Home > Useful Tips > How-to: Erase Your Palm Pre and Palm Pixi

How-to: Erase Your Palm Pre and Palm Pixi

Sometimes in life, you just gotta go back to a fresh start… a clean slate… a new beginning… square one… tabula raza… you get the idea.  Being a Palm Pre owner since June 2009, I can tell you that this certainly applies to webOS devices. Those of you “in the know” are aware that you can do many cool things with webOS homebrew… you can make the Pre look like a Blackberry, for example.  You can patch the Pre to hang up when you close the slider.  All very cool stuff, but I noticed that after getting carried away with patches (I used upwards of 30!), my “Precious” was really starting to slow down.

Many of you have noted that your Palm Pre has slowed down dramatically since Palm’s infamous 1.3.1 update.  While this update provided us with cool things under the hood (laying the groundwork for Flash, video recording), on the surface many felt like they were robbed of some of the Pre’s snappiness and stability.  And we can’t have that!

Fear not friends, because TOTALLY PALMED is on the case!  More after the break

Note:  this is a fix that’s recommended for people as at least a third resort… if you’re having any problems with your Palm Pre, there may be a simple solution you may not be aware of.  Hey, maybe one of those solutions can be found here!  You may also want to consider applying Palm’s WebOS Doctor tool to your Pre/Pixi, which essentially restores the Pre’s OS back to spec. Click here to read more about it.

That having been said, few things clear the Pre’s software of junk and give you that fresh start you were looking for than wiping the Pre’s memory.  You can do this one of two ways… a partial erase, or a full erase.

A partial erase will (temporarily!) delete:
– All your apps and data associated with them
– All contacts
– Calendar appointments
– Bookmarks
– Memos
A partial erase WILL NOT touch your USB partition where you have all your music, photos, documents, and videos!

A full erase will delete:
– Everything a partial erase deletes (above). This stuff is all restored.
– Everything on your USB drive…  photos, music, documents, videos… all gone. This part is NOT restored by your Palm Profile.



TO MY PRE,” you say.

… Stay with me, now!

For beginners, this all may sound a little scary, but trust me when I say it’s really not a big deal. Why? Because the good folks at Palm have your back. Literally.  As in, everything that a partial erase deletes is backed up to Palm on a daily basis.  After wiping your Pre/Pixi and restoring, you’ll find everything will be as you left it.  Well… almost everything… and remember this doesn’t include the USB partition. Different animal. Let’s begin, shall we?


Who should do it?
Anyone who needs a “system reset” of their Pre’s OS for fixing small bugs… one such annoying bug is when entire conversations on SMS/MMS completely disappear. There are simple fixes for this, but some people have had to resort to a partial erase.  Anyone contemplating a full erase (i.e., to boost speed, etc) should probably try a partial erase first.  If a partial erase doesn’t work, move on to the full erase.

Anything I should know before I start?
Yes. I learned all these things the hard way, but fortunately you won’t have to.  After doing a partial erase:
… Any homebrew apps will be deleted, including Preware. These are not restored.
… Any linking of contacts you did will be undone, and not restored. A nuisance.
… Any picture you linked with a contact on your device will be forgotten. You’ll have to do it again.
… You’ll have to re-enter your wifi password. Make sure it’s written down somewhere!
… Speaking of passwords, make sure you remember your Palm Profile password! You set this when you first activated your Pre. You can verify that it works by clicking here.
… Another thing about passwords: any password or private info saved on apps such as Splash ID will be wiped and NOT restored. (This is a pain, but the developers have indicated they’re coming out with a backup solution.)
… You will need a good carrier connection to restore your profile. You cannot set up your wifi until later. (Trust me, I tried.)

Okay, I’m ready! Let’s do this!
1) Tap the “Backup” button in your launcher. Select “Backup Now
2) Email important memos to yourself. Just in case…
3) If you use Google contacts, why not take this time to streamline them? My Pre’s Universal search has been much faster since I streamlined mine. Click on “Contacts” in the left column of Gmail. Then click the button that says “Find Duplicates” (see pic)
4) Find “Device Info” in your launcher.  Scroll down to the bottom where it says “Reset Options.”
5) Find where it says “Partial Erase.”
6) You’re done!  Let the Pre do its magic. Restoring your profile takes about 5-10 minutes with an EVDO connection. A 1x connection takes 10-15 minutes.


Who should do it?
People with very unstable or slow Palm Pre or Pixi that has not responded well to conventional methods or to a partial erase.

Anything I should know before I start?
Everything I said in the partial erase applies here.
In addition, it is very, very, very, very, very, very important that you back up your USB portion on your Pre!!!! (See below)

Okay, I’m ready! Let’s do this!

1) Plug your Pre into the computer in “USB Drive Mode.”
2) Make a folder named “Palm Pre USB Backup” on your computer.
3) Copy your most important USB files to your computer. If you want to be safe, just copy EVERYTHING into this folder and you can always sort it out later.  The point is, you don’t wanna LOSE this stuff.

… The remainder of the steps are exactly like a partial erase.  The only difference, of course, is you’re tapping where it says FULL erase.” After this happens and your non-USB stuff is restored by Palm, copy back only the most important files to your Pre.  Why? Well, this is based on anecdotal evidence, but I’ve seen my Pre goes much faster when not filled with music, videos, and documents.

… That’s it!  See? Nuthin’ to it! 🙂

Since some lawsuit-happy morons are suing Palm for loss of some of their Palm Profile data, let me clear myself of any blame should the rare even occur that the above steps damage your Pre somehow or lead to the loss of important data.  These procedures have worked wonders for my Pre, especially after the 1.3.1 update… but that’s no guarantee it will work for you and your mileage may vary.

In any case, it’s always nice to know that you can easily go back to Square One when needed.

Categories: Useful Tips

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