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Unable to sign into forums - looking for solution RRS feed

  • Question

  • I have a very unusual problem:

    • From my main desktop, I'm unable to log into the forums application using my Live ID
    • I'm able to log into the forums using other computers and the same LiveID
    • I'm able to log into other Microsoft properties such as MSDN, Technet, Connect on my main desktop using the same Live ID

    So the problem is:

    • Unique to this one computer
    • Unique to the forums application
    • Not unique to a particular Live ID

    I'm using Windows Server 2008 R2 x64 with IE8 on my main machine.  Right now, I'm typing from a Hyper-V VM running on that machine, the VM is also running Server 2008 R2 X64 with IE8, so it's nothing unique to the OS+IE version.

    I have already tried:

    • Contacting forums technical support - no help (they did forward me to another group which hasn't responded at all).
    • Restarted IE
    • Rebooted
    • Deleted cookies and restarted IE
    • Deleted cookies, temporary internet files and history and restarted IE

    None of these had any effect. 

    This problem appeared a couple weeks ago.  Nothing's been installed in the interim except whatever critical updates came out from Microsoft Update - but those have also been installed on this VM, so it doesn't seem like a hotfix (or the lack of one) is to blame.

    Any ideas? 


    -cd Mark the best replies as answers!
    • Edited by Carl Daniel Thursday, November 11, 2010 1:39 AM typo
    • Moved by Brent Serbus Wednesday, March 16, 2011 7:54 PM profile sign in issue (From:Forums Issues (not product support))
    Thursday, November 11, 2010 1:38 AM

Answers

  • Hi All,

    For this sign-in issue:

    - click sign-in,
    - submit the credentials etc on the Live-Id sign up page
    - the previous Forums page reappears with the “sign-in” link still there


    In IE setting, if any of these sites in different zones (Trusted, Intranet etc...) (Forum site and Live Id site):  http://*.microsoft.com or https://*.microsoft.com or https://login.live.com, the user would get this issue.

    Either we shoudn't have any of the sites or ensure all the above sites are part of same zone.

    Thanks,
    Arun Ganesh


    Forums Program Manager
    • Marked as answer by Carl Daniel Wednesday, August 31, 2011 3:18 AM
    Tuesday, August 30, 2011 11:35 PM

All replies

  • No ideas, eh?  It is pretty wierd, I'd have to admit.  If there were an easy way to uninstall/reinstall IE8, I'd try that but alas...

     


    -cd Mark the best replies as answers!
    Saturday, November 13, 2010 1:05 AM
    • Contacting forums technical support - no help (they did forward me to another group which hasn't responded at all).

    Where?  When?  Is the Live ID Sign-in Assistant in use?   Tried in No-add-ons mode?   Other sessions involving that Live ID already present?   Use  File, New Session  for that case  (Alt-F,i).


    HTH

    Robert Aldwinckle
    ---
    Sunday, November 14, 2010 4:16 PM
  • Where?  When? My support case was forwarded internally from Microsoft Customer Service to MSDN Customer Service on 11/5.  Their 1 business day response time is long since past.

    Live ID Sign-In Assistant?  Never heard of it, so no, not in use.

    No add-ons mode?  Yes - no difference.

    Other sessions involving that Live ID?  I've tried it both ways and with multiple Live IDs.  Any Live ID I use can log into MSDN or Connect, none of them can log into Forums on the machine in question, but can log in without issue on any other machine.

     


    -cd Mark the best replies as answers!
    Sunday, November 14, 2010 10:08 PM
  • Other sessions involving that Live ID?  I've tried it both ways and with multiple Live IDs.  Any Live ID I use can log into MSDN or Connect, none of them can log into Forums on the machine in question, but can log in without issue on any other machine.


    What is the exact symptom?   Try using a reply to this thread as an example of what you are doing and seeing?   

    Otherwise the fact that you have already tried to clear Cookies should have eliminated the most common causes of problems with logging in or getting that state information normalized  (e.g. not seeing Sign Out when you aren't already logged on.)   However, I distrust the UI now that the contents has been split into the normal view and the new Low rights category.  So I would try verifying that the Clearing of the Cookies and TIF really did get rid of everything in those directories.  E.g. to do that I would use the GUI to get the path and then in an elevated cmd window build the appropriate  cd  command in order to issue a   dir/a/b/s/p   in each.   For example, open Explorer windows via Run... (press Win-R and enter:)  shell:Cookies  and  shell:cache  then copy the path from the Address bar in each (Alt-d, Ctrl-c) and in an elevated cmd window type cd (with a space) and right-click Paste the path; press Enter and then do the dir/a/b/s.   If the GUI Delete operation worked (e.g. Ctrl-Shift-Delete, etc.) we would expect those dir commands to show nothing.   (Ha. ha.  In fact, if you have other users of the TIF (such as WLMail) don't be surprised if you see lots of undeleted files then.   But presumably those won't affect your symptom.)   I would be more concerned if this procedure shows you that there are still Cookies hanging around.   In that case I would use stronger measures than the GUI, deleting the whole folder using a different admin account if necessary.


