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(Still) Unofficial Guide to GPRS

Tue Oct 1, 2002 - 10:04 AM EDT - By Marcus Adolfsson

Upgrade Instructions

Handspring has finally released the latest GPRS Upgrade - available for everyone but customers in North America.

Handspring support site warns that "None of the North American carriers has yet approved the Treo GPRS Upgrade 1.1. If you use Cingular, T-Mobile, AT&T Wireless or Rogers AT&T, you will NOT be able to install this upgrade yet."

Handspring expects to deliver a GPRS Upgrade to US customers in the coming weeks.

Oh well. By following the instructions below you can bypass the geographical installation checks and install the upgrade on any Treo 180/270. Users who previously upgraded with the Asian release knows the drill (and you can safely upgrade to 1.1 too)

In addition to enabling GPRS support, the upgrade offers several new features including improved speed when looking up and dialing names from the Contacts list, a microphone mute button, an improved speakerphone, updates SMS application, and an updated Blazer (for 180 users).

First, read the following cautionary words from Handspring:

Handspring will not offer support or issue RMAs for units that become disabled if the update fails, before the US carries approve the release.

If you disregard this message and try to download, we cannot guarantee your experience, nor will we support your communicator. We suggest that you wait until your mobile service provider has approved the Treo GPRS Upgrade 1.1.

The majority of users on our discussion boards who have tried the upgrade has experienced no major issues, and are enjoying both GPRS and the other added features. However, some users have had the installation process stall on them and now have a dead radio component, with probably no support from Handspring U.S.

Follow these directions on your own risk!

1. Mare sure you meet the following criteria:

  • A Treo 180, 180g or 270 communicator
  • A minimum of 6.7MB (6,700KB) of free memory available on your Treo communicator (to check available memory, go to the Applications Launcher, choose Menu -> App -> Info -> Size). This memory is required to install and execute the updater but is restored after the update is complete.
  • Your Treo communicator's battery must be fully charged
  • You also need a desktop computer with:
    • Windows 95, 98, 98SE, NT 4.0, Me, 2000, XP (Macintosh installer is not yet available)
    • HotSync Manager 3.12H (Windows)
    • A Treo HotSync cable or cradle connected to your desktop computer
    • A connection to the Internet

2. Sync your Treo and then backup your Treo's HotSync folder (just incase you will need it). The HotSync folder is usually located in C:\Program Files\Handspring\Your HotSync Name. After this, you may want to perform a hard reset on your Treo to reduce the likelihood that any installed hacks or applications will interfere with the upgrade. Also make sure you disable any utility that might turn the Radio Modem on automatically. Some users have reported that the upgrade process stalled on them, which leaves the phone radio disabled. However, the majority of upgrade reports have been successful.

3. Download the GPRS upgrade file from Handspring's support site (both PC and Mac files are available), and the modified CurrentCarrier.PDB. This file makes the program think you are using SingTel-G9, an Asian provider that supports GPRS. You want to put this file in your HotSync Backup folder - not the backup of your HotSync folder that you just created.

4. Now you are ready to execute the upgrade file. Once the upgrade is installed, the Treo will reflash it self. All data on the Treo is lost, but is restored on the next HotSync. If your computer keeps sending the Updater every time you Hot Sync (likely if you exited the installation wizard before it completed), delete the GPRSUpdater* and ROM_Updater* files from your Hot Sync Backup directory.

5. All done! If something went wrong during the upgrade, check out our upgrade FAQ.

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