I'm not at all sure how these things work exactly, but it sounds like the background service isn't running, or is locked up for some reason. Have you tried the very latest version of windows live messenger?(that's what they call "MSN" these days). You should also check windows update for any updates to your OS or, specifically, to the '.NET framework'.
If all else fails, you can always go to ebuddy.com, or somewhere similar, that allows you to sign into your IM account.
1. Go to microsoft.com and find windows live messenger (the latest version). Install it, but don't try it yet...
2. Check windows update first, and install all updates that it lists there. Then....
3. Try Live Messenger.
4. If it still doesn't work, use a web based IM service until someone smarter than me comes along and tells you what the problem is.
No instant messengers will work for me anymore. I'm using a desktop with Windows XP. I completed a virus scan with Symantec, a run of Spybot S & D, a Disk Defragment, and a Disk Clean (compressed files). Still no cigar.
Even when no other applications running, instant messengers won't work. I tried re-installing several times. Both versions of MSN that I have lock up in the "signing in" window. AIM won't let me click submit or press enter too begin signing in. I believe yahoo messenger locked up also, but I'm not positive.
Anybody know why I have this problem and how I can fix it?