Office 2000 Broke Bluetooth ActiveSync on Windows XP

I have been syncing my Cingular 8525 (upgraded to Windows Mobile 6) over bluetooth using ActiveSync 4.5 with Windows XP, but last week I had to install Office 2000 (I had managed to use OpenOffice only for the past 4 years or so), and the Office 2000 setup messed up my sync.

It seems the installation (and all the updates, mind you) first of all deleted the virtual COM port (server) I had set up to enable ActiveSync over bluetooth. This is sync-over-bluetooth is a tricky thing. All the instructions tell you to first create a virtual COM port (server/incoming) on your computer. The way to do this differs, unfortunately, and depends on the bluetooth drivers. For Dell Inspiron 9300 you can do this using the Bluetooth Local COM shortcut in Control Panel. Then, in ActiveSync you need to go File > Connection Settings… and check the box to allow connections to the following, where you select the COM port just created. Then on the phone you initiate the connection, first pairing the device, and then doing the sync.

Unfortunately more often than not, you will run into one of two problems on the phone. The first is that the COM port you created on the desktop may not be available for your device. A little experimentation will hopefully find a common port for both. The second problem is that even after all this, the phone may not see the ActiveSync service being offered over bluetooth. It seems deleting the virtual COM port from the server and the pairing on the device and recreating everything from scratch eventually leads to the desired result, and sync may start working.

The last problem I run into was that now syncing seems to work except that the Outlook 2000 is too old, and while the sync tries to start it, Outlook 2000 will crash. Outlook 2002 is required, but unfortunately Cingular did not ship Outlook 2002 with my 8252 device (just a 60 day evaluation version), so I would need to spend additional $100 to get my device to properly sync with my desktop. That is just lame.

Nevertheless, it does seem like syncing is now working again, albeit much slower than it used to be and there is also the Outlook 2000 crash so I am not sure what is not synced.

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One Comment

  1. Cangaseira:

    I had the same problem but after installing Office 2003 it worked