David Szpunar: Lead Engineer, PC Help Services

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September 22nd, 2009 at 5:43 pm Print This Post Print This Post

Palm Treo 755p and Centro Exchange 2007 ActiveSync

Did you upgrade to Exchange 2007 but are having issues with Palm OS devices like the Palm Treo 755p and the Palm Centro? I did this past weekend, and I have one Centro that worked fine, but three other PalmOS devices (two Treo 755p units and a Centro) had issues. They would connect, say Receiving, and eventually error out saying they couldn’t establish a connection with the server. Microsoft provides a very useful site at https://www.testexchangeconnectivity.com/ that will let you test ActiveSync (I tested without Autoconfiguration since PalmOS is not capable of autoconfiguration), and after testing, my users passed and could connect. But their phones wouldn’t! I made sure to set the Default Exchange ActiveSync Mailbox Policy in Exchange 2007 (under Organization Configuration->Client Access) so the checkbox to “Allow non-provisionable devices” is checked. (I should note that an iPhone and four Palm Pre devices are using ActiveSync successfully on the same server, so I know it’s configured correctly on teh server-side.)

Or, you should be able to create a new policy with this checked, and apply it to each user’s mailbox directly (Recipient Configuration->Mailbox->right-click user, Properties->Mailbox Features->Exchange ActiveSync->Properties and then select a profile, and make sure ActiveSync is Enabled). Regardless, once Exchange is configured correctly, it appears that you need VersaMail 4.0.1 in order to connect to ActiveSync properly with Exchange 2007, and even on the Centro (where it may have already been installed), reinstalling it with this method fixed my problem. The update is supposed to be for the Centro, but I read several forum posts I found via Google that said it worked on the Treo 755p just fine (one had VersaMail 3.5.5 installed, the other had 3.5.4 installed), and it did for me. YMMV, don’t blame me for problems!

  1. Open Email (VersaMail) on the phone and add a secondary account if only one exists (a dummy POP3 account is fine, just enough fake info that the account will be created, it doesn’t need to be checked but you can’t delete an ActiveSync account if it’s the only account).
  2. Delete the Exchange ActiveSync account that is not working, leave the POP account in place but no need to verify/check it (it’s just a dummy account).
  3. Tap the Home button to return to the phone’s Home Screen.
  4. Go to http://ws.palm.com/mypalm/MyPalmGenericUser/ControllerGeneric.jsp?&action=showbonus&productName=CENTRO690P
  5. Click Learn More under Palm VersaMail (Not VersaMail Personal Edition), link: here
  6. On Treo device, open Web browser, type this URL into address bar: http://dl.svs.palm.com/bonus/VM40_Installer_Stan.prc (capitalization matters)
  7. Hit Yes to confirm the download.
  8. Hit Yes to download to Device.
  9. Hit Save and Open.
  10. Wait for file to download, it’s 1.21MB.
  11. Hit Yes to accept the .prc file into Applications.
  12. Will return to Home screen with new application icon called Install Email selected. Run it.
  13. Tap the Update Now button on the screen that pops up titled “VersaMail 4.0”
  14. Hit Accept to accept the license.
  15. Wait for installation to complete; the phone will restart automatically.
  16. Re-add the “Outlook (EAS)” Exchange account to the Email (VersaMail) application. Make sure to use “domain\user” format for the username field.

Make sure to hit Test and make sure it’s successful, then continue with the initial sync. This all assumes that you have a certificate installed on your Exchange 2007 server that functions properly with Palm OS devices; e.g. that they trust the certificate root and the certificate is not in the incorrect format and it doesn’t have SANs (Subject Alternative Names) like a UCC cert. But I covered this, and why I’m using RapidSSLOnline.com, in my last post, Palm Centro and GoDaddy SSL Certificates: Fixed! so you can read more about the server side there.

My Palm devices are all on the Sprint network, I don’t know if the same steps apply for Verizon, AT&T, or other providers, although it’s likely they would.

It worked for me! That’s why I’m writing it out here so I remember how to do it when someone else has issues, but I hope it helps others as well. I know I saw a lot of forum posts discussing Palm and ActiveSync (and I’ve run into plenty of issues myself in the past that I’ve had to deal with). Frankly, I will be very happy when PalmOS devices are dead…the Palm Pre is a good replacement, and the iPhone is an even better one. Windows Mobile I haven’t used enough to have an opinion on (it will likely stay that way), and BlackBerry I’ve only used enough to know that the pain of the last two weeks trying to solve a BlackBerry issue that mightbe solved now and might not be, isn’t worth it, but if you have to support it, the features are there if you can get them to work. But my BlackBerry and BlackBerry Professional Server woes are for another post, if I find time to write it :-)