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By Chris De Herrera 
Copyright 1998-2007
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Lilla's Thorough Reinstall for iPAQ USB Problems
By Lilla Slater, Copyright 2000, All Rights Reserved
Revised 10/10/2000

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Lilla's thorough reinstall procedure for USB & ActiveSync (on iPAQ, but it is more or less a general procedure). Mostly things work pretty good with my iPAQ and syncing. But, I do have an occasional problem and sometimes the simple tweaks don't work. For example, all was going well with USB syncing then I added IR syncing. I had some problems getting both functions to be available at the same time. A plain uninstall and reinstall of ActiveSync didn't help. So I used my thorough reinstall procedure and that gave me the clean start I needed.

My system:

- Windows 98 1st edition with all updates from Windows Updates Page
- IBM ThinkPad 770ED with latest device drivers
- It has the UHC: 82371AB/EB Intel PCI to USB Universal Controller
- iPAQ 3600 using ActiveSync 3.1 build 9587 via USB cradle and IR


- Make sure you are using latest version of ActiveSync, currently build 9587. It is available at Microsoft's webite.
- Make sure you have your Windows 98 CD.  You may be prompted for it later.

Begin Removing ActiveSync and USB

- Remove iPaq from USB cradle
- If ActiveSync is running, end-task Wcescomm.exe
- Uninstall "Microsoft ActiveSync" from PC using Add/Remove

Uninstall USB stuff from Device Manager:

- restart windows and choose safe-mode

In Device Manager | Windows CE USB Devices:

- remove Compaq Areo USB Sync

Now, I examine the entries of my other USB devices in Device Manager. I  look for duplicates, items with red X, or yellow marks, or entries for USB devices I don't use. If I see any of these problems I remove that item as it needs to be reinstall. If an item appears more than once, I remove all occurrences of that item. For example, I have a USB scanner and I recently found that it appeared twice in safe mode device manager, even though it only appeared once in regular mode device manager. Regular Mode hides device problems that why you need to do this work in safe mode.

In Device Manager | Universal serial bus controller:

- remove "unknown device" marked with red X, if found
- remove "Root Hub" (note: advises that Root Hub should be removed before the Controller)
- remove "82371AB/EB Intel PCI to USB Universal Controller" (Note: your controller might have a different name
- unplug the iPAQ USB Cable
- restart
- Windows will detect new hardware and will install "USB Hub", and may prompt for your Windows CD. If you aren't sure, you might want to assure it is available before you begin this procedure.

Install ActiveSync, don't plug in USB cable until prompted to do so.

- Soft-reset the iPAQ and place the iPAQ in the cradle with power on.
- Plug in the USB cable when prompted by ActiveSync to do so. (someone said it helped them to press the button on the cradle, I haven't experimented with pressing this button myself so I cannot say if it helps.)

At this point I get the ActiveSync partnership window...and I proceeded as normal.


If you are having problems I highly recommend In the left column you will find "USB Problem Guide" this contains a list of known hardware with issues related to USB. This site is a wonderful resource. There is also a forum there where you can post questions about USB related matters. On 9 September Microsoft hosted a USB chat via this site.

Hope this helps someone,

Lilla Slater

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