Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Getting rid of the annoying flash/shockwave commercial in MSN messenger

It started with web sites. They would put a small picture in the header of the site that on mouse over would fill the entire page with rubbish. We fixed it, usually, by using some utilities or by changing the ip of the offending ad to some non-sense ip.

Now they used the same ploy for Windows Live Messenger (formerly known as MSN). One could say that Microsoft doesn't need more money, but apparently they do. On YOUR expense! So, how can one get rid of the annoying flash ad at the bottom of MSN? Easy! Follow these steps (tested on version 8.5):
  1. Open folder Program Files\Windows Live\Messenger
  2. Copy file msgsres.dll to msgsres.dll.bak
  3. Find a text or hex editor that does not break a binary file on save (That means NO Notepad or Wordpad). Myself I used the text editor from FAR Manager, but there are tons of good freeware editors online. Just Google it.
  4. Open the msgsres.dll file with the text editor, look for
    <Element Id=Atom(AdBrowserCont) Layout=VerticalFlowLayout(0,0,3,0) Visible=false Padding=Rect(8,2,0,2)>
    and replace one letter from AdBrowserCont. I changed the A to an X, but it doesn't matter. What is important is not to change the length of the file; just replace, do not insert or delete anything.

That is all. The ad container will still appear and show the Windows Live Messenger window, but no ad will be loaded.

Of course, this is the do-it-yourself version. There is an utility that is largely recommended on the web to fix MSN, Windows Live Messenger and Yahoo Messenger ad issues, and that is A-patch, but I haven't tested it yet.