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THOUGHT: Windows XP Service Pack 2 improved my ActiveSync Bluetooth experience
Posted by Arne Hess - on Wednesday, 15.09.04 - 22:53:10 CET under 09 - Thoughts - Viewed 19656x
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Do you remember my previous thought from December last year about Sony's weak (or should I better say non existing) Bluetooth implementation which made it impossible to use my Sony Vaio PCG-TR1MP to sync my Pocket PCs and Smartphones through ActiveSync via Bluetooth?

"While my Notebook works as a beauty to make a GPRS dial-up connection through my PPCW.Net i-Mate Smartphone2 (aka Orange SPV E200/HTC Voyager) this Bluetooth Sony software on the Notebook doesn't want to work as a serial connection with ActiveSync. While I first thought I'm to dumb, a Google search offered me some hints and the most important result is I'm not alone - as I found out at Geekzone."

Well, I've never managed to get it synchronized via Bluetooth thanks to Sony's BlueSpace NE until Microsoft released the Windows XP Service Pack 2 a couple of weeks ago!

When I rebuilt my Notebook last time (I decided to update to SP2 from the scratch with a clean Windows XP installation), I've decided to install a couple of Sony drivers only - to support all the Notebook hardware - but not the Sony utilities like the Bluetooth manager. Right after the installation, I've upgraded to the Service Pack 2 because I knew it is supporting Bluetooth natively now! After a couple of system reboots, etc - I was surprised to see Bluetooth supported, right away in the system Control Panel:

No more Sony utility in the system tray but the Microsoft Bluetooth support and Sony's wireless access selector only:

I was even more surprised how good (compared to the Pocket PC and Smartphone implementation) Bluetooth worked on my Notebook and how many profiles it supports (for instance I'm typing this article with my Logitech diNovo Bluetooth keyboard without having the Logitech drivers installed on my Notebook). Also it supports the LAN profile (Personal Area Network) as well as many others - including serial connections.

So the problem, I've figured out before with Sony's BlueSpace NE and its non existing support for Microsoft ActiveSync was about providing a proper serial connection. There was no way to convince BlueSpace NE to connect with ActiveSync. Now, with Microsoft's Bluetooth implementation, it looks a little bit different since it gives every serial enabled Bluetooth device its own COM port:

As you see above, COM6 is reserved for the HTC_Blue_Angel and if you compare this with ActiveSync now, you see ActiveSync is using COM6 for serial connections as well:

The result is the following: Simply initiate a Bluetooth ActiveSync connection from your Pocket PC (here the HTC Blue Angel with Widcomm Bluetooth stack) and you got it:

And it works the same way with the Motorola MPx220 I've recently tested1!

Final Conclusion

If you have a Bluetooth enabled Sony Notebook which is using BlueSpace NE as well, if you are annoyed from Sonly weak Bluetooth implementation, if you are bored from Sony's non-existing support which isn't able to provide you a solution to use your Windows Mobile devices wireless through Bluetooth with your (expensive) Notebook, than you should consider to have a "format c:" (don't forget to backup your files first ;-)), reinstall Windows XP (but not from the recovery CD), install all drivers but not the utilities, continue with installing the Service Pack 2 and you should be back in business as well!

For me it worked with a couple of Windows Mobile devices, Pocket PCs as well as Smartphones and now my Sony Vaio became truely wireless and mobile since I can leave the cables at home now.

Thank you Microsoft for (finally) supporting Bluetooth natively in the OS and well done - your Bluetooth implementation. Sometimes it takes a little bit longer but than you do it (mostly) right! :-)

A job well done and hey - Sony, leave BlueSpace NE out of your Notebooks and use the Microsoft Bluetooth stack from now! ;-)

Cheers ~ Arne


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