MobileMe and Outlook contacts: Invalid ENTRYID

Apple's MobileMe service has been through some troubled times since its launch in July, but they seem to have finally fixed a nasty problem which corrupted the Outlook address book.

Following the very first sync, Outlook contacts became unusable in emails. Hitting ctrl-k didn't autocomplete the names as you'd expect, and clicking on the To button brought up a list of names but no email addresses. Worst of all, right-clicking and requesting the properties of a contact from this list gave the following message:

 An invalid ENTRYID was passed in

 Recently a new version of the MobileMe control panel has been released, and the online support chat advice was as follows:

  • Install iTunes 8.0.1
  • Install new MobileMe control panel (this happened automatically on one of my PCs)
  • Reboot
  • Sign out of MobileMe
  • Sign back in

At this point all sync settings had been reset and the control panel showed that syncing wasn't enabled, so I would add a few extra steps:

  • Enable automatic syncing
  • Enable contacts
Control panel settings

There seemed to be some confusion about whether the computer could really have the same name as one already in use with this account:

 Computer Name Already Registered

I chose Use same name. Once this was dealt with and I hit Apply, there was a further question about how the sync should work. I selected replacing the data on the PC to get rid of all the broken ENTRYIDs (this choice only affects the first sync, not the regular merging which works in both directions):

 First Sync Alert

The Outlook contacts were then all wiped out, and the new ones now work perfectly in emails, in the To dialog, etc.

Despite all the criticism of MobileMe, the contacts sync now seems to work perfectly and, to me, will be well worth £59 a year when the perpetually-extending trial period finally ends in a few month's time.

I've never tried the calendar sync on MobileMe as I prefer the sharing functionality of Google Calendar - to sync this I use the completely awesome NuevaSync, which is totally free and highly recommended.

Published 05 October 2008 11:20 PM by jonsayce
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