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Windows Mobile 5 and Root Certificates

Posted on November 6, 2006

I was trying to get my Moto Q setup the other day to attach to my Exchange Server.  When I tried to synch, I discovered that I was receiving some sort of error which was a result of problems with the certificate on my server.

I didn't use certs on my server until a couple years ago, and at that time, it was more of a safety measure than anything, but it was also more of a hobby.  I wasn't going to buy the $500 certificate that VeriSign wants you to buy, instead, I purchased one through GoDaddy.com, my domain provider.

Well, it was cheap, but also was not at the root the Certificate Authority chain.  It works fine on Windows XP because XP ships with a boatload of root certificates already on the system.  Windows Mobile, limited by space, ships with a handful of the most popular root providers.

What if you're not on the list?  You have to import the root certificate on your device.  You would think it would be as easy as copying it down and clicking on it, but because of security measures in Windows Mobile 5, importing personal certificates is not permitted.

I did some research and found out that you have to use the SmartPhoneAddCert.exe utility available on Microsoft's website.  This utility does the the import for you in a few simple steps that I have documented.

About JB

I've been a technologist for over 20 years, getting my start in IT with a large Fortune 100 international retailer in the 1990s. I love to talk about new technology, mobile devices, software development, photography, and the weather.  The opinions expressed on this blog are my own.

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