Windows Mobile – sync issues (again) and how to avoid ‘Align Screen’ on a hard reset

Fixing synchronisation

Yesterday, I realised that my HTC TyTN II phone had stopped synchronising with Outlook, with the Windows Mobile Device Center (under Vista) reporting the completely useless error code, 0×8503001c. Without synchronisation a Windows Mobile phone becomes fairly unproductive as you scurry around trying to duplicate Outlook items onto the phone, never getting it quite correct.

The only recommended Microsoft solution is to break the device partnership between phone and operating system and synchronise from scratch.  This means deleting ALL your data – that is ALL 800+ contacts and all my upcoming diary items.  Never mind, if I have to. Except it still would NOT synchronise -  so now I had a blank Windows Mobile phone which had no phone numbers in it anymore. Arrrrghhh!

At this point I tried synchronising via a Windows XP machine running ActiveSync 4.5, hopefully avoiding any WMDC issues.  No. Still no synchronisation. I even deleted the PIM database file on the device, but no joy.  Then I found this post,

  http://www.metalvortex.com/blog/2008/01/26/50.html

So, I uninstalled WMDC 6.1, and installed the older WMDC 6.0. It worked.

Avoiding Align Screen

During all this I was contemplating the idea of having to perform a hard reset (which I have had to do previously with a HTC Wizard to solve synchronisation issues).  The issue I have with performing a hard reset is that I cracked my LCD screen some time ago, and have been quite happily living with a keyboard only device for nearly six months. When you hard reset one of the startup steps is the Align Screen wizard to calibrate the touch screen. So I thought a hard reset would result in a device which I could no longer use as I wouldn't be able to get through the Align Screen wizard.

While waiting for failed synchronisation attempts I had Googled an amazing fact. If you perform a hard reset, but want to skip the Align Screen step, you can create a new zero byte file called ‘welcome.net’ in the root of a storage card (a 2Gb microSD for me) and ensure that storage card is inserted during the startup steps.

One of the other oddities of my phone is that at some point in the past month it had decided that ringing for an incoming phone call was a frippery which I no longer required. Whatever settings I used it would only vibrate. It took some time to notice and explained why I had been missing quite a few phone calls.

So with the knowledge that I could get synchronisation working and armed with a microSD card containing a zero byte file called ‘welcome.not’ in the root folder, I performed a hard reset, still with some trepidation.  Wooooo – I now have a ringing phone again. It synchronises properly and it appears to have recovered quite a bit of storage space by being hard reset (internet cache I reckon).

Conclusion

Windows Mobile is still a strange world for a standard consumer, with random synchronisation problems with zero help from Microsoft on how to solve them, and some of the most arcane, random configuration options (a storage card with a zero byte file!!!).

Still love my HTC TyTN II though.

Print | posted on Wednesday, November 26, 2008 11:49 AM

Comments on this post

# re: Windows Mobile – sync issues (again) and how to avoid ‘Align Screen’ on a hard reset

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Thanks a lot for the information on bypassing the align screen on a hard reboot. It saved me after my phone company and Samsung left me in the lurch.
Left by Shak on May 05, 2010 4:53 PM

# re: Windows Mobile – sync issues (again) and how to avoid ‘Align Screen’ on a hard reset

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The solution of creating welcome.not really worked.
Thanks.

FYI, my phone was Samsung Omnia 900i
and I created welcome.not using a notepad. (opened a text file, saved as filename "welcome.not" and type as "All files")
Left by RJ on Jul 31, 2011 11:44 AM

# re: Windows Mobile – sync issues (again) and how to avoid ‘Align Screen’ on a hard reset

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Thank you for your post it save me :)
Left by Yoo on Aug 22, 2011 1:59 PM

# re: Windows Mobile – sync issues (again) and how to avoid ‘Align Screen’ on a hard reset

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Thanx a lot... the post i got reduced my efforts.. thanks once again.
Left by Srikanth on Nov 25, 2012 10:41 PM

# re: Windows Mobile – sync issues (again) and how to avoid ‘Align Screen’ on a hard reset

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Thank you!!! It worked for me on my mom's Touch Pro 2 whose touchscreen stopped responding. I still haven't figured out the touchscreen, but at least I'm able to continue working on it after a hard reset. (Using MyMobiler 1.2.5 to run a backup and navigate around sans touchscreen.)
Left by Kathryn on Mar 06, 2013 1:20 AM

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