Solving Messenger install, reinstall and uninstall issues with ZapMessenger

For users of Windows Live Messenger 2011 and 2012:
Please note that ZapMessenger 1.0 is not compatible with Windows Live Messenger (or Essentials) 2011 or 2012.  No damage will result if you have tried to do use the utility, but due to a substantial change in how Messenger installs itself, ZapMessenger will not work.  An updated version is almost ready, but I am looking for testers who can directly report back on if it was successful in solving their problem.  If you’re interested in helping out, please leave a comment below!

A regular issue faced is the dreaded “Another version of the product is already installed”, “Your computer has a newer version of MSN Messenger than the one you are trying to install”, ““Your computer has a newer version of Windows Live Messenger than the one you are trying to install”, “The feature you are trying to use is on a network resource that is unavailable” and similar messages.

Additionally, in some cases the installer can’t be found in the Control Panel’s Programs applet or has become damaged with a  Catastrophic failure (0x8000ffff) error or the Windows Installer is prompting for a missing .msi file which you can’t find anymore.

There are fixes for all these problems, but they’re complicated and can be frustrating to some people.

The fix
With all this in mind, I developed ZapMessenger – the one step tool to completely remove Windows Live Messenger, MSN Messenger and Windows Messenger 5.x.  The first thing ZapMessenger will do is attempt to cleanly uninstall Messenger normally and if that fails for any reason, it will forcibly remove Messenger from the Windows Installer engine allowing you to reinstall at your leisure without hindrance.

How to use
To use ZapMessenger, just download the zip and run the executable.  No installation is required.   Please note that the .NET Framework 2.0 or above is required, which you can install from Microsoft if you don’t already have it.  The Framework has been on Windows Update for quite some time and is included in Vista by default, so more than likely it is already installed.

Common questions
Will this remove any of my personal customizations – emoticons, display pictures, etc.?
No, currently ZapMessenger deals with the application itself – your personal data will remain and won’t be touched.  I am considering adding this an option to future releases for those looking to do a complete “clean” install.

I get a “.NET Framework Initialization Error” or “The application failed to initialize properly (0xc0000135). Click on OK to terminate the application” when I run ZapMessenger
You’ll need to install at least the 2.0 .NET Framework on your machine.

Version history
11/19/2008  1.0.0.0 Initial release

Posted on November 19, 2008, in Messenger Tools. Bookmark the permalink. 90 Comments.

  1. I have uninstall Windows Live 2011 – or I thought and tried to reinstall 2009 – now I am getting the error that I have a newer version on the computer and cannot proceed with the download. What do I do from here? Thanks!

    • Greetings Teresa. Please see the Messenger Reviver page for instructions and the tool on how to get around this problem.

      • Hi Jonathan – thank you for your quick response. I tried the link but it gave me an error – “Messenger could not be found at it’s default location.” Just to clarify – I downloaded Windows 2011 – deleted it and trying to download 2009 but it’s not allowing me too as it’s saying I still have a newer version. Also off the wall question but you seem rather computer smart – when clicking on link in internet explorer I am given blank white pages – any clue? I have tried several things without any luck. Thanks!

      • Hello, again – I sort of fixed my problem but created another. I was able to sign on once but when I tried to again it gave me this error, ” MSN has stopped working.. looking for a solution… Windows will close and notify you if there is a solution.” Any clue?

        • Well that could be just about anything I’m afraid, it would be helpful to know exactly what you did/used to get it working (I’m assuming you forced 2009 to install somehow)?

  2. Hi! I’m sorry if my english it’s bad, I’m portuguese. So, I have a problem and I need some help ;\ I use the windows live messenger 2009 but I’d like to update to version 2011 but I can’t, I can’t uninstall windows live messenger 2009 and I have tried to install windows live messenger 2011 and I couldn’t too, bcause during the installation it ocurred an error. Then I’ve tried to use your program and I have the same problem as some users, It says: “this may take a few minutes” but in reality it never ends ;s what should I do? Thank you, I’ll be waiting for an answer,

    • Greetings Ana. The problem might not even be related to 2009, I’ll have to see your Windows Live Essentials setup error log to really see what’s going on with your installation and how to address it.

      I’ve sent you an e-mail with instructions on where to find the file so you can attach it in a reply to me.

  3. THIS PROGRAM IS TOTALLY USELESS, IT DOES NOTHING AND TAKES FAR TOO LONG. WHAT A WASTE OF TIME WHEN PEOPLE LIKE YOU PUT THESE USELESS PROGRAMS ON HERE

    • YEAH TOTALLY. IT’S NOT LIKE YOU’VE FAILED TO READ THE MESSAGE AT THE TOP OF THE PAGE INDICATING THAT THE TOOL IS OUT OF DATE.

      But seriously, what exactly are you trying to accomplish or fix? I’d be happy to let you give my newer version that isn’t linked here a try too.

  4. Hi, is there any new version of the Zap tool?
    I want to remove my WLM 2011 completely and install the 2009 version using the Reviver.

    • Greetings Symphony. Yes there is in fact. It’s not polished yet enough for mass public use, but it’s fully usable and fully functional. I’ve sent you the link to it by e-mail.

      • Thank you!
        It detected quite a bunch of Windows Live products, some of which I didn’t even know they were installed. What exactly is MSVCRT and D3DX10? Doesn’t the second one have something to do with DirectX?
        And another question.. If I remove WLM 2011 with the tool and install the 2009 version afterwards, will all my custom emoticons disappear as well? Or is there a way to keep them?

        • Thanks for testing that out🙂 Live Essentials 2011 and 2012 have crazy dependencies which is what took me so long to create ZapEssentials.
          MSVCRT is the Microsoft Visual C++ Runtimes. In Live Essentials 2011 it will be version 9 (also known as Visual C++ 2008). D3DX10 is DirectX 10.1, but it’s just an extension DLL as DirectX 10 is part of Windows Vista and above.

          I created ZapEssentials (and ZapMessenger) to help deal with the crazy installer problems created by the Live Installers, so your emoticons, winks, etc. will all be retained and won’t be removed since they’re not part of the installation process. They’re also the same data format so you can move them throughout the versions without any issues.

          • Okay, removing worked fine I think, except that It took like half an hour to remove the shortcuts and it still wasn’t finished.. then I just closed the tool. But I have a problem installing WLM again with the Reviver. I always get this message here: http://img835.imageshack.us/img835/5642/errorfyr.png
            No matter if I try installing the 2009 or 2012 version, it doesn’t work.
            When I try to install it with an original setup file, it says that I already have a more recent version installed and the following error code: OnCatalogResult: 0x8028007
            Can it have something to do with the fact that I have Skype installed on my PC?

            • I forgot a 0 in the error code, it’s: 0x80280007
              And I tried uninstalling Skype, it didn’t help.

            • Yeah, Skype isn’t part of Essentials so it won’t matter.

              If you run ZapEssentials again, does it pick up any products at all? Assuming not, one of the things that would happen after the shortcuts is the removal the Essentials cache. This is the \Program Files\Windows Live\.cache folder (Program Files (x86) if you’re using 64-bit). This folder is hidden by default as a system folder so you’ll need to turn off ‘hide protected operating system files’ in the Explorer options View tab to see it. Just delete it and see if that solves the issue.

              I think I know why it got stuck at the shortcuts, but I’m not too sure why I never encountered the problem myself before.

  5. Need the latest version of Zap to uninstall remove messenger on a friends vista

  6. I need the latest version of ZapMessenger , help !!

  1. Pingback: Borrar MSN Messenger y Windows Live Messenger por completo

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