LG mobile phones: PC connection - troubleshooting problems & improving connectivityTuesday, January 02, 2007
UPDATE May 2007: if you want info on the LG Shine KE 970 phone - general review, photos, manual and software download, Gmail access and browser tips, and tips on connectivity and syncing the KE970 including Java on the KE970.
LG cellphones e.g. the LG Chocolate KG800 mobile phone come with a CD containing Contents Bank software (also downloadable (UK version)). I've previously covered the basics of getting the phone to talk to the Contents Bank software to transfer ringtones and pics and how to install Java games and apps to your LG mobile phone.
This post is a guide to troubleshooting and hopefully improving that connectivity. It's based on some personal trial & error and also lots of Internet searching - many resources I found were about other LG phones and some aren't in English so certain links below to sources will be slow as they open up translations of the Webpages I got the info from; you have been warned!
This post is meant for the LG KG800 Chocolate phone but I gather that a lot of it applies to other LG phones too as their software also includes a similar config.ini file. I've not tested that personally so if you want to try it with another model of LG mobile phone, do so at your own risk. The Contents Bank software (and manuals) for the main LG phone models in the UK, like the KG320, KG810, KG920 etc, can be downloaded from the uk.lgmobile.com site. Note that you must install the modem driver software too, see this post.
Troubleshooting connection problemsIf you have problems using the Contents Bank software, the first step is to follow this post carefully. That's sorted the problem for quite a few people. But other people are still having difficulty. The most common problems seem to be:
'Other application used this port. Failed to open [number] port'. This seems to be related to modem drivers e.g. not being installed properly or being hijacked by other phones you might have connected to the PC. Check your Device Manager (rightclick the My Computer icon, Hardware tab, click Device Manager) and look under Modems. If your LG phone is initialised as a modem and connected at that time, then you should see it in the list if it's been properly installed (if it's not connected it won't show) - else trying removing/reinstalling its modem driver as per this post. If there are other interfering modem drivers (shades of backseat drivers, eh?) they need to be uninstalled - and it sounds complicated but hopefully you can get a techie friend to do that for you. It's certainly too complicated for me to go into here, but at least you'll know what to try.
Timeout, Initialising, please wait (& lots of waiting...) I've sorted this problem myself out by getting rid of the dreaded popup box, then clicking Connect again, and then, real fast after that, trying the download again (i.e. highlight the file(s) you want to transfer, click the Download button). If all else fails, close Contents Bank, disconnect the phone from PC, turn phone off and on again, and repeat the whole process. I've found that it works eventually the nth time, but it sure can try your patience! If that still doesn't work, you might want to try editing your Config.ini file, see step by step tutorial below.
Now I can't guarantee any of the suggestions or speculations below will work as I've not tried them all, just gathered them together in one place, so I have to repeat again that on your own head be it if you tinker with the settings and something goes horribly wrong (though hopefully you can then delete your edited file and rename your saved backup to config.ini). But there are some things you might consider trying.
How to edit the LG config.ini file1. Making sure that the Contents Bank program is not open (close it first if it is), in a text editor like Notepad open the config.ini file (on my PC at least, that file is located in C:/Program Files/LGGSM/LGContentsBank). Save a backup first just in case, e.g. save it as backup.ini or config.bak, whatever you wish. Remember in the File Open window you may have to change "Files of type" to "All Files" to open the .ini file.
2. Now that file, which is the configuration file for the LG Contents Bank and phone modem connection, contains all manner of settings that may be tweaked. Here's the contents of the Config.ini file as per the original UK software (Path, Port and Baud Rate will be filled in once you've connected successfully for the first time):
(If your own config.ini file is missing a section like PROG_SETTING you could just try copy/pasting that into your own file, but again do so at your own risk as there may be a good reason why in your country it's been deleted!)
3. Try editing the file as suggested below if you wish. Remember to do it all in uppercase e.g. Y not y.
4. Then "File Save as" the edited file, remembering to change "Text Documents (*.txt)" in the "Save as type" line of the "Save as" box to "All Files" before you hit Save. (Or else it'll save it as "/2007/01/config.ini.txt" which will stop it from working).
(To restore your backup later, just make sure you're disconnected, delete your edited config.ini file and rename your backup.ini or whatever you called it to config.ini.)
Possible tweaks to Config.iniTimeout problem. Someone has reported that increasing "10" to e.g. "30" in SLEEP_TIME=10 has helped with their Timeout problem (UPDATE 8 Apr 2007: however Brad reports that it made no difference for him).
BLOCK_SIZE=2048 (UPDATE 3 Apr 2007): I've also heard that changing BLOCK_SIZE=2048 to BLOCK_SIZE=204800 (at least for the KG90 phone!) may help there too. But I've always managed to sort out my own Timeout problems as mentioned above, so I've not tried either of these. Brad reports: "I set this to be 4 times bigger at 8192 instead of 2048. After making these changes I was able to transfer a Java (.jar) file that was nearly 1.5MB to the phone. Unfortunately, the phone did not have enough space to compile a program of that size. So far I have found that files smaller than 512KB can compile on the phone." Thanks Brad!
USB_CONNECT_MODE=N - I changed N to Y but to be honest I've seen no difference in operation with either USB storage or modem mode. Anyone know what this does, please let me know!
EXIST_JAVA=N - change N to Y, see my Java post.
EXIST_CAMERA=N, EXIST_KARAOKE=N or EXIST_MP3=N - personally I wouldn't bother changing these. You can transfer music files and images via the USB drive option anyway, and even use them as ringtones or wallpaper, so these settings don't seem to give you anything extra. Plus, I've heard that people who've changed those to Y have then experienced the dreaded Timeout problem when trying to use those functions.
MODEL_NAME=L3100 - should be changed to MODEL_NAME=KG800 (or other correct model number), of course. Why the default is L3100 in the KG800 software is a mystery to me.
ANI_GIF=N - I've seen recommendations to change N to Y but I'm not sure what this does, I've been able to use Contents Bank to transfer Java apps fine without it. Does it allow download of animated GIFs? Or does it animate the buttons etc in Contents Bank, or the phone? Probably the former, I'd guess. Again if someone can read Chinese properly maybe they could check the original websites and enlighten the rest of us?
FILESIZE=49152 - others have suggested changing this to 102400 to increase the size of the file you can transfer via Contents Bank. As the internal memory of the KG800 at least is limited to a measly 128MB I haven't bothered, myself - though I know some lucky people have versions with memory cards. (UPDATE 8 Apr 2007 - Brad emphasises that this is the file size limit in bytes. Make sure that the number you change this to is larger than the size of the file you are uploading. And best to choose a number that's a multiple of 1024.)
USE_BINARY_UPLOAD_MODE=N - again I've seen people change N to Y (at least in the context of installing Java games to the phone), but I don't know how it would help and I've not tried it as I've not had enough problems to warrant it.
MAX_BITRATE=0 - I'm curious about this but no one seems to have tried changing it and it works fine as is so I'm leaving it! If anyone knows whether tweaking this will help, I'd be interested to know.
If you've tried any tweaks to the config.ini file and have any results to report, good or bad, please let me know the details and I'll update this post.
UPDATE May 2007: if you want info on the LG Shine KE 970 phone - general review, photos, manual and software download, Gmail access and browser tips, and tips on connectivity and syncing the KE970.