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By Chris De Herrera 
Copyright 1998-2007
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Understanding ActiveSync or WMDC Partnerships
By Chris De Herrera, Copyright 2007
 Version 1.00  Created 4/23/2007

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Overview

With ActiveSync 3.x and 4.x and Windows Mobile Device Center (WMDC) you need to create a partnership between your Windows Mobile device and your PC in order to sync.  The partnership contains the information about what information you are synchronizing between your device and your PC.  This FAQ covers important information about these partnerships.

Where are the Partnerships Stored?

The partnership information between your device and your PC is actually stored in the device and your PC.  On both the PC and device the partnership information is stored in the registry.  This is why you need to have the ability to write to the registry in order to store the settings for your connection.  On the PC they are stored in registry under HKEY_USERS\S-1-5-21-1534184335-3658833746-3301443389-1004\Software\Microsoft\Windows CE Services\Partners.

Managing ActiveSync Partnerships on your Windows Mobile Device

If you have a Windows Mobile 5.0 or Windows Mobile 6 device you can manage the settings and delete partnerships right on your device.  This is done in ActiveSync where you can view the partnership settings and use click and hold to delete an existing partnership.  If you have a Windows Mobile 2003 Second Edition or earlier device you will not be able to change the settings or delete partnerships on your device.  To delete partnerships in this case, I suggest that you consider a hard reset.  However with a hard reset you will lose all the data on your device.

Number of Partnerships

ActiveSync on your device only supports two partnerships so you can sync with two PCs.  However if you sync with Exchange 2003 or 2007 directly using Exchange ActiveSync you can only sync with one PC if you have a Windows Mobile 5.0 or Windows Mobile 6 device.  If you have a Windows Mobile 2003 Second Edition or earlier device and you sync using Exchange ActiveSync you cannot sync with a PC.  ActiveSync or WMDC on your PC supports the ability to sync with multiple devices.  However you can sync only one device at a time with your PC

What Happens if the Partnership on One Side is Deleted?

If you perform a hard reset of your device or rename it (Start - Settings - System - About - Device ID) then the device will no longer be recognized by your PC.  You will have to delete the partnership in ActiveSync (File - Delete Partnership) or WMDC on the PC. 

Also, if you delete the partnership in ActiveSync (File - Delete Partnership) or WMDC on your PC the Windows Mobile device will no longer be recognized.  You will have to setup a new partnership in order to sync again.  There is no option to re-use the existing partnership.

ActiveSync 4.5 Upgrade Issue

If you install ActiveSync 4.5 over any prior release of ActiveSync, you will notice that any existing partnerships on your PC will be deleted.  If you have a Windows Mobile 5.0 or Windows Mobile 6 device you can delete the existing partnership from the old version of ActiveSync by opening ActiveSync on your device and using click and hold to delete the partnership.  If you have a Windows Mobile 2003 Second Edition or earlier device you can only perform a hard reset to setup a new partnership.  You will lose any data on your device if you perform a hard reset.

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