Upgrading a Palm Tungsten C to New ROMs

I had problems with my Tungsten C – with the WiFi not working and the bottom 10 pixels or so of the screen being unresponsive to taps. I had just assumed that this was a sign of hardware failure – after all, the system was used and sold at half the going rate for used Tungsten C models.

However, upon further research, it turns out that upgrading the ROM was a possible fix. This was ultimately a resounding success. As part of the upgrade, all data was erased.

The upgrade was basically a three step process: 1) make sure the system can be upgraded; 2) prepare the system (which could include removing applications or files); and 3) install the update application and run it. The process includes many more details, but that is the essence of it. I used my Ubuntu Lucid Lynx installation of GNOME Pilot to remove the files, then made sure they were erased on the Tungsten with FileZ.

After running the update, the system is cleared of all applications and data. There were several problems that came up; I wound up clearing the Tungsten of all applications and installing fresh (to remove the cruft from old applications).

One problem was applications that absolutely refused to be deleted. Presumably, this is because there is some hook into the system or otherwise which prevents it from being deleted. Reset the machine while pressing up-arrow key, then release the key after seeing the Palm logo. This starts the system without any extra software hooks. Go into FileZ (or other file manager, such as TealMover) and delete the application – removing the ReadOnly bit if necessary.

Another problem is applications that may need a setup to install, in contrast to the usual installation of a couple of files. SplashNews was one such application. Don’t restore the file; best is to get the original files and reinstall (using the setup applications).

Yet another problem was the TealMaster or TealScript applications (or other similar applications). While the application will work fine, the backed up version of the file does not work. Again, get the original files and install from there. The backed up files are not the correct ones.

After doing all this – I decided to upgrade a few things, the launcher primary among them. I’ve switched (for the moment) from Launcher III to Propel for my launcher; very nice – recommended! Only drawback is Launcher III is free (although web site is gone) and Propel is $15. However, Propel is much more current, so it is more likely to have fewer bugs and more capabilities.

All in all, this upgrade to the Tungsten C ROMs has solved both problems and has resulted in more space due to removing all the unnecessary files. Do it if you have problems with your Tungsten C.

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