    Good luck

    Robert
    ---

    Monday, November 15, 2010 8:47 PM
  • Ah ha!  Now I think you're on to something.  Deleting cookies definitely did clear out everything in shell:cookies, but deleteing TIF left 1000's of files behind. 

    As an experiment, I'm now logged in on the same computer, but running as a different user and viola!  I'm able to log into the forums application.   Seems like a thorough housecleaning of the TIF folder for my primary user may be what's needed to get this cleaned up.  Presumably there's some cached .JS file that's causing the problem with the site, and for some reason, deleting TIF is not clearing it out.

    I like the idea of nuking the entire TIF folder when logged in (exclusively) as another admin user.  Hopefully, that'll clear it up!

     

    Update: While it's defintiely something tied to the particular user on this particular machine, it doesn't seem to be anything in the Cookies or TIF folders.  Logged in as elevated local admin, I completely nuked the Cookies and TIF folders for my primary user profile.  Logging back in as my primary user and going to the forums app - no change.  Still can't log in.

    The symptom, by the way, is that when I go to the forums home page it always displays the "Sign in to forums" link, regardless of whether I was already logged in with Live ID at another property (e.g. MSDN home).  Clicking on the link takes me through the normal Live ID sign in process, which then returns me to the forums home page, which still shows me as not logged in.


    -cd Mark the best replies as answers!
    Monday, November 15, 2010 10:40 PM
  • Carl,

    I have it worse than you, I can log in, but after I do I get nothing but HTTP 500's (server-side errors!) at the site, until I kill the browser, start a new one and come back.  The same login, browser version and OS version work from other workstations.  As you say, it started about two weeks ago.  See my related thread.

    I got a call from MSDN support and worked with them to get fiddler traces a couple of weeks ago, and the behavior has changed a little bit since then, but remains broken for me too.

    Josh

    http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/reportabug/thread/f418ec27-520c-452b-bfd9-772a4ff1b97d

     

    Saturday, November 20, 2010 3:33 PM
  • I got a call from MSDN support and worked with them to get fiddler traces a couple of weeks ago, and the behavior has changed a little bit since then, but remains broken for me too.

    I saw no mention of Cookies in that thread.   Corrupt or obsolete Cookies are the most likely reason for your symptom.   In XP you can use the TIF Viewer Details view sorted by Last Accessed to find out which Cookies were used by your request.   (Alt-T,O,Alt-S,V  Alt-V,D  Alt-V,I,Last Accessed).   Alternatively open a cmd window with current directory set to your Cookies directory and do a dir/a/s/od/ta  to list the last ones accessed.   (XP doesn't have subdirectories for Cookies so that /s could be omitted in it.)  It is important to consider the last accessed time rather than the last write time because the most common problems are caused by the site receiving and checking old Cookies but not updating them.   If you delete them you would be guaranteed fresh ones if they were needed--provided you were accessing a site via a front door and not a back door.   ; )

    If you have Fiddler traces of it working and not working you could check the Cookies referenced in both cases.   The problem would likely be in the request which is associated with the 500 response.  So, compare that with the equivalent request in a trace where it was working normally.


    Good luck

    Robert Aldwinckle
    ---
     
    Sunday, November 21, 2010 3:41 PM
  • I saw no mention of Cookies in that thread.

    In the LiveMeeting session we did fool with cookies, and with new ids.  We sorted the cookies by last access (I think) and deleted just the few recently touched.  Made no difference.  Also cleared TIF.

    Beyond that I freely admit it's beyond me, but I humbly propose that nothing in a bad cookie should cause a server 500 error.

    I'm posting this on a second workstation (laptop) where things are still working, but don't always have it available.

    Josh

    Sunday, November 21, 2010 4:36 PM
  • Beyond that I freely admit it's beyond me, but I humbly propose that nothing in a bad cookie should cause a server 500 error.

    Fiddler traces wouldn't be that hard for you to puzzle with.   ; )
     
    Monday, November 22, 2010 6:11 AM
  • I am sorry to report that I have exactly the problem reported by Carl Daniel in a differen environment (Windows 7 Ent 32 bit, Internet Explorer 8).

    Also, it may be a coincidence but I the problem started more or less at the same time.

    I tried to clear everything from cookies to TIF, with no success.

    My current workaround is using Firefox portable, but it's not a satisfying solution.

    Did the issue ever get resolved?


    NPitacco
    Saturday, December 18, 2010 12:18 AM
  • Not for me - on my primary dev machine I'm still unable to log into forums under my primary user profile.  Different machine or different (windows) user - everything's fine.

     


    -cd Mark the best replies as answers!
    • Edited by Carl Daniel Sunday, December 19, 2010 7:11 AM
    Saturday, December 18, 2010 12:52 AM
  • Works fine if I use Chrome too - guess it's time to switch browsers.  Sorry, IE.
    -cd Mark the best replies as answers!
    • Proposed as answer by Naomi NModerator Monday, August 29, 2011 2:15 AM
    • Unproposed as answer by Carl Daniel Monday, August 29, 2011 3:00 AM
    Saturday, December 18, 2010 7:23 PM
  • I tried to clear everything from cookies to TIF, with no success.

