Jan 272010

One of the annoying things about moving to the 64-bit Windows 7 is that Palm decided not to support USB synchronization. Since my phone/PDA is a Treo 680, that’s a nuisance. In theory, I can sync via bluetooth. In practice, it’s not as easy as it used to be.

First off, I had to get a bluetooth-USB dongle to use with my desktop PC. I plugged it in, Windows found it and installed the driver. That much worked. The page linked to above shows the steps to go through to enable the bluetooth synchronization with the Treo; following those steps worked just fine (although s-l-o-w-l-y) the first time. And then it stopped working, with an error message “unable to initiate hotsync operation because the port is in use by another application”.

I tried unplugging the bluetooth device, disabling it, nothing worked. I then foolishly installed the software that came with the device, which was a bad mistake, as it made everything bluetooth-related stop working. And even though I tried to uninstall it afterwards, nothing worked.

I used Glary utilities to clean the registry, it found a lot of entries that CCleaner, my previously favourite registry cleaner didn’t. Result: supposedly a cleaner registry, but no joy on the bluetooth device settings.

Poking around on the web uncovered this, and since websites have a habit of disappearing, taking their useful information with them, I’m going to take the liberty of rewriting the salient points here.

Unplug the device. Go to the control panel, then search for “services”. From the Services window, browse the list of services and find the Bluetooth Support Service, and double-click the entry. Select Automatic from the Startup type and then click OK. Plug the device back in.

This at least meant that I could access the settings on the bluetooth device, which was an advance, even if I still couldn’t hotsync. In the end, I discovered that if I added another couple of COM ports, that the Treo would hotsync. Slowly, of course. And the next time I wanted to sync, I had to delete all the COM ports that the bluetooth dongle knew about, and add another.

My next phone/PDA will come from a company that does allow USB synchronization. On present form, it looks like it won’t come from Palm.

  2 Responses to “Bluetooth (Time) Sync”

  1. Palm Pre doesn’t support USB synch either. Nor bluetooth for that matter. It’s all “in the Cloud” (background synch w/ Google Calendar/Contact and the likes). You can buy 3rd party USB synch apps. Disgraceful.

  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Tim Bray, Lauren Wood. Lauren Wood said: New blog entry: Bluetooth (Time) Sync http://www.laurenwood.org/anyway/?p=858 […]

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