Did anything 'break' ActiveSync over the weekend?

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Did anything 'break' ActiveSync over the weekend?

Postposted on Tue Oct 09, 2012 4:25 pm

Here's the deal: the last email that pinged my work account over the weekend was a reminder that I forwarded to myself on Saturday. It sync'd to both my Android phone (Google Nexus One running Android v2.2) and my HP TouchPad tablet. On Sunday, I went into work in the evening to get as short evaluation form written up, and when I unlocked my terminal, there was a message from Outlook: "Changes made by the administrator require Outlook to be restarted." Okay, whatever. I restarted Outlook and everything was working.

But...whatever changes IT made to the email server have successfully broken the email capabilities of both my phone and my tablet. The company tech support office is clueless; they tried to re-walk me through an account delete and reconfigure, but as soon as I try to log into the server, the connection fails. The tech support guy was even able to configure a Motorola Droid in the office with my email account, and it worked.

Since they don't "officially" support non-company phones, they've got nothing else to offer. Of course, our IT department doesn't actually talk to the tech support department, so tech support has got no way to even verify whether ActiveSync was updated or modified.

Anybody out there know whether a Microsoft update might have done this?
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Re: Did anything 'break' ActiveSync over the weekend?

Postposted on Tue Oct 09, 2012 7:08 pm

You could also try the Android emulator (http://developer.android.com/tools/help/emulator.html), and see if it's the version on your phone.
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Re: Did anything 'break' ActiveSync over the weekend?

Postposted on Wed Oct 10, 2012 10:56 am

Sounds like your company's Exchange server. Nothing global.
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Re: Did anything 'break' ActiveSync over the weekend?

Postposted on Wed Oct 10, 2012 12:03 pm

I don't see any Exchange-specific updates this go-around, either:

http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/window ... -2012/6727
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Re: Did anything 'break' ActiveSync over the weekend?

Postposted on Wed Oct 10, 2012 2:14 pm

That sounds like the message you get when your mailbox has been moved during an Exchange migration. If your organization runs just a single server and didn't make some other required changes, then yeah, your Activesync connection will be broken until your IT team updates some other things (which they may not intend to do until the migration is complete). Could be possible, especially if IT and support don't talk to eachother (which is pretty backwards).

The fact that they could configure another phone with your account and it worked, though, seems to debunk my idea.

Have you been able to use OWA in the past, and can you still? The fact that you got that message in Outlook makes it seem like there was definitely some change on your company's Exchange environment.
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Re: Did anything 'break' ActiveSync over the weekend?

Postposted on Wed Oct 10, 2012 11:23 pm

There is migration activity of some sort, we've gotten regular notifications about outages for both the email and voicemail systems the past couple weeks. But, other than a rocky patch a few months ago, where email would sometimes be delayed by several hours and refresh attempts on mobile devices would sometimes stall out, ActiveSync has been working perfectly on my Android phone since I first set it up around March of 2011. I've only had the TouchPad for a few months but it has always worked flawlessly.

What boggles me a spell is that they managed to break both devices at once. If there was some sort of security update that simply can't talk to older ActiveSync-compatible clients, I could live with that if somebody with knowledge of the changes could at least tell me. This company has already fired one IT director in the past couple years because he acted like a feudal lord. The current director has been a lot more user-oriented and communicative, but then stuff like this keeps happening.
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Re: Did anything 'break' ActiveSync over the weekend?

Postposted on Thu Oct 11, 2012 12:35 am

Supporting EAS is one of the most fragmented things I ever had to do. It's definitely possible a move sparked this problem; it's equally possible the mailbox has some corruption problems. The Droid runs a custom UI and hence a custom EAS client, not the stock Android client. It will not express the same problems in the same ways. Finally, you really, REALLY, REALLY should upgrade your phone past 2.2 or use Touchdown; older Android EAS clients are horrible as far as cooperating with mailbox-level issues and usually induce additional issues to boot.

How many items are in your mailbox? Do you have folders with a high item count? ( > 5000)
Might want to have them move the mailbox again making sure they skip corrupt items. Finally, try deleting the device from the Mobile Device options page within OWA (Outlook Web Access), making sure the configuration is completely gone from the phone and creating a brand-new EAS client profile.
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Re: Did anything 'break' ActiveSync over the weekend?

Postposted on Mon Oct 15, 2012 10:43 pm

Mystery solved...I got my new Google Nexus running Android 4.1 and attempted to set up the email account, and it worked, after requesting the sort of administrator privileges that allow the company to remote-wipe the phone (presumably to clear out all cached company property in the event of a lost phone or employee termination). I'm assuming neither Android 2.2 nor WebOS support such features, so whatever security update they performed broke all older devices.

Of course, it's still extremely irritating that they couldn't just tell us this was happening. The icing on the cake is that whatever they did continues to break webmai. I still can't log into our Exchange webmail client, even when sitting at my own office terminal. I get a "403 Forbidden: Access is denied" error, every time.
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