Lawsuit Alleges Palms Fry PCs

A lawsuit filed in California says that Palm handhelds can "damage or destroy the motherboards on certain PC brands" when placed in the HotSync cradle, according to an article put out by the Associated Press. The suit doesn't list which models cause this but one of the lawyers involved said, "our investigation has uncovered that it involves more than one (Palm) model and we know it's more than an isolated problem." The law firm also alleges that it affects PCs made by Dell.

A Palm spokesperson said, "We haven't seen the lawsuit yet," and had no other comment.

The suit was filed in San Francisco County Superior Court on behalf of two Californai residents. They are trying to make this a class action.

This is at least the second law suit filed against Palm recently. The first one alleges Palm conspired with the underwriters of its IPO to artificially drive up the price of its stock.

Thanks to Russell Howell for the tip. -Ed

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Here we go again

I.M. Anonymous @ 8/9/2001 7:59:16 AM #
Another lawsuit designed to make the lawyers rich. What else would you expect from the Great State of California - AKA "The Land of Fruits and Nuts"

RE: Here we go again
I.M. Anonymous @ 11/16/2001 3:32:04 PM #
Well, it figures that you'd be anonymous. I don't blame you for trying to cover up your latent freak tendencies.

My Dell Latitude motherboard got fried last week!

I.M. Anonymous @ 8/9/2001 8:23:56 AM #
It was OK for 1 year with my Palm V. Then I bought my m505 a few months ago. I used the m505 with the Dell for a few months - then last week I had smoke come out of the keyboard area near the 7 key with a horrible burning plastic stink. I wonder if this was what they're talking about? Seems like one heck of a conincidence. I hope there is no connection. p.s. Dell replaced my Notebook for free (it was under warranty)

RE: My Dell Latitude motherboard got fried last week!
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/9/2001 8:40:45 AM #
Anonymous, is that the the same spot on your laptop you spilled your drink. You know liquor and computing don't mix.

RE: My Dell Latitude motherboard got fried last week!
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/9/2001 8:44:23 AM #
What a coincidence! My case was even more dramatic. I had just unpacked my new new M505 when I noticed that burning smell emanating from the Dell in the next room....swear I had not even plugged in the darn thing.

Dells must be allergic to the presence of Palms...LOL!!

RE: My Dell Latitude motherboard got fried last week!
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/9/2001 8:58:09 AM #
I thought I was the only one! I was ordering a Palm m505 on the web and my computer blew up, leaving a smoking crater in my office. This, however, did not happen when I ordered my Vx, which comes with the serial cradle.

RE: My Dell Latitude motherboard got fried last week!
safron @ 8/9/2001 9:01:40 AM #
Oh yea, well my dell turned into a hideous green monster name Hector-san.. and it's heading for tokyo as we speak to battle Mothra in the last great battle for our universe.

RE: My Dell Latitude motherboard got fried last week!
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/9/2001 9:17:38 AM #
Hey I have a Dell too, and when I connected my IIIx to it it started shaking violently. I barely got out of the house, as the entire block was turned into a huge smoking crater. And here I thought it was the C4 that I use as insulation for the house and the surge protectors.

RE: My Dell Latitude motherboard got fried last week!
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/9/2001 2:39:48 PM #
I am typing this on my Dell and I haven't had the slightest probl aaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

RE: My Dell Latitude motherboard got fried last week!
Jonathan_2k1 @ 3/14/2003 10:27:39 AM #
Did you have your problem before or after the Axim X% came out? :-)

I've been working with computers for 1/4 of my life. Beat that.

destroyed motherboard

sapper17 @ 8/9/2001 9:04:24 AM #
The first week I synced my palm 505 it rebooted my computer. After reboot the USB ports did not work. I also could not access any of my drives. After calling tech support at Dell they were able to get my drives back up, but not the USB ports. They had to come out and install a new motherboard. To this day radomly my Palm still reboots my system when I set it in the cradle.

RE: destroyed motherboard
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/9/2001 9:16:21 AM #
Sound like Dell needs to do a little work with their BIOS to better support USB. This message will self destruct 5 seconds after you read it.

RE: destroyed motherboard
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/9/2001 9:22:09 AM #
Why the f**K don't they sue DELL as well. I sync my 505 with a SONY at least 5 times a day....haven't seen any smoke yet !

RE: destroyed motherboard
sapper17 @ 8/9/2001 9:32:44 AM #
I do not see how it is Dells fault when you just set the Palm in the cradle. I didnt even get a chance to hotsync.

RE: destroyed motherboard
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/9/2001 9:41:02 AM #
I agree regarding Dell's lousy design with respect to USB. I have a new DL400 laptop that runs hotter than heck (can't even touch the bottom of it when its running). Dell says this is within spec. Of course, I'd love to read that spec... " 2-a-3-b -> ability to double as waffle iron." Anyway, the USB support stinks and locks up all the time when changing devices, and yes, when putting my Palm in the cradle. The most aggravating thing is that the box blue-screens (w2k-sp2) when I try to disable hotsync manager in the taskbar tray. I sure wish my Palm wasn't so agressive, Carl, and I'm against you making my Palm even more agressive.

