There are lots of ways to manage memory space in a Windows Mobile Pocket PC device. For instance, users can manually move files from the device's main memory into storage cards. This is a convenient method because the storage is limitless, depending only on the number of cards you have. This is also very effective for large multimedia files, or large document directories. There are tools, like Kilmist Storage Analyzer (read review) that gives the user a complete view of the memory usage, with tools to easily find large folders or files.
Sometimes you can't dispose of some of these data files, but quite often you'll have a couple of programs that are not frequently used. Removing the programs is an option, but you'll have to make sure you have the installation files handy for later use, or you risk being caught without the program when in need of its functions.
Inventop came up with an interesting program called CabBackup. The idea is to have a tool that will free space used by programs, but make the programs readily available for reinstall. How is that supposed to work? By recreating CAB files from the installed program and registry settings. You can create the CAB files directly in a storage card or in the device's main memory (what I think you'll not have much available otherwise you wouldn't need this program ).
This utility is also useful if you plan to install an update, for testing, but plan to revert to the program's previous version. Simply archive the current version using CabBackup, for later reinstall if needed.
When we first start the utility, a list of installed programs is shown. Programs in red can not be stored in a CAB file:
By tapping the info button we can see the program's attributes and settings:
If we tap in the Backup button, the program will launch a Wizard that will guide us through the CAB file recreation. First we select where the CAB file will be stored:
Then the program will try and create the CAB file for us:
When it's finished it'll show a brief message explaining what has just happened:
Since we're doing this to make some memory space available, the next logical step is to go to the Memory Settings applet and remove the program we've just "crunched" (yes, I know. With 22MB available as shown in the image below I shouldn't need to remove applications, but this is a testing machine)
To restore the installation, find the CAB file you've created, and tap on it. This will launch the built-in OS installer and recreate the program's environment, including registry keys and folders. Mind you this is only for the program installation. Be sure to have a copy of any data files because these are not copied!
Does it work? Yes, but I'd be cautious. CabBackup performed very well with small, simpler applications. I tried it with ICQ, Illium Dockware, ScaryBear Clear Notification, ScaryBear Check Notification, VxUtil, Ballshooter Fast Swapper, Pocket Hosts, and other programs without any problem.
I was suspicious that large programs, with lots of different folders, could create problems. I found that the CAB file created from my copy of Access Netfront wouldn't install. Resco Picture Viewer also had problems during the installation, with some files supposed to be in the \windows folder being copied to \program files\resco. Note this is when using CabBackup 1.2, and I'm sure Inventop will work on this.
My advice? If you feel in need of space use this utility, but make sure you test with all your programs before doing a fresh reinstall of everything on your Pocket PC. This way you'll know which programs can be copied, and which ones you can't copy or reinstall.
In any way you use it, CabBackup is also helpful if you need to know program's settings and file usage, which is quite useful for reviewers and developers .