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Upgrading from a Sony Ericsson P800 to a P900 or P910

(much expanded from a few paras I did for PDA Essentials magazine issue 21)

Whichever handheld you own, it's always important to think about where you (and your data) go next. Sometimes it's as easy as plugging in your new unit and pressing a HotSync button, such as when upgrading from one Palm OS unit to another. Sometimes it's totally alien, having to convert or replace almost everything manually, such as going from a Psion to a Pocket PC. And sometimes you really think it should be easy but it turns out it isn't.

Upgrading your Sony Ericsson P800 to a P900 (or even upgrading the P800 to a much newer firmware) isn't, unfortunately, as easy as restoring your most recent backup onto the new device. The backed up files are intimately associated with your original device and may cause operating system problems if overlaid onto the new one. In fact, Sony Ericsson's PC Suite emphasises this, by not letting your restore the backup set from one device to another.

Fear not, though, for most of your data and applications can be fairly easily transported, by hook or crook:

  1. Synchronizing the P900 with Outlook will get the bulk of your PIM information across, although you will need to recategorise all your Tasks and Jotter entries if you've been using the UIQ 'folder' system.
  2. If syncing isn't working for some reason, your contacts can be beamed directly from one smartphone to the other using infrared or Bluetooth. With the category set to 'All', choose the menu item 'Send this folder'. If the two units aren't physically close enough, for whatever reason, you can also beam the folder to a convenient laptop and then back again (it becomes a standard .VCF file), or even email yourself the folder.
    You may also find a tool like SmartVCard useful.
  3. For Calendar/Tasks, if these haven't been synced across yet, or you can't face recategorising your entries, use a tool such as SMan to close both running applications and then copy the file 'C:\Documents\Agenda\Agenda' across, via your Memory Stick Duo. You can't just beam the file, as the P900 Messages app will open it but not let you save it or merge it. Similarly for Jotter ('Notes' in Outlook).
  4. To retain your documents and media files on Memory Stick Duo, just pop the card into the P900 when it arrives, they'll be recognised instantly. Files on your internal disk can be copied to and from your PC, of course (or rescued from an old .ecs backup set - just rename it as a .zip file and open it as usual).
  5. Many applications (installed on card) will also work without fiddling, although many commercial and shareware titles may need re-registering, partly because your smartphone's IMEI number will have changed and partly because the .INI and .REG files son't now be present on the internal disk.
  6. Applications which have desktop counterparts and which handle synchronization themselves (e.g. SplashPhoto and Handy Safe) also make life easy here by putting a fresh copy of their data on the new unit if necessary.
  7. Finally, your P900's GPRS settings can be (re)set up 'over the air' from your network provider's web site, of course. Vodafone in the UK make this particularly easy. Then it's just a case of plugging in your email details.

In terms of casualties, your SMS message store will be lost, but this is likely not to be a big deal.

Do you have anything to add to this procedure? Have you found any gotchas? Please get in touch!