Cannot flash the Acer S200 ROM
Two days ago, out of the blue, my Acer S200 F1 Neotouch went dead despite soft resets and a full battery. It is using ROM S200_2.003.01_EN_02, running WindowsMobile 6.5 Professional, CE OS 5.2.21857 (Build 218184.108.40.206) 2009. I have never updated the ROM ever since I bought the S200 last month, and have never intended to.
Twice last month, I did a clean boot successfully, but with some difficulty. Sometimes the clean boot would hang from the start, or hang at the Windows logo, or hang when installing any one of the 25 components. But I still succeeded after some struggle.
But two days ago, my S200 went dead for no obvious reason. A soft reset did not help. I can wake it up for Clean Booting, but the Clean Boot would either hang from the start, or at the Windows logo, or go into endless repetition, or hang while installing a component (e.g. 13/25, the Notification Manager). A couple of times I managed to get a basic Windows Mobile system running on the S200, but it is unstable, prone to automatic Clean Boot, and cannot install .cab files.
I did all kinds to assist the Clean Boots, including removing/reinserting the battery, removing the MicroSD card, removing/inserting the SIM card, plugging the phone into/out of external power, pressing two buttons while resetting with the stylus (or pressing three buttons, or all four buttons). Despite getting the “Clean Boot” display at the beginning, the symptoms are not the same with each Clean Boot. I find it strange that every clean boot attempt behaves differently. I thought that a hard reset would be repeatable and predictable, yet it varies with every clean boot attempt.
Finally I tried using the following two updates:
But there would be a “connection error” just before the ROM update window. The problem is the same with three desktop computers: Vista SP2, Vista SP1, XP SP3, despite taking all precautions (e.g. updating the .NET framework to the latest service packs). I have also managed to get the Acer HS USB driver going, whatever it is.
MY QUESTION: Can I do a ROM update without connecting to a computer, e.g. by copying some file to the MicroSD card, and pressing some keys? I read somewhere you can press three buttons (volume down, camera, reset) plus the reset button to enter “bootloader” mode. What is this mode? I did manage to get the S200's LED flashing red. Was the S200 expecting a file with a specific name at a specific location on the MicroSD card?
If the S200's ROM is corrupted, can it be restored or updated? I mean, does flashing the ROM require an ActiveSync connection to the desktop PC? And if the ROM is corrupted, how can it fix itself if it lacks the ability to connect to the desktop? (It takes a healthy pda to do an Activesync.) My old ASUS can flash the ROM via the MicroSD card; I don't know if Acer phones have that feature.
The funny thing is that I am not a person who experiments with ROM flash updates and things like that, although I am semi-computer-literature (I program in Delphi to create some freeware). I didn’t intend to add fancy things to the S200; I just want a stable pda for five or six programs (e.g. a Bible program).
The flash ROM restoration/update problem seems to be a problem with Acer than with Microsoft. I think I should have bought an HTC instead. But I could not afford the Windows HTC I wanted.
Any advice? Any URL with the proper information? Thanks in advance. If this problem is solved, I will try to be useful and constructive for the XDA-Developer forums.