The Palm Lifedrive is a PDA that comes with a 4 gigabyte hard drive and an SD card slot to add additional storage. This device can be used to read ebooks, play music, watch videos (with TCPMP), store photos, take notes, keep track of appointments and contacts as well as many other things.
Unfortunately, Windows XP was the last operating system to support this venerable device; the advent of smart phones has caused it to be declared obsolete. While there are tutorials on using the Lifedrive and syncing with Bluetooth, this method is slow and leaves much to be desired over the original cable and software that came packaged with the device.
Certain versions of Windows 7 come with the ability to install Windows XP mode, which uses Virtual PC software to install a full version of Windows XP within Windows 7. Windows XP mode is designed for use with software and some hardware that worked with Windows XP but no longer works with Windows 7.
Lifedrive owners can extend the usable life of their device by taking advantage of this mode to use their PDAs within Windows 7. You may lack the ability to sync to Outlook 2010, but you will at least be able to use the original software that came with your Palm Lifedrive and continue to use this wonderfully useful device.
NOTE: This tutorial uses a previously installed version of Windows XP Mode. For an installation tutorial of Windows XP mode, please visit the article entitled: “How to Install Windows XP Mode on Windows 7.”
Start Windows XP mode by going to Start (the Orb), All Programs, Windows Virtual PC, Windows XP Mode.
Insert the installation disc that came with your Palm Lifedrive into the optical drive of your computer.
In Windows XP mode, go to Start, My Computer, then double click on the optical drive that holds your Palm Lifedrive installation CD.
Click “Next” to begin the installation process.
Click “Next” on the following installation window.
Place a dot in the radio button to accept the license agreement (after reading the terms) and click “Next.”
Remove the check mark in the box instructing the software to download the latest updates from the Internet and click the “Next” button.
Click “Next” to accept the default installation directory. A progress bar will appear to show you how far the installation has left to go.
Click the “Finish” button to finish the installation.
Click the “Unblock” button to give permission to Windows Firewall to allow the HotSync manager application permission to work.
Click “Yes” to restart Windows XP mode. The virtual computer will restart, and the Lifedrive installation wizard will reappear.
Click “Next” to begin the first sync.
Enter your username in the field provided and click “Next.”
Attach the USB sync cable to your Palm Lifedrive, then connect the other end to an available USB port on your computer.
Click USB on the top of the window containing Windows XP mode, and click “Attach” to attach the Lifedrive to Windows XP Mode. Windows XP will find and install your Lifedrive, with messages appearing in both Windows 7 and Windows XP mode. Note:When you first plug in the device, Windows 7 will inform you that the installation failed. This is normal. Just click USB on the top of the XP Mode Window and attach it to Windows XP so that the computer can utilize the older drivers.
Press the HotSync button on the USB cable to begin the first sync. The HotSync window will appear and your Lifedrive will sync with Windows XP mode.
Click “Next” to register your device.
Click “Skip” twice to avoid registering your device at this time.
Click “Next” to install additional software to your device. Click “Back” then “Quit” when finished.
To access the Palm Desktop Manager in Windows 7, go to Start, All Programs, Windows Virtual PC, Windows XP Mode, and click on the Palm Desktop application icon on the Windows XP Mode desktop.