Monthly Archives: February 2009

Why is the latest Windows Live Messenger 2009 update forced?

As most people who don’t immediately update Messenger have recently noticed, the latest Windows Live Messenger 2009 update is mandatory to all existing 2009 users and not only is it quite a large file, but there’s been no word as to what is in the update and why it is mandatory.  Additionally, the update installer itself does not recall which components you elected not to install initially and automatically selects the other applications to be installed.

Mandatory update
When you try to sign in using the so-called original “released” version of Windows Live Messenger 2009 (14.0.8050.1202) you will be presented with the following prompt when you try to sign in:

“A newer version is available.  You must install the newer version in order to continue.  Would you like to do this now?”

If you choose Yes, Messenger will go ahead and download the Windows Live Essentials installer.  If you choose No, you won’t be allowed to sign in.  A What’s New… button is provided but it simply sends you to http://download.live.com which doesn’t tell you anything about the update or why it is required.

Mandatory updates in Messenger’s history have always been the exception.   Updating has generally only been forced to upgrade beta versions to release versions or to eliminate versions which have a major security hole and shouldn’t be being used.  Unfortunately there’s been no word as to what’s improved in this forced update, beyond “behind-the-scenes improvements” [Windows Live Team blog].

What it downloads
When you opt to update, Messenger downloads the following file:
(Note this is the English version, the link will be different for other language versions)
http://msgruser.dlservice.microsoft.com/download/5/2/E/52EB299A-E4DE-43E2-8D55-510D7FB03610/en/wlsetup-cvr.exe

This 34.4MB file contains the full Messenger installation including the standard components it would install.  For mandatory “behind-the-scenes improvements”, this seems a bit too large for me. 

The installer
Unfortunately the installer doesn’t appear to have changed from the original and therefore doesn’t retain your original installation options.  So by default, not just your existing applications will be updated, but the installer will automatically select all applications you haven’t previously installed. 

As the installer already knows this is an upgrade install, it would be great if the additional applications were not automatically selected.

Customer impact
As your eyes see the advertisements, both within Messenger and the associated Windows Live properties, you are paying for Messenger.  Therefore as a Messenger user, you are a Messenger customer. 

The fact that this update is mandatory with no given explanation hasn’t gone over well.  In fact there’s been quite a few people informing me of their discontent and one person on the newsgroup even went as far as saying they were being “bullied by Microsoft”.  Others are using this interruption to take a look at some of the third-party clients just to see if they’re any better.

The 34.4MB update is quite large, and on dialup, wireless data and bandwidth capped connections, this is a rather large file to download with no real explanation as to why you need it.  Additionally if you’re disconnected or interrupted, you’ll have to download the update all over again from the beginning.

Finally, Messenger tends to be included in standard computer disk images deployed against hundreds of computers, especially in some education markets.  When there’s a forced mandatory update, all these machines now need to be updated and the disk images altered to include the new Messenger version.

Conclusion
Mandatory updates would be far better received if the reason(s) the update was designated mandatory and what exactly the update contains was provided.  Additionally, when you install Messenger, Microsoft Update is automatically registered in your system.  Surely “behind-the-scenes improvements” could be sent through this way during normal updates instead of a required update when you sign in?  Messenger is all about communication and generally performs that function quite well, surely Microsoft can communicate to us the reasoning for these decisions.

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Signing in multiple times (MPOP) on a roaming profile with Windows Live Messenger 2009

The problem
If you’re logged in twice to two computers, using a roaming profile and you try to sign into Windows Live Messenger 2009 on two machines at once you will receive the message:

"You were signed out from here because you signed in to a version of Messenger that doesn’t let you sign in to more than one place.  Click here to sign in again.”

Of course this is incorrect as you are using a version that supports multiple points of presence (MPOP).

The problem stems from the fact that Messenger stores a GUID (a unique ID) of your computer in the HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\MSNMessenger, MachineGuid registry key.  Since this key is the same within all logged in Windows sessions in your roaming profile, Messenger believes it to be the same machine.

The solution
The fix is to simply change the GUID each time Messenger runs.  To assist with this, I have written a quick application called MessengerStart that will automatically generate a new GUID, sets both the new GUID and your correct machine name and then finally starts Messenger for you.

Download MessengerStart setup
The setup program will automatically copy MessengerStart to your user profile, set itself to automatically start with Windows and disable Messenger from starting automatically on its own.  Additionally, a MessengerStart icon is added to your desktop so you can either move it to where you find it convenient or delete it.  You do not need administrative rights to use this setup.

Download MessengerStart executable
You can just put the executable where you want, create your own shortcuts and use it to start Messenger.

