ActiveSync Identifying Unresolved
By Chris De Herrera,
Version 1.08 Revised 5/10/2004
So you have been using ActiveSync with your Pocket PC or Handheld PC
for awhile and now you are seeing the Resolve Items link in the status
window. The Resolve Items is being caused by Calendar item, Contact or
Email message that cannot be handled by ActiveSync. Unfortunately,
Microsoft does not provide helpful error messages as to which item is
causing the problem or how to fix the problem. This article will explain
how you can identify which item is causing the error and possible
solutions to avoid this problem in the future.
What Causes Unresolved Items
Unresolved Items are caused by a variety of different problems with
the synchronization process. Here is a list of possible
causes of unresolved items:
- One of the most common issues are that the files are open by
another application on the desktop or the Pocket PC. I recommend
closing all applications to avoid having the files open. In the
Calendar, Contacts and Tasks as well as Email, a common problem
could be a corrupted PST (mailbox) file. Using the program
Scanpst.exe will allow you to identify any problems with your PST
file and fix them.
- Another possible issue with Email is that ActiveSync attempts to
convert all attachments and synchronize them. So if an attachment
such as a .DAT file is not supported, the Resolve Items will be
- Also, if you place ink notes into your Calendar or Contacts, you
cannot synchronize the notes to the desktop. The desktop does not
support the ink format that the Pocket PC uses.
- Another source of unresolved items is a problem with converting
Word or Excel files including as attachments to Inbox. You
cannot convert or sync files with a password. Further if your
documents are more complex than the converter can handle, your pc
- Another possible cause of unresolved items occurs when a user
modifies a contact, calendar item or task on BOTH the PC and the
Pocket PC. This is because ActiveSync identifies changes made
on either the Pocket PC or the PC and synchronizes the WHOLE record.
So it either replaces the record from the Pocket PC to the PC or
vice versa. In these instances, you need to decide which version is
correct. You can adjust this behavior in ActiveSync to
indicate whether the item remains unresolved or is overwritten by
the PC record or the Pocket PC record in ActiveSync (on the PC) -
Tools - Options - Rules.
- Another source is when users are inviting users to appointments
which do not exist on the PC (normally their home PC) they are
synchronizing. In this case you need to either add the
users to the Pocket PC and sync it with their PC or delete the
invited attendees for the appointment. You cannot just add the
user to your PC because the Pocket PC is looking for that specific
contact that existed previously.
Fixing Unresolved Items
First, I suggest closing all other applications besides ActiveSync
and Outlook. Then clock on the Resolve Items to attempt to
re-synchronize them. If this does not work then you will need to
consider doing the following:
- First change the settings on the PC in ActiveSync - Tools -
Options to not synchronize any of the options. If ActiveSync
still fails then visit the
Troubleshooting Guide for further assistance. Re-enable the
different types of data to sync one at a time to identify where the
problem is occurring.
- File synchronization remove all files from youre Pocket PC My
Documents folder and sync. Then add them back one by one until you
identify the file causing the error.
- Calendar and Contacts synchronization Create a new calendar or
contacts folder and cut the items into the new folder.
Re-synchronize until you identify the item causing the problem. Then
review the item and consider deleting it and re-adding it.
- Inbox synchronization Adjust the amount of days that are
synchronized using ActiveSync Tools Options and select Inbox.
Then click Advanced and reduce the number of days to sync until the
error is no longer displayed. If you are synchronizing
multiple folders then unselect all the subfolders and add them back
until you find the folder with the issue. In some cases this
alone will fix the problem. Then create a new Email folder and cut
the messages for that day and paste them into the new folder. Then
you can cut and paste them back one by one until you identify the
problem message. Consider whether the message should be kept and you
may want to export the text of the message so you can synchronize it
as a file. This is done by opening the message and selecting File
Save As and then placing the file into the Pocket PC My Documents
- Microsoft has created a
knowledge base article which explains POOM errors for the Pocket
PC 2002 and ActiveSync 3.5 or later that can occur while
synchronizing. If you follow these instructions you can read
the WCESCOMM.LOG and WCESMGR.LOG to identify the problem with
- If you are using Outlook XP (2002) and you see the message
"Attention Required" and after you click on the option to resolve
items, the are still unresolved, it could be because the
Collaboration Data Objects (CDO) component is not installed. See
Microsoft Knowledge Base article 299625.
- If you are unable to sync and you have installed McAfee and are
getting "unresolved items" where you are synchronizing or
receive "network error", disable the HAWK e-mail option.
- If you see unresolved items in Inbox, try unchecking the option
to sync Inbox, sync, then re-checking the option to sync inbox.
This should reset all downloaded e-mail via ActiveSync.
Now you have some methods to allow you to identify what is causing
the Resolve Items message that shows up in ActiveSync. I wish Microsoft
would provide a better method of identifying these issues so users do
not have to perform these workarounds. A dialog box with a complete list
of the errors and what was not synchronized would greatly help in this
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