This is not Windows. I own a collection of Palm/PalmOne device and write software for them.
If you want you can do the hard reset after a Hotsync but that puts you back to what Hotsync backed up. Not much is lost for me and there is no difference in performance.
I do suggest uninstalling any app you don't use EXCEPT things that PalmOne issued. I broke my BlueTooth by meddling deeper and cleaning out a file I didn't know at the time was a support program for BT. While I figured out how to fix that without must work or loss I think I learned a lesson that meddling there is not for the feint hearted.
So, just delete apps as they let you and you should see the soft reset times drop as you clean up.
I have been using my Palm TX for a few months now without any problems. In the process of finding new applications to use, I have installed/uninstalled many programs. Now that I'm fairly established using it with programs I like, is it okay to do a hard reset to start the PDA over and just install the programs I want, to make sure I have all the "junk" out of there?
I may just be freaking out about what the dreaded hard reset actually does, but if there's potential of it harming my system, I definitely do not want to do that, as the Palm has been working great. I know for a PC it can't hurt to format/reinstall Windows every now and again; just wondering if that concept carries over to Palm OS as well, and, if so, if a hard reset is the way to do that.