Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002

MSN Typo

XP SP2 is up and running, and seems fine so far. The popup blocker in IE is enabled by default and it works as well as Firefox’s does. The new wireless networking screen is a welcome addition, as is the “Security Center”, and the improved firewall is good although I won’t be ditching ZoneAlarm just yet. I also got a popup warning that I had no virus scanner – I do, it’s just that Windows didn’t pick it up – but it’s nice that MS is encouraging people to install one. Overall, I’m impressed with the improvements.

The only problem I’ve had, which may or may not be linked to the update, is that MSN Messenger isn’t working. I am downloading some updates in the background so it’s possible that there’s insufficient bandwidth available. But the error given amused me:

You cannot use Messenger at this time because your contact list is not availalbe. Please try again later.
Click Help to learn more about your contact list 0x81000378

Yes, that was a typo – here’s the actual dialog.

Update: Despite the comments below, I’m pretty sure this isn’t an issue with SP2 or the latest version of the MSN client – see this post for further details.

Update II: Today (31st March) it appears that many more are affected by this problem. It appears it’s a problem at the server end, and there doesn’t seem to be anything that can be done about it, other than wait for Microsoft to fix it. Trillian still seems to be working so you may like to use that instead.

45 Comments

  1. Actually i think its msn being hosed again. At the moment I’m allegedly the only one of my contacts online even though I know for a fact thats not true

  2. That’s hot. 🙂

  3. Windows XP Service Pack 2

    There’s a nice review of XP Service Pack 2 over on Neil’s blog. I’ll probably be upgrading to SP2 next time I boot into Windows but seeing as thats becoming less and less regular these days i’m not sure how…

  4. I opened my MSN on Saturday last (20Mar2004) and it said there was an update available. So I said, do it !. No errors. No problems until on Sunday when I had to start MSN again and lo and behold I got the identical message. I went to http://www.hotmail.com and signed in there and I could access MSN from there, no problems. My MSN is now at 6.1.0211.Loading the update was certainly involved in my case.

  5. I have done the same upgrade and I receive this message. But when I try with a another login as my default login, it works. On another computer, it’s the same problem. I think that it’s a problem with the login used during the update.
    In case of any solutions I’m listening
    good luck

  6. I haven’t upgraded to SP2 and had the same issue this am. MSN indicates they’re not having any issues with their service (http://messenger.msn.com/Status.aspx?product=wm). I did get a message when signing into hotmail that indicated my contacts had been updated to include my MSN accounts so I’m guessing this upgrade is the issue. After letting my contacts be updated I tried this and it seems to have worked. 1. Open Tools, 2. Open Options, 3. Click on Connections Tab, 4. Click OK with-out changing anything. Then try to log in.

  7. plz help about msn mesenger 6.1
    0x81000378

  8. I have the same problem with messenger but I do not have SP2 installed so maybe there is something else happening
    greetz

  9. i think this is an MSN problem, the service is just overloaded. After a while i was able to login.

  10. I tried this and it worked thanks Michael…
    1. Open Tools,
    2. Open Options,
    3. Click on Connections Tab,
    4. Click OK with-out changing anything.
    Then try to log in.

  11. I’d like to confirm hoadzman’s tip; worked for me in MSN Messenger 6.1. For the first time in several days, I managed to connect.

  12. I used the 6.1.0207
    I had this problem for several days.
    I’ve tried hoadzman’s tip. It doesn’t fix the bug.
    I’ve dowloaded the last release 6.1.0211.
    It solves the problem.

  13. Go with Steph. Hoadzman’s fix doesn’t always work, while downloading the latest release (6.1.0211) was money. At 6.42 MBs, I wish I found a way to update instead of reinstall. Boo 6.1.0207

  14. I lied. I updated to 6.1.0211 and it ran fine, but as soon as I disconnected and tried to reconnect, I got the same error. So, it seems like the download may be a very temporary fix. Now I’m stuck, because neither fix posted works for me. I’m going to play troubleshooter right now… if I work out a fix, I’ll let y’all know.

  15. That was difficult. As soon as I shut down Yahoo Messenger, I could connect. So, either Yahoo Messenger messes with MSN, or MSN has some sporadic downtime

  16. I only have MSN messenger installed … so in my case it can not be Yahoo messing with msn.
    It amazes my anyway that if you do a search on this problem ony this site pops up (great for this site of course) but does this means that only a few have any problem?

  17. I have had this same problem ever since I upgraded to the latest version of messenger (6.1.0211). None of the suggestions posted here have worked so far, but now I think I’ve solved the problem.
    I logged into my passport.com account and then once I was logged in there tried to connect with messenger and was logged in successfully, no problems. Even after signing out of my passport.com account, all my messenger logins have been successful. This same fix has worked for my colleague using a hotmail account.
    I think that it’s a problem because the latest release updates contacts in all locations and so you must login in to your account in all locations in order to sync the info. This is just my theory.
    Hope it works for all of you!

  18. I’ve been frustrated with inconsistent connections to MSN Messenger 6.1.0211 over the past several days. (Although I can’t think of any event that changed anything in MY system.) This morning (March 24, 2004) after several unsuccessful connection attempts, I logged in at passport.com, then immediately tried to log in on MSN Messenger and IT WORKS!! I only hope it’s consistent.

  19. I’ve been frustrated with inconsistent connections to MSN Messenger 6.1.0211 over the past several days. (Although I can’t think of any event that changed anything in MY system.) This morning (March 24, 2004) after several unsuccessful connection attempts, I logged in at passport.com, then immediately tried to log in on MSN Messenger and IT WORKS!! I only hope it’s consistent.

