Blackberry 0x80040fb3 error, fixed

Hey all,

I had immense trouble migrating all my stuff from my old Treo 680 to my new Blackberry Bold, especially with syncing my contacts and calendar. Kept getting that annoying 0x80040fb3 error.

Well, after literally spending hours surfing the web, I finally found a solution. Just thought I’d share it with you all, because I know a lot of people have had trouble with this.

Situation: When syncing your Outlook with your Blackberry, the sync process stops halfway through saying “Error Encountered 0x80040FB3, Check Documentation”.

The Actual Problem: Blackberry doesn’t like the attachments in your contacts list or calendar entries (or both). What attachments? Photos (profile pictures) in your contact list, and attachments in your calendar events.

Solution: When you search error code 0x80040FB3 online, everyone will refer you to this not-so-helpful Blackberry support article [Link 1]. This will tell you to modify a few system files in your Blackberry folder to enable error logging, obtain the logs, stick them in an email, and then “send the email message to your technical support representative so that the synchronization log files can be analyzed.”

Link 1: www[dot]blackberry[dot]com/btsc/ 818&sliceId=SAL_Public&dialogID=189220282&stateId= 1%200%20189216933

Riiiight. Not helpful. Here’s what I did instead:

Photo Removal:

Thankfully I only had a few contacts with photos so I found them on Outlook and deleted them straight. If you have lots of contacts with photos or can’t remember which contacts have photos, well things get a little trickier.

Two solutions I found online include: 1) exporting and reimporting your contacts list [Link 2]; 2) doing that whole logging thing I mentioned above, finding the finding the “corrupt” entries, deleting them, and recreating them [Link 3]. I started going through the second method here (the first one seemed kinda messy) but stopped as soon as I realized it was just the photos in my contacts that were the problem.

Link 2: www[dot]blackberryforums[dot]com/rim-software/137009-help-dm-sync-error-0x80040fb3.html#post1182052]

Link 3: forums[dot]crackberry[dot]com/f5/pearl-shows-error-code-0x80040fb3-during-synch-10653/#post191888

Calendar Event Attachment Removal:

This one I found much more tricky, and there’s a lot less advice on the Net about this one. I use Outlook 2007 to manage my calendar so the following steps apply to that version, although I imagine similar principles apply in Outlook 2003.

To find out which events have attachments:

1. Open your Calendar in Outlook.

2. Click View > Current View > Events

3. Click View > Current View > Customize Current View

4. Click Filter… > the More Choices tab > select the “Only items with:” and set it to “one or more attachments”.

5. Click OK > OK, and you should be able see the problematic events now.

When I did this, I had 150+ events with mysteriously hidden attachments that I couldn’t find. I’m guessing it’s something to do with faulty Palm – Outlook Hotsync conduits.

To remove the attachments without deleting the actual events, I found a neat VB macro someone posted on experts-exchange [Link 4]. I got desperate and signed up for the 7-day free trial to see the VB code, but everyone else’s benefit the relevant instructions are here:

Link 4: www[dot]experts-exchange[dot]com/Hardware/Handhelds_-_PDAs/Blackberry/Q_23485790.html

1. Start Outlook

2. Click Tools->Macro->Visual Basic Editor

3. If not already expanded, expand Microsoft Office Outlook Objects and click on Module1

4. Copy the code from the Code Snippet box and paste it into the right-hand pane of Outlook’s VB Editor window

5. Edit the code as needed. I included comments wherever something needs to or can change

6. Click the diskette icon on the toolbar to save the changes

7. Close the VB Editor

8. Close Outlook

9. Start Outlook

10. Select the appointments with attachements

11. Run the macro*

*You may need to fidget with your security settings here to enable macros. Try fishing around Tools > Trust Center, and reopening Outlook as the administrator.

Macro below:


Sub RemoveAttachments()

Dim olkItem As Object, intIndex As Integer

For Each olkItem In Application.ActiveExplorer.Selection

For intIndex = olkItem.Attachments.Count To 1 Step -1





Set olkItem = Nothing

End Sub

After doing this I re-ran my blackberry sync and it sailed through smoothly (YES!). Btw, after doing all this you’ll need to put your calendar views back to normal. For that, just go back into “View > Current View > Customize Current View” and hit the reset button. Then go to “Click View > Current View > Day/Week/Month (or whatever setting you like)”.

Anyway, after all my hours of frustration I figured I would type this out to save everyone else the same trouble. Hope this helps!


~ by jeditopcat on 1 October, 2010.

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