Sunday, April 19, 2009

Hosed by Nokia e71

Back when I had a Palm, I learned the painful lesson of backing up my data on a regular basis when an upgrade to a new phone went horribly awry and instead of copying all my old data to the shiny new phone, I wiped over all of my old data. I felt a sick feeling in my stomach as I realized the years of calendar items, memos and contacts gone in the push of a button.

I did damage control as best I could, sending a plaintive message to everyone in my e-mail address book for new contact info. Still, I knew there were some people I would simply lose touch with because they'd only been listed in my PDA. I became a backup utility evangelist, strongly recommending/entreating everyone I knew to backup their phone/PDA to a card or a desktop or hard drive. If I drove in NASCAR, my ride would have been covered in logos for SanDisk, Fusion-Seagate and Maxtor.

Fast forward a few years and many backup utility tools later and I again find myself staring sickly into a smartphone that has done me wrong. This time, it's my formerly enjoyed Nokia e71. Despite backing up my phone's contents regularly to the microSD card, I recently lost the entire contents of my calendar while trying to delete a single recurring appointment.

"What a pain," I thought. "But lucky for me I ALWAYS backup my data. So even if I've lost a couple calendar items entered in the last few days, at least I have a copy from last week." Right? RIGHT?! 

When I tried to restore the entries, I discovered (to my horror) that the default settings for the card backup application only back up images, sound files, video clips, documents and MIDP apps to the card, but not the calendar, contacts or messages!

Excuse me? What coder/engineer decided that in the event of some sort of catastrophic issue, the default setting for the most important data to be preserved on my phone would be the ringtone that sounds like a laser beam or perhaps a picture of daughter looking hilariously adorable in a hat while emptying a laundry basket, but NOT my calendar entries, contacts or SMS files?! WTH! To make it worse, I cannot find any menu for adjusting these properties. Aaaaaaggggh!

I've checked the user guide, forums, message boards, FAQ, etc., to no avail. I've e-mailed Nokia and look forward to learning something that will assuage my fears of continuing to use this device's backup tool.

UPDATE: Here's what Nokia had to say. First they wrote back and said the solution to my problem was to back up my data in the future using the Nokia PC Suite, which of course does not address my problem of being unable to backup my contents to the microSD card in the event that I need to do a restore when I'm away from my computer, which has happened several times over the years with other PDAs, namely Palms. 

Palm's Backup Buddy included the option of fully restoring everything from the card. Unfortunately, Nokia's tech support folk wrote that the backup application on the e71 cannot be modified to include the calendar, messages and contacts. Grrr.
Dear Natasha, Thank you for your response. I'm sorry that your original inquiry was not addressed in our previous e-mail to you. However, I am more than happy to assist you. Natasha, your Nokia E71 does not have any settings that can be adjusted to change what information is backed up to your microSD card. Also, there is not a way to save your calendar to your memory card, but there is a way to save your contacts and messages to your memory card. I have provided the steps below.
So, note to self: try not to break or lock up your PDA if you're ever away from your computer. And keep watching for announcements of availability for the unlocked Palm Pre.

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