Requirements
Where Windows Live Messenger 2009 works, MessengerStart will work.  32-bit and 64-bit supported.
Note: Unlike some of my other tools, MessengerStart is written in native C++ and does not require the .NET Framework

Special Thanks to Dom, Alex, Patty and Huuf

Installing/uninstalling Windows Live 2009 (Wave 3) QFE applications

This article supersedes the Installing/uninstalling Windows Live Wave 3 applications with the latest QFE (Quick Fix Engineering) release versions of the Windows Live “Wave 3” 2009 products. 

Although what’s new is not completely known yet, one of the major problems has been video compatibility within Messenger, so hopefully this has been addressed.

There are only twelve items which have been updated to new versions from initial release versions.  They are:

All other components are the same are do not need to be re-installed if you’re just upgrading.  Please note that some of these components can not be automatically upgraded using the MSI files.  You will need to first uninstall them manually and then install the new versions.  You can find out how to uninstall these older versions using the previous version of this article.

If you haven’t used these articles previously, this entry lists all Windows Live Suite 2009 “Wave 3” applications, a download link to the Microsoft Installer (MSI) file, what’s also necessary to install each application and a method to properly remove each without the Windows Live installer.  This allows you to install on non-supported Windows versions (Windows XP x64), fix broken Windows Live Installer installs or just to avoid the Live Installer altogether.

Note: A few of the packages come in both 32-bit and 64-bit varieties.  If you’re not sure if you are using a 32-bit or 64-bit operating system, you most likely have a 32-bit operating system and should use the 32-bit packages.  You can verify your operating system type using this article.

Windows Live Messenger
Version 2009: 14.0.8064.206
Download installer – Messenger.msi
You will also need to install: Microsoft Application Error Reporting (32-bit) or Microsoft Application Error Reporting (64-bit), Microsoft Visual Studio Runtime, Windows Live Communications Platform, Segoe UI Font (not necessary on Vista)
Optional secondary components: Windows Live Call and Installer Components (see later section)
To uninstall these secondary components, see Secondary Components below.
To uninstall Windows Live Messenger, click Start, then Run if using XP, then type/paste the following and press Enter:
msiexec /x {0AAA9C97-74D4-47CE-B089-0B147EF3553C}

You can also uninstall Messenger 2009 (even if the above isn’t working) by using my ZapMessenger utility.

Windows Live Mail
Version 2009: 14.0.8064.0206
Download Installer – Mail.msi
You will also need to install: Microsoft Application Error Reporting (32-bit) or Microsoft Application Error Reporting (64-bit), Microsoft Visual Studio Runtime, Windows Live Communications Platform, Junk Mail filter update, Segoe UI Font (not necessary on Vista)
Optional secondary components: Installer Components (see later section)
To uninstall these secondary components, see Secondary Components below.
To uninstall Windows Live Mail, click Start, then Run if using XP, then type/paste the following and press Enter:
msiexec /x {63C1109E-D977-49ED-BCE3-D00D0BF187D6}

Windows Live Toolbar
Version: 14.00.8064.0206
Download Installer – wltinstall.msi
You will also need to install:
Microsoft Visual Studio Runtime, Search Enhancement Pack, Microsoft Sync Framework Runtime, Microsoft Sync Framework Services, Segoe UI Font (not necessary on Vista)
Optional secondary components: Installer Components (see later section)
To uninstall these secondary components, see Secondary Components below.
To uninstall Windows Live Toolbar, click Start, then Run if using XP, then type/paste the following and press Enter:
msiexec /x {995F1E2E-F542-4310-8E1D-9926F5A279B3}

Windows Live Photo Gallery
Version 2009: 14.0.8064.206
Download Installer – PhotoLibrary.msi
You will also need to install: Windows Imaging Component (XP only), Windows Imaging Component Hotfix (32-bit) or Windows Imaging Component Hotfix (64-bit), SQL Server 2005 Compact Edition (3.1), Microsoft Application Error Reporting (32-bit) or Microsoft Application Error Reporting (64-bit), Microsoft Visual Studio Runtime, Windows Live Communications Platform, Direct3D 9, Windows Live Sync, Segoe UI Font (not necessary on Vista)
Optional secondary components: Installer Components (see later section)
To uninstall these secondary components, see Secondary Components below.
To uninstall Windows Live Photo Gallery, click Start, then Run if using XP, then type/paste the following and press Enter:
msiexec /x {3C52E7DA-C431-4239-B66B-1BF703D5B194}

