What to do when sending an SMS makes your Treo 650 reboot

Aside from a post about a certain college sports team’s legal troubles, the most popular post on this blog is consistently “Making built-in Contacts app the default on a Treo 650 with Goodlink.”

I’ve run into another semi-persistent problem that required a bit of research, so I’ll post a solution here. Every now and then, simply sending an SMS to anyone causes my Treo to reboot. It happens every time I try to send an SMS, so I’m essentially without text messaging capability until I fix this (the SMS never makes it to the recipient in this scenario).

When the Treo comes back from the reboot, I dial #*377 (or #*ERR) and it shows me an error that is something like this (the #*377 trick works for any error on the Treo):

A reset was caused on 05/18/06 at 9:31am while running "TreoSMS Stub":

Line 1297,
MessageStoreOpenItem: item open already

The application that causes the reboot varies, but it’s always the same error related to the message store. Here’s how you fix it (and beware — this deletes all the text messages on your device!):

  1. If you don’t already have it, you need to download and install FileZ on your Treo. All this does is give you access to all the files on the Palm OS filesystem. This is a tool that must be used very carefully, since you can move, copy, and delete any files on the Treo, even ones you didn’t know were there. It’s one of the most useful Treo utilities you can have.
  2. Run FileZ on your phone and choose “View and Edit Files.” In the next screen, you should see “Internal” under Filename. It might also say “ROM.” If you have an SD Card, you should also see “External” or “SD Card.”
  3. Click on the little wedge beside “Internal” to expand the list of files on your Treo.
  4. Find Messages Database and delete it (you do this by checking it, choosing “Details,” and then clicking “Delete”)

That’s it! Your phone should be in working order again (if there’s not something else wrong with it — anyone with a Treo knows how flaky they can be).

61 thoughts on “What to do when sending an SMS makes your Treo 650 reboot

  1. Thanks a million. Had a similiar problem with phone resetting every time I went to delete message, also when receiving SMSm, also with the same error message. You fix worked like a dream. What a nightmare this phone can be when not working smoothly!

  2. You are a life-saver! I have bookmarked this page just in case the same thing happens again! 🙂

  3. I have worked on this for 2 days without any success, I found this today, perfect, it worked immediately. Thank you X 1,000,000

  4. Hi..

    my Treo 650 reboots when receiving SMS.

    Is there a way to save SMS before deleting them?

    I am think of another way other thatn deleting Messages files – If we like manualy delete some SMSs that are old, would this stop the Treo from rebooting when receiving SMS?


  5. You’re a lifesaver! Thank you so much! Even the Palm support forums were not this helpful! I also use the FileZ program when the Treo starts resetting when I go into my email program. Gotta love those quirky little bugs!

  6. hi. i am amit from singapore. this article of yours is indeed a great help. i had the same problem that started initially with just one of the numbers. means when i replied to this particular freind of mine then the phone used to reboot. then it became worse so much so that as soon as they would send me an sms , my phone wud reset ! and i cudnt even see their sms. all this while i was able to perfectly receive and reply sms to everyone else . i thought may be this particular person had some virus or may be the gsm technology didnt match in our networks as they live in another country. but it was surprising and odd to think this way becos i have been getting and replying to sms from them for last few years. This was for last one week. then since last 2 days whenevr i tried to rply to the sms from yet another friend, the same problem started. but is was limited to my trying to reply to his sms. only when i try to reply to his sms then the phone will resst. so now instead of one, i have 2 specific friends, again these two people live in different countries, so we have 3 different places. this is too confusing and i wud say it is a big relief to find this site and article and to know that i am not the only one and that this prblm does exist.else i always get the feeling that all these things happen only to me since i have other people too around using the treo 650 and they have never faced any pblm !
    initially i was getting exactly the same message
    Line 1392,
    MessageStoreOpenItem: item open already

    then i deleted all the sms .. total were abt 50 only but some out of these in the message chat were upto an year old.
    surprisingly the error message has changed now though the same issue remains of restting,
    new message is as follows :-
    A reset was caused on 15/07/06 at 4:26 pm while running “messaging””

    Line:4560, found trailing after dir sync

    I dont know what it is.

