Monday, September 20, 2010

Blackberry Activation Error with Transport Rules

A few months ago I spent an entire afternoon trying to figure out why a BlackBerry would not activate with a BES server. Activation failed when the PIN was entered and sent back by the BlackBerry.

As I searched I found a few possible causes:
  • forwarding on the user mailbox
  • firewall blocking BES access to blackberry servers on the Internet
None of these applied. Further investigation in the SERVER_MAGT log found this:
[40239] (05/12 01:29:44.514):{0x117C} {} Still handled by desktop
[30160] (05/12 01:29:44.514):{0x117C} {} GetDeviceId() did not return a PIN, PIN currently is not set for this user.
[40371] (05/12 01:29:44.514):{0x117C} {} UserControl::HandleDatabaseChange - CalSyncState is empty
[40442] (05/12 01:29:44.514):{0x117C} User settings:,, service=, device=, calendar=0, MDS=1, userOTAFM=0, incradle=0, SMIME=0, sentItems=1, dir=Userx, server=Exchange1
As you can see, it is complaining about being still handled by Blackberry Desktop. On further investigation, this really just means that the message coming back from the Blackberry for the activation has been modified. So, the BES server refuses to touch it.

It turned out that there was an Exchange transport rule that was being used for add a CC for all messages delivered to this user. It was configured as an alternative to forwarding in the user mailbox, but had the same effect. After disabling the transport rule activation completed properly.

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