Windows Live Movie Maker Beta
Version: 14.0.8064 (.206)
Note that Movie Maker will only work on Vista or Windows 7 beta.
Download Installer – MovieMaker.msi
You will also need to install: Windows Imaging Component (XP only), Windows Imaging Component Hotfix (32-bit) or Windows Imaging Component Hotfix (64-bit), SQL Server 2005 Compact Edition (3.1), Microsoft Application Error Reporting (32-bit) or Microsoft Application Error Reporting (64-bit), Microsoft Visual Studio Runtime, Windows Live Communications Platform, Direct3D 9, Windows Live Sync, Segoe UI Font (not necessary on Vista), Windows Live Photo Gallery
Optional secondary components: Installer Components (see later section)
To uninstall these secondary components, see Secondary Components below.
To uninstall Windows Live Movie Maker Beta, click Start, then Run if using XP, then type/paste the following and press Enter:
msiexec /x {6F6594CB-DA1B-4FFB-B397-CACE3D5F668B}

Windows Live Writer
Version: 14.0.8064.206
Download Installer – Writer.msi
You will also need to install: .NET Framework, Segoe UI Font (not necessary on Vista)
Optional secondary components: Installer Components (see later section)
To uninstall these secondary components, see Secondary Components below.
To uninstall Live Writer, click Start, then Run if using XP, then type/paste the following and press Enter:
msiexec /x {6A92E5C5-0578-443D-91F3-92ECE5F2CAE2}

Windows Live Family Safety
Version: 14.0.8064.0206
Download Installer (32-bit) – fssclient_x86.msi
Download Installer (64-bit) – fssclient_amd64.msi
You will also need to install: Segoe UI Font (not necessary on Vista)
Optional secondary components: Installer Components (see later section)

To uninstall these secondary components, see Secondary Components below.
To uninstall Windows Live Family Safety (32-bit), click Start, then Run if using XP, then type/paste the following and press Enter:
msiexec /x {76CD2979-09C0-493A-84B3-8FD97EF4BCEA}
To uninstall Windows Live Family Safety (64-bit), click Start, then Run if using XP, then type/paste the following and press Enter:
msiexec /x {54E4B319-0CE0-448D-B299-EE05BC30E4D1}

Microsoft Silverlight 2.0
Version: 2.0.31005.0
Download Installer – Silverlight2.0.exe
If you don’t already have Silverlight installed or have an earlier version, the normal setup will install this latest version of Silverlight.
You will also need to install: Nothing else
To uninstall Silverlight 2.0, click Start, then Run if using XP, then type/paste the following and press Enter:
msiexec /x {89F4137D-6C26-4A84-BDB8-2E5A4BB71E00}

Microsoft Office Live Add-in 1.3
Version: 2.0.2313.0
Download Installer – OLConnector.msi
This is only offered to you in the normal setup if you have Office installed.
Adds Office Live Workspace functionality into the Office applications’ Open and Save functions. 
You will also need to install: Microsoft Office
To uninstall Office Live Add-In 1.3, click Start, then Run if using XP, then type/paste the following and press Enter:
msiexec /x {57F0ED40-8F11-41AA-B926-4A66D0D1A9CC}

Microsoft Office Outlook Connector
Version: 12.0.6414.1000
Download Installer – olc.msi
This is only offered to you in the normal setup if you have Outlook installed. 

You will also need to install: Microsoft Office Outlook
To uninstall Office Outlook Connector, click Start, then Run if using XP, then type/paste the following and press Enter:
msiexec /x {95120000-0120-0409-0000-0000000FF1CE}

Installer Components
These components would normally be automatically installed no matter what product you selected.  Some provide some degree of value (like the Login Assistant) whereas others are completely useless if you are doing a manual install.  Naturally, if you are a doing a manual uninstall, you should remove all of these.  Additionally, no matter what selection you choose in the normal setup, your Windows Update within Windows will be registered with Microsoft Update.

Choice Guard
Download Installer – choiceguard.msi
Sets your user homepage and default search engine during setup (if you opt-in); this one is safe to remove
To uninstall Choice Guard, click Start, then Run if using XP, then type/paste the following and press Enter:
msiexec /x {8FFC5648-FAF8-43A3-BC8F-42BA1E275C4E}

Windows Live Sign-in Assistant
Download Installer – wllogin.msi
Allows Windows Live web pages to synchronize with your client-side Live logins (like in Messenger); previous builds have been known to cause Internet Explorer to crash on exit and you may want to remove this if this is a problem for you
To uninstall Windows Live Sign-in Assistant, click Start, then Run if using XP, then type/paste the following and press Enter:
msiexec /x {505DF7A3-88D5-4DD6-9AD5-C98C2ED0CEC4}

