Messenger. Tracking cookies. Can't log off.

  Ancient Learner 14:49 04 Apr 2006

My Grandchildren have insisted that I should use this so that they can chat to me, and beat me at the games that it offers.

So, despite my better judgement on all things Microsoft, I have, and now have the Beta version installed. I must say that it all seems to work, and the Hotmail address that it insisted I had to use isn't, yet, causing an avalanche of sordid Emails. But since the install I have a regular problem.

When I try to Log off to change user, try a restart or switch off, the PC gets to 'Saving your settings', and goes no further. The restart button on the front of the PC is now the only thing to do; The PC boots up fine, but the problem is not cured, and I have, more by luck than anything else found that AD-Aware SE, finds some Tracking Cookies, from 2 to 10 each time, and the deletion of these cures the problem and I can Log Off etc.

I find this very strange, and would appreciate any comments, and particularly anything that will stop these pesky things even getting here in the first place. It is a bit of a pain to have to go through this process each time!

  anskyber 14:58 04 Apr 2006

Tools>internet options>privacy>advanced>Set to prompt for first party cookies and block third party cookies. (from internet page by the way) You will have control of what is given to you.

  terryf 15:02 04 Apr 2006

Are you using Windows messenger or Microsoft messenger?
Look at these free programs
click here AVG Free, do an immediate test, update from time
to time
click here SpyBot Search and Destroy, download, update and
immunise, update from time to time
click here
Bazooka, run from time to time, update from time to time
click here Ad-Aware, update from time to time
click here free scan with Spyware Doctor
click here a-squared free, update from time to
Apologies if you already have these

  Ancient Learner 15:30 04 Apr 2006

anskyber. Thanks for that. I have done as you suggest. I didn't tick the 'allow session cookies' and hopefully that is correct. Will await results to see if that solves the problem, Looks promising.

terryf. Thank you. Good question, I didn't know, but in fact it is Windows Messenger.
I use Ad-Aware SE; NOD32,; Spybot: Zone Alarm Pro with its Spyware addition. I haven't had any problems at all up to now with any type of Spyware, and the like. It is a shame that Microsoft can't protect its own stuff properly.

At least I didn't get the reaction here that I got from a close relative, expert, who just shuddered and said, never would he have any of it anywhere near his PCs which are all used for business - a view, I understand which is common.

  anskyber 15:43 04 Apr 2006

Session cookies can be enabled if you wish. They allow the site you are on to remember you as you move about it. That is particularly important if for example you buy on line and the site can keep track of you and your order as you go to checkout and pay.

  anskyber 15:46 04 Apr 2006

PS. The more common Messenger and the one that is generally accepted is the MSN Messenger which many regard as less intrusive. As it turns out the latest version of that is now in Beta form (trial form) and has beed rechristened as Windows Live Messenger. I am using it myself.

  terryf 15:50 04 Apr 2006

I use MSN for webcam to my brother in Canada, we have no problems with it but had been told to steer clear of Windows Messenger, may be 'old wives tales' but we were told it leaves you open to all sorts of nasties.
My son who is 'in business' swears by all the 'freebie' stuff that I listed but then he is only 34 and is a Microsoft Certified Engineer, I have only been playing with computers since 1963 and still he knows more than I do, flipping kids, as they will tell you, they even invented s*x

  Ancient Learner 17:08 04 Apr 2006


Um! Quite right. I hadn't understood the subtleties of Windows and Windows Live Messenger and MSN. I'm not sure I do now, it seems purposefully confusing. However, it is, in fact Windows Live Messenger (ie The BETA version) that I am using.

I've now enabled Session Cookies.


I know what you mean.
My son has a business that is Internet and software based, and with a hefty appropriate Masters degree, he should know all I need, but I think my problems are beneath him and he just shrugs, shudders, and says it's Dad again!! A bit older than yours, but still not 40.

  Ancient Learner 20:55 07 Apr 2006

Although I did implement all the things recommended, I still get the darned tracking cookies. And, this is worse, I'm in trouble from the Grandchildren, because I can't use the games they want to beat me at. So I've had to revert to the initial settings to get some peace there.

Ad-aware is finding some 8/10 tracking cookies, and Spybot found some 89 items to get rid of, all today. Worrying, because I normally have nothing.

I can't believe that this can be like this when it is meant, I thought, to be used by the most inexpeienced. It is no wonder that PCs get so messed up. It's a disgrace.

I have no idea what to do now, except run Ad-Aware and Spybot before I attempt to close down.

  VoG II 21:31 07 Apr 2006

Tracking cookies may be an annoyance but I have never heard that (and nor can I understand why) they should stop your PC from shutting down. I suspect that this is down to something else.

click here and scroll down to 'Shutdown hangs on saving your settings'.

If you really suspect that malware is at work then run HJT click here and post a log on the Malware Removal forum click here

You didn't download 'Messenger Plus' did you? This installs spyware on your PC unless you pay attention during the install process.

  Ancient Learner 21:48 07 Apr 2006

You're a marvel. I'll look into this over the weekend.

Thank you.

I'll report back.

All I can say is that I've not had this problem before, and you may be right, but the coincidence is quite noticeable. However - - -

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