My Phone Died – Backup Tools For Windows Mobile


Yesterday my phone, with no respect for the faith I have showed in it, collapsed. As I worked quietly away at my desk, it shut itself down, then got half way through starting itself back up before giving up.

This cardboard was more useful than my HTC HD2 yesterday

The screen I actually saw was less useful than this.

Following 10 minutes or so of incredulous ranting, I gathered my thoughts and considered my options.  I had one, really: a full reset and rebuild.  At this point I was very grateful for the backup utilities I’ve been using.

Backup Tools For Windows Mobile

Microsoft have developed a rather excellent little mobile phone backup utility for WinMob phones.  Microsoft My Phone is a free tool, capable of backing up your whole phone contents except software.  I’d recommend it for all WinMob users, because it can even backup your music and photos, whether on the storage card or on the phone memory.  It also keeps all your SMS & MMS  messages, which can be an absolute boon if you need to keep records of some of your text conversations.  If you don’t often take your personal files off the phone (which I do but you might not), this might be the only place you can find them if your phone gets nicked.

At work we run Exchange Server, so we use Activesync to make sure our phones are up to date with all emails; contacts; appointments; tasks and so on.  Since the two tools are both Microsoft, they make sure they don’t rip on each others’ toes so duplicates are avoided.


Thanks to having already used these two utilities, I managed to repopulate my phone with all the information that was on it before it had a wobbly.  Using the My Phone tool, I archived 2000 texts to the web, thus avoiding the memory problems that probably caused the meltdown in the first place.

Don’t Lose Your Software

A word to the wise…. if you install 3rd party software on your Windows Mobile device, keep the Registration Keys on record.  If (when?) you have to rebuild the phone, the software will be lost along with all other data held on the handset.  If you’re working from the storage card, that should be ok but don’t leave it to chance.

I’ve had to reinstall 2 pieces of software and have needed to punch in the Product Registration Keys for both of them.  In the worst case, you might have to pay again to use something you’ve already paid for.  Don’t get caught out.

Now What?

After an hour or so wasted rebuilding my little friend, I’ve calmed down a bit.  I think I’m ready for the abusive comments from iPhone users now 😉

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10 comments on “My Phone Died – Backup Tools For Windows Mobile

  1. ridingthemoor

    If its any consolation.. A colleague had iPhone failure today.. only 3 weeks old. Probably caused by using a handsfree kit that has bent the connectors at the bottom…

    The almighty jesus phone isn’t without flaws..

  2. GaryUFM

    Glad you got it sorted. Cheers for the Microsoft My Phone tip. Essential for us non-Apple infidels!

  3. JobySp

    But the iphone backs itself up when you plug it into itunes (if you set it up to do that), including software, thus negating the need to panic 😉

    But it does have some flaws – like everything in life.

  4. Phill

    Yeah I forgot to mention that you can set My Phone to backup automatically every day. If you’re on a data-rich tariff you can set it to go automatically. I might do that actually, set it to go at, say, 2am when I’m in the land of nod.

    Regardless of phone, I’d be properly screwed without the backups. If anyone out there has a phone they’re not backing up, do it NOW.

  5. JobySp

    Yup. Back in the old days when phones first allowed you to store stuff on the phone and not on the sim – that caused me big problems and had to type my phone numbers in over and again.

    Thank the lord for modern technology!

  6. Phill

    Joby, Yes thank the Lord indeed, I would be knackered without the backups and the tech makes it so fecking easy.
    Gary, Thanks a lot for the tips yesterday while I was flapping like a barn door in a gale! Just got my personal email account settings to punch in again now and I’m as good as new.

  7. Clive Chapman

    As you all know I’m no techie geek like all of you lot so I use what I’m given and make do.

    My Blackberry was ok, but the one I was given had no camera. Good phone reception and battery life.

    I’ve had an IPhone for 2 weeks (16gb 3g and while it appears to be the gadget freak’s God send, camera, email, loads of software and apps, it has 2 major flaws in my eyes.

    Phone reception is shite, can’t use it from my office so I have to go outside to the carpark and the battery life is pants. I have to keep it plugged in to my laptop most of the time. I do tend to use it more though.

  8. Phill

    Yeah, I’m the one nonconformist in a company with 23 iPhone users. All the lads moan about the iPhone battery life. Mine’s not bad and you can replace the batteries when they get dodgy for about £20, so I think that’s a benefit of the HTC.
    I’ve receovered my personal email setting now so I’m just about where I was 3 days ago, and if the phone dies again I know what to do. So far, on balance, I’m still happy with my choice but this week’s been a bit of a trial.

  9. Les

    Well if this makes u feel happier I av a Blackberry Storm which aint wivout its probs av to delete emails txts and facebook stuff every two to three days and clear the cache every day or it goes into meltdown

    Battery life is poor av to charge it every day it seems its on charge all the time

    all them faults aside do like it tho av thought bout an iphone coz the amount of apps there r for it

    The worst I had wasnt the phone but the service the 3 network cant even use the phone to make calls wot is that all about s***te service

    Sorry Phill rant over

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