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Monday, May 21, 2007

Blackberry Contacts, Tasks, & Memos will not Synchronize Wireless

One of the best features of the Blackberry is the ability for you to synchronize (sync) wirelessly all of your information from Microsoft Outlook including emails, calendar, tasks, and memos. This feature is most commonly used when an organization has implemented the Blackberry Enterprise Server, or BES for short. Once your Blackberry is enabled for wireless sync, you virtually never have to tether, dock, or cradle the Blackberry to yor computer because the wireless synchronization does it all for you.

Until recently, my Blackberry 8800 had the wireless synchronization down pat. Anytime I made a change to a calendar, contact, memo, or task item it would almost immediately update to my device – insuring that I always had the most current information. Then, one day a couple of weeks ago I updated a contact of a friend that had moved. After I saved the change in Outlook, I left the office and went to place a call to my friend. Oddly, the contact information never updated, so I was without a phone number to make the call.

Remembering a problem I had a few months ago with my calendar syncing during the Daylight Savings patch (DST), I went to the Contacts icon on my Blackberry and selected options. Generally speaking, there should be an option there called “Wireless Synchronization” where you can change the option to “Yes” or “No” to enable/disable the sync. Oddly, it was not even there. Thinking I had lost my mind, I went to the Calendar options and yes, it was there. Something was definitely out of sync – no pun intended.

I will describe everything I tried that did not work, but what you probably really want to know how it was fixed. A simple call to the Blackberry Enterprise Server (BES) Administrator did the trick. The administrator reset my Enterprise Activation (EA) for the Blackberry device and I waited approximately 10 minutes for the Enterprise Activation complete. After that provided the finished message, it had not synched down the Contacts, Memo, or Taskpad. However, I then performed what some folks call the 3-finger salute and restarted the Blackberry device by holding ALT+CAP+DEL at the same time. After performing the soft reset, the Blackberry returned to normal functioning – Contacts, Memos, & Taskpad items were all synchronized and the “Wireless Synchronization” configuration in the options was available again.

The root cause remains unknown although after doing some searching – it appears that there are a couple of likely reasons for the occurrence. A lot of devices that had the Blackberry DST patch applied had the issue. In addition, a corrupt service book or an incomplete Enterprise Activation coupled with potentially large call logs seems to be the main theme for those inflicted with the issue. The good news is that the problem is easy to resolve.

In case you are interested, here are a few of the things I attempted without success:
- Attempt to synchronize using the Blackberry Desktop Manager and changing the mode to desktop sync. Oddly, RIM still only indicates via the Desktop Manager that Wireless Synchronization is only available for the Calendar.
- Stopped and restarted the Wireless Synchronization option on the Calendar several times with the hope that it would cause a request for the service book again.
- Upgraded the Desktop Manager Client to Version 4.0 Service Pack 2 (SP2) just released in April.
- Cleared the Contacts via the Backup / Restore option in Blackberry Desktop Manager


John Bycroft said...

Whoever this guy is he's a genius!! :-) Thank you so much.

My Blackberry 8800 worked and synched perfectly until one day, no explanation, nothing unusual, it just stopped working.

I have tried (I thought) everything, plugging / unplugging, re-booting, clearing and re-entering the configuration settings, even eventually reloading the software... etc. etc.

All to no avail..until "The three fingered salute"!! Brilliant!

I'm ashamed to say I didn't appreciate there was CTL-ALT-DEL equivalent on the Blackberry, but having tried it, it has instantly solved all my problems!!

Thank you thank you...