Troubleshooting & Resolving BlackBerry Activation Issues

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By Ahmed Datoo, VP marketing, Zenprise

Zenprise is partnering with BlackBerry Cool to address how to resolve some of the most common BlackBerry activation problems. Through a series of 10 articles, readers will learn how to identify key log file errors, tests and configurations critical to identifying the root cause of enterprise activation issues. The articles will explore common failures in the four unique stages of the activation process: stage 1 - activation, stage 2 - verifying encryption, stage 3 - receiving services, and stage 4 - slow synchronization process. Special thanks to Brian Bernard at RIM for providing the content for this troubleshooting series.

In this second article, Zenprise addresses a stage 1 activation problem where the BlackBerry device continues to display an error message, ?€œplease contact your system administrator.?€�

Stage 1: Activation

Issue 2 ?€“ There is a ?€œplease contact your systems administrator?€� error

The end user may experience the following obstacles during smartphone activation:

    1. The BlackBerry smartphone stops responding for 10 minutes and displays an ?€œactivating?€� status.
    2. The smartphone attempts the ?€œenterprise activation?€� process every 10 minutes and displays a ?€œretrying?€� status.
    3. After 40 minutes, the BlackBerry smartphone stops retrying and displays one of the following error messages:
    4. The server is not responding. Please contact your system administrator.
    5. An error has occurred. Please contact your system administrator.

There are several possible causes for this problem. Please find the reasons and corresponding resolutions below.

Cause 1

    1. The user?€™s account mailbox is full, or the messaging server cannot send or receive email messages.


  • Have the user try to send and receive an email message using the email application on the computer (for example, Microsoft®, Outlook® or IBM® Lotus Notes®)

Cause 2

    2. An incorrect email address was used to start the ?€œenterprise activation?€� process.


  • Have the user specify the correct email address and restart the ?€œenterprise activation?€� process.
  • From the home screen of the BlackBerry smartphone, the user can go to Options > Advanced Options > Enterprise Activation.
  • From the ?€œenterprise activation?€� screen, have the user type the primary SMTP email address in the Email field.
  • Have the user type the activation password in the Password field.
  • Have the user open the menu and select Activate.

Cause 3

    3. The password set in BlackBerry Manager was applied incorrectly.


  • Check if the password was applied correctly by closing BlackBerry Manager and then opening it again.
  • If the password was manually typed, confirm that the correct password is listed in the user?€™s properties. If the password is not present, verify that the Microsoft® SQL Server?„? permissions are correct.
  • Check for network connectivity issues on the Microsoft SQL Server, and confirm that you have the correct MDAC version.

Cause 4

    4. The ETP.dat message is deleted, modified or not accessible (Microsoft® Exchange only)
  • Email messages are sent to the BlackBerry user?€™s personal folder; therefore, the BlackBerry Enterprise Server cannot access the activation message (ETP.dat).
  • The ETP.dat activation message is deleted or modified by an anti-virus application or message blocking software.
  • The ETP.dat activation message is unaltered in the user?€™s inbox, but the BlackBerry Enterprise Server does not retrieve it.


  • To determine any changes with the ETP. dat message, send the BlackBerry smartphone user a blank .dat file from an external email address and have the user forward the file back.

Cause 5

    5. The ETP.dat message received two accounts.
  • If a user forwards email messages to a second BlackBerry smartphone user, the ETP.dat activation message is sent to both BlackBerry user accounts.
  • When the BlackBerry Enterprise Server scans all BlackBerry smartphone user mailboxes, it cannot determine which user is using the BlackBerry smartphone because the ETP.dat message was sent to two accounts.


  • Complete one of the following steps:
    1. o Remove the second user from the BlackBerry Enterprise Server. (When the first BlackBerry user completes the ?€œenterprise activation?€� process, add the second BlackBerry smartphone user to the BlackBerry Server again).
      o Before starting the ?€œenterprise activation process,?€� turn off ?€œmessage forwarding,?€� until the user completes the ?€œenterprise activation?€� process.

Cause 6

    6. One or more documents in the user?€™s profile database have a time stamp prior to when the account was added to BES (IBM® Lotus® Domino® only).


  • Complete one of the following steps:
    1. o Check for documents in the user?€™s profile database with a time stamp prior to when the account was added to BES.
      o If such documents exist,
    ?˜ remove the user account from BES,
    ?˜ delete the documents, and
    ?˜ add the user to BES again.

Cause 7

    7. The BlackBerry smartphone was incorrectly provisioned for enterprise service.


  • Contact the wireless service provider to verify that the correct services are provisioned.

Cause 8

    8. The user account was not created on the BlackBerry Enterprise Server.


  • Create the user account on the BlackBerry Enterprise Server.

Cause 9

    9. An activation password is missing.


  • Create an activation password.

For more information, please see an archived webinar around Troubleshooting the 10 Most Common Enterprise Activation Issues.

  • Henry Kosak
    have an American Verizon but work/live in Moscow/Russia. When I dial *228 to update the roaming - it's always busy. What is to do?
  • iskandar_ahmat (Iskandar Ahmat
    RT @BlackBerryCool: Troubleshooting Resolving BlackBerry Activation Issues
  • jpapejr (John Pape)
    RT @BlackBerryCool: Troubleshooting Resolving BlackBerry Activation Issues
  • cacildanc (Cacilda Nunes Casad
    RT @BlackBerryCool: Troubleshooting Resolving BlackBerry Activation Issues
  • BlackBerryCool (BlackBerry Coo
    Troubleshooting Resolving BlackBerry Activation Issues
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