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When one of our users attempted to synchronize a Windows Mobile 6.1 device in our Exchange 2003 SP2 environment, the user would see the green Synchronizing icon continuously spin clockwise until it timed-out.


We confirmed that the mobile device was able to connect successfully to the user’s mailbox but would not synchronize the contents of the mailbox with the user’s mobile device.

In a nutshell, we use ISA Servers and Exchange 2003 Front-End servers in our Exchange ActiveSync environment.  So, while the mobile device was trying to synchronize the contents of the user’s mailbox, we would see the the following Server ActiveSync 3007 Error event in the Application Event log on the Front-End server.

Source: Server ActiveSync
Type: Warning
Event ID: 3007
Description: Exchange mailbox Server response timeout: Server: ExchangeMBXServerName User: Exchange ActiveSync Server failed to communicate with the Exchange mailbox server in a timely manner.  Verify that the Exchange mailbox Server is working correctly and is not overloaded.

We did some troubleshooting from the front-end server to the back-end server (and vice-versa) using the following utilities: ping, telnet over port 80, and tracert.  Everything looked fine.

So, the next step was to connect to the user’s mailbox from the front-end server using Outlook Web Access.   After entering the user’s logon credentials, we were able to successfully connect to the user’s mailbox but we could not see any of the user’s Inbox folder messages and the contents frame would show “Loading”.


We reviewed the Event logs on the Exchange 2003 Mailbox Server and we could not find any errors.   Everything appeared to be working as designed.

Since we could not find any problems with our infrastructure, we met with our network security engineers to see if they could help us isolate the problem.  After capturing some logs, we were able to figure out that a Fortinet intrusion prevention system (IPS) device sitting in front of the Exchange 2003 Mailbox Server was causing the problem.  One of the Fortinet IPS signatures was preventing the mailbox data coming back to us through Outlook Web Access or ActiveSync.

So, as you troubleshoot Exchange ActiveSync issues, don’t forget to check your network security devices in your environments.

Posted on Wednesday, October 21, 2009 1:29 PM | Back to top

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