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iSync Plugins for over 100 Sony Ericsson phones

iSync Support

Below is some general iSync advice which can help solve occasional issues with iSync. This information applies both to phones supported natively by iSync or via an iSync Phone Plugin.

Apple Support Documents

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Quick Fixes

First try the quick fixes listed below, which solve most issues. If they are not successful, continue on through the rest of the tips on this page.

  • Click Reset Sync History in iSync preferences
  • Remove your phone from iSync by clicking its icon and choosing Remove Device from the Devices menu. Then set-up your phone again via the Bluetooth Setup Assistant.
  • Backup anything on your phone you want to keep, then perform a Master Reset by choosing
    Settings ▸ General ▸ Master reset ▸ Reset settings on your phone.
    Then set-up your phone again via the Bluetooth Setup Assistant.

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Tips for setting up a successful first sync

From experience, we have found it is best to start with a fully up-to-date Mac Address Book and iCal, and a completely empty phone. Attempting to merge existing data on the phone and the Mac isn't always successful.

If you have existing contacts on the phone, transfer them to the Mac and import them into Address Book.

Create a group in Address Book containing only the Contacts you actually need on the phone. Then open iSync, click on the icon for your phone and choose to sync only this group.

There appears to be a bug in the Apple support for some phones (K800i & K610i especially) when syncing recurring events. iSync seems to ignore the "Don't synchronize events after:" setting in iSync, meaning it will sync recurring events forever into the future, eventually filling the phones memory and failing.

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Transferring existing Contacts from the phone

If you have contacts already existing on your phone, that are not in your Mac Address Book, it is strongly recommended that you transfer them into Address Book before syncing for the first time.

(If Contacts are stored on the SIM Card, please move them to the Phone Memory first).

  • On your phone, go to Contacts ▸ More ▸ Options ▸ Advanced ▸ Send all contacts ▸ Via Bluetooth
  • This will send a file called "Whole Phonebook.vcf" to your Mac.
  • After the file has transferred, click the magnifying glass icon in the Incoming File Transfer window to locate the phonebook file on your Mac.
  • Double-click the .vcf file to import the Contacts into the Mac Address Book.

NOTE: If you are using Mac OS X 10.5 or later, and Bluetooth file transfers are failing, make sure you have enabled Bluetooth Sharing in the Sharing system preferences pane.

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Make regular backups of your Address Book and iCal data

It is very important to make regular backups of your Address Book and iCal data so that in the event of something happening during a sync, you can always easily revert to the backup.

  • In Mac OS X 10.4.x Address Book, choose Back up Address Book... from the File menu.
  • In Mac OS X 10.5.x and later Address Book, choose Export ▸ Address Book Archive... from the File menu.
  • In Mac OS X 10.4.x iCal, choose Back up Database... from the File menu.
  • In Mac OS X 10.5.x iCal, choose Back up iCal... from the File menu.
  • In Mac OS X 10.6.x iCal, choose Export... ▸ iCal Archive... from the File menu.

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General Problems with syncing

From time-to-time, you may experience issues with syncing, such as not all data syncing to or from the phone, or syncing failing before complete. There are a number of things that can cause this, and a variety of different potential fixes.

First, always make a backup of your Address Book and iCal data as described above.

See these Apple Technical Support documents:

Recommended Steps

After each of the following suggestions, try syncing again to see if your problem is resolved:

  • Try turning Bluetooth off and on again via the Bluetooth menu, or System Preferences pane
  • Click Reset sync history... in iSync prefs
  • Choose Reset Device from the Devices menu
  • On your phone, choose Settings ▸ General ▸ Master reset ▸ Reset settings.
    Bear in mind that this function may delete some pre-installed or downloaded content from your phone, so backup first.

Identifiying the cause

If the above steps do not resolve your problem, you will need to do some troubleshooting to determine whether your Contacts or Calendars are causing syncing to fail.

