iPhone and Exchange 2003 Configuration Troubleshooting How-To

Ok, I have to admit, I don’t like reading manuals. But, in the case of the new iPhone 2.0 software and Microsoft Exchange 2003, I did in fact read the Apple Exchange 2003 deployment guide. It is about zero help for someone who has configued Exchange 2003 to work with Windows Mobile devices in the past. But, I could not for the life of me get the iPhone to pull email, contacts or my calendar. I knew that the first thing that was needed was Exchange SP2…but, I thought I had checked what version of Exchange I was running…and, thought wrong. Instinctively, I did the Properties of My Computer and thought that I saw something somewhere that said Exchange was running SP2. Well, here is the deal, apparently you cannot get SP2 for Exchange 2003 via Windows Update. You have to download Exchange 2003 SP2 manually. The short of it is, I am an idiot.

There were a number of issues that I thought I was seeing. First, when I configured the Exchange settings on the iPhone, I would see Configured Sync with (null). I thought this was a little glimpse into where the sync problem was. It turns out that the iPhone inserts “null” if the name you specify for the Exchange account is too long (I verified this is the case). I finally decided to start from scratch to make sure I was not missing something. I found out how to check what version of Exchange 2003 I am running. Once I did that, I saw that I was running SP1. DUH. So, I downloaded Exchange 2003 SP2 from Microsoft, installed it and BOOM. Email, Contacts and Calendar. What a rookie move.

 

Last Updated on October 29, 2015 by Jason Golod.

17 Comments

  • Wayne johnson

    Reply Reply September 10, 2008

    Wow, I just completely face palmed myself. I did the exact same thing as you 🙁 Well Exchange SP2 upgrade tonight! Man, I feel really dumb right now hahahhaha Thank you and I’m off bang my head against a wall hahah

  • Johnny

    Reply Reply September 25, 2008

    I have the latest patch and I am still not getting it. Can u pls send me the configuration on the exchange side that has the mobiles services turned on and what to put it or key it? Please help.

  • çiçek

    Reply Reply September 25, 2008

    Thank you and I’m off bang my head against a wall hahah

  • Kuba

    Reply Reply September 30, 2008

    I was struggling with this iPhone for hours until I found your website, installed SP2 and voilla all working fine. Thanks a lot

  • Johnny

    Reply Reply October 26, 2008

    Hi This is Johnny again, I am still not able to get my 3 iphones to work with my exchange server. Why everybody talk about the iPhone side and no body show us the Setup on the exchange server. I have OWA up and running and everything work perfectly except the 3 iPhones cannot active sync over the AIR. Please help!!!

  • Joshua Gruber

    Reply Reply October 30, 2008

    I think the reason they don’t show you the server side most places is that the server defaults to having it correctly configured. Assuming the AD Users have Active Sync enabled and the “Microsoft-Server-ActiveSync” directory in IIS is present you should be good.

    One problem I’ve run into a couple of times is the face-palm of having the phone on Wi-Fi to the LAN that doesn’t route the external address to the server correctly (I.E. your firewall doesn’t forward internal requests for its external IP to the exchange server.

  • Steve Cochran

    Reply Reply November 14, 2008

    We’re having the same problem. Upgraded to SP2 but still no luck.

    You mentioned the “Microsoft-Server-ActiveSync”, we checked and that’s listed in the Exchange Administrator, but there’s nothing listed under it. Can someone who has it working look to see if anything is in there?

  • Ryan Thomson

    Reply Reply December 19, 2008

    I know it’s a late response but for future reference for others:

    ‘Microsoft Server ActiveSync’ is in IIS under ‘Default Website’. You need to go to Properties, Directory Security, Then click Edit under secure communications and select ‘Require SSL Authentication’ (something along those lines).

  • Brad

    Reply Reply June 26, 2009

    When I attempt to add an exchange account it asks for a “Server Name”. The box then says “exchange.company.com”. Where would I find out exactly what needs to be put here?

  • Karl Boustany

    Reply Reply September 10, 2009

    Hello.

    My push is working with Exchange 2003, although every minute or so contact list and emails keep resetting and downloading again.

    does anyone know why?

    Thanks!

  • ssk sorgulama

    Reply Reply February 5, 2010

    I know it’s a late response but for future reference for others:

    ‘Microsoft Server ActiveSync’ is in IIS under ‘Default Website’. You need to go to Properties, Directory Security, Then click Edit under secure communications and select ‘Require SSL Authentication’ (something along those lines)…

  • IT FastFix

    Reply Reply May 16, 2010

    You Need to put your company IP address

    Brad says:
    June 26, 2009 at 10:08 am
    When I attempt to add an exchange account it asks for a “Server Name”. The box then says “exchange.company.com”. Where would I find out exactly what needs to be put here?

  • mehmet

    Reply Reply June 6, 2010

    Ankara Thank you and I’m off bang my head against a wall hahah

  • I was struggling with this iPhone for hours until I found your website, installed SP2 and voilla all working fine. Thanks a lot

  • Clark in Florida

    Reply Reply June 7, 2010

    Does that mean that you need to purchase an SSL certificate? We don’t currently run SSL on our Exchange server.

  • cicekci

    Reply Reply July 4, 2010

    thankıs

  • Tech Guy

    Reply Reply November 16, 2011

    did it too.. mine was so bad that I brought another tech company (my associates in this field) into the mix and it carried out 2 days and a load of Windows updates. I upgraded the entire server and I missed Exchange SP2. Windows 2008 and 2011 spoiled me.

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