Retrieving data from a dead Zire

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I have a Palm Zire which has totally died.  Power key and reset button
do nothing.  Recharging does not help.

I have accepted the fact that the device is probably history.  There is
not much stored on it that is not available somewhere else.  But there
is one small chunk of data I would like to recover if possible.

I had the 9.95 Fuel application, a miles/gallon tracker, installed on
the Zire.  I would like to recover the data from that, if possible.

In the Palm backup folder on my desktop machine, I have both the
application (9.95 FUEL.prc) and the database (9.95_FUEL_LOG_DATA.pdb).

I have googled around and found a couple of PDB converter programs that
I hoped would allow me to read the PDB file on my desktop.  But they
can't make any sense out of it.  I think they're really for text files,
and I'm guessing the program stores its data in some format that only it
can comprehend.  The program does have an export function which will
export the program into a CSV file which could be read by something
else.  Unfortunately, it has been a long time since I did that, so the
export copy I have does not have current data.

So maybe I need to run the program somewhere.  I found a Palm emulator,
but it requires a Palm ROM file, and apparently Palm is protective of
those.  Downloading them from Palm requires registering as a developer.
Uploading them from a Palm device also seems to be a legal option for
owners of a Palm device.  Unfortunately, although I am a Palm owner and
therefore theoretically entitled to retrieve the ROM from my device, the
fact that the device is broken makes that option unavailable.

Does anybody have any suggestions for recovering this data?

Re: Retrieving data from a dead Zire

Send me the prc and the pdb (preferably in a zip file so they won't
get altered in transit).  I have a Zire (among other Palms) and can
probably retrieve the data for you.  Do you want it in CSV format?


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On Mon, 28 Jul 2008 13:23:45 -0400, Matt Simpson

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Re: Retrieving data from a dead Zire

Matt Simpson wrote:
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I have a small program from DOS day called BROWSE.COM that allows you to
look at the structure of any file.  When I looked at a pdb file it looks
like it is a simple file structure with:

A file header with the file name etc.
general field name for each record
Field names.
Data for each record
At the end of the file is the information in the drop down menus for
each field.

If the data is valuable and you have a little time

Make a several copies and place the original file in a safe place.

Open one of the copies in a simple word processor that works strictly on
  the file as ASCI text.  MS's Note pad works this way.

Look at the data and determine the start and end of each record.

At the start of each record press the enter key creating individual
strings for each record.  i.e each record will be on a separate line.
remove the junk and place a , between each field in each record. This
could be done with a macro in a word processor if  you save it back as
ASCI text,

Once it is in a comma separated format you can import it into any
spreadsheet and or other palm software.

You could use the string function in a spread sheet to remove each piece
of data, you should then store it as a comma separated file.

There probably are simpler ways but this is a last resort.

Re: Retrieving data from a dead Zire

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I tried that.  There is very little text data in the file.  Most of it
is unprintable characters, apparently some kind of binary format.  I see
one record that has the names of my two vehicles with a bunch of other


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Thanks!! I'll send it.

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