    I have now deleted all SMS . Dowloaded fileZ and deleted message database as suggested in ur article.
    i hope it works now

    waiting for my friend to sms to me and to see if the phone still restes on getting the sms from the first case person

    thanks anyways for this wonderful and unique article. palm is a useful tool but their support doesnt describe some of these unique issues properly
    amit singapore

  7. how do I look for the error log by using #*377 as you suggested. Where do I type this in. I tried dialing it from the phone and it didnt work?

  8. Well, I thought you may go one step further and investigate the problem. I am not sure if FileZ is good enough for this as I am too lazy to check it. Maybe you will need Resco Explorer. (Yes, a bit of advertizing…)

    If I had the problem, I would first of all try to find a less destructive solution.

    1. Make a copy of “Messages Database” (MDB) to some card folder.

    2. View the MDB and try to browse the records if there is something suspiceous.

    3. Delete the empty records (if any).

    4. Try to locate last message that probably caused the problem and delete it. Messages can be read. Unreadable messages are probably placeholders for deleted messages, hence can be deleted, too.

    Maybe there are other things that can be done. Try just to copy MDB to the card and back.

    If MDB is corrupted and stored on your PC through Hotsync, you may need to delete it from the PC as well. (Search for Messages_Database.prc under your Palm backup folder.)

    Jan Slodicka

  9. This also works if your Treo reboots on receiving a message, as I just discovered. Thanks for the very useful hints!

  10. That was so easy. my treo was rebooting every time that i tried to open a recieved sms message and now everything works beautifully. thank you again

  11. Unfortunately this doesn’t work for me. I tried every solution I could find on the web, but my Treo 650 reboots ALMOST every time I send a text message.
    It doesn’t happen when you send the 1st message after hard reboot, so it might be a memory issue – once one copy of sent message gets written to archives, Treo starts crashing again…

  12. Great man… i’ve been having the problem where I couldn’t see an SMS from a particular person and could only retrieve it if I sent a reply back. So there’s always one “lost” in the process until I get another one from that particular person.

    Thx for helping me solve the problem… you’re a legend mate

  13. Hello Chad,

    My Treo 650 invariably reboots after every message I send. I deleted the messages database file using FileZ. It did not resolve the problem. The error message I get is “A reset was caused on (date) at (time) while running “Phone”:

    Fatal Exception.

    Would appreciate your help and comments on resolving this problem.

    Thanks in advance.



  14. Thanks for the fix. I was suffering this problem for a couple of months and I did not find any info on palm.com.

  15. I cannot send meesages on my Treo 650. However, I do receive messages but I cannot respond to them. Each time I try to create and send a new message or respond to messages I receive, I get the following message: “the network is not responding now or the message center number is invalid”. Please advise.

  16. Also used to have the problem when traveling outside the US to the UK and using O2 SIM card rather than home-service T-Mobile. Thought there was a communications problem with O2, but couldn’t figure out the context for why some messages caused reboot and others didn’t. So I got a T-Mobile UK SIM card instead, and voila no problems.

    Until a few weeks later back in the US when it started happening on my home SIM card, first time in over 2 years. I tried to manually delete SMS chat sessions, thinking it was low memory-induced.

    But then a really peculiar thing happened. A few of the chat logs would not delete and froze the system. Manual reset. Figured out you can delete a specific SMS within a chat (select or tab up/back to highlight the message and then use drop down menu to delete the SMS within the chat). This worked for 50-60 of the messages, but a few wouldn’t delete. They reset themselves to 12/31/2005 and had no text, but were stuck. Then when I tried to delete the chat, again, system freezes.

