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Phatnotes for Outlook sync problems

I use the “notes” in Outlook. I like to use them on my phone too – so I use Phatnotes for Outlook which stores the notes on my phone and syncs with Outlook nicely. (Importantly Phatnotes can handle note categories – which the notes facility in Windows Mobile can’t).

The problem

Well, after a year, the “syncs nicely” changed. Notes get randomly deleted (fortunately they are in my deleted items in Outlook so I can get them back). Also some changes I made to notes in Outlook are not appearing on the phone!


1. I restored the “deleted notes.

In Outlook went to deleted items. Sorted it by icon so all the notes were together. I created a new notes folder (called “oldNotes”) and moved in there any notes that had been genuinely deleted. I highlighted the remaining notes and dragged them onto the “Notes” folder (thankfully they remember their categories).

2. I resolved that I would see my notes in Outlook would be my definitive set, and reviewed some recently changes notes to check they looked ok. I decided that I would now uninstall Phatnotes and reinstall it – so starting from scratch with the notes on the phone:

a) Backed up my Outlook notes
In Outlook:
– File à Export à select “to file” à select “pst file” à select Notes folder à next àBrowse à choose a filename that describes it (eg notesbackup) and a folder (can be a flashdrive) à I chose no encryption

b) Uninstalled Phatnotes from the phone
On the phone:
– closed Phatnotes – and disconnected phone from PC
– Start à Settings à system tab à Remove programs à select Phatnotes à Yes
– at the “delete notes database?” prompt: Yes

c) Uninstalled Phatnotes from the PC
On the PC:
– closed Outlook and ActiveSync
– Start àControl Panel à Add/Remove Programs à select Pahtnotes à Remove

d) Reinstalled Phatnotes
– connected phone to PC
– on PC: opened Active Sync and waited for sync to finish
– on PC: ran PhatnotesOutlook.exe (which I have saved on my PC)
– then a dialogue on the PC says look at phone screen. Phone screen asked where I wanted Phatnotes installed. I selected: Storage Card
– at next dialogue on PC: Finish (not necessary to select the options button unless have multiple notes folders in Outlook that you want to sync)

e) Synchronised phone to PC
– then did a Sync using Active Sync
– it now copies all the notes over to the phone
It took ages over an hour (I have over 1300 notes)

BUT!! the result was – all the notes in Outlook had been deleted (moved to the Deleted folder)!


I restored the notes from pst backup (I could probably just have moved them back from the Deleted Items folder). Then I did another sync. This sync was very quick (a minutes?) and now all the notes are on my phone and in Outlook!

I tested creating and editing notes on each platform – and they sync ok

My setup
PC running Windows XP SP3
Palm Treo Pro running Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional
Palm connects to PC using ActiveSync4.5
Store Outlook notes on my phone using PhatNotes for Outlook 5.2 build 5.591.0201


phone memory critically low

  • Getting the message “memory critically low”
  • Click in top right-hand corner of home page and then tap on the % figure
  • This shows how much “program memory” is free and how much “storage memory” is free. For me the “storage memory” is the problem (max 105.55MB)

Program memory = the memory programs use (temporarily) when they are running
Storage memory = used to store files AND programs


  1. I have a program called “KeepRecordin”. Changed this to save on storage card not in memory
  2. Wondered what the large pim file is (59MB) – in root folder (ie in MyDevice). It’s apparently all my contacts, calendar and tasks
  3. MyDevice/Windows/Rings. This contains my ringtones. Some are large files (5MB). So deleted some
  4. In Notes changed the set-up to store on storage card (some notes can include graphics and audio so can be large files). Also moved existing notes from MyDevice/MyDocuments to Storage card
    NB the icon has a little picture of a storage card if the file is stored on the card
  5. I could also … move programs to the storage card rather than the main memory (eg Phatnotes) (Think should probably do this by uninstalling and reinstalling the program)

My setup
Palm Treo Pro running Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional

Active Sync hangs

I had been happily synchronising my phone with Outlook for many months (using Active Sync) and then one day it kept hanging. It never got past the “Looking for changes ” stage. It just carried on saying “looking for changes” and nothing changed. It didn’t produce any error messages and the ActiveSync troubleshooter said everything was ok

After trying many things I replaced the cable connecting PC to phone – and all was ok!

