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Recently my son had noticed that I was reading eBooks on my BlackBerry Storm using MobiPocket reader. thumb_storm_9530_OTA_store

Since he and I share an interest in a lot of the same books, he inquired as to if he could do the same thing with his cell phone. Unfortunately his phone is not capable of running MobiPocket reader. I remembered that I still had my Sony Clie NX70V which in its day was a fantastic Palm device. SonyCLieNX70V And I used to use it to read eBooks with MobiPocket as well. The problem was that I was not sure I could get it working on a modern OS, all of our home systems are running Windows 7 of one version or another.

But I figured it was worth a shot. So I dug it out, charged it up overnight and the next day set about trying to get it to sync with my PC.

That turned out to be next to impossible on Windows 7. I could get HotSync to work, and the Palm Desktop software installed just fine, but the USB Drivers for the Clie would not install. I had the original CD to work from and spent several hours on the web trying various approaches.

I think the real problem was that I am running a 64 bit OS and the drivers were written pre XP days and there was just no way Windows 7 would work. Since I have Home Premium edition and since my processor does not support the hardware virtualization options, I could not run Windows 7’s XP Mode or Virtual PC which will no longer install on Windows 7 Home Premium. (Yes I am going to upgrade to Pro soon, but without the CPU support for virtualization that will only buy me a little bit.)

Since I am a developer I, I live in Virtual Machines, so I had found a virtual machine system that worked with Home Premium 64 bit Windows 7, which is Sun’s Virtual Box (Now Oracles' VirtualBox), this software was a snap to install, it’s open source, and supports just about every OS I have ever heard of. I have Windows Server 2008 R2, 2003 R2, XP, and Win7 all running in VM’s. It Supports snapshots and rollbacks, and most importantly for this article, it supports USB device capture.

So I fired up my XP virtual machine, installed the Clie software from the original CD,  captured the Palm device on the USB menu, pressed the HotSync button on the cradle and voila! I had syncage!

vboxusd Now, I just downloaded the latest reader software from MobiPocket, installed it to the Palm, got the PID identifier for the reader, added it to my Fictionwise account and downloaded the books I was interested in, synced them to the Palm and my son was happily clicking away and reading eBooks!

As an aside, I have a full SharePoint (WSS 3.0 and MOSS) including SQL Express 2008 with Reporting Services, installed in one of the VM’s complete with Visual Studio 2008 and all the SDK’s, Ajax, Silverlight and the v3 extensions for Visual Studio 2008 installed. I use it to develop and test SharePoint code. I have another VM based on XP that is an older Visual Studio 2005 based development environment for when I have to work with older code that I can’t upgrade. And I am building another VM now to investigate Visual Studio 2010 and SharePoint 2010. Virtual Machines are the best way to keep a focused development environment and avoid clogging your main system with beta’s and multiple versions of applications.

I tried VMWare’s products but found Virtual Box, faster, more reliable, easier to configure and maintain and much less resource intensive than anything from VMWare. And since I could no longer run VPC from Microsoft on Home Premium I could no longer use their product which used to be my main VM system.

Some takeaways from this little odyssey where:

  • If you keep the hardware, hang onto the driver software! I found hundreds of forum posts while searching for a solution to get my Palm going from people that no longer had the original install media and therefore no longer had the all important drivers. And apparently you can not get them from Sony any longer. So hang onto those CD’s! (I made ISO images of both while I was at it and have them safely stored on an external USB hard drive as the CD’s do apparently go bad.)
  • Virtual Machines are your friend! And not just for developers! A VM based OS is easy to setup and makes it possible to extend the life of older hardware and software, or just simply to be able to test software and devices in different OS configurations.
  • Just because you have outgrown a gadget does not mean you won’t find someone or some use for it later. So if it is not valuable enough to sell, hang onto it, you may find a new use for it!

I hope this helps someone out there think of other ways to use VM’s, and if their are any Sony Clie NX70V users out there that need the original CD, I have an ISO image you can download! Just email me and I will work with you to get a copy!


Robert Porter 

Posted on Saturday, February 13, 2010 9:29 AM | Back to top

Comments on this post: Resurrecting My Sony Palm Clie NX70V

# re: Resurrecting My Sony Palm Clie NX70V
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Trick is/1;put pointer out of VB{right control]
2;push sync. button
3;right click usb icon
4;select item

Left by Chuck on Feb 20, 2010 2:17 PM

# re: Resurrecting My Sony Palm Clie NX70V
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Nice tip! I was having hit or miss success with the sync, and your method proved to be reliable! Thanks!

Bob Porter
Left by Robert Porter on Feb 20, 2010 10:53 PM

# re: Resurrecting My Sony Palm Clie NX70V
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Really interesting article. Did you get the full 320 x 480 screen out of mobipocket?
Left by Richard on Apr 10, 2010 2:09 PM

# re: Resurrecting My Sony Palm Clie NX70V
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Hello there. I'm lost at the "captured the Palm device on the USB menu" part. I'm using Win 7 - 64 with XP mode, and I can install the Clié stuff (TH55) in the VM, but it won't see the USB connection at all, so I can't 'capture' it from the menu. The funny thing is, even the Win 7 machine doesn't 'see' the Clié.
When I disconnect/re-connect the cradle, absolutely nothing happens.
You wouldn't have any ideas, would you?
Maybe I'll try it with VMWare and see what happens.
Left by Wreckage on Oct 19, 2010 7:24 PM

# re: Resurrecting My Sony Palm Clie NX70V
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An XP VM in VMWare allows the Clié TH55 to work perfectly. I am now a happy chappie.
I still would love to have it working in XP Mode, though, and can't understand why it won't.
In XP Mode, when I right-click on the HotSync icon in the XP taskbar, the USB option is simply not there. It was there in VMWare, so I captured the device and all is now synchronising well.