    I tried seeing if a leading ‘+’ sign in the phone number I was texting (or lack of) made a difference, or if a New Contact worked OK and contacts that were re-sync’ed back onto the system made a difference. A friend sent a message that now every time I try to read, causes a reset. And several people now send me text messages which cause a soft reset, and often I won’t even know it happened. The tough part in this is that I use alarms (the flashing asterisk ‘*’ in the upper left corner) to manage reminders. A reset causes the reminders/alarms to be lost.

    I love my 650, but it’s really time for a GSM Treo 800 with a lot of overdue fixes. Firmware update is 01.28 and Software is Treo650-1.13-ROW. Time for an upgrade??

  17. All right, the new Treo 680 brings new problems. Sending text messages works flawless (saving, viewing, not reboot). The same with receiving messages (no reboot) – the only flaw is, the Treo does not save the received messages on the phone. They are gone with the wind – and the inbox stays empty. Anyone else got that problem?

    Sorry for posting this here, but it seems like a lot of Treo users with text message problems have found their way to this site. So a lot of brainpower and experience gathered here 🙂

    Thank you in advance!

  18. Thanks for the help and direction. My 650 is still rebooting after removing the ‘Messages Database’.

    I’m still having the rebooting issue when I try to delete some emails from the inbox.

    *#377 comes back with ” A reset was caused while running VersaMail” Fatal Execption

    Any ideas ?

  19. Dude. You rock! NO ONE else could help me with this, even after spending hours on the phone with Sprint. I followed your directions and I had my phone fixed in under 10 minutes! Thank you!

  20. Thanks a lot of posting this, I had a problem when I received any text message my Treo 650 would soft-reset. I already had FileZ on my palm, so I deleted the DB and it worked. I first tried to rename the DB but that didn’t affect anything. Interesting. Thanks again.

  21. Thanks!!!!
    I was breaking my ba!!s over this bug.
    It is now working great!


  22. Worked fine for about a day then started doing it again, not as frequently this time but whenever I go over the 160 character limit (and go into 2 messages) then it’s guaranteed to reset??

    Does the Internal Memory have to be at a certain level for Messaging to run smoothly?



  23. You are fabulous. I spent all morning trying to get Sprint to help me fix my 700p. It all started when I loaded Sprint’s most recent firmware upgrade (Treo700pSprintDesktopUpdater.exe). Maybe it’s a coincidence but my Message_Database.pdb file became corrupt and my text messaging became inoperable because every time you tried to use it, the phone would reboot. THANKS! I loaded filez and deleted the Message_Database file from both my Treo and my PC and now everything is AOK.

  24. I think the FileZ solution will work for me, I’m keeping my fingers crossed. What follows seems to be a variation of what others have experienced, but I hope the following detail will be useful.

    Phone: Palm Treo 650 running on AT&T (formerly Cingular).

    Synopsis: If the radio is kept on, the Treo 650 boots about every five minutes. Upon reboot, the phone automatically turns on. Then shortly after that, it acts like it is trying to receive an SMS message, then reboots. Wash, rinse, repeat. I have a utility that logs these crashes, and each time it happens I get “Fatal Exception running SMS.” AT&T’s only suggestion was to perform a hard reset, followed by a restore from backups. In fact, I did just that last week with some data loss.

    So tonight I used the FileZ solution, but in following one of the blog replies, I went to examine the records using the binary editor. Curiously, the very last record contained this error–

    “This message could not be retrieved. The network connection was interrupted. Please try again later.”

    So I deleted just that one record, and so far everything seems to be OK. Deleting the entire database would have been my next step, but thankfully, it doesn’t look like I will have to go there.

    Now here is what I think happened. There’s one email address that I constantly monitor for incoming messages, and anything that I get is autoforwarded to my cell using AT&T’s email-to-MMS gateway (For example, 3135551212@mms.att.net). Most messages come through just fine, but on rare occasion, the system seems to choke on an item. When it does, the corrupted record with the “network connection interrupted” language appears in FileZ (but there’s nothing in the Inbox). I’m now guessing that it loops because it is trying to retrieve the message on the basis of the corrupted record.

    My only workaround may be to disable the autoforwards for the time being.

