The most common reason for Escargot accounts not being able to log on to MSN Messenger 1.0 – 4.7 on the MSN frontend is because they weren’t enabled to support the insecure login methods those versions of MSN use. This is easily fixable if you have any version of the MSN Messenger client starting from 1.0 to any 4.7 build before 2009 by following these steps:
Go to the Escargot site.
Click on the button.
On the registration page, click on the link next to “To reset/change your password for an existing account”. This will take you to the “Forgot Password” page.
On the “Forgot Password” page, enter in the e-mail you want to add old MSN support to and click on “Send the reset email”.
As soon as you click on the button mentioned above, you should get an e-mail titled “Escargot password reset requested” from
firstname.lastname@example.org, which looks like this:
Follow the link at the bottom of the e-mail, and you should be taken to a password reset page with two password fields and a checkbox that says “Old MSN support (required to log in to MSN 1/2/3/4). These versions are insecure.” For the password fields, you can just enter in your existing password, but the important thing is to check the checkbox before confirming the password reset. Another thing to note is that like the checkbox states, enabling old MSN support means storing your password hashed with MD5, an insecure hashing algorithm, onto your account. This does not necessarily mean you’re potentially risking yourself to getting hacked, but make sure you know what you’re doing and what you’re getting yourself into before enabling the feature. After you confirm the password reset, try logging in to the old version of MSN that you want to use, and you should be able to access your contact list and message people.
If you’re really keen on using insecure MSN clients, but don’t want to worry about the old MSN support affecting your account, you can easily create a throwaway account with a different email and password.
MSN 4.7.2009 – 3001
While 4.7 builds 2009 – 3001 are part of the same version that used insecure login in earlier builds, these specific builds transition the authentication method to the more secure HTTPS authentication used in MSN 5.0 and above. Unfortunately, Escargot does not provide pre-patched binaries for these specific builds at the moment, so you’ll have to resort to manually patching the files yourself. If you don’t know how to patch binaries, get a friend to help you, and regardless, follow these steps:
Download a hex editor suited for modifying binary files. HxD is a good one to use.
Download and install any of the 4.7 builds from 2009 through 3001 if you haven’t already. Build 3001 is a Windows XP SP3-exclusive feature, meaning it can’t be installed through normal means. We’d recommend installing build 2009 in general cases.
With the hex editor, open the Messenger executable, which is usually located at
C:\Program Files (x86)\Messenger\msmsgs.exe(or
C:\Program Files\Messenger\msmsgs.exefor 32-bit Windows users).
Use the hex editor’s search function to patch ALL instances of the following strings:
Passporturls(this is the name of an HTTP header used during authentication; you have to patch this as our production server changes the casing of header names to something more standard, which includes
PassportURLs, which would break Messenger if not patched. If possible, we’ll look into other solutions to remove the need to patch this string)
If you’re running these builds on Vista or higher, then we recommend you to set the compatibility settings on the Messenger executable. To do this, go to the directory where you found the Messenger executable last time to patch it, and right click on the executable and select “Properties”. Select the “Compatibility” tab in the Properties window, then check the checkbox that says “Run this program in compatibility mode for:”. Select the drop-down menu below it, choose the “Windows XP (Service Pack 3)” option, and click “OK”. When you run Messenger afterwards, you should be able to login and access your contacts.