FYI: webOS 2.0 Doctor erases USB partition [Note: Updated with response from Palm] | webOS Nation

FYI: webOS 2.0 Doctor erases USB partition [Note: Updated with response from Palm]

by Jonathan I Ezor#IM Thu, 02 Dec 2010 6:28 pm EST

The early reports from Pre 2 users (including those who received them during the "Oprah moment" at webOS Developer Day in New York) have been largely positive. There is, though, one potentially problematic new development, or maybe it's better to describe it as a blast from the past: webOS Doctor for webOS 2.0 not only restores webOS to its default configuration, but also wipes the USB partition. This is a return to the behavior of webOS Doctor prior to webOS version 1.3.1, released approximately one year ago.

The webOS Doctor, if you're not familiar, is the last-ditch way to clear your webOS device by restoring it to the factory ROM image by downloading it to your computer and loading it onto your phone via USB. Learn more about how to use it in our "How to fix a seriously ill Pre" article.

What does this mean? First, Doctoring is no longer quite as hassle-free a process, since users must remember (and take the time) to fully back up the USB partition before running the Doctor, if they don't want to lose everything. This is especially important for those of us who depend on webOS Internals' SaveRestore to preserve application data, system settings, etc.; those files are stored in the USB partition, so they must be backed up as well before running the Doctor. Previously, all that was necessary after Doctoring was to reinstall Preware via webOS Quick Install as described here, use Preware to install SaveRestore, and in turn use SaveRestore to restore information from the untouched USB partition. Now, a full USB restore must also be part of the process.

It isn't clear why Palm has made this change, or whether it will be permanent. 

UPDATE: In response to a question on this, Shane (aka HardBeatZ) from Palm provided the following additional information:

The only thing we can currently go on the record and state is that the 2.0 doctor under normal circumstances does not wipe the USB drive, however if it does happen, it's likely caused by something we need to further investigate. The important thing is no matter where your data is at though you should always have it backed up in multiple places if it's important to you. The rule of thumb is three!


Source: PreCentral Forums (Thanks to pastorrich1 for finding this!)