N900: Do's & Don'ts with App Manager + Hard Reset

| January 4, 2010 | 30 Replies

I thought I would give you guys a bit of a heads up about installing applications as a few people (my self included) have got to the point where applications just seem to stop installing or the phone crashes.

First thing first, before you install applications you are not sure of or just want to try, I would recommend that you do a backup (which i’m sure you already know how to do). The great thing with the N900 is that you can make as many backups as you like and you can save them either to your mass memory or your memory card.

Restart Phone

When you restart your phone make sure you:

  • Switch phone off
  • Remove battery and wait a few seconds
  • Insert battery
  • Switch phone back on

I’m sorry if this is obvious to you but most people don’t remove the battery when restarting and it sometimes means that the phone does not restart properly!

Backup Phone

Personally I have found this to be the best practice to backup up me phone:

  • Run the default backup application and backup everything to either your mass memory or your memory card.
  • Connect your phone to your computer in Mass storage mode and copy everything over
  • Disconnect phone and reconnect in PC Suite mode and make a backup using Nokia PC Suite – for some strange reason since Nokia released an update I have not been able to get mine to backup this way but in all honestly it’s not really necessary.


For 90% of people out there I would recommend that you do not add any more repositories then are currently there, as some of the ones like extras testing, and extras devel are likely to make your phone crash. If you insist on adding them then the details for the repositories are below:

Maemo Extra Testing (as Jay showed us in an earlier post):

As you can tell by the name of this one, it is a load of applications that are still being tested, so don’t expect them all to work properly and they can start to cause problems fi you install things you are not sure about.

Catalogue Name: extras testing
Web Address:
Distribution: fremantle
Components: free non-free

Maemo Extra Development

I DO NOT recommend this one for noobs or even pro’s, this is only really for Developers, as I know a lot of people who have completely bricked their phones  after installing applications from it so only add at your own risk! (I’m only sharing it so that developers can see what applications are currently being designed)

Catalogue Name: extras devel
Web Address:
Distribution: fremantle
Components: free non-free


These are a few things you can try to fix common problems which I have found.

Error: “Unable to install XXXX”

Details say something like “xxx-xx-xx.img” needs to be installed first.

If you have got this error after adding one of the above repositories and there is usually a simple fix. The error comes up because you have disabled some of the other repositories and the files it requires are actually embedded within the default ones.

Solution: Enable all the repositories and it should allow you to install (If it still doesn’t just restart your phone and  try again).

Error: “Unable to install XXXX – Not enough space”

This usually happens because the phone itself only actually has about 227.6MB for the main applications (I found this out after installing “DiskUsage” from the Extras Development repository).

Solution: Uninstall one of your current applications and restart your phone, I found that the phone does not allow you to reuse the space allocated by an uninstalled application until you have restarted the phone.

Error: “Unable to install XXXX”

Details say something like “opt” folder does not exist

This happens because you have installed and/or uninstalled an application from one of the testing or development repositories and it deletes the “opt” folder found in “/home/opt/”.

Solution: See Jay’s post: How to: Fixing “Unable to install application” error on N900

Removing all applications from your phone

Personally I started fresh on my phone by doing re-install using the Nokia Software Updater. This should not delete your user data such as contacts, calender, messages, media, etc but I would recommend doing a backup first anyway…just incase!

This should remove all installed applications.

Hard Reset of phone

Make sure your phone is fully charged before you do the following!!

The only way I’v found so far to do a hard reset of your phone is a method which is shown by “adamf” who appears to be an employee over at Nokia Support Discussions, you can find information about it below but I do warn you it is a very long procedure an would only recommend you do it if you have no other choice!

p.s. I have not tried myself so cannot guarantee results but if you do please comment below, I would love to know how you got on!


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Category: Applications, Maemo, Nokia

About the Author ()

Blogger, and Moderator for "" by Jay Montano. When I can, I also write help guides and review on my own site: I work full time but in my spare time I also repair phones, and other electronics. Find me on Twitter: @llaadd or Youtube: llaadd