Palm’s Lame ‘Solutions’

By | October 16, 2006

This is another one of those tips that won’t help you unless you happen to be in a very specific pickle. That said, it also carries a general health warning: The more complex you make your computer and gadget set-up, the more you’re on your own.

If you’re synchronizing your Palm OS–Treo with Microsoft Outlook, you’re asking for trouble. After a while you’re likely to get the following error:

Outlook Calendar
OLERR:03-005E (0xca470057)
– Recovery Sync
Outlook Calendar synchronization failed

where nothing in the calendar gets synced. Even Palm’s own help page on this isn’t very optimistic:

This issue is under investigation. Since OLERR errors can be caused by a wide range of factors, we have developed a number of solutions at this point.

This is techie speak for ‘no, we don’t know what’s going on either.’ And the ‘solutions’ they offer aren’t the kind of thing you could do while the kettle’s boiling. One includes a step 8:

Open each of these items and give them an and date. This can be far in the future, such as the year 2050.

Another way of saying: You could be up all night changing each calendar entry individually for entries that are going to be around longer than you are.

Needless to say, none of these options worked, though they might for you. But here’s what I suggest:

How to Fix Outlook/Treo Calendar Synchronization Problems

  • Find out whether the problem comes from your Palm/Treo or your Outlook first. To do that move all items from the Outlook Calendar into a new calendar and then trying syncing. If you’re still getting an error then the problem’s with your Palm. If you aren’t getting the error, then try restoring calendar items in chunks until you hit the problem. (More complete steps here; don’t forget to back up first.)
  • If the problem is with your Palm, delete the calendar data there (which you’ll lose, unfortunately.) Do this by installing a free program called FileZ from nosleep software and finding the Calendar database file, CalendarDB-PDat. (You might want to back up your Palm first using another free backup program called BackupMan. In fact, you should have this one anyway.)
  • Having deleted the database file, trying syncing. It worked for me.

This isn’t the only way to solve the problem, I’m sure, but it’s probably the quickest. Bottom line: These things are never easy, but should be. Shame on Palm, for example, for hinting their synchronization software just may not be good enough by concluding, after several ‘solutions’ to the problem, that:

If none of the solutions above resolves your OLERR problems, you may wish to use a third-party synchronization solution for your Outlook information.


2 thoughts on “Palm’s Lame ‘Solutions’

  1. Phil

    I’ve been struggling to get PocketMac’s sync for the BlackBerry and a Mac to work with a new Pearl and MacBook. While it works with the 8700, there’s real problems with the new phone. PocketMac’s engineers are working through this, but after an hour on the phone trying it, it just didn’t work. The problem is it requires different companies, some that are competitors, to work with each other and cooperate.


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