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By Chris De Herrera 
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Synchronizing via the USB Port
By Chris De Herrera, Copyright 2000
Revised May 3, 2000
As published on Microsoft's Website

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One of the new features that the Pocket PC supports is the use of a USB (Universal Serial Bus) connection for synchronizing with your desktop PC. Using ActiveSync with USB is faster than using your serial port.
What You Need
  • A USB cable or USB CompactFlash card from Socket Communications
  • A PC with USB support running Windows 98 or Windows 2000


  • You cannot use a desktop with Windows® 95B or Windows NT® to synchronize with USB.
  • Insert the USB CompactFlash card in your Pocket PC first. Then connect the cable to the card. Otherwise, your connection may time-out.
  • Also, not all Pocket PCs support USB synchronization -- make sure yours does.

Languages Supported

English and any other language that ActiveSync and the Pocket PC are shipping with.

Configuring USB Connection Settings

Before we get started on how to synchronize with a USB connection, you need to configure your connection settings.

  1. If your Pocket PC does not have a USB cable, install the Socket Communications USB CompactFlash™ card drivers on your Pocket PC. See the Socket user information for how to do this.
  2. Configure your Pocket PC to use USB as the default connection for your PC. This is done by clicking Start, Settings, Communications, and PC. Select Socket USB or USB Connection in the dropdown box.
  3. Confirm that ActiveSync is configured to use USB. Click the ActiveSync icon in your taskbar on your desktop. Click File, Connection Settings, and confirm that the box next to the USB connection option has a check mark.

You do not need to edit the settings for the USB connection. The defaults work fine.

How to Synchronize with USB

I tested this synchronization using the Socket Communications USB CompactFlash card. Here are the steps to synchronize using USB:

  1. Insert the USB CompactFlash card in your Pocket PC.
  2. Once the card is inserted, connect the USB cable to your desktop.
  3. Then insert the USB cable in the CompactFlash card.

For Pocket PCs with built-in USB support just:

  1. Connect the USB cable to your desktop.
  2. Connect the other end to your Pocket PC.

ActiveSync should automatically start to synchronize with your Pocket PC.


USB offers easy synchronization for your Pocket PC. Connecting with Ethernet is the fastest method of synchronization available today, but using USB is faster than using the serial port.

Clearly, this is a great option for owners of newer PCs with USB capabilities. I'd definitely choose USB over using the serial port for synchronization.

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