Windows Live Messenger 9 unable to connect with error 81000306 – solution ?

So, after installing Windows 7 Release Candidate (Build 7100) and trying to connect to Windows Live Messenger (14.0.8064.206), I kept getting error 81000306 and could not connect.

It’s important to note that these errors (on a Dell Latitude D620 with 2GB of memory) were on a dial-up modem connection although I doubt that was part of the error.

I found some potential advice over at the Windows Live Messenger Live Spaces blog which suggests doing some adjustments to the WLM proxy settings. The problem is that the advice provided seems to presume that WLM can be started normally in order to access the Tools menu ; this, in my case, wasn’t possible; I couldn’t even start Windows Live Messenger!

Those very instructions also suggest disabling the Windows Vista Auto Tuning Networking feature using the command line and entering “netsh interface tcp set global autotuninglevel=disabled“.

I made that change (using Run as Administrator, of course) and attempted to reconnect using Windows Live Messenger. After about 90 seconds of the rotating WLM graphic… no dice. I got the 81000306 error once again.

The instructions at the WLM Live Space say to revert the disabling of Auto Network Tuning using the “netsh interface tcp set global autotuninglevel=normal” command… so this is what I just did.

Amazingly, after REVERTING to Auto Network Tuning BACK on, I was able to connect using Windows Live Messenger. So, if this topsy turvy method of disabling Auto Network Tuning, and then reactivating it as I instructed above, worked for you – please do leave a comment below!