Before you start...
This troubleshooting guide is intended to resolve significant problems with Activesync 4.0, not to resolve single quirks of the application. If you still use ActiveSync 3.8, please update to the latest activesync version¬†or use the ActiveSync 3.8 troubleshooter. Please¬†note that with Windows Vista, Activesync on the desktop has been replaced with the Windows Mobile Device Center. This is the only product that will work on Vista and it has its own troubleshooter.
Before we start to do more serious things, please check the most obvious problems:
- Does¬†your exchange¬†administrator allow¬†you to sycnhronize with a desktop (applicable only for Exchange 2007¬†and Windows Mobile 6.1 and above)?¬†
- Is the cable between your device and desktop/laptop connected? Make sure that the cable is plugged in correctly and is stuck there solidly.
- Did you have any USB-hubs between the PocketPC and desktop? If so, remove these hubs and check if that solves the problem.
- Does the desktop see the PocketPC? You can check this by looking in the desktop, going to the Device Manager (under Control Panel, System). Normally, a Windows Mobile device wil manifest itself as a Network adapter.¬†If the device is correctly installed, you will see something like this:
One of the¬†known issues with synchronization through bleutooth is that Activesync and Windows XP servicepack 2 have problems with the Widcomm bleutooth stack.
Before you start the real troubleshooting, some general things must be done ¬†to make sure that the problem is with Activesync, and not with your PocketPC or Microsoft Outlook (both also being vulnarable for application hangs):
- Make you have the latest activesync version¬†installed. Due to less strict version numbering at Microsoft, version numbering can still remain the same with bugs being fixed within the same version¬† number. Only way to distinguish between versions is looking at the build number of ActiveSync in the about screen.
- Remove all the files in the /windows/temp/...
- Run "Detect and repair" on Microsoft Outlook. You can start this in Microsoft Outlook in the "Help" menu, "Detect and Repair".
- Run "ScanPST" from your commandline to make sure your Microsoft Outlook .pst file is not damaged.
- Reboot your desktop and perform a soft reset on your mobile device to make sure that Activesync has not crashed on your device.
If your problem still occurs, it is time to start the real troubleshooting.
Activesync does not connect
First of all, check if you have any of the following applications installed:
- SSH Sentinel, a VPN solution
- CheckPoint VPN, another VPN solution
- Some other VPN solutions that use the NDIS Intermediate Drivers
- Parental control utilities blocking specific kinds of network traffic
- Network Traffic Optimizers, reducing bandwith usage by introducing compression.
- Verizon Wireless E-Mail or Vodaphone Mail during mail synchronization. Turning off the automatic mail sychronization does solve this.
Also check if your firewall settings are not blocking Activesync. Activesync has the following components: WCESCOMM.EXE,¬† WCESMGR.EXE, RAPIMGR.EXE and CEAPPMGR.EXE. These components have to be allowed to communicate in your firewall settings,¬†allowing them¬†to have full server priviliges. As for the used IP-adresses, ActiveSync uses 169.254.2.1 for your PC and 169.254.2.2 for your Windows Mobile 5.0 device.¬†For these ip-adresses,¬†the following ports have to be open (see also the Microsoft Knowledgebase¬†and the Activesync USB troubleshooting guide):
- Inbound TCP:
- Outbound UDP:
For specific firewalls, there are specific manuals available:
- Norton Personal Firewall
- Zone Alarm Security Suite
- Sygate Personal Firewall
- TrendMicro PC-cillin Internet Security 2005
- McAfee Personal Firewall
Another explanation for Activesync not working is that an antivirus applicatin is blocking access to critical Activesync processes. An anti-virus application should allow the following processes in order to make Activesync work:
Other security policies blocking Activesync
There are other security policies that could hamper the flawless operation of Activesync. An IPSec or other policy can block the creation of new network connections. Connections from the before mentioned IP-adresses must be allowed to be created when the device connects.
If all fails...
If all above solutions do not solve your problem, you might try to remove the "Microsoft Windows Mobile Remote Adapter" through the device manager (you can get there through the "control panel", "System", "Device Manager") and plug in your device after about 15 seconds or longer. By doing so the drivers are reinstalled, which might give you an edge on your problems.
Another solution is switching back to the older ActiveSync protocol, used in PocketPC2003. You can do this by going to the "settings" on your PocketPC, going to "connections" and open "USB to PC" control. There you remove tick before "Enable advanced network functionality", connect and disconnect physically and you might be back in business. You are now running in legacy mode.
Activesync connects, but does not ¬†synchronize
This error¬†is due to that Activesync/Outlook can not access your PST-file. Best is to run scanpst.exe from the commandline on your¬†desktop.
This error is rather general and therefore rather vague. Although there is no specific solution, but some causes can be identified:
- One of the most easy to fix problems is that Outlook is an unregistered/Illegal copy.
- The application Data Folder is Redirected
- Outlook script blocking is enabled. Although not set by default, certain Desktop PC security applications¬†(mostly anti-virus applications) disable Outlook scripting to prevent malware executing scripts in Microsoft outlook. Outlook scritping is required for ActiveSync too set up communications with Outlook to synchronize data.
- Outlook API's might¬†be corrupted, even after doing a "detect and repair". Uninstalling and reinstalling Outlook might help.
- You are working with the Microsoft Outlook connector for Lotus Notes and have synced before. Synchronizing with Activesync 4.x¬†crashes the connector, you have to restart Microsoft Outlook before you can synchronize again.
This error could be due to the presence of large volume of items on first sync or specific large items such as a calendar item with many meeting attendees. resolving this is very hard: you could try to identify the item and remove it by hand.
Activesync cannot complete succesfully
Sometimes¬†Activesync fails with the following remark:¬†
Activesync cannot be completed successfully. Reconnect and try again. If problem persists, see the Microsoft Activesync troubleshooter.
If this problem remains after several tries,¬†try to empty the /windows/temp/.. folder.¬†The error message doesn't say so explicitly, but the real problem is that the large numer of temp' files causes the synchronization to time out.
Activesync synchronizes, but does not work¬†as expected
Synchronization is very slow
If you are seeing slow synchronization of files or unable to complete synchronization of files using ActiveSync 4.x, it could very well be that tour /windows/temp/ directory is filled up with blank files (a common problem with Windows Mobile 5 Pocket PC). After performing a soft reset you should be able to safely delete these files and synchronization should be a lot faster again.
Activesync connects but kills¬†the wireless network connection
This is, unfortunatly, intended behaviour by Microsoft that was introduced when Windows Mobile 5 was launched. This was done to improve the security of the ActiveSync service for corporate users. Unfortunatly it does become a bit of a hassle bacause your pass-through connection will not work anymore, and browsing the internet or mailing while synchronising will not work either. To prevent this from happening, you can install Airscanner's Airfix (freeware).