Windows Mobile 6.1 Upgrade Experience Report

There is a new WM6.1 release out for the Motorola Q9c sold through Sprint.  After reading a bit about it I decided I wanted to do this upgrade.  This is my experience report from upgrading my device.

I started off by going to the Motorola website and downloading the upgrade tool.  This is about 18M.  I thought sweet, this is going to be easy.  I was wrong.  The upgrade tool is merely a downloader type tool.  The first part of the install this tool verify's the device and then it proceeded to download the update--about an hour on DSL. 

You are also told to make sure you have the device backed up as it is wiped as part of the install.  However, they give you an option to keep personal information.  I did this.

When doing the update you'll see a black and white DOS like screen on the device.  I did end up with an error in the install process.  The software on the PC detected the condition.  I had to power cycle the Q9c by removing the battery.  The process picked back up where it was when I plugged it back in.

Around this time the device reboots and you'll see a graphical Windows Mobile 6.1 screen.  Status on the PC indicates around 34% complete. 

Soon thereafter a manual reboot is requested by the software.  During reboot I see the Sprint screen.  When I reconnected the device nothing happened.  I power-cycled it again while it was plugged in and this time it was detected.  ActiveSync was seeing the device with a guest partnership.  The software continued loading the device and then went to load my personal settings.

Next, it looked like partnerships were removed and the device rebooted.  It might take a couple of seconds before the auto-reboot.  Don't panic.  After it rebooted is when it recreated the partnerships.  If you end up with an ActiveSync screen that is showing a guest partnership, reboot the device.

Bad Stuff

While my settings were retained and information that was on my SD card was left alone, I did have to re-install all of my applications.  I also had to reinstall the GPS application. 

Partnerships & Blue Tooth

Even though my Exchange partnership was showing up, it wasn't working properly.  I ended up removing and recreating it.

I also ended up with a second partnership on my personal Outlook account on my home PC.  I removed the original partnership and renamed the newly created partnership.  I started getting some synch errors on the PC, so I backed off what was being synched and added them back on one at a time.  That seems to have taken care of the synch problem.

All BlueTooth settings were lost.  I need to recreate those pairings.

Cool Stuff

I now have my Yahoo! small business email accounts set up and working.  They use SSL connections so I wasn't able to configure the email client to work with them previously.

A feature I really like is that I can now lock and auto-lock my device with a PIN or password!  They still haven't updated the software to display owner information when the device is locked.

Other cool new features include a "slider" home screen, zoom feature in the web browser and the threaded text messaging.  Microsoft got it right when they made it very easy to see a text "conversation" and respond without having to create and address a new text message.


Overall, a worthwhile upgrade.

You need to plan several hours for this upgrade and for reinstalling applications--oh yeah and for playing with, I mean learning more about it.  It is not for the faint of heart.  You need to be at your PC that you normally sync with--you'll be using ActiveSync.  If you're using a laptop, make sure you're plugged in!  Losing power or Internet during the process and you could have a bricked device.

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