Windows Live Upload Tool
Download Installer – RichUpload.msi
The ActiveX control to upload files to your Windows Live SkyDrive.
To uninstall the Windows Live Upload Tool, click Start, then Run if using XP, then type/paste the following and press Enter:
msiexec /x {205C6BDD-7B73-42DE-8505-9A093F35A238}

Windows Live Essentials Installer
Download Installer – WLXSuite.msi
The installer setup and UI for the Windows Live Installer
To uninstall Windows Live Installer, click Start, then Run if using XP, then type/paste the following and press Enter:
msiexec /x {C6CA8874-5F22-4AF0-9BE3-016BF299C536}

Segoe UI Font
Download Installer – SegoeFont.msi
Automatically installed normally if you don’t have the Segoe UI font already (included in Office 2007 and Windows Vista by default).  This component has not changed since the earlier beta version.
To uninstall the Segoe UI Font, click Start, then Run, then type/paste the following and press Enter:
msiexec /x {A1F66FC9-11EE-4F2F-98C9-16F8D1E69FB7}

Secondary Components
As mentioned earlier, the majority of these applications now utilize shared additional components to work.  Here is a listing of each component, a download link, and how to uninstall each.  Be aware that some of these components are not limited to Windows Live products and removing them may affect other applications.

Microsoft Application Error Reporting
Download Installer (32-bit) – dw20shared.msi
Download Installer (64-bit) – dw20sharedamd64.msi

Installs Doctor Watson 2.0 application error reporting.  This component was known as DW 2.0 Client in the beta version and has not changed.
To uninstall Microsoft Application Error Reporting (32-bit), click Start, then Run if using XP, then type/paste the following and press Enter:
msiexec /x {95120000-00B9-0409-0000-0000000FF1CE}
To uninstall Microsoft Application Error Reporting (64-bit), click Start, then Run if using XP, then type/paste the following and press Enter:
msiexec /x {95120000-00B9-0409-1000-0000000FF1CE}

Microsoft Visual Studio Runtime
Download Installer – crt.msi
Provides the runtime files required for software created with the latest Visual Studio, such as these Windows Live applications.
To uninstall Microsoft Visual Studio Runtime, click Start, then Run if using XP, then type/paste the following and press Enter:
msiexec /x {22B775E7-6C42-4FC5-8E10-9A5E3257BD94}

Direct3D 9
Download Installer – directx3d9setup.exe
Provides the latest version of Direct3D 9 for Photo Gallery/Movie Maker.

Windows Live Communications Platform
Download Installer – Contacts.msi
Windows Live Communications Platform required for Windows Live Messenger, Windows Live Mail, Windows Live Photo Gallery and Windows Live Movie Maker to access your Live Contacts.
To uninstall Windows Live Communications Platform, click Start, then Run if using XP, then type/paste the following and press Enter:
msiexec /x {3B4E636E-9D65-4D67-BA61-189800823F52}

Note: The Windows Live Communications Platform component has previously existed in the former beta version for Messenger, Mail, Photo Gallery and Movie Maker.  Unfortunately this component has changed significantly and requires all four products to be the same version to work with this new version of the Communications Platform.  Thus, you cannot “mix and match” with the beta versions and it’s all or nothing.  However ,other applications that don’t use the Communications Platform (like Live Writer) you can happily update to the new version while keeping your existing beta versions functional.

Windows Live Call
Download Installer – wlc.msi
Optional component, originally in the previous Messenger release, Live Call provides “PC to Phone” functionality using regional third-party providers.
To uninstall Windows Live Call, click Start, then Run if using XP, then type/paste the following and press Enter:
msiexec /x {F6BD194C-4190-4D73-B1B1-C48C99921BFE}

Windows Live Sync/Microsoft Sync Framework Runtime/Microsoft Sync Framework Services
Download Installer Windows Live Sync – WindowsLiveSync.msi
Download Installer Sync Framework Runtime – SyncNative.msi
Download Installer Sync Framework Services – ProviderServicesNative.msi
The necessary runtime files for Live Sync for the various applications.  In Photo Gallery, Live Sync is used to sync your photo gallery across multiple machines (see File menu, Setup gallery sync…).  In the Toolbar, Live Sync is used to automatically sync your browser favorites across multiple machines.
To uninstall Windows Live Sync, click Start, then Run if using XP, then type/paste the following and press Enter:
msiexec /x {A1BF9950-8CDB-468E-83FA-EACFB00EA7D5}
To uninstall Microsoft Sync Framework Runtime, click Start, then Run if using XP, then type/paste the following and press Enter:
msiexec /x {8A74E887-8F0F-4017-AF53-CBA42211AAA5}
To uninstall Microsoft Sync Framework Services, click Start, then Run if using XP, then type/paste the following and press Enter:
msiexec /x {BD64AF4A-8C80-4152-AD77-FCDDF05208AB}