  • Open iSync and click on the icon for the your mobile phone
  • Un-check the Calendars option, and try syncing.
  • If it syncs, go to the section on Problems with syncing Contacts below.
  • Un-check the Contacts option, and re-check Calendars, and try syncing.
  • If it syncs, go to the section on Problems with syncing Calendars below.

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Synchronisation Failed / Connection to the phone failed

If you get a message that says:

"Connection to the phone failed. Please make sure that your phone is turned on.
If this error occurs again, please restart your phone.

Error Device [name] synchronization failed."

Please try the following:

  • Remove your phone from iSync by clicking on its icon and choosing Remove Device from the Devices menu, then set the phone up again as described in the Phone Setup guide.
  • Quit any other software running that syncs with Address Book and iCal, such as Bento or Chronos SOHO Notes, before attempting to sync.
  • Click on the icon for your phone in iSync, then choose More Options. Check the option to
    Only synchronize contacts with phone numbers.
  • Click on Reset Sync History in iSync Preferences.

If you get an error that says:

"There was an error pushing some changes to the phone. The synchronization may have been canceled on the phone.

Device [name] synchronization failed."

Another Bluetooth device may be interferring with the sync process. Please try the following:

  • Temporarily disable Apple's Bluetooth Keyboard and/or Mouse and try syncing again.

You may have some corruption in one or more of your Contacts or Calendars. See above for finding out which.

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Problems with syncing Contacts

Here are the recommended steps for resolving problems with syncing Contacts. After each suggestion, try syncing again to see if your issue is resolved.

  • First, make sure you have tried the suggestions in the General problems with syncing section above.
  • Create a group in Address Book with only the contacts you actually need in. Then in iSync choose to sync only this group.
  • Click on your phone in iSync, then click More Options... and check the Only synchronize contacts with phone numbers option.

If the above suggestions do not work, you may have some corrupt data in one or more of your Contacts, especially if you receive an error message similar to this in your iSync Log:

Conduit Address Book generated exception NSInternalInconsistencyException: Type of value {
identifiers = (”005CB3CB-945D-11D9-935D-00112479516E”);
labels = (”_$!!$_”);
primaryIdentifier = “005CB3CB-945D-11D9-935D-00112479516E”;
values = ();
} does not match property ‘Phone’ type 257. Can’t commit item EC776A4A-91ED-11D9-82C9-00112479516E:ABPerson.

This error means there is a problem with the phone record of person “EC776A4A-91ED-11D9-82C9-00112479516E:ABPerson.” which doesn't really help much.

John Morgan has written a small utility, ABFinder, which will let you identify which contact this error refers to, by entering the long alphanumeric string into the ABFinder window. You can then remove or replace the corrupted data and try syncing again.

ABFinder is freeware and available with a help file from here .

Alternative method for fixing corruption in the Address Book database

  • Backup your Address Book data as described above.
  • Select the All group in Address Book and export as a vCard as follows:
    • In Mac OS X 10.5.x choose File ▸ Export ▸ Export Group vCard...
    • In Mac OS X 10.4.x choose File ▸ Export vCard...
  • Delete all your contacts from Address Book and quit the application.
  • Locate the exported vCard and double-click on it to re-import all your Contacts

You can also try syncing a small number of Contacts in a Group, and progressively adding more and more Contacts to the group and syncing each time.

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Problems with syncing Calendars

Here are the recommended steps for resolving problems with syncing Calendars. After each suggestion, try syncing again to see if your issue is resolved.

  • First, make sure you have tried the suggestions in the General problems with syncing section above.
  • Ensure you have at least one 'local' calendar, not just subscribed calendars.
  • Try disabling subscribed calendars, as these can often cause problems with corrupted events in them.

