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By Chris De Herrera 
Copyright 1998-2007
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ActiveSync 3.x Troubleshooting Guide
Firewall and Proxy Issues

By Chris De Herrera, Copyright 2001-2004
 Version 1.39  Revised 12/7/2004

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    1. Installation

    2. Initial Configuration

    3. USB Issues

    4. Guest Issues

    5. Firewall and Proxy Issues

    6. Outlook Errors

    7. Synchronization Errors

    8. Mobile Information Server / Outlook Mobile Access

    9. Exchange ActiveSync Error Codes and Solutions

    10. Missing Calendar, Contacts or Tasks Items

    11. Security Advisories

    12. ActiveSync 4.x Troubleshooting Guide - General

    13. ActiveSync 4.x Troubleshooting Guide - Limitations

    14. ActiveSync 4.x Troubleshooting Guide - 85010014

    15. ActiveSync 4.x Troubleshooting Guide - Firewall, VPN, Proxy

    16. ActiveSync 4.x Troubleshooting Guide - Logs & Services

    17. ActiveSync 4.x Troubleshooting Guide - Connection Flow

    18. USB Advanced Network Functionality

    19. Microsoft ActiveSync 4.2 Troubleshooting

    20. Using ActiveSync 4.x and Visual Studio 2005 and the Emulator

    21. Understanding ActiveSync or WMDC Partnerships

Firewall and Proxy Issues

  1. If you are using the Microsoft Proxy server and the Winsock proxy, you may need to create a local address table for your connection to your PC Companion.  This is done by creating a text file in the \mspclnt directory called locallat.txt.  You need to enter the following into the file  Once this is saved, you can then use ActiveSync.  You also need to edit your mspclnt.ini on the server and add:
    This is required to disable the use of the Socks for ActiveSync on the server.  It will take approximately 24 hours for these settings to be sent to the desktop. 

    A workaround for configuring the desktop alone is to disable Winsock use in the directory by creating a wspcfg.ini file in the C:\Program Files\Windows CE Services directory with the following two lines:  

    [common configuration]

    You must also disable Winsock for rnaapp.exe which is in the c:\windows\system directory by creating another wspcfg.ini file in the C::\Windows\System directory with the following two lines:


  2. If you are using a firewall in between your desktop and your Pocket PC, Handheld PC, or Palm-size PC, you must allow for Netbios and port 990, 999 and 5679 to use ActiveSync.  For a complete list of the ports, please review my Protocols FAQ.  I do not recommend opening these ports due to the additional security risk.

  3. If you have Zone Alarm installed you will not be able to use File - Explore, synchronize files or Add/Remove Programs. Disabling Zone Alarm does not stop the True Vector Engine so access will be blocked. After you uninstall Zone Alarm, the Pocket PC will sync fine.

  4. If you have Norton Internet Security then you need to configure NIS to allow ActiveSync to use TCP/IP. See Configuring Norton Internet Security and ActiveSync.

  5. If you have Norton Personal Firewall then you need to configure NPF to allow ActiveSync to use TCP/IP.  See Configuring Norton Personal Firewall and ActiveSync.

  6. To enable ActiveSync to work through Zone Alarm, check the application listings for Connection Manager and ActiveSync Application (not wcesmgr.exe and wcescomm.exe respectively). You can look for the applications listing in ZoneAlarm by following these steps --

    1. Launch ZoneAlarm on your PC.
    2. Click the Program Control menu option on the left side.
    3. Click the Program tab on the top-right side and now you should be able to find the listing of the applications that are allowed to use the internet.

    While you synchronized the first time after reinstallation, was ZoneAlarm active? If yes, did it show you a dialog saying - Do you want to allow the "_______"to access the Internet. If you said yes, to the series of pop-ups that came with respect to ActiveSync, you would be able to synchronize successfully. If you click No, the Pocket PC or SmartPhone will not synchronize.  See Configuring ZoneAlarm with ActiveSync

  7. If you are using Windows XP and have installed Service Pack 2, you should upgrade ActiveSync to version 3.7.1 or later.  This is the first release to support the firewall functionality in Service Pack 2.  Also, when you sync for the first time after upgrading to Service Pack 2 you must allow ActiveSync to access the internet in order to sync.  This prompt will occur when you launch ActiveSync if you already have a partnership or when you setup a partnership if you do not already have one.  See Configuring Windows XP, Service Pack 2 and ActiveSync

If your problem is not resolved here, try the Microsoft's Knowledge Base search on ActiveSync or Microsoft's Knowledge Base search on Mobile Information Server.

Other Articles on ActiveSync:

ActiveSync Versions FAQ
ActiveSync 3.8 Review
ActiveSync 3.7 Review
ActiveSync 3.6 Review

ActiveSync 3.5 Review
ActiveSync 3.1 Review
ActiveSync 3.0 Review

ActiveSync - Identifying Unresolved Items
ActiveSync - Multiple Partnerships
ActiveSync - Using Categories to Sync
ActiveSync Configurations

ActiveSync Future Directions
Configuring Norton Internet Security and ActiveSync
Removing ActiveSync 3.X

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