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Windows Messenger & .NET Passport Automatic Sign-In

Posted on 2004-04-15
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Last Modified: 2008-01-09
This is more of an FYI than a Question.

I was having a problem similar to that described by others:   Windows Messenger 4.7 was signing me in automatically (according to one of my Contacts who saw me online) every time I boot the machine, even though I see no evidence of having started Messenger (no icon, no startup box, etc.).  But the Services section of the Task Manager reveals that Messenger (msmsgs.exe) is indeed started.   Messenger only lets me sign out -- I cannot exit because it says "other programs" are using it.  With Office 2002, that is only a problem if Messenger was enabled in Outlook, and once you clear that checkbox, you're fine.  In addition, Norton Antivirus sometimes disables its auto-protect on boot (because, on occasion, this automatic loading of Messenger starts before NAV).

I'm running XP Professional, NOT using Outlook 2003, already clicked the options in Messenger to clear "Run this program when Windows starts," and I want to be able to manually start Windows Messenger 4.7 when I wish.

Checked out all of your very helpful suggestions from a post on March 6, 2004
http://www.experts-exchange.com/Operating_Systems/WinXP/Q_20909399.html
(including the MS Support links), and the answer appears to be two-fold:

When I set up my new box, I vaguely remember that I associated my MSN Messenger name with their .NET Passport wizard because it asked.  Stoopid me.

You have to jump through some hoops to get to the .NET Passport Wizard again.  Easy to set up the association, not so transparent to get rid of it, and you'll need Admin Rights.

1) Go to Start Menu - Settings - Control Paner - User Accounts
2) Click on the User Account you want to change
3) Click on "Change my .NET Passport."
4) In the Related Tasks area on the left, Click "Manage my Network Passwords."
5) Select and remove any Passports listed.
6) Reboot.

This should clear the email address from your Passport, so that you can log in and out manually.

But wait, there's more....If you're using Norton Antivirus, and if you have Enabled it to protect your Windows Messenging in the Instant Messenger options, YOUR COMPUTER WILL CONTINUE TO LOAD "msmsgs.exe" AND you will not be able to Exit Windows Messenger.  In fact, Norton Antivirus was the program that was using and would not let me exit Messenger.

Clear that Norton setting (but make sure you manually scan any attachments sent to you via IM), and the problem is solved.  Your passport will be associated with your User Account in XP, but only as an anonymous login (i.e., you should no longer see your email address when you go to change your .NET Passport settings of your User Account).

Hope this helps someone.   Your insightful comments have helped me more than once.
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Question by:ewiseman
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dsvarups earned 135 total points
Comment Utility
Open your registry and find the key below.
[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Messenger\Client]

Create a new DWORD value for each of the optional restrictions from the table below. Set the value to "1" to enable the restriction or "0" to disable it.

PreventAutoRun - Do not automatically start Messenger  - 1
PreventRun - Do not allow Messenger to run  - 1

Restart Messenger for the changes to take effect.
Note: This tweak is applicable to MSN Messenger 4.x, this restriction has been removed from version 5 of the software.

Registry Settings
User Key: [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Messenger\Client]
System Key: [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Messenger\Client]
Value Name: PreventAutoRun, PreventRun
Data Type: REG_DWORD (DWORD Value)
Value Data: (1 = enable restriction, 0 = default)

This has worked for me although if you upgrade Messenger to 5 or later this will not work.
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by:ewiseman
Comment Utility
Thanks.  I'll re-enable NAV's IM protection and give it a shot.
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