Laptop: Mobile Phone Archive (5th December 2011)

Over the past few years I’ve downloaded the messages and contacts from my phone to my computer. The phone becomes visible slow after more than ~200 messages but the lousy software it comes with has let me save over 3,000 messages.

Location & Transferring Mobile Phone Archive

My ancient but trusty Sharp GX15 was a hand-me-down after it had already provided years of loyal service to my dad. Before today, I had never found where it stored the thousands of messages I had saved.

Today, I discovered them here: C:\Documents and Settings\<del>[Profile Name]</del>\Application Data\MobileAction\HandsetManager\EMS

Sharing and Security appears to work, on the old PC. But the new laptop doesn’t see the folder, I guess because it looks like part of an application in some way.

So I copied the MobileAction folder to the root of the hard drive and shared it. The folder path on the old PC was now this this: C:\MobileAction

This didn’ work, my laptop now longer saw my other computer at all. This might be because I disabled a couple of its other network features. But the WiFi was still going.

Joining a Homegroup from Windows XP

  1. Right-clicked on My Computer.
  2. Clicked Properties.
  3. This shows the System Properties window.
  4. Click the Computer Name tab.
  5. The last textbox gives you the name of a workgroup. It said MSHOME, after a local IT professional had set up our old home network.
  6. I typed in HOMEGROUP as that’s the name Windows 7 used by default.
  7. It froze for several seconds.
  8. Then a message told me it was now part of the workgroup! And that I must restart for the changes to take effect.
  9. I clicking OK to the System Properties window.
  10. A message box called System Settings Change appeared, asking me: “Do you want to restart your computer now?
  11. I clicked Yes.
  12. This restarted the old PC.
  13. On the new laptop, I opened the Network location and clicked the Refresh button, next to the Address bar.
  14. After 10 seconds, my old PC appeared in the list!
  15. I double-clicked it and saw both the folders I was sharing. Yay!
  16. After tens of seconds, the Status Bar told me there were 3,375 files.

That’s one file per message… They have some binary noise in them and a .sm file extension. Not just simple, compatible text files. Sigh. This is just about the worst software I’ve ever had to use, since there’s no other compatible software for this phone. (If there is, please contact me!)

Installing Sharp GX15 Software on Windows 7

Given the hassle this caused, even on Windows XP, I decided to look before I leap. There seemed to be no official GX15 manager for Windows 7, until I found that link. The download actually comes from the legacy downloads website.

I downloaded and tried to run it from within the .zip file, which didn’t work. Unzipped it to C:\Program Files (x86)\Sharp and told the installer to install it there. It worked! I selected Everyone when it asked who to install it for.

It added a Phone Suite.exe shortcut to my desktop. Double-clicked it and it displayed a totally different interface than the one I used to use!

Then I went to the Settings window and the only phone model it lists is SH0037D. Huh? No matter what I tried, the status bar always said "Disconnected!"

FAIL. Will retrieve the install disk from home and try to install it like I did on Windows XP.

Sharp GX15 Manual Driver Install (8th December 2011

Windows 7 seems rather more protective against users installing bad drivers. However, there is a way to install drivers directly from a disk.

When my phone is plugged into the USB port, Device Manager does display a GX series item under Other devices. I right-clicked the GX Series item and clicked Update Driver Software.

This opened a window called Update Driver Software - GX series. It contains two text buttons. I clicked the one which says Browse my computer for driver software.

On the next page, it said D: in a dropdown box. Wow. Do people even use driver letters in Windows XP? Let alone Windows 7. Anyway, this is my DVD drive and that’s where the drivers are. So that’s what I want.

Include subfolders was already ticked, so I clicked Next.

After a few seconds the next page said Windows was unable to install your GX series. Apparently, Windows could not find driver software for your device.

If I run the same steps again, but this time select D:\SHARP_GSM_GPRS_USB_Driver and untick Include subfolders the result is interesting. An warning message pops up saying “The location you specified does not contain any driver software installation files”. If I change this to D: then it goes to the next page.

That makes me think it did find the driver software the 1st time but chose to ignore it. When there is genuinely no software to install, it gives this warning message instead of going to the next page.

So now what am I supposed to do? Buy a new phone before this one runs out of memory? Using the Sharp software was never much fun, so maybe this is a good thing.

Uninstalled the Sharp GX15 GSM GPRS USB Driver (22nd April 2012)

Dad gave me his old Nokia N900 as a hand-me-down so I took the Sharp, made a final backup of everything and retired it for good.

The driver installed far enough to appear in the Uninstall or change a program list but never far enough to work. So that’s gone now.

I did copy all the text messages to the old PC and the new laptop. It used a weird .sm text format, with seemingly binary dates and phone numbers. Web searches were no help decrypting it, otherwise I could have made a simple viewer.

  1. Laptop!
  2. Received It!
  3. File Transfers with USB Stick
  4. Full Administrator Account!
  5. Installing Firefox
  6. Installing Games
  7. Reducing Processes
  8. WiFi Gaming
  9. E-mail
  10. Backups, Old & New
  11. Desk Arrangements
  12. Migrating Music
  13. Mobile Phone Archive
  14. Web Developer Setup
  15. Printing
  16. Putting Old PC Out To Pasture
  17. Stopping the Magical Edges
  18. Disk Cleanup
  19. FTPuse Integrates Seamlessly
  20. Laptop Performance