Search Enhancement Pack
Download Installer – MicrosoftSearchEnhancementPack.msi
Extensions for the Live Toolbar’s Search Bar
To uninstall the Search Enhancement Pack, click Start, then Run if using XP, then type/paste the following and press Enter:
msiexec /x {9C9CEB9D-53FD-49A7-85D2-FE674F72F24E}

Junk Mail filter update
Download Installer – SpamFilterData.msi
The latest Junk Mail filter for filtering spam in Windows Live Mail.
To uninstall Junk Mail filter update, click Start, then Run if using XP, then type/paste the following and press Enter:
msiexec /x {4DE3E3D9-AE81-45DE-9195-3015F7B1DBF3}

Windows Imaging Component (XP only)
Download XP Installer (32-bit) – wic_x86_enu.exe
Download XP Installer (64-bit) – wic_x64_enu.exe
The Windows Imaging Component (WIC) provides WIC-enabled applications to display and edit any image format for which a WIC-compliant codec is installed, and also to read and write metadata in image files.  In this case, Photo Gallery.

Windows Imaging Component Hotfix
Download XP Installer (32-bit) – WindowsXP-KB954708-x86-ENU.exe
Download Vista Installer (32-bit) – Windows6.0-KB954708-x86.msu
Download Vista Installer (64-bit) – Windows6.0-KB954708-x64.msu

Adds support for XMP (Extensible Metadata Platform) to Windows Imaging; see http://support.microsoft.com/kb/954708 for more info.  This component has not changed since the beta release.
To uninstall the Windows Imaging Component Hotfix, visit Add or Remove Programs (XP) or Programs and Features (Vista) in the Control Panel, choose the option to show updates, then right-click and remove the update appended by KB954708.  Alternatively, execute pkgmgr /up:Package_for_KB954708~31bf3856ad364e35~x86~~6.0.1.0 (32-bit) or pkgmgr /up:Package_for_KB954708~31bf3856ad364e35~amd64~~6.0.1.0 (64-bit).

SQL Server 2005 Compact Edition
Download Installer  SQLServerCE31-EN.msi
Backend database for Photo Gallery & Movie Maker.  This component has not changed since the beta release.
To uninstall SQL Server 2005 Compact Edition, click Start, then Run if using XP, then type/paste the following and press Enter:
msiexec /x {F0B430D1-B6AA-473D-9B06-AA3DD01FD0B8}

Don’t change your Windows Live ID right now

One feature you may not even be aware exists is the ability to change your Windows Live ID e-mail address and have all your associated accounts and contact list automatically updated.  This isn’t a new feature by any means, but it’s always been placed subtly in the Live ID/Passport web site so most people wouldn’t discover it unless you were really looking for the feature.  If you want to see where it currently is, sign into the Windows Live ID account site, and just note the ‘Change’ link next to your e-mail address.  Note: if you don’t see the Change link, read on.

There have been two long standing issues with the process.  The first is that you can’t change Hotmail.com, MSN.com or Live.com (including all the localized country versions there of) to another address as those domains are “reserved” (note that Microsoft has provided the ability from time to time to switch to one of these reserved domains however).  The second is that you typically needed to remain offline for a good few hours for the modifications to all your contacts’ contact lists to your new address.  Before about a month ago, I was recommending to people to just make the change before shutting down for their day, and everything would be ready when they woke up.

Broken
However, beginning with this latest update to the “Wave 3” Live web sites, this feature has become quite unreliable and in general, your Messenger contact list will never be updated.  So although the web site currently claims all you have to do is wait 48-hours, you’ll end up with a contact list of offline contacts even after the wait.  Since your contacts won’t have your updated address on their contact list, they’ll see you as offline too.  You end up in a limbo state.

What to do
If this has happened to you, the easiest fix is to return to the Live ID site and switch your address back to the previous one.  After signing back into Messenger using the old address, your contacts will all be online again as per normal.  You can then try again hopefully when this problem finally gets fixed.

Unfortunately this fix won’t work for those who have switched to a live.com (or localized version there of) address.  For those people you can ask your contacts to manually add you to their contact list and you’ll immediately appear online to each other.

Additionally, if this happens to you, you’ll want to let the Windows Live ID support team know, as they do eventually escalate it up to someone to be corrected.  You can get to the support form by heading to the Live ID support help section, click the link to any of the articles on the side, and then choose the ‘Get more help’ link at the bottom right.