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Notification Queue, fixing & cleaning HOWTO

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By sl9, Senior Member on 1st October 2007, 11:51 AM
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This is version 0.1 of a guide I am putting together about the Windows Mobile Notification Queue. I don't really know which forum to put this in, so mods feel free to move it if you feel that General is not the best place - thanks.

WARNING: Follow the advice below at your own risk! Backup your device first before trying any of this! Messing with the Notification Queue can stop Activesync and other software working permanently if you screw up, which only a hard reset can fix!!!

### Preface ###
After calendar reminders (and other notifications) stopped working again on my HTC Universal running WM5, I decided to do some research into this so-called "Notification Queue" and find out what each entry did, which were causing problems, and which ones could be safely deleted.
There is very little information out there regarding the notification queue (and a lot of misinformation), so I have gathered up what I could and hopefully this will be the only post you need to read if you are having problems with alarms/reminders/notifications/etc, or just want to do some spring cleaning to speed up your device.
The Notification Queue is present on all WM2003, WM2003SE, WM5, and WM6 devices - both PDA's as well as Pocket PC phones. I don't know about the Smartphone, I don't think MemMaid works on those devices anyway, can any Smartphone owners comment?
Its purpose is to basically run tasks and activate alarms/reminders at scheduled times, particularly when the device is in standby or low power mode.
The Notification Queue is the cause of many problems/bugs such as alarms/reminders not working, or alarms going crazy when the device is rebooted, etc. It does not cause anywhere near as many problems on WM6, but WM6 users may still benefit from this information.

### Tools you will need ###
DinarSoft MemMaid. The 15 day free trial will be enough, or you could buy it. Other software exists that will do the same thing, but this guide will focus only on MemMaid.
Also some backup software like SPB Backup!

Firstly: Install MemMaid, but don't open it just yet. Disconnect your device from your PC so that Activesync is not connected, then you should also properly close/kill ActiveSync with your task manager so that it doesn't interfere with the queue by frequently adding new repllog.exe entries (perhaps this is not required, but I think it is a good idea anyway).

Secondly: Now open MemMaid, and click on the second tab which should be the Notification Queue. This is where you need to be.

### Entries in the Notification Queue ###
Duplicates: The first thing you should do is press the "Find Duplicate" button, and remove all duplicate notifications. This is safe to do.

"Blank" entries: These appear to be blank, but when you select them, they have lots of seemingly random hex letters and numbers. These are left over from old failed ActiveSync connections, and should be deleted.

repllog.exe: These are all added by ActiveSync, and are necessary for it to work correctly. There should only be a few (like 3 or 4) entries in the queue, all of which look different from each other. You can only safely delete ONE type of them, which is the type at or near the top of the queue that looks like this: Argument: /sched /remote /h 01 October 2007 - 16:48:56. Delete any of this type that have dates/times in the past, but leave the future ones alone. And definitely leave the other repllog.exe entries alone that appear further down in the queue!

CALENDAR.EXE: Delete all of these, don't worry they will be re-added in the proper order later on. A backlog of these are what causes most problems.

\Windows\clock.exe: Same as CALENDAR.EXE - delete all of them. Also the cause of many problems. If you do find any of these, after deleting them you should then turn off all Alarms in Start->Settings->System->Clock & Alarms.

\\.\Notifications\NamedEvents\xxxxxx: The SCRIPT ones apparently relate to the flashing screen notification type for your device, but they don't seem to cause any harm and I don't know enough about them, so don't delete these.

CALNOT.EXE | \\Windows\calupd.exe | clocknot.exe: Leave these well alone, unless you have some with dates/times in the past (at or near the top in MemMaid) AND there are also others of the same type in your queue with dates/times in the future (in the middle or bottom). If this is the case, delete only the ones in the past. If in doubt, leave it alone, unless you have a backup and are feeling adventurous!

\\Windows\sddaemon.exe: This is the Smart dialer service. There should only be 1 of these entries after you cleaned the queue of duplicates earlier, so leave this alone.

There will probably be some other entries not mentioned here caused by software you have installed, leave these alone also unless you have good reason to think otherwise.

At this point if you scroll to the top of your Notification Queue, the first few entries should all have dates/times in the near future, and nothing else in the queue should have a date/time in the past. So you have cleaned your Notification Queue, and now you only have one last step to perform

### FINAL STEP (important) ###
You can now close MemMaid. Open up your favourite file explorer, the WM5 default one will do but personally I prefer Resco Explorer 2007. Navigate to the My Device\Windows\ directory. There are a LOT of files in here, so it may be a bit slow.
Now you need to execute each of the following 3 files, only once and in this order:
  • clocknot.exe
  • calnot.exe
  • calupd.exe
It will seem like nothing has happened once you execute each of these, as they all run in the background and are very small files.
Then, close Explorer and perform an ActiveSync connection with your PC to make sure your calendar entries are properly registered on your device.
Now you should wait at least 5-10 minutes for your changes to be saved by the operating system, then you can perform a soft reset and any notification-related problems you were having previously should all be gone! (and your device may be a little bit faster too)
 
 
3rd October 2007, 09:35 PM |#2  
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Hi sl9,

thank you for your post, I've found it very useful. I have frequent reminders problems on my Artemis and it's really pain for me to fight it almost every day and although I like my device I'm thinking of change it to other OS phone (Palm OS or Symbian) only because Microsoft don't care about clients.

