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How to properly remove the Zimbra iSync Connector

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This entry is about the Zimbra iSync Connector, which is used to synchronize data from an iSync-compatible device and a Mac (plus other data stores, such as the computers associated with one's MobileMe account).

Instead of using the Zimbra iSync Connector, I had decided I wanted to use Zimbra's over-the-air notification system to keep my iPhone in sync. Since Zimbra and Apple have incorporated Microsoft's ActiveSync technology, I get email and calendar notifications, more-or-less instantly, without having to attach via USB; addresses are kept in sync this way, too. And since these two methods could compete against each other, I needed to remove the iSync Connector PreferencePane from my system.

Normally, just dragging PreferencePanes to the trash would do the trick—but this wasn't effective. Looking at /var/log/system.log, I was seeing lots of these entries on my Mac Pro running Mac OS X 10.5.5:

Sep 30 13:21:30 beterouge ZimbraHelper[336]: An uncaught exception was raised
Sep 30 13:21:30 beterouge ZimbraHelper[336]: *** -[NSPlaceholderString initWithString:]: nil argument
Sep 30 13:21:30 beterouge ZimbraHelper[336]: *** Terminating app due to uncaught exception 'NSInvalidArgumentException', reason: '*** -[NSPlaceholderString initWithString:]: nil argument'
Sep 30 13:21:30 beterouge ZimbraHelper[336]: Stack: (\n 2451677515,\n 2501561915,\n 2451676971,\n 2451677034,\n 2435643739,\n 52456,\n 72072,\n 9610,\n 9393\n)
Sep 30 13:21:30 beterouge com.apple.syncservices.SyncServer[229]: 2008-09-30 13:21:30.759 ZimbraHelper[336:10b] An uncaught exception was raised
Sep 30 13:21:30 beterouge com.apple.syncservices.SyncServer[229]: 2008-09-30 13:21:30.760 ZimbraHelper[336:10b] *** -[NSPlaceholderString initWithString:]: nil argument
Sep 30 13:21:30 beterouge com.apple.syncservices.SyncServer[229]: 2008-09-30 13:21:30.761 ZimbraHelper[336:10b] *** Terminating app due to uncaught exception 'NSInvalidArgumentException', reason: '*** -[NSPlaceholderString initWithString:]: nil argument'
Sep 30 13:21:30 beterouge com.apple.syncservices.SyncServer[229]: 2008-09-30 13:21:30.762 ZimbraHelper[336:10b] Stack: (
Sep 30 13:21:34 beterouge ReportCrash[342]: Formulating crash report for process ZimbraHelper[336]
Sep 30 13:21:35 beterouge ReportCrash[342]: Saved crashreport to /Users/nbfa/Library/Logs/CrashReporter/ZimbraHelper_2008-09-30-132130_beterouge.crash using uid: 501 gid: 20, euid: 501 egid: 20

The problem was, I couldn't find ZimbraHelper on my system, so I couldn't get rid of this "process" that was crashing; this binary was part of the Zimbra iSync Connector PreferencePane that I had deleted, and an exhaustive search on my system revealed no such file. I looked at the BOM file for the iSync Connector installer to see what else might have been installed, but everything was contained in the PrefPane exclusively. What was going on?

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