How to Backup and Restore a Palm Desktop User Data Folder

During my umpteenth Palm upgrade, I created the following file right inside of my Palm Desktop User Data folder to remind myself of the simple way to backup and restore a Palm Desktop User Data folder (aka Palm OS Desktop) . Hopefully those wiser than I will leave comments explaining problems and improvements in the process below. Helphand’s Not So FAQ’s for the Palm offers very detailed information about reading the individual files within a Palm User Data folder, however, that’s not quite what I want.

restore_instructions.txt (save this file into your Palm User folder):

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To backup this Palm User folder simply copy it to backup media somewhere. If Windows file encryption was used, export your public and private keys as well!! Start, Run, Certmgr.msc, Personal, Certificates, right click on cert, All Tasks, Export…, “Yes, export the private key”.

To restore from backup, read through and then follow these steps:

1) Restore this directory from backup. Make sure the
restored files are read-write (especially those in the MemoPad\
directory, such as memopad.dat, otherwise Palm Desktop will default
to creating a new, empty db instead of importing the old data!!).

2) Make a copy of the restored users.dat file from this directory; step 3)
is going to overwrite the one here. (This directory might already
contain a backup of users.dat, but it might be out of date; make
another backup just to be safe).

3) Uninstall and then re-install Palm Desktop selecting the “Custom”
installation type if necessary to point the install to any
non-standard User Data location. The installation will overwrite the
users.dat file in the User Data location. Pre-6 versions of Palm Desktop don’t have an option for a “custom” User Data location. Instead, update HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\U.S. Robotics\Pilot Desktop\Core\Path after the installation.

4) Finish the installation skipping the request for an initial device

5) Right click on Hotsync in the system tray and exit (it holds onto a copy of users.dat too).

6) Replace users.dat with the backup from step 2).

7) Start Palm Desktop to confirm the data has been restored.

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