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Migrating Your Treo Data Quickly To A New PC

Last week I purchased a new laptop and as many Treonauts will already have experienced themselves I had to go through the looooong process of migrating my files and reinstalling pretty much all of my applications including those synching with my Treo.

One hundred reboots of my PC later I am still not fully done but at least all my Treo 650 re-installations are now complete.  Since I couldn’t find a single document on Palm’s support site to help me in my migration to a new PC I thought that I should share a few tips that I learned along the way which may prove helpful if/when you next upgrade your own PC.

  1. Install the latest version of the Palm Desktop software (presently v4.1) on your new PC
    • During installation you will be prompted for a username to HotSync.  Create a new one and call it ‘Temp’ or anything else but not your current Treo username.
    • Make sure that the Palm Desktop software on your old PC is also the same version that you installed on your new one.  If not install it on your old one.
  2. On your old PC go to Program Files, find the “Palm” or “palmOne” folder and copy it to the same Palm or palmOne location on your new PC overwriting all files on your new PC in the process.
  3. If like me you use MS Outlook as your preferred email client and also use PocketMirror Professional XT to synchronize multiple Outlook folders then you’ll need to:
    • On your old PC go to Start > All Programs > Microsoft Office > Microsoft Office Tools and run the progam called Microsoft Office 2003 Save My Settings Wizard.  Save the Settings file and copy it to your new PC where you’ll run the Wizard again but this time to import the preferences instead of saving them.
    • On your old PC find your Outlook PST file (typically in
      C:\Documents and Settings\yourusername\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook) and copy it to the same location on your new PC.  [NOTE: Do not open Outlook on your new PC before you have copied your PST over.]
    • Install PocketMirror Professional XT on your new PC and check the Chapura Settings to make sure that the synchronisation is set to your preferences.
    • Run Outlook and download your new mail.
  4. You can now run your first Treo HotSync on your new PC.

The next stage in getting your Treo 650 synchronizing fully with your new PC again is to determine those applications that you might have installed (see my Top 100 Applications list for some ideas) that have a ‘desktop/system component’, a ‘conduit’ or that ‘integrate’ with other programs such as MS Office.  In my case these included close to 20 applications below:





Evidently reinstalling all of the above applications took me hours and while some proved to be a painless process others such as Pocket Tunes Deluxe with Yahoo Music Unlimited were considerably more annoying – in this particular case because of the Digital Rights Management issues associated with my music.

Having said this, overall it was significantly faster and easier to deal with my Treo installations than with those on my new PC…  There is no doubt that copying my entire old Palm folder in Program Files to my new PC at the beginning proved to be a major help and time saver.

Treonauts always find ways to save time

Posted by Andrew on April 25, 2006 at 05:59 PM

Treo Software | Utilities

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by Matthew Riehl | Apr 25, 2006 6:20:11 PM

Tried to post a relevant material, but kept getting " comment spam". You should work on that.


by Andrew | Apr 25, 2006 8:14:47 PM

Matt - Please email me your comment at treonauts [at] pobox.com and I'll post it. There is probably just one of the words that you're using that is on our 'banned' list...

Cheers, A.

by David | Apr 25, 2006 10:07:04 PM

Suppose you did not copy your files from PC to PC but just sync'ed the treo to your new computer. What would you loose? That is what I did recently.

by Adri | Apr 25, 2006 10:44:00 PM

I use Plaxo with Outlook. Plaxo sync all your contacts, calander, notes, & tasks to it's online servers, which are all accessable online too. the greatest thing ever, since my treo of course.

I since my treo to my desktop. My desktop syncs with Plaxo and then Plaxo syncs with my laptop's outlook. so EVERYTHING is always in sync.

It works with outlook/outlook express, thunderbird, and OS X too!

I used the 30 day trial of Premium to get rid of all my duplicate contacts.

by Dirk Spiers | Apr 26, 2006 6:38:42 AM

I used to have the same problem. Took at least a day to get everything up and runnign again. Like moving house. But I really like the combination of Mac OS upgrade functionality together with Missing Synch. Going to a new computer has never been easier.

I wonder why I wasted all these days in the past.

by Alan | Apr 26, 2006 7:40:24 AM

Andrew, just curious which laptop did you get?

also, with pocketmirror do you only get your email via hotsync or are you able to download your mail directly to your Treo as well?

by Andrew | Apr 26, 2006 8:29:43 AM

Alan - I got the ThinkPad T60p (2GB RAM, T2500 Core Duo 2Ghz, UXGA, 256MB Video)... Overall very happy but my laptop arrived with a defective fan which has yet to be repaired - I've had _major_ issues with Lenovo's tech support...

I don't use PocketMirror XT to sync my mail just my contacts, calendar and notes. I download email directly to my Treo with SnapperMail (although I am seriously considering a switch to ChatterEmail).

Cheers, A.

by Hawk | Apr 26, 2006 12:03:05 PM

David, be VERY VERY CAREFUL if you choose to just randomly sync with another PC. You cannot choose which direction to sync data using HotSync on the Palm, only on the desktop. This could bite your rump very harshly.

I'm a Mac user and use MissingSync at home. It's a wonderful program, and much better behaved than Palm Desktop, which used to routinely hose everything and make me reboot.

Here at work, I wanted to back up some data from a program on my Palm to a windows PC, using a program that only syncs under Windows. I plugged in my treo, it said, "use this username on your computer?" and I said yes. HotSync then completely erased my device.


Well, instead of making a 'hotsync user', it made a 'hotsync profile', which is completely different. Is this due to MissingSync? I don't know.

I've noticed that if I create a user first, on the desktop, with the same name as the one on my Treo, then sync.... magically it will behave, *for exactly one sync*. It then erases that 'user' and sets it back to a 'profile'.

by Tony | Apr 26, 2006 7:41:59 PM

Andrew - So, what was your solution? I'm interested to know.

I've been synching my Treo 650 at work on my Windows PC (and will continue to do so), but just got a dual-core iMac at home. I haven't even attempted to hook up the Treo yet...I want to hear from folks who've done this first...

by JJ Beh | Aug 18, 2006 11:51:57 AM

Hi Andrew,

Just wanted to get your thoughts on the best way to migrate from palm desktop to pocketmirror... i am using a tre 650 and want to be ready for the switch to windows mobile when the 750/nitro comes out and also to get off using the palm desktop which is always buggy. Do you have or is there a link that gives good instructions on migrating from desktop to outlook 2003? and also, how does the media files get moved, if at all, during the migration process. thanks, love reading your blog, lots of good info on it.


by Steve Jones | Apr 23, 2011 8:41:56 AM

A very good post and an excellent blog. I am now a follower. Thanks, Steve @ http://www.study-aids.co.uk

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