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HP iPAQ Handhelds - Troubleshooting Synchronization Issues

Microsoft provides a new central, online Getting Started support Web site for all PC synchronization software, help and how-to at Non-HP site .

This document also lists synchronization issues while using ActiveSync . ActiveSync is compatible with Windows XP or earlier Windows operating systems.

If you are running Windows Vista on your computer, download Windows Mobile Device Center (WMDC) to synchronize your computer with the iPAQ. Check the document HP iPAQ Handhelds - Microsoft ActiveSync Will Not Load on a Computer With Windows Vista on for more information.

If you encounter any errors while synchronizing the iPAQ to your computer, check the error code information that is displayed on the device. Then, visit Non-HP site for more information on the error.


Following is a list of symptoms that may indicate synchronization issues are occurring:

  • No ActiveSync chimes sound (or a gray icon displays), and there is no activity in the ActiveSync window on your personal computer.

  • ActiveSync chimes sound, and the ActiveSync icon on your personal computer changes to a swirling green icon. The “retrieving settings” message appears on your personal computer, but the ActiveSync connection drops prior to establishing the partnership.

  • ActiveSync is searching for a connection but none occurs. (The green icon on your personal computer continues to spin.)

  • Synchronization has been established between your iPAQ and personal computer but connection is dropped. (The green icon on your personal computer stops spinning and grays out.)

  • Firewall or other network protection software message box is displayed for ActiveSync to access the network or Internet.


Following is a list of troubleshooting tips if you experience difficulty while synchronizing your device and personal computer. Try the following solutions to troubleshoot any synchronization issues:

  • Confirm that you are running ActiveSync on your personal computer with a supported operating system (OS).

  • If you are running ActiveSync 4.0 or later and personal firewall software on your personal computer, please add ActiveSync to the firewall program’s exception list.

    (Firewall software, such as Sygate Personal Firewall, TrendMicro PC-cillin Internet Security 2005, Norton Personal Firewall, McAfee Personal Firewall, or Zone Alarm Security Suite may block synchronization.) Refer to the documentation that came with your firewall program to determine how to add ActiveSync 4.0 or later to the program’s exception list. To further troubleshoot a firewall application and enable ActiveSync 4.0 or later, visit: Non-HP site .

  • During the ActiveSync installation, if you inadvertently left the Microsoft Exchange Server option box checked and are not planning to connect to an Exchange server, follow these steps:

    • Connect your iPAQ to your personal computer. Be sure an ActiveSync connection is established.

    • On your personal computer, click Start > All Programs > Microsoft ActiveSync .

    • Click Tools > Options > Sync Options tab.

    • Uncheck the boxes for the sync items listed under the Server group.

    • Place a checkmark in the boxes under the Desktop group for those items you want to synchronize.

  • Disconnect your iPAQ from your personal computer and wait for the ActiveSync message confirming that your device is no longer connected. Reconnect your device to your personal computer. Wait for about two minutes to see if your device connects to your personal computer.

  • On your personal computer, in ActiveSync, select File > Connection Settings . Confirm that USB is selected as a potential connection method.

  • Connect your device to a different USB port on your personal computer.

    • Check your USB synchronization cradle or cable.

    • Consider using another synchronization cradle or cable if one is available to you.

  • Try synchronizing through an infrared or a Bluetooth connection. Refer to the printed or CD-based documentation that came with your iPAQ for specific instructions.

  • Try synchronizing your iPAQ to your personal computer by following these steps:

    • Tap Start > Settings .

    • Tap Connections tab.

    • Tap USB to PC icon.

    • Clear the Enable advanced network functionality check box and try to sync your data to the iPAQ.

    • Delete the existing partnership and set it up again. When you are prompted to select data items, select one item that you wish you sync and check. If that data item syncs successfully then select the second item. Now, check if both the items have synced successfully. Continue to sync individual items.

  • Restart your personal computer and perform a soft reset on your iPAQ. (A soft reset does not erase any of your settings, programs or data.) Use the stylus to lightly press the Reset button. Your device restarts and displays the Today screen. Once your personal computer iPAQ restart, reconnect your iPAQ to your personal computer.

  • Uninstall ActiveSync from your personal computer and then reinstall it. To uninstall ActiveSync from your personal computer, click Start > Control Panel > Add or Remove Programs > Microsoft ActiveSync . Then click the Remove button > Yes .

  • After trying the above solutions without any success in solving your connection problem, perform a hard or clean reset on your iPAQ. (A hard or clean reset clears all user-installed settings, programs, and data and restores your iPAQ to factory settings. For more details, refer to the printed or CD-based documentation that came with your device.)

    You can reinstall your applications on your iPAQ once the hard or clean reset is complete by using ActiveSync on your personal computer. Once your device is synchronized properly, go to ActiveSync on your personal computer and select Tools > Add/Remove Programs... and select any programs you want to reinstall.

Additional information

For additional information about synchronization problems, visit:
One or more of the links above will take you outside the Hewlett-Packard Web site. HP does not control and is not responsible for information outside of the HP Web site. The third-party Web sites are not maintained by HP and the HP privacy policy does not apply here.

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