Oh Dear - MSN Not Working Again

  • David

    David - 2008-03-05

    Upgraded to Pidgin 2.4.0 - worked good for a week or so, with both Googletalk account and MSN account.
    Suddenly with MSN account:'Our protocol is not supported by the server'- and no way of getting in. I now have to use Windows Live Messenger again, instead of Pidgin.
    They've obviously changed their protocol (whatever that means). Reverting to 2.3.1 doesn't help either, but I didn't really expect it to, since 2.4.0 was fine for a while. Does anyone have any idea when MSN is going to be 'reverse engineered' so that I can start using Pidgin again?

    • Etan Reisner

      Etan Reisner - 2008-03-06

      MSN continues to work for me and many other people, I believe that problem is either the MSN servers having issues (which they do with astonishing frequency) or you used a recent version of the official client and got your account locked out of older versions of the protocol (I believe that can happen).

    • David

      David - 2008-03-07

      Thanks Etan - I wondered why there wasn't a flood of complaints. Your hypothesis is made more likely by the fact that I did recently download and install Windows Live Messenger 8.wotsit.

      I suppose I could try to reinstall an old version of Windows Live Messenger (or even use my old Windows Messenger itself) and see what happens... But it sounds like they'd be locked out too... I'll let you know!

    • David

      David - 2008-03-07

      Nope - the old Windows Messenger 4.something which came with my OS works just fine. So my account being locked out of older versions of the protocol seems unlikely.

      Does anyone else have any ideas why my Pidgin (2.3.1 and 2.4.0) has stopped working with MSN, when it (both versions) used to work just fine?

    • David

      David - 2008-03-07

      Well - what do you know? After using the old Windows Messenger for half a day, I suddenly found myself signed out of it because I had 'signed on at a different location'. And, sure enough - I found I was signed on in Pidgin! So - problem solved. Though, goodness knows how...

      Maybe you were right after all Etan.

    • David

      David - 2008-03-10

      I guess my posts must be getting tedious. But I hope this update is helpful to someone.

      After my last post, Pidgin again failed to log in to MSN.

      This time I uninstalled Windows Live Sign-in Assistant - no help.
      *Completely* uninstalled Pidgin and GTK stuff, then reinstalled - no help.

      Finally opened Pigin's MSN account editor, advanced, and checked 'HTTP method'. That appears to have solved the problem. For now, anyway. But I am puzzled... Why, under default configuration, did it suddenly stop working, then only work intermittently? Why is it OK with the new configuration?

      • Etan Reisner

        Etan Reisner - 2008-03-10

        These sorts of intermittent and inconsistent error failures on the part of MSN are exactly what you would expect to see if MSN was having internal issues (something that we believe happens almost daily for at least some set of their users). While it is entirely possible that the pidgin code is somehow at fault for this it sounds entirely unlikely, as your confusion indicates you understand, because failures of the pidgin code should not be able to cause problems that are not constant (without changes on the server which may or may not be actual problems but rather just alternate valid configurations we can't handle). Either way, there is a reason we (and other third-party client developers I am aware of) dislike the MSN service as much as we do. If the HTTP Method works for you now then use it, if it fails to work at some point (or if new pidgin releases come out) it might make sense to try the non-HTTP Method again as, in general, I believe we test that more thoroughly and more people use it.

    • Jeremiah

      Jeremiah - 2008-03-11

      Is there work being done on the new protocol?

    • Chip Phelps

      Chip Phelps - 2008-05-24

      Same problem here.  However it only started 5/22.  After I did some upgrades, including MS Windows stuff...  The Http method works as well, but it's obvious that MSN is doing something on their systems to limit third party systems in some way.

      Giving them "Some" benefit of the doubt, there may have been flaws in the protocol that allowed hackers to get into their systems or the user's systems and maybe they just "tweaked" it to stop them.  I'm guessing that going through http has more limited access / commands / etc. then the direct connection method.

      Either way there is a real change to the protocol MSN is using, so someone should probably look info duplicating the problem, and maybe fixing it.  Luckily we do have a work around with the http method and brilliant people working on Pidgin, so it's just a matter of time till it's fixed.  (Then the cycle of change will start again...)


    • armedwithjello

      armedwithjello - 2008-08-06

      I've been having problems with MSN accounts randomly and rapidly disconnecting. I also get messages bouncing back to me with a connection error message. This has been happening for months with increasing severity, and in recent weeks I have been almost completely unable to use MSN Messenger in Pidgin. Oddly, I couldn't connect reliably through Live Messenger either.

      Thanks for the HTTP workaround. It appears to be working for me at the moment. Will return to this thread if the problem recurs. I just wanted want to mention I have the same issue.


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