Toshiba recalls some PDAs

Toshiba is recalling some of its Pocket PC E740 personal digital assistants to correct a manufacturing flaw that could, in some cases, result in lost data.

Toshiba is recalling some of its Pocket PC E740 personal digital assistants to correct a manufacturing flaw that could, in some cases, result in lost data.

The recall, announced on Monday, is limited to units with serial numbers between 7201461L and 92041620L. The company won't say how many units are affected. The product was released last June.

Toshiba New Zealand is advising users whose unit fall in the above range to call the company on 0800 444 789 to register their details.

A statement from Toshiba says it will then contact users in November with details of repair or replacement. Customers may continue to use the product without loss of data if they never let the battery fully discharge; never disconnect the battery from the product; regularly backup stored data; and always connect the product to an external power supply before changing the battery.

The recall is voluntary and no customer has yet complained about the problem, which came to light during a routine quality check, according to Toshiba. It appears the backup batteries in the units don't engage properly. Without a working backup battery, removing the main battery or letting it run out entirely will erase any data currently in RAM.

That's not likely to happen, according to Oscar Koenders, Toshiba's vice president of product marketing and worldwide product planning. The Pocket PC E740 warns users if battery power is getting low, and recommends backing up data. Users have a choice for the backup: save data to flash RAM (the PDA comes with both Secure Digital and CompactFlash slots) or to a PC via the USB cradle.

"That's probably the reason why no customer has come to us with a complaint," Koenders says of the ease of backup.

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