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By Chris De Herrera 
Copyright 1998-2007
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ActiveSync Troubleshooting
By Chris De Herrera, Copyright 2000
 Revised June 12, 2000
As published on Microsoft's Website

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This article covers problems you might have when you try to synchronize for the first time, and problems that can occur later. I also explain how to capture the ActiveSync logs that display what ActiveSync is doing and where it had a problem. The logs will help you if you seek technical support.

What You Need
  • ActiveSync 3.1

Languages Supported

English, French, Italian, German, Spanish, Portuguese

Configuring ActiveSync

Resolve some of the most common problems with ActiveSync configuration:

  • If you’re using ActiveSync via USB connection, between your Pocket PC and your desktop, make sure that the USB connection option is checked. Do this from within ActiveSync. Go to File, and then Connection Settings. Some people have reported that they needed to reinstall Microsoft® Windows® 98 in order to resolve some USB controller issues.
  • When installing ActiveSync, if you are prompted to log on your desktop, you must do so. If you do not log on, the installation of ActiveSync may not complete successfully. For Microsoft Windows NT® and Windows 2000 users, I recommend logging in as Administrator to prevent security problems.
  • If you receive error number 628, then you have a security issue. When using Windows NT and Windows 2000 you’ll be prompted to log on to your Pocket PC when you synchronize. Of course, you’ll need to be authorized to use a RAS connection on your corporate network. You can change the user’s RAS authorization in the User Profile, under User Manager for Domains.
  • If you want to use infrared to synchronize, you can select and use the infrared option after you reboot your desktop.
  • The installation of a proxy, socks, Winsock, or firewall client on your desktop may prevent ActiveSync from working. ActiveSync uses the TCP/IP protocol stack, which may be replaced by any of these pieces of software on your desktop, to connect to the Internet. The workaround is to figure out which of the above programs is causing the conflict, and uninstall it.
  • If the serial port is not listed under File, and then Connection Settings on your desktop, I recommend that you check to see if you have a serial port cable for the direct cable connection installed. Click Start, then Settings, next Control Panel, and finally System. (The serial port cable can remain from previous versions of Windows CE Services, creating a conflict.) Look under Modems. If you see a serial cable for your serial port here, you can delete it. Reboot your PC. Then you should be able to select the correct serial port.

Trouble After You’ve Gotten Started?

Once you’ve successfully configured ActiveSync, you may still run into some snags:

  • Occasionally you will see the Resolve Items link highlighted on the main ActiveSync screen. If you see this, then click the link. The most common unresolved items come from editing on both the Pocket PC and the desktop. Based on the settings under Tools, then Options, and then Sync Rules, your information is either left unresolved or overwritten.
  • If you see an error that starts with 8000, then you’re having a problem synchronizing with Microsoft Outlook®. I recommend that you run ScanPST to resolve any issues with your PST file (containing your personal Contacts, Calendar, and Tasks). Locate the ScanPST utility in \Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office.

Reading the Log Files for Clues

Did you know that there are ActiveSync Logs that can help you tackle difficult problems? If you continue to have a problem synchronizing, you can look at wcesmgr.log, wcescomm.log, wcesview.log, and wcesetup.log, which are located in the \Windows\Temp directory on your desktop.

The most helpful logs will be wcesetup.log, which indicates whether or not the ActiveSync installation succeeded, and wcescomm.log, which shows current connection problems. The wcescomm.log file is cleared each time you restart ActiveSync, so you may have to reproduce your problem to get accurate logging.

These diagnostic logs provide information that may help a tech support person resolve a problem. Unfortunately, they may be difficult for non-technical people to read.

Contacting Technical Support

Before you contact your manufacturer’s technical support for assistance with ActiveSync problems, I recommend that you gather the following information:

  1. Pocket PC model number.
  2. Type of connectivity (serial, USB, infrared, RAS, or Ethernet).
  3. Desktop operating system version number and patch number. You can find this by clicking on the System icon in the Control Panel.
  4. Outlook version number.
  5. The ActiveSync log files wcesmgr.log, wcescomm.log, wcesview.log, and wcesetup.log, which are located in the \Windows\Temp directory on your desktop. Be prepared to view them if you are requested by technical support.

Now You’re Prepared!

I hope my recommendations will help you fix some problems with ActiveSync on your own. If you do need to contact your manufacturer for assistance, the information listed here should help you have the appropriate information on hand.

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