I hope other users will add their tips in this threat so we could finally make our WM devices more stable and reliable.

For those who deleted to much from notification queue and their PDAs don't synchronize - there is "Recreate ActiveSync" feature in SKTools. I used it with good results so you could give it a try.
3rd October 2007, 10:29 PM |#3  
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i have a problem with a duplicate:

every time i softreset i have a new duplicate of tmail.exe. how can i avoid this?
8th October 2007, 10:39 AM |#4  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by varvocel

For those who deleted to much from notification queue and their PDAs don't synchronize - there is "Recreate ActiveSync" feature in SKTools. I used it with good results so you could give it a try.

Good advice, but if you follow this HOWTO correctly then it won't break ActiveSync. The repllog.exe entries are required by ActiveSync to work so just don't delete those (although you can safely delete 1 type of repllog.exe entry - see above)

Quote:
Originally Posted by LordDeath

i have a problem with a duplicate:

every time i softreset i have a new duplicate of tmail.exe. how can i avoid this?

tmail.exe is Pocket Outlook, sounds like your version may be a little buggy. What OS are you using, WM2003(SE), WM5 or WM6? There is no tmail.exe entry on my HTC Universal running WM5. Check your Windows\Startup directory in file explorer, and if there is more than 1 entry of anything (especially anything that looks like tmail or outlook) then just delete the duplicate. What does this notification look like exactly, is there any other text besides "tmail.exe"?
8th October 2007, 02:08 PM |#5  
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Try SKtool Lite. Free and good to clean Notification Queues
8th October 2007, 02:24 PM |#6  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sl9

Good advice, but if you follow this HOWTO correctly then it won't break ActiveSync. The repllog.exe entries are required by ActiveSync to work so just don't delete those (although you can safely delete 1 type of repllog.exe entry - see above)

Yes, I know that. Maybe I should write: if you unintentionally delete...

Quote:

tmail.exe is Pocket Outlook, sounds like your version may be a little buggy. What OS are you using, WM2003(SE), WM5 or WM6? There is no tmail.exe entry on my HTC Universal running WM5.

On my Artemis with WM6 there is no tmail.exe in NQ too, although I'm sure I saw this entry (maybe before upgrading to WM6).
8th October 2007, 02:29 PM |#7  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sian

Try SKtool Lite. Free and good to clean Notification Queues

You could even buy full version. It's not so expensive and has unlimited free upgrades. They have unbelievable support. I wrote them 2 times and they send me advices after couple hours (last time it was Sunday

Good luck
8th October 2007, 02:45 PM |#8  
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Question Do you know what notification is this?
After soft reset I have always duplicates notifications (logs from SKTools):

Application: {635A02A8-E099-4E88-8797-2DDD7119C909}
Notify Type: 2
Event Status: 0
Event Type: 0
Arguments: (none)

Application: {635A02A8-E099-4E88-8797-2DDD7119C909}
Notify Type: 1
Event Status: 0
Event Type: 1
Arguments: (none)

Anybody knows from where are these entries?
Thanks
8th October 2007, 05:57 PM |#9  
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my ppc has windows mobile 6 with aku 0.3.0. i have looked a bit more:

a new tmail.exe duplicate is left into the notifcation queue every time, when my device automatically sends/receives mail for my pop3 gmail account. it was set to do it once a day and i changed it to manually and now i have no tmail.exe entries anymore.

but i have a new question:

i have five alarms for every day from monday until friday.
for each of this alarms i get a queue entry with "windows\clock.exe" and the correct time. so i have 5 queue entries for clock.exe.
but what does happen, when one of these alarm is ringing and i press "dismiss"? should it create a new entry for the same day in the next week immediately or does it leave only 4 entries in my queue?
because on my ppc it acts like in the last example:
the last time i deleted and added my alarms was last week on wednesday. so last week's thursday, friday and this week's monday is already gone. thuesday and wednesday from this week are left over and so i have only these two alarms in my notification queue.

will my ppc create new entries for the next week, if all the current alarms have been done, or should a new one be created immediately after an alarm has rung/rang/ringed, no idea ?
did you understand, what i mean? i ask it, because i don't know if my ppc has a bug or if it is working right.
8th October 2007, 06:06 PM |#10  
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I've setup SKtools to clean notification Queue every night while I sleep and so far my morning alarm has gone off as it should.

Embarrasing how M$ can deliver an os that can't even work reliably as an alarm clock...

(WM6 on Tytn)
8th October 2007, 06:28 PM |#11  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jompao

I've setup SKtools to clean notification Queue every night while I sleep and so far my morning alarm has gone off as it should.

I do the same, but there is one problem with this method - when NQ is corrupt SKTools will never run, because it is never called... On the other hand, when I've spoken with SK Software support yesterday they've told me they observed "not working reminders" problem only when there are about 100 bad entries in NQ, so cleaning it one a day should be enough.
Jompao - do you often use recurring reminders, have you third party today plug-ins like Pocket Breeze or SPB Diary? And how long have you your device?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jompao

Embarrasing how M$ can deliver an os that can't even work reliably as an alarm clock...

I agree 100%. I'm sure people using Windows Mobile devices have significantly often heart attacks then others
Truly speaking I was seeking Symbian device for me only because NQ problems...
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