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Starting afresh... with your old data
how to keep all your bits and pieces when starting with a new device or with new firmware

Here's a big, big FAQ. Big enough to warrant an article on its own. The problem is that you've just upgraded from a Nokia 9300 to 9500 (or vice versa) and find the new device comes with a newer firmware version, or you've just had your device upgraded to a new firmware version by a service centre. In either case, there's the worry that system files used by the old firmware (version 4.53 or before) will adversely affect the new version of Symbian OS, so you can't simply do a 'Restore' using PC Suite or from a backup on MMC.

Although Nokia's Backup/Restore routine built into each Communicator allows, in theory, a 'Partial' backup, in practice this means that it just puts back your Calendar, Contacts and Messages, most of which you could put back yourself with a simple 'Sync' from Outlook or similar. What about your Documents, Sheets, Desk notes, not to mention third party applications and their files and registration information?

If you haven't yet had your device upgraded (or bought your new one), just follow the steps below to make sure that you have everything you need safe and sound. If you've already done the deed and only have your old backup to hand, you might want to do a 'Restore' anyway. This will work for the most part and will let you get in to follow my steps after you're happy that things are safe.

  1. Synchronize with Outlook and make sure your PIM data is safe (Calendar, Tasks, Contacts).
  2. Make sure you've got a record of all Internet and Messaging access passwords and servers. You'll find them all in Control panel | Internet access or in Messaging | Tools | Account settings. These will need to be typed in (or set up over the air) again.
  3. Copy and paste any important content from Desk notes to proper 'document' files.
  4. Copy any document and third party files to your desktop or to your MMC (simply copying over the contents of 'My files' is usually enough for most people).
  5. Make sure you have a record of any reg codes for third party applications and have their original SIS installation files on your PC.
  6. If you need your SMS (text message) database retained, use PC Suite's Nokia Phone Browser to drag and drop copies of your messages onto your PC hard disk.

Consider all this a panic-free test of your disaster recovery procedures for a lost or broken Communicator!

  1. Now you're ready to reformat (or for Nokia to do their firmware upgrade, if appropriate). Remove the battery, re-insert it and hold down 'Ctrl'+'shift'+'F' until the format dialog appears. Then say 'Yes'.
  2. You will be absolutely amazed how much faster Desk and many applications will now run.
  3. Re-synchronize your PIM data from Outlook (or whatever you use).
  4. Re-install any third party applications, enter their reg codes.
  5. Copy back over your documents and third party files (from 'My files' on your MMC?)
  6. Enter your Messaging and Internet settings again. If you're not sure about the latter, your SIM card network operator can probably send them 'over the air' for free.
  7. If appropriate, drag and drop your backed up SMS items back into Nokia phone browser, so that they appear on the device again.

If all has gone well, you're now up and running on a device with a newer firmware version, and with no legacy files hanging around, and with all your data and documents intact. And you've also had a damn good spring clean into the bargain. Enjoy your new, faster, Communicator!