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Please help me get this straight.
For I'm very confused with the Sony Ericcson web site and support service.
Would like a definite yes or no from a knowing person.

  • It has been possible to use Sony Ericcson cell phones as GPRS/EDGE/3G modems. To do this, one would connect the phone to a PC, it would get recognised as a bunch of devices (a couple of modems among them). One would set the modem up and create a dial-up connection that points to it.
  • It has been possible to backup contents of a phone, such as contact list or text messages, to a file on PC. This was achieved with PC Suite software. A most useful feature for those who don't want to suddenly lose 100+ invaluable phone numbers.

Is (and how) all this even possible with Windows 7?

There doesn't seem to be a PC Suite download any more on SE website. Instead they offer something called PC Companion.
This thing only allows updating phone firmware.
And it will not recognise any of my phones.

Ok then, I've got several versions of PC Suite (2.10.46, 3.204, 5.009, 6.011). Saved from the past.
On Windows 7, none would recognise any of my older phones (Z710 and W760). The software does see when I select "Phone" connection mode on the phone, it displays a "Setting phone up" dialog, but then says the phone is not connected and not installed.

In the Device manager, I only see one entry when I connect the phone: Unknown devices \ Sony Ericcson W760. "Update drivers" does not succeed as Windows is not able to find a driver.

There doesn't seem to be a driver pack or something on the Internet either. I did find something, but, when installed, it creates correct devices, but all with an exclamation point, and none work.

So, is it true that I cannot use my phone as a GPRS modem, and I cannot back up my contact list anymore? And my only option is to either stop using SE phones, or use Xperias, that back up to their own SD card?

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3 Answers 3

up vote 3 down vote accepted

You don't need the PC Suite for that; MyPhoneExplorer is a good alternative. Only the device drivers are needed – the ones for XP might still work. I can upload them somewhere if you have lost your driver CD. Otherwise, point Windows device installation thing to the folder with lots of .cat's and .inf's.

(By the way, if you enable USB networking in the phone, it makes GPRS work without having to configure a modem connection, and even lets you access your files through Windows File Sharing.)

Alternatively, buy a Bluetooth dongle and sync over it instead of USB. You won't need phone-specific drivers and you'll be able to access the Internet too.

You also can use SyncML or ActiveSync to keep a remote copy of your contacts and calendar. I use Google Sync servers for that – it keeps the phone synced to Gmail contacts and Google Calendar.

The W760 can backup contacts to card, see Contacts - Options - More - Advanced - Backup to m. card. The backup will be saved under /card/system/PIM/PM_Backup.vcf.

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1  
You can find the MyPhoneExplorer software here, fjsoft.at/en. –  Connor W May 26 '11 at 7:11
    
I did read up on MyPhoneExplorer, they say drivers are required anyway. I realise that; in fact, I just thought PC Suite would include all required drivers for phones. It apparently would not. I did find a standalone drivers pack, but you can read in my post what happened :( Could you check that drivers link for me to confirm they are the same drivers you have? Regarding the backup, I would still prefer the full backup provided by PC Suite, not just the contacts (though they account for 95% of importance). +1. –  GSerg May 26 '11 at 10:02
    
@GSerg: I only said PCSuite is not needed; didn't mention drivers. I'll check the ones I have later. –  grawity May 26 '11 at 11:47
    
@GSerg: The files appear identical to the ones I have (although my CD has many drivers for other devices). It would be helpful to know the exact error message displayed by the device manager (if such a thing still exists on 7). –  grawity May 26 '11 at 15:30
    
@grawity: The error is Device drivers are not installed (Code 28). This is how it looks for Z710. Same for W760, just the XXX code is different. When I point Windows to that folder, it does find something and claims something was installed, and then it turns out nothing was. –  GSerg May 26 '11 at 16:11

With the invaluable help from grawity, whose answer I most gratefully accept, I was able to come up with the following guide.


Drivers is all you need.

The problem is, Windows 7 is somewhat fancy about those drivers. You will need to do certain things manually.

  1. Download and unzip the drivers pack. Don't be confused by the name -- it contains drivers for many models.
  2. Connect your phone and select "Phone" as your connection mode. Windows will notice something as soon as you do that.
  3. Go to the Device manager. Locate your unrecognized phone, which will be listed under "Unknown Devices."
    • Right-click and select Update drivers.
    • Tell Windows you know where the drivers are and provide the path to the drivers pack folder.
    • Windows will remove the "Unknown device" and replace it with several devices, all with a yellow exclamation mark.
      enter image description here
  4. Right-click each of the newly found devices, in turn, and select Update Drivers.
    • Click the button to locate drivers on this computer.
    • Click the button to select a driver from a list of already installed drivers.
    • Click Have Disk.
    • Click Browse and navigate to the drivers pack folder.
    • Windows will now suggest a driver from this folder. Accept it.
    • While you are doing that, more devices can appear. Apply the same driver selection technique to them.

As soon as you've done that, your phone is ready and can be used for everything.
PC Suite and PC Companion will recognize the phone right away.

And, the PC Companion actually does provide all features, including backup, sync, and connectivity. It's just the buttons that are only displayed after a phone is recognized. So if a phone is not recognized, you might think there are very few features.

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You might want to check out the Windows Compatibility Center to see if there's software/drivers available for your devices: http://www.microsoft.com/windows/compatibility/windows-7/en-us/default.aspx

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I did allow Windows to automatically search drivers on the Internet. I believe the few drivers known to Windows are those listed on that site. There are much, much more SE cell phone models than presented there. –  GSerg May 26 '11 at 20:23

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