Platinum reboots my system
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/10/2001 11:31:21 PM #
I was forced to give up Win2K on one of my systems because my Visor Platinum rebooted the machine without fail about 2sec into a HotSync. Win98 on the same machine and no problem. So I reverted to Win98 [talk about taking one step forward and three steps back], but now that my Visor was stolen I'm going back to Win2K.

Thank you to whoever stole my Visor, I can now use a stable OS on my machine!

RE: destroyed motherboard
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/7/2002 11:13:21 AM #
This happened to my Dell last Monday when I tried to connect a Visor handheld via USB (happy friggin' New Year!). Both systems were acquired used, as I am a cheap nerd on a strict budget. Same symptoms: Machine rebooted when I put the Visor in the cradle, now USB ports don't work at all. (At least I still have all other drives, though I had to replace the CD-ROM drive with one I had readily available.) A friend saw an article about the lawsuit in PC Week and pointed me to this site.

Guess I'll have to get a USB card and not sync to the Dell. (Which means I have to hope like hell it doesn't to the same thing to my sturdy old Vaio notebook.) Sigh.


No Problem | Dell Inspiron 8000

I.M. Anonymous @ 8/9/2001 9:51:24 AM #
I've got a 1 month old Dell Inspiron 8000 and have no problem sync'ing my m505. I did the initial sync via the USB connection (no problem) and generally do my daily sync's via the IR port.(Although the HP Omnibook three cubes down starts to gurgle every time I turn on my Palm.)

Dell & Edge

I.M. Anonymous @ 8/9/2001 9:59:23 AM #
I haven't had the problem with my 505, but my Edge was sending static shocks to my Dell. It fried my Edge instead of the Dell.

it's DELL's fault

I.M. Anonymous @ 8/9/2001 10:22:51 AM #
The problem is with DELL's computers. They dont properly deal with the static energy, resulting in blackened boards

RE: it's DELL's fault
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/13/2001 11:32:09 AM #
Except that this blew out 9 of my companies Gateway motherboards and a compaq i had at home. Does Dell build computers for these folks as well?

Can't we all just get along?

PalmPowered @ 8/9/2001 11:40:10 AM #
I have a Hewlett Packard PC (all components HP except the monitor, which is a Dell). My system works fine with my new m505 except for the monitor whose picture starts getting wavy and distorted anytime I bring my m505 around. Maybe its PC envy or something....seriously, this whole problems sounds like someone with a bad set of motherboards is looking for a scapegoat and the Palm seemed the way to go. I haven't seen anything like this since my Sports Illustrated Sneaker phone started kicking my Sports Illustrated Football phone around the house. To say that one particular brand of pc is "allergic" to a Palm device is just plain stupid. There are lots of IBM's, HP's, Compaqs, and yes, even Dells out there that have never had a single problem, not to mention the scores of no-name brands that are in people's homes and offices all over the place. Only in America....

Power Up!

Fry them all!

I.M. Anonymous @ 8/9/2001 1:08:38 PM #
I think everyone involved with this lawsuit is to blame.

(1) Don't people know that static shock hurts when you touch a doorknob? Wouldn't that make people ground themselves?
(2) Palm didn't design the cradle to be hot-swappable, although they knew it would be used that way, and encouraged it.
(3) PC motherboard manufacturers designed faulty ports knowing that they are susceptible to static.

Regarding (2), I think Handspring, Handera, Landware and anyone else who makes a cradle-like device has something to worry about.
I think that even in the PocketPC world there is a problem here.

Regarding (3), in the old days zapping a serial port meant replacing a 1488/1489 chip and everything worked. Today not only does
the port get fried, but the PC does too! Are the MB manufacturers to cheap to build a better port (rhetorical question)?

RE: Fry them all!
aardvarko @ 8/9/2001 4:57:52 PM #
Huh? How can you claim that they didn't intend for it to be hot-swappable?

Having to reboot twice whenever you wish to HotSync would be sheer, rampant idiocy.

webmaster at aardvarko dot com

RE: Fry them all!
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/9/2001 6:31:55 PM #
I didn't say that they didn't INTEND for it to be hot-swappable. I said they didn't DESIGN it to be hot-swappable.
Of course they intended it to be hot-swappable, and encouraged it.

Sue Dell for defamation!

I.M. Anonymous @ 8/9/2001 1:52:11 PM #
I say we sue Dell for making our handhelds look bad!

-Static killed my eyemodule2

RE: Sue Dell for defamation!
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/9/2001 2:38:20 PM #

I agree!

I came home last night and right on the news was a quick blurb about how Palm devices can potentially fry your computer.

No more details given.

This kind of crap can serioulsy damage Palms reputation.

I have connected to MANY different kinds of computers with no problem. If it is happening on Dell computers, than it is DELL's PROBLEM.

Sue em for the shirts on thier backs!

