Fixing Microsoft ActiveSync Errors In Windows XP. A Guide For Windows Mobile Users.

ActiveSync Errors

Regardless of the age of your Windows Mobile device, PC or even USB cable, there are several different errors and faults that can be encountered when using a Microsoft ActiveSync managed connection.

The majority of these can be resolved by upgrading to the most recent version of Microsoft ActiveSync – currently v4.5 – however there are other errors that can develop from time to time and require a different type of fix.

In this first article of the series, there are two common ActiveSync errors that I want to look at:

  • Synchronization Error 85010014
  • Synchronization Error 85010017

Synchronization Error 85010017

This error usually displays on the first sync between a PC and Windows Mobile phone.

A first sync can be described as:

  • The first synchronization attempt after purchasing a new phone
  • The first attempt syncing with a new PC
  • A first attempt at syncing with a fresh operating system install, either on the PC or the Windows Mobile device.

The reason for Synchronization Error 85010017 is often due to a large volume of sync items on the first sync, or even large items with a lot of data such as meetings or other calendar items with a high number of attendees.

Similarly a large number of emails or contacts can cause this problem, as can tasks with a lot of additional data.

Resolving Synchronization Error 85010017 between a Windows Mobile device and a PC can be most simply done by upgrading to Microsoft ActiveSync 4.5.

Alternatively, if this doesn't work the fault could be down to the volume of emails in your inbox – as such use Microsoft Outlook's archiving function to prevent older emails from being synchronized.

Synchronization Error 85010014

Error 85010014 is often less to do with syncing and more to do with the devices at either end – namely your Windows Mobile phone and your Windows XP PC.

These are the reasons and explanations for Synchronization Error 85010014:

1. Application Data Folder is Redirected – on your PC, your Application Data folder (commonly found in C:\Documents and Settings\[USERNAME]\Application Data) is redirected to an external source, probably due to your Outlook configuration

2. Outlook is in Offline Mode – this is largely a connectivity error, and can occur when Outlook is in Offline mode (resolved by going to File > Connect to…) or when Outlook fails to connect to the Exchange Server. Microsoft Outlook should always be in Online mode when synchronising.

3. Outlook script blocking – this is usually down to security applications either at a local level on your PC or if part of a corporate LAN, at a domain level. Check your security application online help to check how to disable script blocking for Microsoft Outlook. This shouldn't occur for any home user.

4. ActiveSync is registered incorrectly with Outlook – this can often be resolved by installing Microsoft ActiveSync 4.5 – however running a repair installation (which requires the Microsoft Office CD ROM) may also work, as may deleting the relationship in ActiveSync (File > Delete Mobile Device).

More Tips

As you can see, these two synchronization error messages can occur under several different circumstances. There are even more ways in which connections can display errors or fail.

It's always a good idea to check your cabling too. A faulty or suspect USB cable could be the cause of many failed sync attempts, while a Bluetooth connection with an older Bluetooth phone or dongle connected to your PC will be more susceptible to interference from other devices than a connection between newer Bluetooth devices.

One last tip – carry a copy of Microsoft ActiveSync on your phones removable memory card. If you're ever having to sync with a new PC, simply insert the card into your PC or laptop's card reader, or email it from your Windows Mobile device.