There is no single cause/cure for this one. Before you read articles from http://www.google.com/search?&q=TROUBLESHOOTING+ACTIVESYNC the MOST COMMON cause I'm running into is people who ran Windows Update and accepted a DRIVER from Microsoft.
Tip? Microsoft doesn't do drivers.
Well it was working. Its almost new. I downloaded an upgrade to activesync from Microsoft but don't know if that's the problem.
I tried the recommended reset of the ipaq. I tried reinstalling the activsyc program from the web site. Maybe I'll delete it again and try to reload it from the mfr's disk. Thanks for any ideas.