Cingular 3G Wireless issue (and solution)

So, there you are, happy with your Cingular 3G Wireless service, using the Cingular Communications manager with you Sierra Wireless AirCard 875 PC Card and then it happens.  You boot up like you normally do, and your greeted with:

Initial Error message

“Warning! There are duplicate profiles contained in this file.  All duplicate profiles wil be imported with (n) appended to the profile name, where n is the number of items with the same name.  Do you still want to continue with this operation?”

So, your not paniced, everything is fine.  Just click “Yes” and be on your way.

Maybe this is an issue you have?  If so, you are probably not interested with a long protracted story.  So, I’m going to cut to the solution, and then explain everything I tried and the troubles I went through.

Solution

Use Sierra Wireless’s 3G Watcher instead of Cingular’s Communications Manager.  You can download it from: www.sierrawireless.com/support/

Click on your card, in my case the AirCard 875 PC Card.

At the  bottom, there is the “Software Downloads” section.  Step 1 is to select your carrier.  For me, Cingular. 

Step 2 is to select language (English)

Step 3 is to Select Platform (Notebook)

Click “Next>”

The top section is the firmware update.  You do not want this.  You want the link at the bottom for the Sierra Wireless Watcher Software.

Click “here”.  Then click “Download Now” at the top.

Install. 

And now you have the Sierra 3G Watcher running

 

Sierra Wireless 3G Watcher

 

Now just uninstall Cingular Communication Manager, and you should be on your way!

On with the story

So, it took me a while to realize I had a “problem”, sure I could not connect, but hey, I used to be in tech support, I could figure this out.

After selecting “Yes”, I get presented with the main screen:

Main Screen with No Default profile

Notice it says “No default profile selected.”

Not  problem, I’ll just go into profiles and make one of them default.  Here is my list of profiles:

Profiles Screen

Notice something weird.  There are no profiles.  One moment I have a message about duplicates, next moment I don’t have any.  (There aren’t any hidden.  See, no plus boxes next to GSM or Wi-Fi.)

Not a problem, really, I’ll “Add” a profile.

I go through the wizard:

Add Profiles Step 1 … … Last step of Add Profile

 But you know what is wierd?  When I was returned back to the Profiles screen, this is what I saw:

Profiles screen after Add Profile

No profiles.  But hey, didn’t I just add one?

Ok.  That’s fine, I’ll uninstall and reinstall.

Same problem. (Tried clicking “No” on that first message this time too 🙂 )

Ok, fine, I’ll uninstall, delete any cingular related files and registry entries.  So, I go through the cingular communications manager uninstall process, then I search the file system for Cingular and delete anything that looks related, then search the registry for Cingular and delete anything there that looks related.  I’m on a mission!  I’m going to delete those duplicate profiles!

Still, I have the same problem.

Ok, I must be missing something.  Isn’t there a registry monitoring tool that I can get?  Search google for monitor Registry.    First Link: RegMon for Windows v7.04 www.microsoft.com/technet/sysinternals/utilities/Regmon.mspx

Then I notice there is also a link to FileMon to show you what files and directories a program is accessing, so I download that too: www.microsoft.com/technet/sysinternals/utilities/filemon.mspx

Too much was being accessed, and it really didn’t help, except I noticed there was a hidden folder in my profile called “application data”.  It is usually located at C:\documents and settings\\application data.    In there was a folder called “cingular” with a “communications manager” folder in that.  I thought, I got you now!

To be sure, I also changed explorer to show hidden folders and files did another search for cingular, deleted everything, did the same in the registry too. 

Ok, I’m good now!  I reinstall… same problem.  Ok, time to call in backup.

I call the 1-800 number for support.  It wants my cell phone number before it will do anything.  I only use this for wireless internet access, so I don’t know it.  I look and look, finally find a bill.  Now, I’m good to call.

I call up and press the right options for technical help.  I get a lady on the phone that sounds more like an account rep than a tech person.  It has nothing to do with her being a lady, there is a difference between the way a tech person sounds and a non-tech person.  A tech person always seems to have an “attitude” like “Can’t you see I was just working on a problem, why do you need help?” or “What can I do to help this poor user?”  No, this person sounded like somebody about to make a sell.  She would make you feel that you were important regardless of what she really thought.

So, I said to myself, stop sterotyping, and I start explaing everything that happened above.  She listened patiently until I got to the end and said that unfortunately that was another department and she would connect me. 

First she was going to connect me to the ANS department.  Don’t know what it stands for, and I asked.  She came back on the line and said that actually wasn’t it and transfered me to another department.

I talked to Christopher from some tech group that was not ANS at Cingular.  I explained my problem and he asked if I had done a clean uninstall.  Just to be sure I understood what he meant, I asked and was supprised by the answer.  There is a program that completely uninstalls the Communications manager:  tinyurl.com/qhtno

tried that, and got the latest communications manager install:

business.cingular.com/businesscenter/solutions/wireless-laptop/software.jsp#comm-mgr

ran, reboot, ran, reboot, tried… same problem.
Then Chris walked me through creating a profile.  Then through manually deleting the profile in the applicaiton data folder I mentioned above.
Finally he tells me about the 3G watcher.
So, that’s the scoop.  I hoped this helped some disconnected soul!

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