The Non-Synching Smartphone: What a Nightmare!

By Jason Dunn on Tuesday, April 11, 2006

I had an incredibly frustrating problem over the past couple of weeks, and now that I've solved it I wanted to pass along the eventual solution (such that it is). Here's what happened: I have an SP5m, and I had just upgraded to the SP5m_WWE_2.6.331.2 ROM image from i-mate (also known as AKU2) which included a hard reset. I configured my GPRS settings on Fido, then configured my 4smartphone hosted Exchange account, and kicked off an Activesync process. It started the sync, went to "Synchronizing Folders", then bombed out with a "Waiting for Network" error. So I tried again. And again. 10 tries and two hours later, I give up. I tried over GPRS, over WiFi, and even through a cradled sync. Nothing worked. It wasn't a username/password error or settings misconfiguration, because it would have given me a different error. Since I had just been synchronizing my Jasjar a few hours earlier without problems, I thought I'd email 4smartphone tech support and see if they knew what was going on. Here was their response:

"The "Waiting for Network " seems to be an AKU2.0 problem...definitely not a server-side issue. In fact, we have seen devices display that message constantly even while synching without a problem. One known cause for that message is when your device attempts to sync but you receive a voice call."

The "Waiting for Network" is a useless error message because there's no debugging information or indication of what to do to solve the problem. I thought perhaps it might have been my account, so I registered a new trial account with 4smartphone - and had exactly the same problem. I tried doing a selective sync in case there was something about my account that was corrupted - I changed it to sync only contacts, only calender, only email, and only tasks (of which I had one). Same failure in every instance.

So I thought then that it might have been 4smartphone in general, which led me to try another Exchange account. For this Exchange account, however, I had to manually install a certificate because Activesync wouldn't sync against it by default. I was hopeful though because I got a new error about the certificate rather than the same "Waiting for Network" error. In the midst of struggling through installing a special application to get the certificate on there (why do they make it so hard?) I decided to do another hard reset to clean things up and start over. On a whim, I thought I'd try my 4smartphone sync again...and it worked. Shocked

I made no changes and used exactly the same settings. There's no logical reason why it should have worked when before it failed, other than something from the first hard reset may have become corrupted/unstable and the second hard reset fixed it. So if you ever come across a "Waiting for Network" error that doesn't go away, try hard resetting your Smartphone. It just might do the trick, as illogical as it seems.

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