It is quite useful and handy to synchronize SQL replicated databases through the Windows Synchronization Manager. You simply click the Sync Manager / Click Microsoft SQL Server / Right-click the desired subscription to synchronize and click Sync. Easy and great!
Annoying problems appear in some particular cases. I encountered one of these cases when I had an orphaned subscription (i.e. a subscription that doesn't have any more a declared publication). This may happen when, for instance, the publisher server doesn't exist anymore… or when the publication had been deleted in some circumstances.
The annoyance is that in this case, Windows Sync Manager continues to display the orphaned subscription and you have no means to delete it as this requires contacting the publisher which may not exist anymore and/or deleting the subscription from a publication which may not exist either!.
At this phase, you indeed have little choices… the most reasonable would be to leave this orphaned subscription displayed and simply ignore it (though a little frustratingJ)… That was what I did until I found some time to dig through (little information, if any, is available on this):
I ended up by finding that Windows Synchronization Manager reads the list of its displayed subscriptions in the registry key:
HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL10.INSTANCE\Replication\Subscriptions
(MSSQL10.INSTANCE is the SQL version and instance of the subscriber server… which, in the figure below, is MSSQL10.SQL2008).
The subscriptions node contains one key per subscription with required synchronization settings.
I simply deleted the key related to the orphaned subscription. To avoid Windows mysteries, I also restarted the machineJ. That now works as I would like. (Craftsmanship again!)