    In any event, the FileZ solution was a major timesaver. Thanks very much!

  25. My problem is that I can send messages without any problems, but I cannot receive and messages at all. I am using Alltel and we setup another phone with my nmber and the messages came through. I have done a hard reset and deleted the messages database without any luck. Any thoughts on this issue?

  26. I just tried this fix on my Sprint 700p, and it has completely cleared up my rebooting problems! Thanks a TON! It’s like I have a new phone again!

  27. I have a 650 with verizon and I am using Agendus mail because I wasn’t recieving my messages, now i’m receiving them but I have now developed this reboot problem, I deleted the msg. database but it did not repair my problem, i’m using version 1.0 do I need to upgrade to 1.04 or 1.05

  28. I have been having almost zero SMS capability for a few days now on my Treo 650. Sending SMS to anyone not in my Inbox causes my Treo 650 to reboot, receiving SMS from these people causes another reboot!

    Thanks for the solution but, how do download Filez? The link doesn’t connect me to it. Please help.

  29. Both problems solved now. Managed to download FileZ & fix the reboot problem as well. Thanks so much!

  30. Just a quick update to my July 12 entry: I can confirm that for me at least, deleting the last record only–rather than the entire database–seems to be enough to get past the looping resets. (I have had 3-4 such incidents since last summer.) Thanks, –SJR

  31. My 700P rebooted on it’s own and now ALL of my text messages are gone. Is there any way to recover them?

  32. i would like to undelete my sms can and how would i do that thank you for your help!

  33. Didn’t work on mine. But you know what I found did work? It doesn’t reboot when I have it on silent mode.

  34. The procedure works like a charm. This problem seems to be occurring on all palm os based handsets, but it’s not very common.

  35. Chad!!! Thanks a gazillion! I was going to have sleepless nights about this…. It worked perfectly!!

  36. Mi treo 680 reboot when recieving a sms. And reboot when I Select Sound preference. Version 1.12 row.
    Please is there any solutión.

  37. Thanks for the simple solution to a very troubling problem. I had to delete the Message Database from the Palm as well as from the Backup. Because after removing only from the Treo 650 and after hot-sync’ing, same problem, so removed from the PC backup folder. Lets see if that recurs.

  38. That did not work for me in the long run as there was recurrence of the problem. I am using a customized ROM on my Palm Treo 650 and my solution finally was to fine-tune my ROM to find out what software was causing me problems. Had to remove BibleThumper and MyBible from the ROM. Then I uploaded the customized ROM again, did a hard reset and then gradually re-installed the usual software back. Working fine this far.

  39. Hello there

    i am using treo 680 with ATT branding here in pakistan, everything was fine till last night, when i plan to do a hard reset, after a hard reset now i am unable to send a message above then 160 character, i dont know what happend to my treo, any suggestion would be great,

    Thanks in Advance

    Naukhez Rabbani

  40. Thank you so much!! My phone has been refusing to let me talk to certain people for months now, and I haven’t been able to fix it. This is a life saver!

  41. This was such a help. This was the first thing I tried and it worked like a charm.

    If I had called my carrier or even Palm I doubt I would have gotten this fixed. You’re a life-saver.

  42. That worked perfectly! Wonderful step by step directions! 🙂 My hubby has been struggling with no textability on his 650 for a while now & then I found your awesome post! Thank you & bless you endlessly!

  43. My treo reboots whenever I send more than 2 messages at a time. I tried this and it did not work for me?. What else could be the case. Do you know?

  44. Hi:
    Thanks for your solution…

    I have test this way of method and solved it …

    Thanks again


  45. You you should edit the blog name What to do when sending an SMS makes your Treo 650 reboot Chad Dickerson to something more catching for your subject you write. I enjoyed the the writing however.

  46. i have a palm treo 680 which continues to restart itself.
    I have typed #*377 and the mesage says A crash occurred on 10/11/11at 20.47 while running “Memos”: MemoMain.c,Line:2511, Bad record
    What does this mean and what can I do?

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