How To: Copy Your PalmOS Treo or Centro Apps into Classic on the webOS | webOS Nation

How To: Copy Your PalmOS Treo or Centro Apps into Classic on the webOS 16

by Dieter Bohn Sat, 18 Apr 2009 11:43 pm EDT

We've just confirmed that installing your PalmOS data is just as easy as installing PalmOS apps inside Classic.  With apps, you drag the PRC files into the "Classic" directory on your Pre.  With data, you do the exact same thing with your relevant PDB files.

...All of which may sound a bit like gibberish to many current Palm users.  So we're going to break it down for you here.  Read on for the step-by-step instructions for how to move your PalmOS apps and data over to the Pre.  Go ahead and bookmark this page -- when the Pre finally gets released, you just may want to come back to it.

We're going to take this step by step to ensure that you'll get everything you want from your PalmOS device and nothing you don't -- if you're a PalmOS user, skipping the first two steps will work but you're likely to have to wade through years of extra backup files.

  1. Find your HotSync Backup Directory.
    • On a Mac, it will be inside ~/Documents/Palm/Users/HOTSYNCNAME/Backups
    • On a PC, you'll find it in C:\Program files\Palm\HOTSYNCNAME\Backup .  Note that depending on how long ago you installed hotsync, the "Palm" directory on your PC might be called "PalmOne" or "Handspring" or even "Sony Handheld."
  2. RENAME that Backups directory to something else, like "Backup 4-9-09"
  3. Connect your PalmOS device and make sure that you have the Backup Conduit turned on. This works slightly differently on different versions of the HotSync software, but chances are you have it turned on.  You can check your conduits settings on the desktop inside the Hotsync app.
  4. Hotsync your PalmOS device.
  5. If you head back to the directory we found in Step 1, you'll see that there is a new Backup directory that was created during your Hotsync.  Huzzah! Inside this new Backup directory you will find all the apps and databases you want to move to your Pre. 
  6. Plug in your Pre and open the "Classic" directory.  This is where your files go.
  7. Copy any programs you want on your Pre from your new Backup directory into the Classic directory.  Your programs will end in .prc.  Many programs also keep a database of their relevant info in .pdb files, they are almost always named so you can tell which apps they belong to, but there might be some trial and error in this step.
  8. The important thing to remember is DO NOT just copy the entire Backup directory into the Classic directory.  There are a lot of files in this directory that are specifically designed to only work with your specific Treo or Centro (or TX).  Unfortunately some of the core pdb file names are slightly different from device to device, so again, you're looking at some trial and error here.  Here are a few from an AT&T Centro:
    • ContactsDB-PAdd.pdb - your addressbook
    • CalendarDB-PDat.pdb - your datebook
    • MemosDB-PMem.pdb - your memos
    • TasksDB-PTod.pdb - your tasks

    ...Of course, there will be plenty more depending on which 3rd party PalmOS apps you have.

  9. ...and that's it.  Unplug your Pre, launch Classic, and go to town! 

A final note: as we've mentioned many times here, apps inside Classic cannot interact with apps on the Pre/webOS, so you won't be able to sync up your PalmOS contacts with your Pre's contacts.  Stay tuned for another How To explaining how to get your PIM data into the cloud so you can sync it all down to your Pre.



I wonder if you could copy data out from Palm OS app using Classic back to webOS?

Copy and paste might work, especially for something like memos; copying and pasting an address field by field would obviously get tedious in a hurry. Good question to ask MotionApps.

They or some other developer might write some sort of export utility, too.

I'll also be curious to see what happens if you send info via Bluetooth from a Treo (or other Garnet device) to a Pre.

I think MotionApps would have to write a custom hotsync app (a la MissingSync). Something that sits in your system tray waiting, waiting for the webos filesystem to show up, and when it does, syncs the pdb files in the way you specified. Just a guess. But the short answer is you're SOL.

I love the desktop components to the splash apps. I expect they'll rewrite them to just sync with the data in the cloud, instead of with the phone.

That would also make Sprint very happy. I'm sure they can't wait to start charging you $0.05/MB for going over the 5GB monthly limit. This will be an expensive device to "own."

Hmmmm, if I want to keep using an app that has a desktop component, how can I get database updates to the Pre?? For example, a previous article said that SplashID worked in Classic. I understand how to get an initial database on the Pre, but if I make changes on the desktop, how can I generate a new pdb so I can put that the Pre?

I take it that there will be Palm desktop that will allow the old contacts calendar etc.. to be move into the new palm webos contacts calendar etc(desktop)?

I'm looking for a new palm desktop application were everything can be sync'd to my PC!

One will then be able to update contacts on my desktop as well as the Pre and not in outlook but in a palm desktop application.

Can some one please confirm?????


Is PalmClassic going to be included or payfor?

Trial will be included, potentially, but it will otherwise be a pay-for app, as it's not Palm doing the development.

As usual, Palm leaves it up to third parties to meet even the most obvious needs of their customers. I can understand Palm wanting to move people to this new OS, but to leave the development of emulators to other parties seems criminal. They have people with up to 13 years of programs and databases that might possibly never be rewritten for the WebOS, especially since Palm has worked so hard to anger many developers away over the years.

Apple, Microsoft and others included backward compatibility, at least for a while. But Palm, as usual, is off to something else like a distracted 3-year old, leaving the third-party babysitters to clean up after them again by creating emulators that we'll need to buy as well as hope are maintained.

The one app I have been waiting to hear about on the Pre is AudibleAir, If Classic will do that (as PalmOS does now), then I'm 99%, Home. I would still rather download my WSJ Morning Read and Audible Books Library on Pre-Native, but will settle for Classic, if that's all there is!

I also wonder if it is possible to just sent the apps via Bt to the Pre. That's the way I'm used to move to a new Palm(OS) device.

A little hint on how to find the relevant files (also in the \Backup folder), Resco Explorer* lists all relevant .pdb etc. belonging to an app. This way you'll ensure copying everything what is important to the pre.

* there are other file explorer that do this as well, I'am sure.

when the Pre does come out, YouTube a tutorial plz

1. I use BackupBuddy - would it be possible to copy
apps+ data to the Pre from its directory?
2. I use Slovak language in Notes. How Classic is treated
with local languages?
The best solution for me is copy "all Palm" from BackupBuddy
to the Pre. But I am afraid it won


Where on the PalmPre do I find the Classic Directory or do I just create it? I hooked it up to the Computer and hit the USB option. Nothing "Classic" was in my list.

I followed the above steps until I came to #7. When I sent the selected apps to the classics directory they did not appear. My computer said they were sent so where did they go? Argh!

Is this still possible on the Pre? I looked at mine and I don't see any directory called 'classic' in mine. How can I get an app out of my Sony Clie called Cryptinfo to work on my Pre?

I really need some help!!! How do I use the call block from my palm centro on my palm pre?? I have the call block 2.0 from wish solutions and want to use that on my new palm pre. I would greatly appreciate any help. Thank you!