A lot of what you wanted to know about files in ROM but were afraid to ask and afterward wished you didn't...
(i.e. It's a long post).
I'll try to be as thorough as possible so that while doing this you don't have a problem that I didn't already face and call out expletives. If you have your own problems or deviate from this, then good luck. I won't be able to help though there's likely a solution.
Here's some filler background. Skip if you just want to get into the thick of it:
I should explain that when I cleared out my ROM, I recognized that I swap apps in and out of RAM frequently for various reasons. As such I don't ever want to tie myself down if I can help it. Therefore, I chose to clear everything I possibly could from ROM so my device simply turns on, works in English, all system functions work but does nothing else unless I load it in RAM. I wanted a clean slate to do with as I wish. However, you may not want that. Finding this was no easy task. I tried many ROM configurations, most were stable, some completely not and and some somewhere in between. If any ROM were unstable, I had no problem rewriting a known good ROM back. And I kept backups of everything including my original ld.img in case of catastrophe.
Some are reporting their LifeDrives turning to bricks as they modify it. I don't know why as I wasn't there. Static electricity? Damaged hardware from careless error? Who knows? All I know is mine is working better than factory condition as far as I'm concerned after all the mess I put it through and I couldn't be happier. I also exercised extreme caution bordering on anal-retentiveness handling or doing anything and everything. I can only suggest you do likewise.
Note I obviously added nothing to the ROM, so I cannot comment on adding apps of choice. Someone else may want to comment on their experiences. You will find a list of all the files contained in the default ROM in a file named boot.conf which is a good starting point. I never modified that file nor had one issue as a result but someone may want to comment on their experiences. I will list what I deleted, what I kept and what must stay. The Thick Of It:
I decided I only need my LD to work in English. So right off the bat I deleted all files that have in the filenames “_deDE” (i.e. German), “_esES” (i.e. Spanish), “_frFR” (i.e. French), “itIT” (i.e. Italian), “_ptBR” (i.e. Portuguese). That obviously only leaves files containing “_enUS” (i.e. English). These are overlay files (.oprc) and always work in conjunction with the associated base prc file (.bprc). You'll notice the .oprc and .bprc file names are extremely similar or exact. You must choose what language(s) you prefer to keep. As a result when you hard reset, you'll notice those other language options no longer appear in the setup menu and only English (or whatever language(s) you kept) is there. In other words, this worked correctly and there is no hidden consequence.
Also note, if you want to add these .bprc and .oprc back to RAM if they're not in ROM, you can try HotSyncing them in but HotSyncing is fussy about files it transports. For the times it doesn't work, your alternative is simply to change the file extensions of those files from .bprc to .prc, and .oprc to .prc (yes, really, that's all) as RAM cannot recognize them as .bprc and .oprc. Transfer these files to an SD card or the LD's user storage partition and then transfer them into RAM using a file manager of your choice. I only used Resco Explorer because it's never given me a problem during those times FileZ shows its own limitations by not putting some files in RAM (a good example is installing Dmitry's copy of NetFront manually as opposed to his automated version).
I deleted the T-Mobile advertisements. Those files are:
I don't use or want the included default backgrounds, mp3s, LifeDrive “introductory” movie/advertisement or sample office documents. Plus the multimedia files can't compress further and so bloat the ROM. So delete all files of your choosing that end in .jpg, .mp3, .doc, .ppt, .xls. Palm broke it's LD “movie file” into several smaller files which appear as “100.asf_512k_a” through “100.asf_512k_j” Delete all 10 of those files to get rid of the 1 movie.
Here is my final list of all the files I kept in ROM and still remain stable. The zip file amounted to 4,789,657 bytes using a very light compression scheme which amounts to over a 75% reduction. Real world numbers that go with this list are 63.4MB of 65.2MB of RAM free. 22 sec soft reset (microdrive), 13 sec (CF card) (these times are with the splash screen removed as described below). Available DbCache as reported by Resco Explorer: 16116K. Not too shabby. Of course, these performance numbers change according to the what apps you choose to put in RAM. Use your own discretion.
Some points worth noting:
1) There probably are more files that could come out of this list but I was running out of time and patience to find them as each ROM trial took me about 1/2 hour start to finish plus who knows how much time to test and debug each. By the time I reached this point, it was becoming much easier to build an unstable ROM and I simply stopped deleting files as I already reached my goals. Maybe someone else who has the time may want to post their experiences.
2) I found Palm's naming convention to be fairly decent. You have a good idea what the file does by its name unlike a typical Windows environment. So you will have a pretty good idea of what you're doing. Just look. You'll see.
