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THOUGHT: What's wrong with Windows Vista's Bluetooth PAN implementation?
Posted by Arne Hess - on Wednesday, 02.05.07 - 12:00:56 CET under 09 - Thoughts - Viewed 32744x
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Following my earlier column about Bluetooth 2.0's EDR (Enhanced Data Rate), today I want to follow-up with the explanation why I've initially changed back to Toshiba's Bluetooth stack. As mentioned in my personal blog, my Fujitsu Siemens Lifebook Tablet PC originally came with the Toshiba Bluetooth stack preloaded but I faced serious problems getting the stack working with the Windows Mobile Device Center. Therefore I've decided to switch to the Windows Vista Bluetooth stack and everything was fine and I was using sync and PAN over Bluetooth. Until I got my Samsung i600. Sync still worked fine but I never got Bluetooth PAN working to use my i600 as my UMTS/HSDPA modem.

In fact, Vista even hasn't recognized it as a Bluetooth PAN compatible device and when I did a search for PAN devices around me, the i600 never appeared in the list of available devices:

All my other Windows Mobile 5.0 and 6 smartphones were recognized and worked fine - all of them, except the i600.
Well, for some reasons - including the Bluetooth 2.0 EDR support - I decided to try the Toshiba Bluetooth stack again which is - thanks to Windows Vista's System Restore functionality - an easy task since you can turn back to the previous configuration easily in case anything goes wrong.
So I've downloaded the latest Vista compatible driver from Toshiba's Bluetooth page, uninstalled the previous Microsoft stack, installed the Toshiba stack, rebooted the PC and tried to connect to my i600 via Bluetooth PAN. For my surprise - the Toshiba stack found the i600 straight forward without any further problems. I paired the Notebook with the i600, exchanged the PIN et voila - the i600 was available as my UMTS/HSDPA modem:

Okay, that's too weird. The Windows Vista Bluetooth stack (and I tried it with two different Windows Vista PCs in addition to made sure it's not a fault of my Notebook) isn't finding a Windows Mobile device which runs the Microsoft Bluetooth stack for Windows Mobile but a 3rd party Bluetooth stack from Toshiba does? What's wrong here?
I have no clue if the Windows Vista Bluetooth stack is so weak or if anything screwed up at the i600 - so I don't want to blame anybody but I'm a little bit clueless.

Anyway, even if I definitely like the way nicer Microsoft Bluetooth stack integration into the whole OS, it looks like I will continue now with the Toshiba stack again. Not only because it's offering more useful Bluetooth profiles, like A2DP/AVRC, but also because it allows me to use my Samsung i600 as my mobile HSDPA modem via Bluetooth -which is essential for me. Last but not least I can confirm that the Toshiba stack is Bluetooth 2.0+EDR compliant, something I cannot confirm from Microsoft's Bluetooth stack.

Maybe someone from Microsoft, Toshiba and/or Samsung is reading this and can comment on the issue above? I have no clue why the one stack is working fine while the other one even not recognizes the device. Too weird...

Cheers ~ Arne

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Posted by Anders on 22.05.07 - 09:15:39

Same kind of problem here but when I try to use Microsoft bluetooth stack it doesn't recognize the hardware (Toshiba). This means I have to use the Toshiba drivers to be able to get the bluetooth device recognized in the device manager. Trying to sync my HTC P3600 via blutooth but just doesn't seem to work...

Posted by Arne Hess on 22.05.07 - 11:25:44

Have you tried changing your Bluetooth stack to the Microsoft stack using this tutorial?
Worked fine for me, you might want to give it a try as well.

Otherwise here's what you have to do to get ActiveSync working with the Toshiba Bluetooth stack:

* First of all, check (on your PC) from Start -> Control Panel -> Bluetooth Local COM which Com port the "LocalCOM-Server[SerialPort]" is assigned to (in my case COM7)

* Now open the Registry Editor in Vista and go to: HKEYLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows CE Services\ and change the SerialPort from "Bluetooth" to the assigned COM port you found before (like COM7)

* That's it. Now reboot your PC and create a new Bluetooth partnership (I'm always initiating it from Windows Mobile). The Serial profile, which was displayed before as available profile type should appear now as ActiveSync.

Posted by Anders on 29.05.07 - 10:26:03

I "downgraded" to Microsoft's bluetooth stack and that seemed to solve the problem, at least for the moment. Thanks for the great guide, hadn't seen it before! Got my P3600 synced after a reboot of Vista, have to check that all other bluetooth services work too but syncronizing is most important at the moment.

Posted by Arne Hess on 29.05.07 - 13:37:42

Glad to help you/that it worked! Keep us updated if everything else also continues to work as expected.
Anyway - please keep in mind that you might have lost some profiles (not sure if you used them anyway) like A2DP or Bluetooth Printing. These profiles aren't supported by Windows Vista's Bluetooth stack (yet).

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