My setup
PC running Windows XP SP3
Palm Treo Pro running Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional
Palm connects to PC using ActiveSync4.5

Laptop’s touchpad stopped working

On Sunday, after having my laptop for many months, the touchpad suddenly stopped working. Now when I boot the PC the touchpad can move the cursor, but not select anything (whether through clicking on the button or tapping the pad)

After logging in I can’t even move the cursor (and can’t select items either)


What I tried first

1)     Fn F7 (the function key which turns the touchpad on and off)

2)     Rebooting the PC

3)     Taking the battery out

4)     Going into device properties: it says it is working fine


Emailed Acer Support. They suggested complete system restore to factory settings but that would have wiped everything I ever put on the PC)


Partial Solution : Deleted Driver

I found a temporary cure through deleting the driver

1)      Control Panel àDevice Manager à Mice à selected Synaptics PS/2 Port Touchpad à pressed delete (removed the driver)

2)      Then at the prompt I said yes to reboot

3)      The touchpad is now working!

 BUT … when I next restart the PC the problem has resurfaced Maybe after the 1st restart Windows reinstalled some driver which then became effective on the 2nd restart?

I tried telling Vista it must ask me before installing drivers

Computer – Properties àSystem Protection (in left panel) à Hardware tab à Windows Update à Driver Settings à selected “ask before checking for updates”

Initially that seemed to solve things … but then a while later the problem resurfaced and this no llonger solved it.


Installed latest driver – didn’t help

Went to UK Acer Support site

Downloaded driver & ran instal

It said I first had to uninstal the existing driver & reboot. I tried just deleting the driver (as above). It wasn’t happy with this. It needed me to go into Control Panel and use Add/Remove Programs.

BUT … on restart the touchpad is not working!


Solution: removed Synaptics program in Control Panel

 Start → Control Panel → Programs & Features → selected Synaptics programme and removed it

It seems that:

  • Windows can operate the touchpad without the Synaptics driver
  • Removing the program in Control Panel means the drievr won’t be reinstalled at Restart (whereas if you delete the driver from Device Manager it then gets automatically reinstalled)


What caused the problem?

Maybe a Windows Vista update (or Windows Defender update)

You can delete updates …

Window Defender updates are mixed in with Windows Updates, if you check in Control Panel > Program and Features > Uninstall a Program …

 On the Left Side of the Window, click Remove Updates/Uninstall Updates then browse through there and remove the defender updates


Working without the mouse 

·  To select something in left hand pane in Windows Vista: press Alt, then it shows the short-cut keys highlighted

·  To do a right mouse click: shift F10 (also many keyboards have a button for it to the right of the space bar)

·  I Windows Explorer to expand a folder: right arrow key


My set-up

Laptop = Acer Travelmate 6292

Running Windows Vista

Touchpad = Synaptics


PS Acer told me something useful … drivers are on disk 1 of system recovery disks but also … All available drivers, updates and manuals for all Acer products can be obtained from their FTP site:

nb. for an Aspire 1662 notebook you would need to choose the ‘notebook’ folder and then the ‘aspire_1660’ series folder

Setting-up Sync of WMP to Phone

Recommendation: don’t sync your phone to Windows Media Player using ActiveSync. Just use the sync facility in WMP itself: it’s less problematic (and you can choose which music to sync).

Originally I synchronised the storage card in my phone to WMP on my PC using ActiveSync. That meant, however, that I was never able to do a quick sync of phone to PC because it would always include WMP in the sync (and if left connected it would often decide to re-sychronise just for fun). 

One day, as explained in another post (“WMP corrupted … music duplicated”) my music tracks had all been duplicated on the phone, so I deleted them all off the storage card and started again. (That particular problem was probably not related to ActiveSync, but I took the opportunity to do something different).

