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Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Microsoft's Windows Live Essentials 2011 issue - Messenger won't sign in while at workplace using proxy - "Key Ports" - Error 81000306

Heya folks,

If anyone else took the plunge and installed the latest Windows Live Essentials 2011 (including the new Messenger) – only to find that Messenger works sweet at home but will NOT sign in at the workplace (using a Proxy) - presented with this error:

"You could not sign in because of a problem with the service or with your Internet connection. Please make sure that you are connected to the Internet. Error 81000306”
…well look [possibly] no further.

I tried, in vain, all of Microsoft's ideas here http://windowslivehelp.com/solution.aspx?solutionid=a98f0a08-91cb-40f7-ab9c-c51984e8c9d8.
 Disclaimer: In my case Live Messenger WAS working, at my employer, before the upgrade and, therefore, this only works if your company doesn't actively block Messenger, etc.
Save yourself the hair tearing out and do the following…
   • Open IE (Internet Explorer) →
   • Select ‘Tools’ →
   • ‘Internet Options’ →
   • ‘Connections’ →
   • ‘LAN Settings’  →
   • Now leave the Proxy settings as they are – but ALSO tick the ‘Automatically detect settings’ check box.
   • Click ‘Ok’ a few times to get out.
   • Try signing in again…bingo bongo and she’s sweet (well for me and a couple of others at least).
   • Yes, it’s that easy…hard to believe isn’t it?

I’ve tried un-ticking the ‘Automatically detect settings’ checkbox (after signing in at least once or twice) and it stopped working - had to make sure it was ticked otherwise it just won't work for some reason.Also when I login to a VPN connection which automaticall changes my IE proxy settings, I have to go back into Internet Settings and set it again. Otherwise the problem persists.Here is the download link to the standalone installer http://g.live.com/1rewlive4-all/en/wlsetup-all.exe (which will likely be required for installations from within corporate networks) 
PS. I, personally, recommend NOT installing the BING toolbar (options you can de-select during install) as I've had troubles with various apps, and general Windows stability, caused by its predecessor - Live Toolbar/MSN Toolbar - particularly with the likes of Java and Oracle apps that use Java.

Hope this helps…had me stumped with all sorts of other random trial and error for a while before resolution.
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