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How do you save settings after a hard reset on Motorola PPT8846 ?

Posted on 2014-12-11
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Last Modified: 2015-01-20
We have a number of pocket PC's (Motorola PPT8846).  And we use them during inventory, but then store them away until the next inventory.  The batteries drain and the pocket pc's default back to factory settings  in between inventories.  We're looking for a way where we can save the settings during a hard reset/battery drain/battery removal.  The main settings we're concerned with are removing all the start menu and programs menu items and having a couple of business specific apps only in those areas.  Any help will be appreciated.

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Question by:markamz
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by:hjgode
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Hello

this device is based on windows ce .net 4.2 and either runs WindowsCE Net or PocketPC/Windows Mobile 2003.

After a cold boot the OS does not remember any setting or installed app. The object store is reset to factory default. Except for one persitent folder called Application folder (Symbol/Motorola specific). You can use this folder to setup and restore the device from scratch after a cold boot.

Unfortunately I was unable to find a description at Motorola/Symbol support site. But for a Terminal app called Naurtech CE there is a good knowledge article you can use as base for your setup: http://www.naurtech.com/kb.article.php?number=KB1106

Excerpt of another symbol/motorola product reference guide:
Flash Storage
In addition to the RAM-based storage standard on Windows CE mobile computers, the mobile
computer is also equipped with a non-volatile Flash-based storage area which can store data
(partitions) that can not be corrupted by a cold boot. This Flash area is divided into two categories:
Flash File System (FFS) Partitions and Non-FFS Partitions.
FFS Partitions
The mobile computer includes two FFS partitions. These partitions appear to the mobile computer as
a hard drive that the OS file system can write files to and read files from. Data is retained even if
power is removed.
The two FFS partitions appear as two separate folders in the Windows CE file system and are as
follows:


Platform: The Platform FFS partition contains Symbol-supplied programs and Dynamic Link
Libraries (DLLs). This FFS is configured to include DLLs that control system operation. Since
these drivers are required for basic mobile computer operation, only experienced users
should modify the content of this partition.
Application: The Application FFS partition is used to store application programs needed to
operate the mobile computer.
Working with FFS Partitions
Because the FFS partitions appear as folders under the Windows CE file system, they can be written
to and read like any other folder. For example, an application program can write data to a file located
in the Application folder just as it would to the Windows folder. However, the file in the Application
folder is in non-volatile storage and is not lost on a cold boot (e.g., when power is removed for a long
period of time).
Standard tools such as ActiveSync can be used to copy files to and from the FFS partitions. They
appear as the “Application” and “Platform” folders to the ActiveSync explorer. This is useful when
installing applications on the mobile computer. Applications stored in the Application folder are
retained even when the mobile computer is cold booted, just as the Demo 9000 program is retained
in memory.
There are two device drivers included in the Windows CE image to assist developers in configuring
the mobile computer following a cold boot: RegMerge and CopyFiles.

RegMerge.dll
RegMerge.dll is a built-in driver that allows registry edits to be made to the Windows CE Registry.
Regmerge.dll runs very early in the boot process and looks for registry files (.reg files) in certain Flash
File System folders during a cold boot. It then merges the registry changes into the system registry
located in RAM.
Since the registry is re-created on every cold boot from the default ROM image, the RegMerge driver
is necessary to make registry modifications persistent over cold boots.
RegMerge is configured to look in the root of two specific folders for .reg files in the following order:
\Platform
\Application
Regmerge continues to look for .reg files in these folders until all folders are checked. This allows
folders later in the list to override folders earlier in the list. This way, it is possible to override Registry
changes made by the Platforms partitions folders. Take care when using Regmerge to make Registry
changes. The DCP for MC9000w contains examples of .reg files.
Regmerge only merges the .reg files on cold boots. The merge process is
skipped during a warm boot.
Typically, do not make modifications to registry values for drivers loaded before RegMerge. However,
these values may require modification during software development. Since these early loading
drivers read these keys before RegMerge gets a chance to change them, the mobile computer must
be cold booted. The warm boot does not re-initialize the registry and the early loading driver reads
the new registry values.
Do not use Regmerge to modify built-in driver registry values, or merge the same Registry value to
two files in the same folder, as the results are undefined.

CopyFiles
Windows CE expects certain files to be in the Windows folder, residing in volatile storage. Windows
CE maintains the System Registry in volatile storage. CopyFiles copies files from one folder to another
on a cold boot. Files can be copied from a non-volatile partition (Application or Platform) to the
Windows or other volatile partition during a cold boot. During a cold boot CopyFiles looks for files
with a .CPY extension in the root of the Platform and Application FFS partitions (Platform first and
then Application). These files are text files containing the source and destination for the desired files
to be copied separated by “>”. The following example from the file application.cpy is contained on
the demo application partition included in the DCP for MC9000w. It can also be obtained from the
Symbol web site at http://devzone.symbol.com/.
Files are copied to the Windows folder from the Flash File System using copy files (*.cpy) in the
following order:
\Platform
\Application
Example:
\Application\ScanSamp2.exe>\Windows\ScanSamp2.exe
This line directs CopyFiles to copy the ScanSamp2.exe application from the \Application folder to the
\Windows folder.

Open in new window


So, using a script file and some reg files you can setup a Symbol device from scratch automatically.

The PPT8800 product refernce guide (where 8845 is included) is located at https://portal.motorolasolutions.com/Support/US-EN/Resolution?solutionId=91272&productDetailGUID=ecf6d085364cf310VgnVCM10000081c7b10aRCRD&detailChannelGUID=2202caf8fb16e310VgnVCM1000000389bd0aRCRD

More support for 8800 series at https://portal.motorolasolutions.com/Support/US-EN/Mobile+Networks+RFID+and+BarCode+Scanners/Mobile+Computers/Handheld+Computers/PPT8800%20CE_US-EN
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by:markamz
Comment Utility
Thanks for the info, can i use the cpy file to delete a .lnk file that's in start menu?

Thanks!
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Accepted Solution

by:
hjgode earned 500 total points
Comment Utility
AFAIK there is no buitl-in option to be able to delete files using the Application Folder scripts.

1. You may download TCM for the device to build a new script (similar to https://portal.motorolasolutions.com/Support/US-EN/Resolution?solutionId=6973&redirectForm=search&searchQuery=%3FsearchType%3Dsimple%26searchTerm%3Ddelete%20script).

2. Or you have a tool that is able to delete files, or
3. a custom app that does so.

4. Create some empty files with the same name as the files you want to delete and use these as source files in a cpy file.
 
I would start with 4 and then use 3. if 4. is not working.
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