Windows 7: Sidebar weather gadget “service not available”

win7It seems that a lot of Windows Vista and Windows 7 users are facing trouble with their sidebar gadgets. The weather gadget fails and reports “Service not available”.


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This issue has been popped up during the last years from time to time. Some sidebar gadgets like the weather app reporting “Service not available”.

Gadged01

I wrote a couple of blog articles about this issue for my German blog readers. Since begin of February I recognized several thousands accesses to this really old blog post. After re-invoking my sidebar under Windows 7, my weather gadget shows the same behavior.

Microsoft has closed support for sidebar gadgets

Microsoft has announced in 2012 (as far as I remember), that due to security issues sidebar and sidebar gadgets are no longer supported. Windows 8 comes with apps, so sidebar gadgets are no longer required (in Microsoft’s view).

Nevertheless, sidebar gadgets still worked till February 1 2015. It seems, that the service money.service.msn.com has been shutdown at begin of February. So gadgets can’t reach the weather service and displays “Service not available”.

Some users are reporting, that their weather gadget is still running properly on one machine, whilst a second machine fails. One user reported, that on a machine one account works, while the second account causes the “Service not available” message. Searching the internet shows a lot of hits with partial solutions like:

  • Vista – Clear cache under %LocalAppData%\Local\Microsoft\Windows Sidebar\Cache\168522d5-1082-4df2-b2f6-9185c31f9472 (here is another thread suggesting another cache path)
  • Search for file configw7.xml – if available, rename it to config.xml and copy it to path
    %LocalAppData%\Local\Microsoft\ Windows Live\Services\Cache
  • Or even simpler – open %localappdata%\Microsoft\Windows Live\Services\Cache\Config.xml in editor and save it – shall solve the problem
  • Copy the files mentioned here from a working machine into the failed account.

This fixes some wrong server settings and redirects the gadget to still running services. But I guess, this will be only a temporary solution – if it even works. Microsoft’s own sidebar gadgets are dead. An alternative could be to install third party whether gadgets. I’ve tested this gadget (should be available also in English). Some other solutions could be (I haven’t tested it): 7 sidebar, 8GadgetPack. So my recommendations: Don’t waste your time fixing Microsoft’s weather gadget and use a third party solution.


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8 Responses to Windows 7: Sidebar weather gadget “service not available”

  1. Not a problem though since the MSN weather gadget works perfectly fine, and it looks almost exactly the same as the default Win 7 gadget, except you get a 5 day forecast instead of 3.

    You can download it here http://gallery-live.com/sidebar-gadgets/MSN%20Weather%202.0

    Close your existing Foreca gadget.
    Asks you do you want to over-write your existing gadget? = click OK

    Bottom of page 21 in Microsoft forum (Website link), provides screenshots.
    See what you think

    • guenni says:

      The gadget doesn’t work in a German Win 7 – not digital signed certificate warning during install – no occuring after install.

      But I found (maybe) another solution. Have a look at Anders Willhelmsson’s post here in Microsoft Answers-Forum. He set config.xml file date to 2017 and did a write protect on that file.

      But that doesn’t works on all systems. My Win 7 install did not have a config.xml in cache, because I’ve never uses gadgets sind 5 years – and now they fails to work.

      Also some guy here claims installing another wheather app fixes the issue.

    • Frankie says:

      I have been using this gadget for a few years. The last couple days it is a day behind> shows today, (tomorrow as Saturday and today should be Saturday-showing today thru Tuesday-again today is Saturday-not tomorrow. )

  2. Tom says:

    Resaving the mentioned above config.xml to get an actual file date finally solved the problem for me.

  3. Val says:

    The solution at the third bullet worked for me.

    The weather gadget had stopped working after a reboot.

  4. velociraptor says:

    There is very easy solution Please follow the insturctions:
    1. Download and extract the Following zip file
    http://www.sordum.net/forum/download/file.php?id=94
    after that use only once “hava_durumu_tamir.exe”
    that is all if it doesn’t work
    2. use Msn gatget
    https://yadi.sk/d/384iiUZfeYam5

    • Frankie says:

      Neither worked.>>>http://www.sordum.net/forum/download/file.php?id=94
      after that use only once “hava_durumu_tamir.exe”
      that is all if it doesn’t work
      2. use Msn gatget
      https://yadi.sk/d/384iiUZfeYam5
      Also noticed Foreca in bottom left corner don’t think was there before.

      Continues to show Saturday as tomorrow when today is Saturday—I have been using this gadget for a few years. The last couple days it is a day behind> shows today, (tomorrow as Saturday and today should be Saturday-showing today thru Tuesday-again today is Saturday-not tomorrow. )

  5. Gerardo says:

    The config.xml solution not work anymore.

    Or I have a bad config.xml. Maybe someone can post a good one.

    Thanks.

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