Left by Wreckage on Oct 20, 2010 5:41 PM

# re: Resurrecting My Sony Palm Clie NX70V
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Using an XP VM in Oracle VirtualBox, I made it as far as the USB capture but still can not synch on 64-bit machine. The VM appears to be working perfectly (best I can tell) but I get the same error message when I try to sync as when I try to sync from the native Windows7 OS - ie, "COM1 not available."
Virtual box seems to recognize my Clie PEG-37 as an unknown device but will go no further. I wonder why the author's Clie NX70V was seen. Is there another hidden setting somewhere within VirtualBox?
It's amazing how good the Palm Desktop was/is in comparison to more recent developments for memo creation and organization. I would like to keep using it.
Thanks for anyone's help!
Left by dar501 on Apr 07, 2011 2:05 PM

# re: Resurrecting My Sony Palm Clie NX70V
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I found Chuck's tip very helpful. Also, the Palm USB connection was only available when I was trying to sync my Clie PEG-SJ22. Before or after that I couldn't see the SJ22 on the available USB devices to connect to. Further more the Palm device would only appear when the first time I tried to sync it after the Windows 7 host was restarted. Once Windows 7 said it couldn't install the drivers for the SJ22, the USB device was no longer visible. Finally I had to install the Oracle VM Extensions and the Extension Pack downloaded from the Oracle technetwork site. The VM Extension Pack enabled me to instruct the Virtual Box to capture the USB port each time I tried to sync the SJ22 so I wouldn't have to 'capture' the USB device each time I wanted to sync the SJ22. Good information for this can be found in the Oracle VM Users Guide.
Left by Chet on May 31, 2011 1:15 PM

# re: Resurrecting My Sony Palm Clie NX70V
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Sounds marvellous, but maybe you could tell in detail how this was done with an SJ22? I've got one, too, but I can not capture the device. I'm not able to see it anywhere, trying to hotsync or not.
Left by Yarra on Jun 06, 2011 9:41 AM

# re: Resurrecting My Sony Palm Clie NX70V
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Well, as I mentioned you have to have to download and installed the Oracle VM Extension. Once this is installed you should see a virtual CD in your Windows XP machine with Virtual Guest Additions (D:) [I loaded a copy of Windows XP]. You want to navigate to this 'CD' and run the VBoxWindowsAdditions.exe. This will allow you to set up the USB filter for your Virtual Machine (VM). You probably should reboot your VM after installing. Also, if you haven't rebooted Windows 7 since your last unsuccessful attempt to sync, reboot Windows 7.

Start the VM. I put my mouse on 'Devices' on the VMBox Manager, then click on the HotSync button on my SJ22 (connected via USB cable). My Windows 7 played the sound for the USB connection and I clicked on 'Devices', then USB and I could see 'Palm Inc., Palm Handheld [0100]'. I clicked on that to capture the USB port to sync with my SJ22. That worked, but I wanted it to automatically capture the USB sync without me having to click on 'Devices' and then find the USB device.

To set up the automatic capture, I first turned off the VM. This returned me to the VM VirtualBox Manager. With my VM selected, I scrolled down the list of features for the VM and clicked on USB. This opened the window for creating the USB filter. I made sure both check boxes where checked - Enable USB Controller, Enable USB 2.0 (EHCI) Controller. Then I clicked on the add filter icon to the right but nothing was there. So I clicked on the HotSync button on the SJ22 and found the Palm device listed. This will be shown only while the Clie is trying to sync with the Palm Desktop. I clicked on the Palm device listed and it was added to the list of filters. Now when I have the Windows XP VM running and I try to sync the Clie, the VM captures the USB port and the Palm Desktop HotSync software on the Windows XP connects with the Clie automatically.

The web page I downloaded the Extension Pack was It is listed as VirtualBox 4.0.8 Oracle VM VirtualBox Extension Pack (as of this writing).

The USB Filter shows the Name as Palm, Inc. Palm Handheld [0100], the Vendor ID as 054c, the Product ID as 0066, the Revision as 0100, the Manufacturer as Palm, Inc. and the Product as Palm Handheld. The Serial No. and Port fields are blank and the Remote field defaulted to 'No'.
Left by Chet on Jun 09, 2011 1:14 AM

# re: Resurrecting My Sony Palm Clie NX70V
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Rereading my post I realized I left out a step. Installing the Extension Pack will load an iso file that the VM can mount as a CD. This file, VBoxGuestAdditions.iso, can be mounted by clicking on Devices then Install guest additions. More information can be found in Chapter of the Oracle VM VirtualBox User Manual (found in the Help, then Contents link on the Oracle VM VirtualBox Manager GUI). Chapter 4 explains all the benefits of the Guest Additions.
Left by Chet on Jun 09, 2011 6:07 PM

# re: Resurrecting My Sony Palm Clie NX70V
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I am running into VirtualBox - Warning "Could not load the Host USB Proxy Service (VERR_FILE_NOT_FOUND). This serivce might not be install on the host computer."

Please provide your recommendations...thanks
Left by Ben Yim on Aug 22, 2011 10:54 AM

# re: Resurrecting My Sony Palm Clie NX70V
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I enjoyed and learned plenty from this article, thank you for sharing your knowledge. I have the Clie Peg NX70V/U, and wonder how it differs from the Clie Peg NX70V. Thanks!
Left by Carlos Perez on Jan 04, 2017 12:32 PM

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