The day my PDA crashed. Lessons learned.

I woke up Monday morning to find that my Palm Tungsten E PDA would not turn on. I proceeded to reset it (not a soft reset but a hard reset that destroys all the data). Since I have the data backed up in 2 other places, not including my PDA, I was not worried.
I proceeded to almost restore the data from my Gateway notebook to the PDA but there were still problems. The PDA would start synchronizing and restoring databases and then crash each time it came to synchronize VersaMail – an application that comes with the PDA and is used to check your email.
I went through hours and hours of trying to get it to work, all to no to no avail. I went to Palm and Google’s web site for help and although there were others reporting the same error messages I experienced, none of the solutions worked. VersaMail still kept crashing even though I had tried to remove it from my PDA.
On the way to the train an inspiration hit me. Why not go into the Palm directory and see if there were any “PRC” files that were still reinstalling components of the VersaMail program. PRC files are Palm files that are used to install programs onto Palm PDAs. I found several VersaMail files in my Palm database directory and deleted them on the train. Guess what? That solved the problem and my PDA works just fine.
Lesson learned? Always. I mean ALWAYS have a back up of your critical data – in more than one place. You can always buy another computer – you might never be able to replace your data.
Two, never stop thinking of solutions. I could have bought another PDA as I would have eventually done. But by thinking a bit more I saved myself $200.
My PDA breaking down prompted me to write about and collect thoughts from many professionals about why THEY THINK paper is so much better than a PDA. Read their opinions here