Fixing “ghost alarms” in Windows Mobile

By | January 9, 2008

A common complaint of users of Windows Mobile devices is “ghost alarms.” One manifestation of this problem is when a periodic alarm scheduled by the clock application keeps triggering even when it has been disabled in the application, such that there appears to be no way to make it stop. Another manifestation is when multiple notifications pop up for a single alarm, such that the alarm sound plays over and over and you need to click “Dismiss” repeatedly to get rid of all the alarm notifications.

The most common recommendation I found on the Web and in the microsoft.public.pocketpc newsgroup for getting rid of the ghost alarms was to perform a hard reset on the device, i.e., to clear all memory and restore the device to its factory default settings. This is unacceptable to me since it takes a significant amount of time for me to reinstall all my applications and restore all of my configuration settings each time I have to do this, so I keep searching for other solutions.

I finally discovered that Windows Mobile has a “notifications queue” independent of individual applications that generate notifications, and that sometimes periodic notifications get stuck in this queue even when they have been “disowned” by the applications that originally generated them

I found two tools that can fix this problem. One of them, MemMaid, can be configured to run automatically on a daily basis to clean up problems with the notifications queue, and is therefore probably the right tool to use if this problem recurs for you on a regular basis. The other tool, SKTools, comes with a whole bunch of other tools for cleaning up, optimizing and tweaking the behavior of Windows Mobile, so it’s probably a better bargain if you don’t need to clean your notifications queue automatically on a regular basis.

I must say that I think it’s unfortunate that people have to pay money for tools to fix problems caused by bugs in Microsoft code. Microsoft should provide tools to do this for free, or they should fix the darn bugs.

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2 thoughts on “Fixing “ghost alarms” in Windows Mobile

  1. abbasegal

    Just think of all the billions of dollars circulating in the economy because of all the “fix microsoft bugs” programs out there… How many poor programmers would be out of work if MS were to start producing bug-free code?



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