Inspired by the following helpful web page
I decided to setup the synchronisation from within WMP and not in ActiveSync:

1. Made sure WMP was not running on the phone (otherwise there can be problems synchronising album art)
2. Plugged phone into PC
3. Because previously I had been sychronising WMP with ActiveSync, when I plugged the phone in, ActiveSync said “Setup must be completed” for Media. I ignored this, and when ActiveSync’s other sychronisation had completed, in Active Sync I selected Tools -> Options -> and unchecked “Media” -> ok
4. Opened WMP on the PC. Clicked the arrow below the Sync tab -> Storage Card -> Setup Sync
It then started synchronising straight away so clicked the arrow below the Sync tab -> Stop Sync
5. Sync -> Storage Card -> Advanced Options -> selected Quality tab -> left Convert ticked and selected quality (I selected maxium – but I have a big storage card)
(On the Sync tab I unchecked “Start sync when this device connects” – I prefer to start it manually)
6. Sync -> Storage Card -> Setup sync
Left “sync this device automatically” checked (otherwise it will only sync specific tracks that you drag into the right-hand pane in WMP)
Removed everything from the right-hand box except what I wanted sychronised (I left “All Music” but that only works if you have a big storage card)
-> Finish -> it starts sychronising

One of several helpful tips from the web page previously quoted is …. on your phone, in WMP don’t select “update library” as it will probably copy onto your phone all sorts of things you don’t want there.

My setup
Windows Media Player 11 running on an XP PC
Palm Treo Pro running Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional
Palm connects to PC using ActiveSync4.5

WMP11 corrupted, then all my music duplicated on my phone

For a while I have been syncing my phone with Windows Media Player on my PC

One day the PC gave a message “Windows Media Player Database Corrupted” …. “the library database is corrupted” and something along the lines of … don’t worry, it will re-build itself.  Sure enough I didn’t have a problem with WMP on the PC, but …

Next time I connected my phone to the PC, ActiveSync came up with a message that, for Media sync, setup needed to be completed. I proceeded with the setup.

The Sync then went ahead – but it copied all my music to my phone again – so that every song was duplicated on the phone! (My phone has a 16GB storage card but I have about 9GB of music – so this was a problem!). When I used WMP on the phone it listed every track twice. When I used File Explorer on the phone this also listed every track twice.

1. In WMP I ended the sync partnership with the storage card (see separate post below)
2. I then deleted all the music on the storage card
– I connected the phone to the PC and ignored the request to setup media sync
– In ActiveSync clicked on Explore -> My Windows Based Mobile Device -> Storage Card -> Music -> deleted all the sub-folders
– however, although the tracks had been deleted from the storage card, WMP on the phone was still listing them all (and if I asked it to play one it unsurprisingly crashed). So…
3. In ActiveSync clicked on Explore -> My Windows Based Mobile Device -> Storage Card -> deleted file WMPInfo (I first did copied it to my PC just in case) BUT the music was still listed in WMP so …
Also in folder \Storage Card\MSMETADATA deleted the file (took a backup too)
Now the tracks don’t show in WMP on the phone
4. Now I was ready to follow the prompt in ActiveSync to complete setup for Media and all should be ok
HOWEVER I was inspired to set-up Media sync a different way by this very helpful web page
How did I setup sync to WMP? See seperate post: “Setting-up Sync of WMP to Phone”

My setup
Windows Media Player 11 running on an XP PC
Palm Treo Pro running Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional
Palm connects to PC using ActiveSync4.5

WMP11 – can’t end sync partnership?

I wanted to end the sync partnership between WMP and the storage card in my phone.
In WMP, to remove a device you are meant to click on the device in the navigation panel (that’s the panel on the left) and select “end sync partnership”. It advises (in several places) that to completely end the partnership you must do this when the device is unplugged.
BUT if you unplug the device the option to end sync partnership is greyed out!

Solution =
– Start with the device plugged in
– In Navigation Panel right-click the device
– Select “end Sync Partnership”
– Then a box comes up saying you may want to disconnect the device
– AT THIS POINT (and not before) disconnect the device
Now you can proceed.. and it works!

Why did I want to end the sync partnership? Because my music was duplicated on the storage card – see separate post on “WMP11 corrupted”

My setup
Windows Media Player 11 running on an XP PC
Palm Treo Pro running Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional
Palm connects to PC using ActiveSync4.5