigger screen), the UAE version is very limited and only available for psp with firmware 1.0.

Pocketpc Windows

Windows Mobile 5 tricks & tips

I’m going to collect some tips and tricks from other websites for managing my Windows Mobile 5 on my HP Ipaq, since it’s consistently slowwwwww.

Standard Disclaimer : Please note that, should you want to try them out, you do this at your own risk and your results may vary.

Update : for the Qtek 9100 (Wizard, MDA Vario, SPV 3000) : see my Qtips page.

We start with moving some mail and files out of the way :
Fred Pullens Blog : Low on Windows Mobile Memory? Fear Not

1. To move email onto your memory card (SEE WARNING BELOW), do the following:

Create these directories:

\Storage Card\Mail
\Storage Card\Mail\Attachments

In HKEY_Current_User\Software\Microsoft\MAPI, create the following STRING entries:

AttachPath = "\Storage Card\Mail\Attachments" (without the quotes)
PropertyPath = "\Storage Card\Mail" (ditto)

2. To move your Internet Explorer settings onto the card, do the following:

Create these directories:

\Storage Card\IECache\Temporary Internet Files
\Storage Card\IECache\Cookies
\Storage Card\IECache\History

EDIT : Do not use the Temp folder on your storage card, this seems to get locked from time to time, which means your ppc starts to use the default storage aka your main memory.

In HKEY_Current_User\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Shell Folders, edit the existing three registry entries (pointing \Windows\Profiles\guest\…) to match the folders you just created.

Note that if your card is named “SD Card”, like mine was, you need to adapt those entries in the registry.

3. You can move some other files like Pocket Informant also out of the way. A utility like MemMaid can also do this, provided it knows about the application. Very usefull !

In some other sites, there is talk about the filesys.exe using an inordinate amount of CPU, thus slowing down the pocket pc. Here is a thread on a microsoft msdn blog that discusses why filesys does what it does and why you need to put as much as possible on your storage card. Interesting !

Set ActiveSync to manual activation :

  • Launch ActiveSync on your pocket pc
  • Choose Menu, Add Server Source
  • Input ‘something’ for the server address
  • Next
  • Again, fill something in (whatever you want) for Username, Password and Domain
  • Make sure that every field is filled in
  • Next
  • Finish
  • Now, do Menu, Schedule
  • Set both Peak times & Off-peak times to Manually
  • OK
  • Do Menu, Options
  • Select Exchange Server and delete it thus removing the settings you have just entered
  • OK to exit

You can tune your own cache level :

* Boost Windows Mobile 5 performance up to 20 percent

CacheSize = 0x1FA0 (8096)

EnableCache = 0x1 (1)

ReplStoreCacheSize = 0x1FA0 (8096)

* The following entry does not exist – you need to create two new DWORDS here

DataCacheSize=0x1FA0 (8096)
Flags=0x28 (40)

* Boost your icon cache – this used to be 8192

[HKLM\System\GDI\GLYPHCACHE\limit=0x8000 (32768)

* Soft reset for changes to take effect. Default values for all keys are 0

Update :

  • there’s a ROM update for the HP iPaq hx2000 series
  • Why Flushing the memory is important
  • Filesys.exe throttler for the hx2xxx models (try each one until one works, then copy that one to the startup folder
Blog News Pocketpc

SD Card problems

We’ve been on holiday the last week to Centerparcs and it has been a blast. Except for the return, when the last hamburger I ate there (I only ate two) didn’t agree with me and I had the runs for two days.

Not fun, that.

Anyway, when we were going over there, I used TomTom to navigate to the place. At one stage TT (installed on my pocket pc’s main memory) could not find the card that was installed on the sd card.

A reboot helped, and going back home it kept on working until I again did a reset (the normal one, not the hard reset). And suddenly all my programs installed on my sd card are gone ! I still have my documents, but that’s about it.

Damn. When I loaded the card up on my mac, it showed me the folder names, but as 0 bytes executable files… Guess I’m screwed. I’ll do a reformat of the card tomorrow and reinstall my stuff on there. I just hope this was a once-off happening.

Just about the only thing I wasn’t doing a backup on was my sd card… I now regularly, after installing new programs, make a copy of my sd card to my pc.
Update : I removed all the affected dirs and reinstalled my applications. Now doing a backup…

Update 2 : It seems that I have to be very carefull when rebooting my pocket pc. The best way to do it is to turn off the pocket pc, wait a while, then do a reboot or reseat the sd card. If I press the reboot willy-nilly it usually manages to loose whatever files where associated with the program I was currently running.

Pocketpc Windows

Active Sync 4.1 (read: Active Stink)

I recently upgraded my Ipaq hx2410 pocketpc to Windows Mobile 5.

I didn’t want to have the same problem a collegue of mine had, which was that he had waited so long to upgrade his Pocket Loox from Windows 2002 to 2003se that he no longer could find the appropriate upgrade software.
The upgrade went well, but since then I’ve been unable to get Active Sync 4.1 running on my Windows XP (Service Pack 2) box at home and reinstall my pocketpc applications.

The only way so far to install them is to download them as .cab files from the internet and install them locally on the handheld. But of course, most apps aren’t available as .cab files.

Apparently, if you can get Active Sync to work on another machine, you can extract the .cab files from a temporary folder that AS puts them into when you install them. However, I don’t want to do this on another machine that is not my own, I want my applications to be on my box !

I’ve tried everything, going as far as uninstalling Microsoft Active Sync, uninstalling Zone Alarm, cleaning out the /Program Files/Microsoft Active Sync directory, cleaning out the registry and reinstalling Active Sync. Nothing, nada, zilch, nikske.
Nothing so far has worked, even though the pc seems to see the handheld – as when I put the handheld in the cradle, Active Sync activates its self and starts ‘Connecting’… forever. And I am not the only one looking for a solution.
It seems to be a networking issue.


I finally, finally got it working, after two weeks of puttering about. The solution, of course, was really simple (in hindsight). Simply uninstalling my Cisco VPN client (which had refused to work anyway) resolved the problem and after a reboot my PDA was recognised toot-sweete ! Any vpn client installed looks at your network traffic and in this case seems to be the source of corruption.
Installing my apps at last !