iPAQ Reloaded

My iPAQ 4155 gave me a nasty scare tonight. HP released a new ROM version on August 2, which updates the software to Windows Mobile 2003 SE and fixes some minor issues with the previous ROM version. This sounded like a good idea considering the updates to Windows Media Player included in the update.

The download went smoothly. I ran the executable file and followed all the instructions. The update indicated it should take about 10 minutes via USB. I shut the door to the office, left home to pickup some sushi carryout and returned to see the update still sitting at the 32% mark it registered when I left. I let the update continue through the sushi and proceeded through several other random tasks. Suddenly, the screen on my laptop went black, a reboot followed, and the iPAQ was left hanging in mid install.

I attempted to restart the update, but the software would not recognize my iPAQ. I decided to try a soft reset. Nothing. A hard reset, holding down the power button and pressing the reset button, made the screen go black for a second but it came back to the same splash screen the device was stuck on before. Maybe removing the battery would do the trick? No luck. The same screen came back when I put the battery back in.

Off to HP to be for mercy in their online chat support. I explained the situation in as much detail as possible. They suggested a soft reset (I assume this is the standard response). Next suggestion; a hard reset. Despite my previous attempt doing no good, I did the hard reset. Same result.

Just for grins I set the iPAQ back on the cradle. ActiveSync attempted to connect, but couldn’t recognize the device. I launched the ROM update, just to see if it would work. The update zipped through in about 3 minutes. The iPAQ rebooted and launched a fresh looking startup screen. Apparently the hard reset did the trick; I just never thought to put the device back on the cradle because the visual cues indicated no change.

Moral of this story?

If your iPAQ craps out in a ROM update, do a hard reset, put the device back on the cradle and start over. It’s the simple things that are often the most frustrating.