As you guys know, I still hate Microsoft for their stupidity. Thanks to SFoong for this piece of useful information from Microsoft itself (can't they just make people's life easier?)
Below is part of the email. If you are facing a problem that you can't sign in to MSN and forced to use Meebo or Ebuddy, this is what you should be reading. It works for me now.
Below is a step-by-step solution for your failed-to-update-MSN:
"I reviewed the logs that you attached on your reply and found out that the program is corrupted and you are indeed getting the error code 81000306. The most probable reason why you are still experiencing this issue is that the Windows Live Messenger application that you currently have maybe damaged or corrupted. To be able to fix this issue, what you need to do is to process a clean installation of the Windows Live Messenger program. I will give you the troubleshooting steps that you need to do to be able to process the clean installation. I understand that these steps are a bit lengthy but it is important that you follow them accordingly so we can try to better resolve your concern.
Clean Install is different from manually removing then reinstalling the program. This process has steps that would permanently remove all Windows Live Messenger related files on the system giving you a fresh new slate to work on. For your convenience, I have provided the steps for you to execute this task, please follow the steps carefully.
Note: If you want clean installation instructions with screenshots, visit http://messenger-support.spaces.live.com/blog/cns!8B3F39C76A8B853F!15345.entry
If you are having issues accessing the link, here are the steps:
1. Remove Windows Live Messenger from the computer.
a. Exit Windows Live Messenger.
b. Click Start, click Run, type appwiz.cpl and press Enter
c. On the Add or Remove Programs window, click on Windows Live Essentials, and then click Uninstall/Change
d. Select Uninstall, click Continue.
Under Select the programs you want to uninstall, check the checkbox on all programs (Messenger, Mail, Photo Gallery, Toolbar, Writer), click Continue.
2. Remove the temporary files and folders from the computer.
a. Click Start, click Run, type cleanmgr and then click OK.
b. If you are prompted, click C: in the Select the drive you want to clean up list, and then click OK.
- If you partitioned the hard disk, the CleanMgr utility prompts you to select a drive.
- The Disk Cleanup utility displays how much disk space can be freed.
- This process can take several minutes.
c. On the Disk Cleanup tab, make sure that only the following options are selected:
- Downloaded Program Files
- Temporary Internet Files
- Temporary files
- Temporary Offline Files
- Offline Files
d. Click OK two times.
3. Delete Windows Live Messenger related cache files. Note: You can copy and paste the commands. Include the double-quotes ("). Also, just proceed to the next step if you're unable to find some of the folders.
1. Beside the date and time of your computer, right click the Windows Live Messenger icon, and then click Exit.
2. Click Start, click Run, type
"%USERPROFILE%\Application Data\Microsoft\IdentityCRL" then press ENTER on your keyboard. Delete all files in the folder.
3. Click Start, click Run, type
"%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Application Data\Microsoft\IdentityCRL" then delete all files in the folder.
4. Click Start, click Run, type
%USERPROFILE%\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\ and then press Enter. Delete the Windows Live Contacts folder.
5. Click Start, click Run, type "%USERPROFILE%\Contacts" then delete all files in the folder.
Note: If you are unable to delete these files due an error message saying that a program is using them even after exiting Messenger, follow these steps to make sure that Messenger has already stopped running:
1. Click Start, click Run, type Taskmgr, and then press ENTER.
2. Click the Processes tab.
3. In the Image Name column, click msnmsgr.exe, and then click End process.
4. Delete the Windows Live Messenger-associated registry keys.
The following steps contain information about deleting the registry. Before you follow these steps, make sure to back it up, and make sure that you understand how to restore the registry if a problem occurs. For information about how to back up, restore, and edit the registry, visit the following Web site:
a. Click Start, click Run, type CMD and then press ENTER to open the command window.
b. Type the commands exactly as they appear below, including the quotation marks. Press ENTER after typing each command to execute the command. Note: You can copy and paste the commands. Include the double-quotes ("). Also, just proceed to the next step if you're unable to find some of the folders.
REG DELETE "HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows Live\Messenger' /f
REG DELETE HKCU\Software\Microsoft\MSNMessenger /f
REG DELETE "HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows Live\Communications Clients\Shared" /f
REG DELETE HKCU\Software\Microsoft\IdentityCRL /f
5. Restart the computer.
6. Before we download Windows Live Messenger, let us run Windows Update to make sure that your operating system is up to date. This is will also help make sure that the program will install properly. Go to http://www.update.microsoft.com/. After the update, please proceed to the next step.
7. Reinstall Windows Live Messenger. Go to http://download.live.com/ to download messenger.
Again, we sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this issue may have caused you."
Forget about the "sincerely apologize" part. There is a saying, "There might be cure for cancer, but there is no cure for stupidity" and I think this fits Microsoft just nice.
Again, thanks to SFoong for this!