Active Sync 4.1 (read: Active Stink)

I recently upgraded my Ipaq hx2410 pocketpc to Windows Mobile 5.

I didn’t want to have the same problem a collegue of mine had, which was that he had waited so long to upgrade his Pocket Loox from Windows 2002 to 2003se that he no longer could find the appropriate upgrade software.
The upgrade went well, but since then I’ve been unable to get Active Sync 4.1 running on my Windows XP (Service Pack 2) box at home and reinstall my pocketpc applications.

The only way so far to install them is to download them as .cab files from the internet and install them locally on the handheld. But of course, most apps aren’t available as .cab files.

Apparently, if you can get Active Sync to work on another machine, you can extract the .cab files from a temporary folder that AS puts them into when you install them. However, I don’t want to do this on another machine that is not my own, I want my applications to be on my box !

I’ve tried everything, going as far as uninstalling Microsoft Active Sync, uninstalling Zone Alarm, cleaning out the /Program Files/Microsoft Active Sync directory, cleaning out the registry and reinstalling Active Sync. Nothing, nada, zilch, nikske.
Nothing so far has worked, even though the pc seems to see the handheld – as when I put the handheld in the cradle, Active Sync activates its self and starts ‘Connecting’… forever. And I am not the only one looking for a solution.
It seems to be a networking issue.

[Update]

I finally, finally got it working, after two weeks of puttering about. The solution, of course, was really simple (in hindsight). Simply uninstalling my Cisco VPN client (which had refused to work anyway) resolved the problem and after a reboot my PDA was recognised toot-sweete ! Any vpn client installed looks at your network traffic and in this case seems to be the source of corruption.
Installing my apps at last !