Identifying corrupted Calendars

If the above suggestions do not work, it is likely you have some corrupt data in one or more of your Calendars.
To rectify this, you first need to identify which calendar(s):

  • Open iSync and click on the icon for your phone.
  • Temporarily uncheck the Contacts checkbox, so that you are only syncing Calendars.
  • Click the Selected radio button and uncheck all calendars except the top one.
  • Try syncing. If it syncs ok, check the next calendar in the list and try syncing. Repeat this process until you find out which calendar is causing the error.

Fixing corruption in Calendars

  • First, make a backup of your iCal data by choosing the Backup database... command on the File menu.
  • Export the corrupted calendar from iCal using the Export... command (they will be saved as .ics files).
  • Delete the corrupted calendar from iCal, then quit and re-open the program.
  • Double-click the exported .ics calendar to import it back into iCal
  • In iSync check the box next to the Calendar you re-imported, and try syncing again.
  • If it syncs successfully, the problem is solved and you can re-enable Contact syncing.
  • If it fails, repeat this process with the next Calendar in the list to find possible corruption.

One final thing to try

  • Backup, then delete syncState.plist and sync.plist from ~/Library/Application Support/iCal

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Calendar Events out of Sync

If the Time Zone and Daylight Savings settings are not correct in your phone, you may experience the following:

  • Events are one or more hours early or late compared to what they are in iCal
  • All Day events may start at 11pm on the previous day, or end at 1am on the next day

This is not a problem with your Mac or phone, and is easily fixed. In your phone go to Settings ▸ Time & date and then adjust the Time zone and Daylight saving settings. You may need to experiment with the combination of settings until you find one that works.

Newer Sony Ericsson phones have a My time zone menu option in the Time & date section. Choose this and scroll down past all the GMT options and find the city nearest to your current location. This will automatically set the Daylight saving settings correctly.

Date & Time Settings for the UK

  • Time zone should be set to GMT
  • From October to March Daylight saving (the same as BST) should be set to Standard time
  • From March to October Daylight saving should be set to Daylight saving.

When the clocks change in March or October, just change the Daylight saving setting in your phone and re-sync.

Please note, that any events before the last clocks change and after the next clock change will be out by one hour. This is a limitation in the way iSync and Sony Ericsson phones handle the clocks changing.

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Error: "The phone calendar is full"

When syncing lots of Calendar events from iCal, or a long way into the future, you may get the following error:

The phone calendar is full.
Please delete some calendar events on your phone or change the filtering options and synchronize again.

This occurs because you have reached the limit of the phones memory reserved for Calendars & Contacts.

The phone does not use the free memory that you can see in the phones internal memory or on the memory stick.

There is no way to change this unfortunately. The only workaround is to reduce the number of calendars you are syncing, or narrow the timeframe that you are syncing.

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Contacts created on phone are not transferred to designated group

iSync does not support syncing new Contacts created on the phone back into the group selected for syncing. There is no equivalent 'Put contacts created on phone into:' option like there is for Events in iSync. We filed this as a bug report to Apple in 2006 and it was already a duplicate filing, but it has never been fixed. Apple engineering say this "issue is still being investigated".

As a result, any new Contacts created on the phone will be synced to the All group. You can then drag them into any other group in Address Book as required.

To quickly identify new contacts synced from the phone, create a new Smart Group named something like "Recent" which matches the following criteria:

Card | has changed in | 1 | day and then check the Highlight group when updated checkbox.

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Contacts stored on the SIM card are not synced

iSync does not sync any data to or from the SIM card. Any Contacts that are on the SIM that you want to sync should be moved into the phone memory by choosing Contacts ▸ Options ▸ Advanced ▸ Copy from SIM ▸ Copy all

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Names contain dots or dashes when synced to phone

If a contact in Address Book does not have both the first and last name entered, iSync will substitute the missing name data with dots or dashes when synced to the phone. This applies to both normal Contacts and those designated as a Company in Address Book.

