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In Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2), when you try to use the Emulator ActiveSync Connection Tool, you may receive an error message that is similar to the following in the notification area of the tool:
Error in starting ActiveSync connection
Additionally, you may receive an error message that is similar to the following in the device emulator:
Cannot start communications with the desktop computer. Reconnect your device. If the problem persists, see Microsoft ActiveSync Help.
By default, in Windows XP SP2, the Windows Firewall feature is turned on and enabled on all network connections. When you use the Emulator ActiveSync Connection Tool, it tries to open a network connection between Microsoft ActiveSync and the emulator. Windows Firewall blocks this connection and you receive the error message.
To resolve this problem, you must add the ActiveSync Connection Manager to the Windows Firewall exception list. To do this, follow these steps:
In Control Panel, open Network and Internet Connections.
Click Change Windows Firewall settings. The Windows Firewall dialog box appears.
On the General tab, make sure that Windows Firewall is on and that the Don't allow exceptions check box is not selected.
On the Exceptions tab, make sure that the ActiveSync Connection Manager check box is selected.
Click OK to save your changes.
This behavior is by design.
The Windows Firewall feature of Windows XP SP2 helps you make your computer more secure by restricting information that comes to your computer from other computers. This gives you more control over the data that is on your computer and provides a line of defense against people or against programs that may include viruses and worms that try to connect to your computer without invitation.
The Windows Mobile Developer Power Toys are a set of unsupported add-in utilities for Windows Mobile developers. The utilities are available from the Microsoft Download Center. The Emulator ActiveSync Connection Tool is a component of these utilities that lets ActiveSync connect to your Emulator session.
For additional information about how the Windows Firewall feature may affect application performance, click the following article numbers to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
843090 Description of the Windows Firewall feature in Windows XP Service Pack 2
875357 Troubleshooting Windows Firewall settings in Windows XP Service Pack 2