  20. I’ve been having this problem for the past couple of days, and like others, this was the only site/page I could find dealing with this.
    When I finally got to SB Soule and Raven’s comments, I went to passport.com and signed in, and I was (finally, immediately) able to log into Messenger for the first time in a couple of days.
    Odd that this hasn’t made it into the MSDN knowledge base yet.

    Grim

  21. ok so i got this error too. last night everything was ok but this morning i waked up and tryed to log into msn and that error pops up. i haven`t updated anything, xp or msn. i tried your hints but nothing worked. then i went to http://www.hotmail.com and tryed to login from there, that was ok, clicked on contact lists and.. “Your Contacts are temporarily unavailable. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. ”
    this sux :\

  22. Hi!
    I’ve the same problem, I tried your fixs, I entered in passport.com and hotmail.com too, but I still can’t use my mns messenger.. Someone helps me!
    I confirm that I just can’t access from my account, the one I was using when I updated it to 6.1.0211 version. My brother can enter with his account…
    I uninstalled that version, I reinstalled the 6.1.0207 but doesn’t work.
    Any idea?
    Thanks in advance:)

  23. Hi!
    I’ve the same problem, I tried your fixs, I entered in passport.com and hotmail.com too, but I still can’t use my mns messenger.. Someone helps me!
    I confirm that I just can’t access from my account, the one I was using when I updated it to 6.1.0211 version. My brother can enter with his account…
    I uninstalled that version, I reinstalled the 6.1.0207 but doesn’t work.
    Any idea?
    Thanks in advance:)

  24. I’ve tried your fixs too, but always the same error … 🙁

  25. Same issue here..
    This only happened today for me 30/03/04.
    What the hell is going on. My laptop still works.

  26. Hey,
    Another one…same is happening to me. Yesterday I had no problems logging in, started today, keep getting the same message. I tryed all your suggestions, but none of them seem to help…any more ideas?
    Marloes

  27. hey! i keep getting that error message under one log-in name(email) but when i try under another name it works…weird huh?! it sucks cos the one i use the most is the one that isnt working now… 🙁

  28. Hey,
    Same thing happend to me. I am always logged into MSN so when I used MSN at another place, and got back, the first thing it told me was “You have logged in from another place, therefore you’ve been disconnected” [or something like that]. and when I try to connect to MSN from home, it gives me the very same error.
    I agree with “Allison” to an extent, it takes a while for the contacts to reach MSN’s server [God knows where that is!] since I used MSN from another system, and so I guess we’ll just have to wait for this to happen. All the people who posted here that logging into websites [hotmail, passport etc.] made MSN work for them, simply waited for a while and in the meantime MSN was able to get the contact info [whether it’s updated or not] back to “Available” Status and then they were able to use MSN. I wonder if we can sue MICROSOFT for this ?
    P.S: I called up a few friends of mine and made them log into MSN through my computer and it worked for them ! [when it didn’t work for me]

  29. …and if you looked at “Chitara”‘s post [the one above mine] you’ll see that s/he mentions that one of his/her Id’s worked whilst the other didn’t. So it just means that we have to wait and watch.

  30. Getting same error mesage that i cannot log on as contact list is not available.On same pc i am able to log on to another id.This is as fishy and mysterious as it can be.
    No word about it from micro$oft either.
    Anyone knows whats up?

  31. I’ve got exactly the same problems, tried a lot lot of things, but no solution so far. I hope anybody can help me!!

  32. same thing happening here, started a few hours ago. I tried all the above suggestions with no luck. I checked the corresponding hotmail account and under contacts i notice there is now a seperate messenger group with a link via hotmail to log onto messenger. I dont remember that being there. Maybe thats the problem..microsoft are trying something new and dumb?

  33. i also got the same pop up, tried to log in to passport.com then sign in but to no avail. but my both cousin can log in withour this problem. while all my three account got this pop up. Anybody can help?

  34. The same problem is going on with me. Tried a lot of above options. But leading all in vain. Do any one have come up with this solution. Pl do help.

  35. anyone who is in a country where microsoft hotline is still open? please help to call them… its night for me here.. so it already closed

  36. I just clicked on help on that pop up message re the contact list and yeah microsoft have now incorporated all contacts from messenger and hotmail together. Why do they have to “####” around with stuff????
    I’d say thats causing the error.

  37. Same errors here. Tried all the ‘fixes’ – none work.
    This sure is annoying >:/

  38. Hey there, i had this problem all day… I had it before with previous versions but it only lasted for few minutes and then i was able to log on, but not this time…i’ve been trying for over 5 hours…nothing. This has got nothing to do with your pc or the version of MSN. This is a microsoft problem and we just have to wait untill they’ve done with it. This is another sign of how wank microsoft is, bill gates is the antichrist…
    cheers
    dude

  39. The annoying thing is that this is now happening to me, 2 weeks after the initial pass!

  40. this has been going on for 2 weeks with u andy?…..bl##dy hell. They are hopeless. If it aint broke dont fix it…have they not learnt that yet????

  41. It’s unbelievable! I’m so far away from you and having the same problem. I don

  42. Same happens to me, I tried all the wierd things that you said but nothings works, I can`t login with mi account but others account on the lastest MSN yes. It`s a really f*_u*_c*_k problem.
    Please someone contact MS people to fix this ……….
    Me

  43. can anyone help me to fix this problem???
    contact me at vanpicasso@hotmail.com

  44. Hmpf, the ‘fixes’ mentioned above aren’t working here either. 🙁

  45. Microsoft are aware of the issue, and are working to resolve it.