Reasons:

  1. Sony Ericsson phones (and many others) only support a single combined Name field, rather than separate First and Last name fields as used in the Mac Address Book.
  2. Sony Ericsson phones require all Contacts to have the Name field to be completed including those designated as a Company in Address Book. If you leave the name field blank in a Company contact, iSync will automatically put the Company name into the Name field on the phone.

Solution:

  • Make sure that every contact has both the First and Last name fields completed in Address Book.
    For example, instead of entering just John, enter John Smith into the Mac Address Book.
  • For company contacts, you can either leave iSync to copy the Company name into the Name field, or if you want some extra control over the formatting, you can enter a name in the Name field yourself in Address Book. (iSync may enter dashes where there are spaces in the company name).

If the contact has a First or Last name with a space in it, such as Mary Lou Smith or John Davies Jones, iSync will automatically hyphenate the name so that it knows where to split the single Name field when syncing back into separate First and Last name fields. i.e Mary-Lou Smith and John Davies-Jones in the example.

Please see the following Apple Support document:

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Address Book Groups or Calendars not showing or showing twice in iSync

This can occur if the SyncServices database or preferences becomes corrupted. The first thing to try is to click Reset Sync History... in iSync's preferences. If that doesn't resolve it, try the following:

  • Make a backup of both your Contacts and Calendars as described above.
  • Mac OS X 10.5.x: Follow Apple Support's instructions for Resetting SyncServices here.
    (The Terminal command usually has the best success.)
  • Mac OS X 10.4.x: Follow Apple Support's instructions to Remove the SyncServices folder here.
  • Finally, restart the Mac and reload iSync.

If that still doesn't resolve the issue in Mac OS X 10.5.x and 10.6.x, try the following.

  • Make sure you have backed up both your Contacts and Calendars as described above.
  • With iSync closed, backup then delete the SyncServices folder found in ~/Library/Application Support/
  • Finally, restart the Mac and reload iSync. The groups should now appear correctly.

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Speed Dials, Custom Ringtones & Contact Pictures deleted on syncing

If you have added custom ringtones, speed dials or pictures to a contacts details on the phone, this information may be wiped the next time the contact is synced. There are two reasons for this:

  • Firstly, iSync does not have access to ringtone and speed dial information. It is not stored within the contacts details in the phone, and iSync is unable to retain this information.
  • Secondly, there is a limitation in Sony Ericsson phones implementation of SyncML. The phone does not allow iSync to make modifications to fields within a Contacts record. If a Contacts data changes, the record has to be deleted then the updated Contact record is copied to the phone, which in turn may delete any Speed Dial, Ringtone or Caller ID Pictures assigned to the Contact within the phone.

Unfortunately, there is nothing that we can do about this. It affects all phones, not just Sony Ericsson models.

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Reinstalling iSync

If you have deleted iSync or your copy has become corrupted, you may need to re-install it.
You have three options for doing this:

1) Restore iSync from your Time Machine backup (or any other backup you've made).

2) Copy a fresh, unmodified version of iSync from another Mac running the same version of Mac OS X.

3) Re-install iSync from the original Mac OS X Installation Disks by following the instructions below:

  • Download Pacifist (a program that allows installing parts of Mac OS X)
  • Insert your original Mac OS X Installation Disk.
  • Open Pacifist and click 'Open Apple Install Discs'.
  • Wait while it loads the packages.
  • In the window that appears, type 'iSync' into the Find dialog at the top and press return.
  • Click once on the 'iSync.app' it finds, then click 'Install' at the top of the window.
  • Follow the instructions to install it.
  • Then you must download and install the latest Mac OS X Combo Updater for your Mac from Apple (even if its already installed), to update iSync from the newly installed version to the very latest version.

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Events not syncing far enough into the past or future

Open iSync and click once on the icon for your phone. Click the More Options... button at the bottom of the window that expands. You can now adjust the timeframe of events synced from one month in the past and up to one year in the future.

Please note that these settings do not apply to Birthdays or other repeating/recurring events.