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Since the battery is within the unit it can leak or go BELOW the threshold level of the cell wherein the charger will not work to charge the unit. However if you can confirm the battery voltage to be below, use a multimeter to check, then before replacing use a JUMP START with an external limiter DC bench supply , you can use a series resisitor of about 47 ohms with a 6-9 VDC. If the battery takes up voltage the see if the charger will respond and the set will power.
You'll need to use the original AC charger that came with the phone as most computer USB ports are not capable of producing the power necessary to bring a battery up from being completely dead. If that doesn't work (your phone should be able to power up within an hour or two of plugging in the AC charger), you'll need to get a new battery.
do the hard reset again .. hold the power button down while operating the reset in the back .. keep the power button down for a few seconds .. that should bring up a display "delete all" .. you can choose to do so .. that will be a hard reset .. now if the battery is dead and the charger is not working then nothing will work for you .. you might have a bad charger .. often the end that plugs into the unit develops a broken wire inside the cable ..
the m515 wont charge from the sync cable (shame) it needs the external power adapter .. make sure the connections on the charger and palm are clean .. the power adapter is 5 volts and i think about 1 amp .. )(center pos) if you want to try another adapter .. the tip is rather standard ... also you can get a universal power adapter from radio shack that will work on just about anything .. you just plug in a suitable tip .. the tip for your palm is an "A19" .. the power adapter is "IGO" wall adapter 23-1401 model PSM08VADJ ... that seems to work nicely and it plugs directly in to the palm .. so you can work with it plugged in .. when the charger is working there should be a lightning bolt thru the battery symbol .. it sounds like you already know that .. if the battery has gone open then it may not indicate a charge .. but the unit should still work while on the charger if that is actually working ....
Assuming the battery is not dead, try taking the battery out for a few seconds to be sure the PDA is turned all the way off. Put the battery back in and close the back. Use the stylus to hold the reset button in (on the back) while you press and hold the power button. If the battery is dead do this while it is connected to the charger. It should diplay a message telling you to press the mail button (to the left of the cursor control button) to the reset to factory defaults. Caution this will erase everything in the built in memory including any programs you installed after you recieved it.
Try taking the batteries out ( fully disconnecting them from the gold contact points) ... then put them back in with the charger already plugged in. It should go to that blue charge screen instead of turning on. LEAVE IT ON THAT CHARGING SCREEN for at least 5-10 mins. Now, Hold down power, screen goes black... then tap power about 2 seconds after screen goes out, and it should start up as normal. If taking the battery out has no effect, I would investigate whether that (the battery... being dead/unchargeable) is the problem. I'm hoping one of the two answers gets ya where you need to go.
OH AND YOU CANNOT USE USB CHARGER TO DO THIS. IT HAS TO HAVE DIRECT FROM-THE-SOCKET POWER TO CHARGE UP THAT FIRST BIT OF COMPLETELY TAPPED CHEMICAL (ELECTRICAL) REACTIONS.
Make sure you have an original OEM charger for the MDA. Many of the knock off chargers don't provide the right amperage for the device. What happens is that since the phone is completely dead, it can't regulate how many amps the battery should get during the charge and an incorrect charge current won't charge the battery. I'm guessing that someone sold you a Motorola RAZR charger or another knockoff made for the RAZR. This might charge your phone when the battery is working, but not when it's DEAD. Also you won't have luck plugging it into a computer USB cable because, again, the phone can't tell the computer what charge to send and most computers only produce <0.5 amps in the USB port.
Get a charger that states it is an OEM (original eqipment manufacturer) device or one that is specifically designed for the MDA (or Cingular 8125). eBay is full of them.
This is a very odd problem with an even "odder" solution. When this happened to mine, I found a website that told me the following. I swear it works... eventually... probably.
Take the back off and just set it aside for a few minutes.
Now, remove the battery, and then put it back in, and then press the power button. If that does not do it, repeat the process...
... like 20 or 30 or 40 times. Eventually, the unit will make a (scary sounding) "pop" noise, and should turn on as normal.
I have had 3 Tilts. (I tend to be hard on phones.) Of those, two have had the "death" issue. Both were resuccitated this way, and worked just fine afterward.
Best of luck! Hope that helped. :-D