Troubleshooting MobileMe Calendar Syncing

I spent a hefty hunk of my weekend swearing at MobileMe and iCal. This obscenity was doled out because, try as I might, I simply couldn't make the contents of iCal and MobileMe's cloud-based Calendar component display the same calendars and events.

From iCal I deleted the many extraneous calendars I'd created for testing purposes, reset sync data within the MobileMe system preference, told that same system preference to replace any calendar data on MobileMe with the calendar data on my computer, and the end result was an iCal application with four calendars and a MobileMe page with 12.

After rinsing and repeating several times and while glaring at my computer, up pops Conflict Resolver, telling me that I have 4,500 conflicts.

Swell.

Because I was ready for a different flavor of frustration, I started resolving conflicts. Conflict Resolver complained that I had different information not only in the Apple applications and MobileMe, but also in Plaxo, Entourage, BusySync, and Contactizer Pro.

And then my spidey sense started tingling as this seemed to broadly hint that even though I'd cleared out iCal, MobileMe was pulling data from additional sources--one or more of those applications and services that also had access to my contact and calendar information.

Rather than spend the rest of my "free time" trying to sort out exactly which arcane component on my junked up Mac was causing the problem, I resolved to just make it work. And here's how I went about it.

1. Exported all the calendars I wanted to sync with MobileMe by selecting each in turn and choosing File -> Export.

2. Copied these calendars to my laptop, which is untouched by other utilities that access event data, and imported the calendars into iCal.

3. Opened the MobileMe system preference on the laptop. Clicked Advanced, clicked Reset Sync Data in the sheet that appeared, chose Calendars from the pop-up menu that appears in the Sync Direction sheet, clicked the right arrow--which indicates that any data on MobileMe should be replaced by the data on this computer--and clicked Replace.

4. After waiting for the sync to conclude, I traveled to my MobileMe page and clicked the Calendar entry. Sure enough, my calendar data was in sync with my laptop.

5. I returned to my desktop Mac--the one tainted by the various syncing applications--and opened its MobileMe system preference. Again, I reset the sync data for that machine, and instructed the preference to replace the calendar data on my Mac with the contents of MobileMe.

6. By gum, it worked.

Lesson possibly learned: Sync from a clean machine or, perhaps, a clean account.

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