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Exchange 2003 ActiveSync hangs on Looking for changes when more than a few items are present

Posted on 2012-12-25
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Last Modified: 2012-12-25
This is a problem with ActiveSync from a phone (Windows Mobile 6.5).
I've encountered this on two separate servers so far. The one I'm currently working on is Windows Server 2003 (32 bit) running Exchange 2003. At one time, it was the only Exchange server in the network and ActiveSync ran just fine. Then I added a Windows Server 2008 system running Exchange 2010 and was hitting that one for ActiveSync. That second server died and so I had to fall back to the original server (the Exchange 2003 one). OWA works fine. However, ActiveSync, which had been working fine on this system previously, now will only sync if the account it's directed at holds only a few items. When I set the phone to only sync the email, it will do that fine as long as there are only a few items in the inbox. When the inbox has more than a few items, or if I set the sync to include contacts or calendar, it will hang indefinitely on "Looking for changes."
Looking at similar problem reports, some resolutions have related to antivirus or backup software on the server. I was running Carbonite backup, but I did uninstall this with no change. For antivirus, I'm running MS Security Essentials. I turned off the active monitor mode on that, also with no success. I would note that both of these were in place when the server was running successfully before.
The server event log shows no errors and the phones do not give an error.
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Question by:raorgen
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Expert Comment

by:Sommerblink
ID: 38720267
Have you tried https://www.testexchangeconnectivity.com/?

I would probably recommend all the tests except for the inbound and outbound smtp tests.
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Author Comment

by:raorgen
ID: 38720334
Yes. The Exchange ActiveSync test runs fine. Apparently, I don't have autodiscover configured, as I don't have that directory on my web site, so I skipped that test.
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Alan Hardisty earned 500 total points
ID: 38720437
The first thing I would do is remove Microsoft Security Essentials as is it known to break Activesync.  Once removed, reboot the server and test your phones again.

Alan
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Author Comment

by:raorgen
ID: 38720584
I wasn't optimistic, since I had already tried turning off the active protection mode, but that did the trick. I didn't even need to reboot. Once the uninstall was done, the phone started buzzing with updates. Thanks!
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