|By Chris De Herrera
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By Chris De Herrera, Copyright 2000
Revised June 12, 2000
As published on Microsoft's Website
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
|What You Need
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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
- 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
- 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
- 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
Trouble After You’ve Gotten Started?
Once you’ve successfully configured ActiveSync, you may still run into
- 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
- 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
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
- Pocket PC model number.
- Type of connectivity (serial, USB, infrared, RAS, or Ethernet).
- Desktop operating system version number and patch number. You can find
this by clicking on the System icon in the Control Panel.
- Outlook version number.
- 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
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