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How to Recover Windows CE

Updated March 23, 2017

Windows CE is the operating system used on Microsoft-based netbooks and mobile devices. The operating system and built-in applications (such as Internet Explorer and accessory programs) are contained in a chip inside the device. If you've experienced severe problems with your device, you can perform a hard reset to recover Windows CE and restore it to its original configuration. Just be sure to perform a backup of your personal files before you begin.

Back up your device. Transfer any personal files to a flash drive or other mobile storage. Sync your device using ActiveSync to ensure that all of your contacts and settings are saved on your primary computer. Generally, you can do this by attaching your mobile device to your computer via a USB cable. ActiveSync will begin automatically. This may vary by device so refer to the operating instructions if you have trouble.

Remove the device from the cradle and turn it off. Also, detach the AC adaptor if necessary.

Open the device and remove the backup battery. This is a small coin-shaped battery and can be pried out with a fingernail.

Remove the main battery and leave the device as is for at least 20 minutes to ensure that all of the memory has been cleared.

Insert the back up battery first. Wait for one minute to allow the device to charge and then insert the main battery.

Turn on the device and attach the AC adaptor. Wait for the operating system to load and then follow the set-up wizard to configure your device.

Restore your files. Perform a sync with your primary computer to restore your personal settings and contacts. Insert your memory card to transfer any personal files that you backed up before the reset procedure. Your Windows CE device will now be fully recovered.

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About the Author

Robin Noelle is a professional writer living and working in Northern California. She has a degree in Journalism and a background in high tech public relations. She is the author of travel guides and end-user computer books.