RE: Sue Dell for defamation!
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/9/2001 2:54:46 PM #
The cradle for the Vx is improperly shielded. In dry weather touching the cradle can cause a static shock that is passed to the computer motherboard. The serial port on my Gateway was fried. I now have to sync with a USB adapter. I also put a surge protector on my hotsync cable (highly recommended). Palm acknowledged the problem and sent me a free USB connect kit. I don't know about the law suit, however, there is a real problem.

RE: Sue Dell for defamation!
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/9/2001 2:57:01 PM #
(writing from a Dell inspiron)
Dell makes the ugliest, unoriginal, other words crap computers. When you have crap, the only way you can sell crap is to offer other stuff and incentives. ( you can't polish a turd)My personal computer is NOT a Dell. this is what they suckered my boss into buying us, so we have to work with them. My Palms sync fine with the computers I use them with, IBM thinkpad, Apple iBook, and 3 different iMacs.
The obvious issue is Dell is at fault. Bring it on, this is not Palm's issue.

Sounds familar
Coyote67 @ 8/9/2001 4:18:48 PM #
I remember reading on slashdot about a guy who's machine, now that I think about it, could have been a dell, was fried because the static shock he got from walking on the carpet with his Vx, burned his mobo out. He said he just put it in the cradle, saw a spark, and his machine just went dead. I must have read this months ago.

OH my god...becky, look at her....Prism.
RE: Sue Dell for defamation!
GregGaub @ 8/9/2001 7:01:21 PM #
That was me. It did happen months ago, and I wrote an article about it whick I posted to my PUG site (seapug). The computer was/is an HP. This is not a "Dell only" problem. It's a problem with any rechargeable palm connecting to a serial port and any computer who's mobo doesn't have adequate (to spec) protection from ESD on the serial ports.

I have a Dell. I have a Palm. No problems here.

I.M. Anonymous @ 8/9/2001 4:17:55 PM #
I have a two year old Dell and a Palm m500 and I haven't had any problems here. But then again, the cradle is hooked up to a powered hub (two USB ports just isn't enough) so I think I am extra protected from any phantom cooking that may be occurring.

RE: I have a Dell. I have a Palm. No problems here.
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/9/2001 6:51:57 PM #
I had a IIIxe and a Vx at different times. I'm still using the computer that I hooked them up too!

RE: I have a Dell. I have a Palm. No problems here.
Cheetah @ 8/10/2001 8:47:34 PM #
I have a Dell at home and work. My work is full of Dells and alot of people have Palms.

I've setup my V, Vx, and 505 at work and home.

No problem.

I'm not saying this isn't a potential problem, just that it must be rare.

RE: I have a Dell. I have a Palm. No problems here.
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/12/2001 6:10:56 AM #
I have a 2 year old Dell Latitute CPt. Previously, I had a CP. I have been using them with a PalmPilot Professional, a Palm V and now a Palm m505 without any problem, using the serial port and now the USB port, both on the laptops and on the C-dock in my office !
Absolutely no problem !!

my serial ports were fried by Palm Vx

I.M. Anonymous @ 8/9/2001 9:41:01 PM #
I have a Palm V and it fried my serial port. Previously I had no problems with the Palm III I used for several years. I got no help from Palm, until recently someone at Palm admitted that occasionally the static charge in the hotsync fries the serial port of some Dell computers. My computer is a Dell. One of my employees had the same problem with two of our other Dells. Now I guess we have three Dells with fried Serial ports. Other than the serial port, no other problems. I have now worked around the problem by getting a USB adapter for my cradle and using a free USB port. It is working fine again after months of me beaming bad karma to Palm. My employee only hotsyncs at home now with his IBM,

RE: my serial ports were fried by Palm Vx
ACC @ 8/16/2001 8:36:31 AM #
I had a similar situation but with a different outcome.

Had a palm III that worked great, upgraded to a Vx. It Synced the first time great. The next time it fried the ports on my mother board. I went back and forth with Dell and Palm for two weeks. Both not taking any responsibility in the begining.

In the end Palm sent me an adapter that goes between the Sync cable and the computer to stop static discharge. (no charge) Dell repalced my mother board under warranty at no charge.

RE: my serial ports were fried by Palm Vx
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/23/2001 9:26:32 PM #
I too had my port fried by syncing my Palm V with a Dell. This was last year, and Palm could only recommend that I reload my system software (NT) and when that didn't work they suggested I try again. In the end, they decided it was some sort of system problem (even though it worked fine for quite some time). I resolved it by buying a new parallel port card ($15). Amazing how this only seems to happen to Dell's.

RE: my serial ports were fried by Palm Vx
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/23/2001 9:34:36 PM #
Its a serial port that was replaced...

RE: my serial ports were fried by Palm V
I.M. Anonymous @ 11/9/2001 7:20:37 PM #
I too have had this happen to 2 new DELL computers at my business. I have talked to both Palm & DELL with ea telling me that it was the others problem. Still can't Hotsync. I'm ready to sh..can both of them!

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