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Moving from another Operating System to Windows Mobile

written by: Meryl K Evans•edited by: Simon Hill•updated: 6/7/2011

Move your PalmOS data to your Windows Mobile device.

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    So you have a new Windows Mobile smartphone or device, but left behind another that contains a lot of your data. Or maybe most of your data is on your computer or an online web application like Google Calendar.

    Who wants to re-enter all the data? You can transfer your data within a couple of hours with new or existing software. Before you start -- backup your current handheld's data.

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    If Your Data is on Outlook or Exchange...

    If you already use Exchange Server or Outlook to manage all of your information, you have it easy.

    Just connect your Windows Mobile device to your computer with the information. Windows should recognize the device and automatically install and run the appropriate sync application.

    Those using Windows XP or earlier will synchronize the mobile device and computer through ActiveSync. Those on Vista will use Windows Mobile Device Center. Reference Microsoft's Synchronizing page for more information.

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    Data Transfer Options

    You can transfer the files in various ways. Some options cost nothing and others cost the price of software. The two main options:

    • Use third party software.
    • Export and import data.
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    3rd Party Software

    Most PalmOS devices came with PocketMirror conduit on the included CD. If you didn't use the software, grab the PalmOS CD and install PocketMirror. After installing PocketMirror, sync the Palm with the desktop to copy the data into Outlook. Once done, sync the Windows Mobile device with the PC.

    Some people use two handheld devices. It sounds redundant, but usually one is a personal purchase while the employer provided the other. No matter how organized a person is, it's hard to keep work and personal data separate with two phones or devices. Two-way syncing software makes it easier to manage. If you leave the company, you can be sure you take your personal data with you.

    CompanionLink and Missing Sync offer different solutions for synchronizing data from one device to another and back.

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    Duplicates in Outlook

    While importing data into Outlook, you may see duplicate records even though you selected not to import duplicates. Importing is an imperfect process and it means manually deleting the duplicates. You can make deleting duplicates go faster.

    Delete duplicates in Outlook:

       1. Select the Contacts folder and Phone List from the Current View selection in the left pane.
       2. Click View, Arrange By, Current View and Customize Current View.
       3. Click Fields from the Customize View: Phone List window.
       4. From the Available fields list, select Modified.
       5. Click Add.
       6. Modified is selected, so drag it to the top of Show These Fields in This Order list.
       7. Click OK twice to return to the Contacts view.
       8. Hold the CTRL key while clicking duplicate entries and press Delete.

    Avoid accidentally deleting items, press Delete every few selections. You less likely to make a mistake deleting five items at once than 100 items. When you finish, re-sort your contacts by name to verify no duplicates remain. Repeat the last step until all the duplicates go away.

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    Export and Import Palm Data

    Even if you already sold, traded or trashed your PalmOS device, you can still move your data into Outlook using Palm Desktop. The only drawback is that it'll take a few extra steps, but it's simple otherwise.

    1. Locate those CSV files you exported from the Palm as explained in the next section.
    2. Open Outlook.
    3. Click File
    4. Click Import and Export
    5. Import from another program or file, and then click Next.
    6. Select Comma Separated Values (Windows) and click Next.
    7. Click Browse and locate the file you saved.
    8. Under Options, select your preference for dealing with duplicate items and click Next. Select where you want the imported contacts to go -- most likely Contacts.
    9. Click Next and Import "file name" into folder: "Selected folder name."
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    If Your Data Is in Palm or Another System...

    After backing up their data, Palm users can go the extra mile to backup data by exporting files from Calendar, Contacts, Tasks and Memos.

    Export Palm files:

    1. Open Palm Desktop and select Calendar.
    2. Click File and Export.
    3. Navigate to the folder where you want to backup your Calendar's data
    4. Enter a file name.
    5. Click Export.

    Repeat the steps for Tasks except ensure that All is selected for the Range.

    For Contacts and Memos, you can export the data as CSV (comma-separated value) text or TSV (tab-separated values). It would be wise to save two files of each: One in its original format (Contacts Archive for Contacts and Memos Archive for Memos) and the other in CSV as you'll see in a later tip. Also for both, select All for Range.

    Regarding the Map Custom Fields window: match the value on the left to the field name on the right by dragging it from left to right. This tells Outlook where the data goes when it imports the file. Click OK and Finish. Outlook imports the file. Next time you connect your computer and Windows Mobile device, the data transfers.