iPhone and Exchange 2003: Mail and calendar not syncing

Problem:  Similar to a previous post on Exchange, I started to get complaints that users weren’t able to sync mail with their iPad or iPhone on an Exchange 2003 server. The difference was that users weren’t getting any errors and some users were able to sync just fine.  This made me think it was a problem with the iPad or user but I was wrong.  Went onto the server and checked the application logs and found the following error:

 Exchange mailbox Server response timeout: Server: [server.domain.org] User: [user@domain.org]. 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.

I checked Task Manager and found that the w3wp.exe process was at a constant 70% I figured this might be the problem.

Solution: I opened up Services.msc and restarted the World Wide Web Publishing Service.  It took quite a while for it to stop and restart but once I did, the high processor usage stopped and we were able to sync with Exchange once again. A process within IIS must have been stuck on a task or something..

Update 4.14.14: My solution was a false positive. Turns out users still weren’t able to sync their email. The crazy thing was that the folder structure of their inbox was downloaded just fine. It was the mail the wouldn’t sync. After hours of troubleshooting, installing SP2 and hotfixes all over again, I found a website that mentioned that Microsoft Security Essentials will break Activesync.  I checked Add Remove Programs, found the offending program and uninstalled it. Almost instantly, mail began to sync.

Many thanks to Alan H for having this information on his blog!

NOTE:  http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2469722 (more information regarding the erorr above)

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