3) Standard PIMs. If you delete them from ROM but decide later to put them back in RAM (which I successfully tried), I heard Palm kept dummies of their old PIMs along with their new PIMs for 3rd party backwards compatibility and the like and I suspect those files have the word “hidden” in their filenames. In any event, I put them all back in RAM and they work perfectly.
4) The default DIA. The DIA contains shortcuts by default for VersaMail, Blazer, Contacts and Datebook. If you remove any of these apps from ROM (I deleted all four) the icons for those apps will no longer appear and the LD will put in default shortcut icons in their place (blue disk with a stylus shown diagonally) that do nothing because they're trying to launch apps that obviously don't exist. It's a little disconcerting when you first see it but that's no problem. You can still replace those icons with any app in RAM just as before.
5) I discovered if I installed an Internet browser to RAM and immediately launched it the first time without first establishing a network within the WiFi settings, it gives a network connection error message. Just go into the WiFi panel and select a network and it will then work. Note that this only happens the first time around and behaves completely normal afterwards, new and old networks alike (i.e. no need to first go into the WiFi panel every time you launch your browser). I don't know if this happened with the default ROM too as I never had an occasion to test this situation after a hard reset.
6) I deleted Blazer from ROM and found it was an oddity to later put back in RAM buts works fine all the same. You need to put BlazerApp.prc, BlazerApp_enUS.prc (or whatever language(s) you wish) HTTPLib.prc, NetFrontLib.prc, Web_Tips.prc, Web_Tips_enUS.prc AS WELL AS copies of other files from your good RAM (before you started this process
). Without them, I found Blazer still wouldn't work. Those files were “Blazer BF-History.pdb” “Blazer bookmarks.pdb” “Blazer cookies.pdb” “Blazer Field Autofill.pdb” “Blazer find Autofill.pdb” “Blazer URL autofill.pdb”. They may be constructed during hard reset from different files in standard ROM. Again, I didn't have time to find the exact culprit. Perhaps someone else will. I simply found what works. I found no need to put WebPlaceHolder.prc back in RAM. Note too, if you choose NetFront v3.1 and not use Blazer, I believe you still need NetFrontLib.prc in RAM for that to work, but I'm sure others can comment on that in more detail.
7) Documents to Go: I deleted it all from ROM. I purchased the upgrade (version 8 and version 9) and installed the upgrade to my stripped ROM following the DataViz's installation instructions as if my ROM were standard and all components of the Docs2Go worked as normal. Same story for PocketTunes although I bought the full version at the time, not an upgrade, so your mileage may vary.
There are some files that I deleted simply because I have 3rd party alternatives or have no use for them. I also discovered that the LD still needs them in ROM to remain stable even if I never use them. I have suspicions why but no facts. This list is NOT exhaustive so there may well be other files the LD absolutely must have. Also note, I included the English overlay files in this list not because it needs English to work but English was my language of choice. Substitute these overlay files with the language(s) of your choice.
By process of elimination, here is a list in no specific order of all files for user apps in ROM. Again, use the correct overlay files for the language(s) of your choosing. I only list English here because I already deleted all other overlay files as I mentioned above. And again, you pick and choose what to keep in ROM or not.
Docs to Go
Some other noteworthy points
1) If you use the app UnCache, and you kept the PIMs out of ROM but later put them in RAM, you need to set them in the UnCache list. Otherwise, only the alarms will not function after a soft reset.
2) I posted this elsewhere but I'll post it again so it's all in one place. I despise that animated LifeDrive splash screen after any reset. It wastes time for an already lengthy process. The splash screen is only a .prc that launches with reset and could be launched any time manually if you so chose. The file name is called "SplashLifeDrive.prc" I found a free app called Dummy
. The app does absolutely nothing by design. Rename “Dummy.prc” to "SplashLifeDrive.prc", place it in the ROM (overwriting the original, or course), your LD is still happy and you never see the splash ever again. It knocks about 3 seconds off any reset and decreases the size of ROM to boot. The only downside is you will aways have this app's icon in your launcher but you can manage it like you would for any other app icon built in ROM. It's quite a small price in my estimation. You may be able to delete "SplashLifeDrive.prc" from ROM and put nothing in its place instead and all still be well and good. I didn't try it nor did I have the time.
3) I installed what I wanted in RAM clean after a hard reset, then immediately created a full backup with NVBackup
for that extra layer of protection, as if were all in ROM (i.e. ROM on the fly). NVBackup is good to use all the time, so this step is a bit redundant and a woobie.
As always, questions and comments are welcome.