Error 86000C29 blocking Windows Phones from Enterprise

imageWindows Phone 8 was meant to be the update which will allow Windows Phones to finally become first class citizens in enterprise, after Windows Phone 7 failed to meet up to even the iPhone in Exchange ActiveSync compatibility.

We have however been getting reports from readers that their phones refuse to sync with their employer’s Exchange server due to error 86000C29, and it appears to be all Microsoft’s fault.

Error 86000C29 is a message from the Exchange Server telling a client device they will not be allowed to sync due to Require Encryption on Storage Card policy being in place. While this is fair enough in devices with removable storage, even Windows Phone 8 handsets without removable storage, like the Nokia Lumia 920, will get this error.

Microsoft is fully aware of this issue, writing on their support pages:

The following example shows an issue with the current version of Windows Phone 8:
When the policy parameter Require Encryption on Storage Card is enabled, Windows Phone 8 devices misreport the presence of an SD card, even if the device has no SD card slot. The policy enforcement occurs, provisioning fails, and the device cannot be synchronized.

According to MSDN topic (RequireStorageCardEncryption) about the policy parameter, if the policy parameter is present but the device does not support removable storage, the parameter should be ignored, and the device should be able to synchronize.

The only work-around is to relax the security on the Exchange server by setting the policy Allow Non-provisionable Devices, something I think very few users will be able to convince the IT department to do.

It is somewhat amusing to see one department in Microsoft reporting a bug in a product by another department in Microsoft as if it is a 3rd party product, but rather less amusing when your expensive Windows Phone can not get your work email. Hopefully with Microsoft and Nokia trying to convince businesses Windows Phone is ready for work they will prioritize a fix for this annoying issue.

Thanks A2J for the tip.