Using the Fossil Wrist PDA and another Palm on the same Windows PC

If you install the Wrist PDA software from Fossil on your Windows PC, you may discover that you can no longer HotSync (via USB) other Palm devices on the PC. Why? Because the Fossil install replaced the PalmUSBD.inf file.

The PalmUSBD.inf lists the Palm devices that will be recognized by Windows. Unfortunately, the Fossil provided PalmUSBD.inf lacks any product identification strings for any Palm device other than the Wrist PDA.

The problem is caused by Fossil and Palm not working together well ... they should have coordinated and agreed to keep everyone's (Palm, Sony, Fossil, etc.) PalmUSBD.inf up to date ... but they didn't. (In fact, we can see that Fossil actually removed non-Fossil information from the file they received from Palm.)

The solution is to locate your PalmUSBD.inf file, make a backup copy of it (I suggest:, because that way it won't look like a .inf file to Windows), and then merge the contents of your old (probably lost) PalmUSBD.inf file with the Fossil-specific information from the Fossil provided PalmUSBD.inf file and put the merged file back into the original location of PalmUSBD.inf. Or, since I've already done that too, you could just upload this file into that location: merged PalmUSBD.inf
(MSIE users: right click, choose "Save Target", perhaps browsing to C:\Program Files\Palm\USB_Driver)

NOTE: the new PalmUSBD.inf might not be read by Windows until you reboot.

Now try to HotSync your old Palm device. Windows should report that it found a new hardware device, and start looking for a driver for it. If it doesn't find your PalmUSBD.inf file, you can tell it you know where to search ... point to the directory containing the PalmUSBD.inf file. Windows should find the file and display a choice from the file (e.g., Handspring or some such), which you'll select.

The PalmUSBD.inf here is a merge of a recent (2004-03-15) PalmUSBD.inf from Palm and the few lines of Fossil specific information from the Fossil version of PalmUSBD.inf. (Note: before congratulating yourself, check that your WristPDA still HotSyncs :)

(I'm using of PalmUSBD.sys and of PalmDevC.dll.)

CAUTION: don't try to HotSync two devices simultaneously ... you're quite likely to have problems.

I can now successfully HotSync both my Fossil Wrist PDA and my Treo 600!

Good luck!

It this helps, drop me a line and let me know:

Also, check out the Yahoo "wristpda" group!


Updated 2005-01-25