Backup software for your Windows Mobile 5.0 device


For a certain time after the release of Windows Mobile 5.0, I have felt one important piece missing in the usability & security story of all those new devices: the ability to back up your system. With WM 5.0, there is no way to make a backup of your Pocket PC or Smartphone via ActiveSync. True, you couldn’t do this for Smartphone before, anyway, but now both device types have persistent storage, so someone must have made the decision that this provides enough protection against data loss, and the feature was cut.

(I know from personal experience that persistent storage isn’t quite enough: I once accidentally deleted half of my \Windows folder, after which the system essentially stopped working, as you can imagine. There is no “undelete” on WM, so I had to do a hard-reset…)

The usual alternative was 3rd party backup software – but it took those vendors some time to port their solutions to WM 5.0, so there was quite a long time without proper backup solutions.

Well, those times are over now! Sprite Software has announced the availability of their Sprite Backup software for Windows Mobile 5.0 for Feb 7th, after an extensive Beta period. (I have found the last Beta quite useful and stable.)

Alternatively, there is SunnySoft‘s Backup Manager which, in v. 3.7, also supports WM 5.0. (My tests with the trial version showed, however, that their standard backup procedure is of dubious value since the app runs as a normal process and can’t backup things that are in use, like registry hives and such… But it can at least backup all your data files.)

So, give these solutions a try and decide which is the more useful for you.

Comments (4)

  1. Geert Quint says:

    I think there is a huge disadvantage with WM 5.0, there is no way to make a backup of your Pocket PC or Smartphone via ActiveSync. In our company which we use 800-1000 pda’s it was a very usefull feature. We had one standard image of the latest version, when installing a new device we only had to set time and date and the pda was completely installed and configured with the restore option.

    All 3rd party backup software i could find uses a client program that must be installed on the device before you can restore your backup. I’m looking for a program that makes and restores a complete system backup without installing anything on the pda.

  2. Harry says:

    ActiveSync backup had not worked for a while. In case you had not noticed, it corrupted the message store. Probably never worked for phone devices. About time they took it away.

    Why there is no SD-card backup software in the WM5 package is strange, though.

  3. Kevin (from Sprite Software) says:

    Sprite Backup does not require an installation of the software to restore the backup image. All backups can be created as executables and you can simply locate the file with File Explorer and tap on the file  to initiate the restore.

    Kevin

    Sprite Software Ltd

  4. John Wiams says:

    so what do I do? I have done a hard reset of my Windows 5.0 PDA and have lost all my contacts, in the Activsync folder on my computer I have a 30 MB backup file of my old system before the hard reset was done, ids there any way of restoring it using this file?

    John