An easy-peasy fix once the secret is known.
Coming from a world of palm pilots, where NO backups were possible once computer syncing was broken, this still raises the hair a bit on the back of my neck.
Superintendent: "I need you to fix the calendar, note, and address book sync on my Palm Pilot."
Me: "ok, when did it stop working?"
Superintendent: "It hasn't worked in the last two years
Me. (shivers) "I assume you've made a lot of changes since then?"
Superintendent: "Yes, I use the calendar for all my appointments, and there's a lot of changes in my address book that aren't on my computer."
OK here's the problem. The palms HAVE an SD card slot, but for some inane reason they don't have the option to back up data to it. All you can use it for is to view (not edit) text files and to store your contact list's pictures on. (which I relied on heavily at the school for my palm pilot) So once syncing stops working on the PP, it's on the device and can't be anywhere else in the world. There's no backing up the data.
AAAAND the problem. "Conduit", PP's sync app, decides all on its own what to do for syncing. There is no way to override it and force it to "wipe the computer and download from the PP". When you connect it, if it decides the data on the PP is out of date, it's completely capable of NUKING the PP (without warning) and importing data from the computer, wiping out anything you had on the PP and not on the computer. The entire sync process is entirely out of your control, you just press the only button and pray it does what you wanted it to do. This creates a serious
risk if you haven't been able to sync in months. (or years
So I warned her what it was capable of doing, and that I had NO way of preventing data loss. Wisely, she baulked at fixing it immediately. She took the time then to write down the most important things before we gave it a go a few weeks later. I did back up the data on her computer though before syncing.
Wise precaution. It NUKED the data on her computer's calendar and contacts, and imported from the PP. God I hate Conduit. But at least I could fix that with the backup I'd made. A bit of a pain to manually merge in the data, but then one more sync and both the computer and the PP had up-to-date information and were syncing properly again.
Two weeks later the PE instructor came to me with essentially the same issue. Over my time there I had to deal with five palms that had been out of sync by months to years. Thanks I think in part to nuking MY PP repeatedly doing tests, I was able to (probably a lot by luck) able to avoid any data loss for the staff's devices. I could NOT get rid of that fast enough when I picked up that used iPhone 3S.
So yeah... I'm still a little twitchy when syncing of calendars and addressbooks goes south.