So my IPAQ died again, since I have been off work for a while and left the device in my jacket. The last time this happened I lost everything and so I was diligent this time to backup the thing at every sync.
When I booted it this morning and attached it to my laptop and tried the restore it told me that it could not complete the restore because the file was created with a different mobile device.
So I recalled what I had read online (after hours of searching) and remembered that I had to update the ROM first. So I went to the HP site and downloaded the update and installed it.
Still no luck.
So I checked the help button that accompanied the error message and believe it or not, it actually helped! It mentioned that if the environmental settings are not the same as when you made the backup it will not work. So I changed the settings to my local time and lo and behold it worked like a charm.
It did however take quite a long time to complete which threw me off a bit but with a little patience I had my device back and running (albeit without the main password) in about 15 minutes.