    Another approach would be using IE's InPrivate browsing mode.  E.g. press Ctrl-Shift-P to start that.  That would have the same effect as starting a new session and presumably without any reference to any saved Cookies.


    Good luck

    Robert
    ---
    Saturday, December 18, 2010 9:21 PM
  • Another approach would be using IE's InPrivate browsing mode.  E.g. press Ctrl-Shift-P to start that.  That would have the same effect as starting a new session and presumably without any reference to any saved Cookies.

    I tried that weeks ago - no effect.  Clearly, there's some spill-over from the normal browser state to the InPrivate browser state - it's not as isolated as one is led to believe.

     


    -cd Mark the best replies as answers!
    Sunday, December 19, 2010 4:50 AM
  • Can I have each you try signing at at this page? http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/profile/ and let me know whether this has the same problem?
    Community Forums Program Manager
    Sunday, December 19, 2010 6:40 AM
  • Can I have each you try signing at at this page? http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/profile/ and let me know whether this has the same problem?
    Community Forums Program Manager
    Yes - same problem.  But I can sign in other places, e.g. here or here.
    -cd Mark the best replies as answers!
    Sunday, December 19, 2010 6:56 AM
  • The problem is still the same on http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/profile/ .

    I have a new "special effect": If I login to http://msdn.microsoft.com/ (which works) and attempt to open http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/profile/ or the partner forums in a new tab, the new page goes in a loop, apparently attempting to login, failing and retrying


    NPitacco
    Monday, December 20, 2010 8:04 AM
  • The problem is still the same on http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/profile/ .

    I have a new "special effect": If I login to http://msdn.microsoft.com/ (which works) and attempt to open http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/profile/ or the partner forums in a new tab, the new page goes in a loop, apparently attempting to login, failing and retrying


    NPitacco

    I saw that behavior for a day or two back when the problem first appeared in early November.  I haven't seen it since, but that was actually the first symptom that I observed.

    I've seen that sort of thing from Live ID before, typically around site upgrades, and it usually calms down after a day or two - I assumed it would in this case as well, but alas...


    -cd Mark the best replies as answers!
    Monday, December 20, 2010 3:39 PM
  • ...and even after updating to IE9 RTW I still ahve to use Chrome to access these forums.  Whatever cookie-gremlin is affecting this user profile, it survived the update.

     


    -cd Mark the best replies as answers!
    Wednesday, March 16, 2011 2:37 PM
  • I am in the exact same boat.  I cannot use IE (7,8 or 9) to access msdn forums.  I'm able to access lots of other Microsoft sites (volume licensing, bizspark, etc.), just not the forums.

     

    If I try the "log into forums" link, the live logon page says I'm already logged in and to hit continue, then the forum page shows me as not logged in again.  If I use the "sign-in" link in the upper right corner of the page, I get a similar experience, only instead of returning me to the page, the browser seems to bounce between two URL's then finally just stops trying.

    It's very frustrating to have to use another browser just to use these extremely useful forums...


    Thanks! Toby
    Friday, March 25, 2011 3:53 PM
  • could you guys get an answer? Please let meknow if you could. Now i am facing the same issue.

    If I login to http://msdn.microsoft.com/ (which works) and attempt to open http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/profile/ or the partner forums in a new tab, the new page goes in a loop, apparently attempting to login, failing and retrying.

     

    Please help.


    Bishnupriya Pradhan
    Thursday, August 25, 2011 6:20 PM
  • I was lucky. I waited so long that my company changed my PC :-(

    Obviously access to their own forums is not a priority for Microsoft

    Nadia


    NPitacco
    Thursday, August 25, 2011 6:32 PM
  • Have you tried using Google Chrome (albeit a bit ironic for a MS employee)?

    I was wondering why I haven't seen you answering for some time.


    For every expert, there is an equal and opposite expert. - Becker's Law


    My blog
    Monday, August 29, 2011 2:17 AM
    Moderator
  • Hi All,

    For this sign-in issue:

    - click sign-in,
    - submit the credentials etc on the Live-Id sign up page
    - the previous Forums page reappears with the “sign-in” link still there


    In IE setting, if any of these sites in different zones (Trusted, Intranet etc...) (Forum site and Live Id site):  http://*.microsoft.com or https://*.microsoft.com or https://login.live.com, the user would get this issue.

    Either we shoudn't have any of the sites or ensure all the above sites are part of same zone.

    Thanks,
    Arun Ganesh


    Forums Program Manager
    • Marked as answer by Carl Daniel Wednesday, August 31, 2011 3:18 AM
    Tuesday, August 30, 2011 11:35 PM
  • Huzzah!  After 10 months, finally an answer!  The evil IE security zones strike again.  In fact, I'd added various of the social.msdn.microsoft.com hosts to the trusted zone in order to make the forum post editors work correctly (likely due to bugs in the forum site that are long since fixed).  For now, I just added a few more sites to the trusted zone and all's well.  I suspect that removing all of these sites from the trusted zone is the better answer - I don't have any of them in the trusted zone on any computer except this one.

    Thanks, Arun!


    -cd Mark the best replies as answers!
    Wednesday, August 31, 2011 3:21 AM