If you ever need to test the ActiveSync functionality of your Exchange servers using a Windows Mobile 5 or 6 device, but don’t have a spare lying around, you may find the Microsoft Device Emulator a valuable tool.

You’ll need to download and install the items listed below:

1. Microsoft Device Emulator 3.0

This installation folder is c:\program files\microsoft device emulator\1.0. Within this directory, you will find deviceemulator.exe which is used to load an image file.

2. Windows Mobile Device Images

Windows Mobile 6 Images can be downloaded HERE. The images will have a .BIN extension, PPC_USA.BIN, for example.

3. Microsoft Virtual PC 2007

If Microsoft Virtual PC 2007 is not installed, you’ll receive an error stating the “Virtual Machine Network Driver” cannot be found when attempting to enable network connectivity for the Winodws Mobile simulator. Microsoft Virtual PC 2007 can be downloaded HERE.

I installed these components on a Windows XP virtual machine running within VMware Workstation.

To test ActiveSync:

1. Open a command window. Navigate to the c:\program files\microsoft device emulator\1.0 directory. Execute the command: deviceemulator.exe path to BIN file /memsize 256

After entering this command, the simulated mobile device boots. If no /memsize parameter is specified, the default is 64MB RAM.

2. Initially, the device has no network connectivity as shown below.

3. To enable network connectivity, click File / Configure. On the Emulator Properties window, click the Network tab. Check the box next to Enable NE2000 PCMCIA Network Adapter and bind to: Connected Network Card.

4. Though a connection has been made to the network card, internet connectivity may not work. If you cannot browse the internet within the mobile device, click Start / Settings / Connections / Advanced / Select Networks. Under Programs that automatically connect to the internet should connect using, choose My Work Network.

5. Test internet connectivity with IE. If successful, click Start / Programs / Activesync. Use the ActiveSync wizard to configure connectivity to your Exchange server.

6. Provided internet connectivity has been established and the Activesync settings are correct, the device will synchronize.

As you can see, the Microsoft Device Emulator 3.0 can be a very useful tool when testing or troubleshooting Activesync. Enjoy!