Currently Windows 7 users are failing to play one of the build-in Internet games like Internet Spades, Internet Backgammon, Internet Checker. The game simply returns an error 0x80041004. [Update: It seems, that Microsoft has fixed/reset the game server – MS Windows 7 Internet games are again functional.]
Windows 7 comes with several pre-installed games, some of them are Internet-based, like Internet Spades, Internet Backgammon, Internet Checker. Here is my German Windows 7 start menu showing the game entries.
Playing this games it’s mandatory, that a successful Internet connection is available and that Microsoft’s game servers are running. But: If a user tries to launch one of the Internet-based games listed above, he or she receives an error 0x80041004.
I’ve searched Microsoft Answers forum for error 0x80041004, and found this, this, this and this. It seems, that error 0x80041004 isn’t rare – in some cases, the error has been fixed by “itself” – some kind of voodoo. Or in other words: Microsoft server issues has been fixed by Microsoft staff. So (if the MS server stalls) it is really pointless to proceed the trouble shooting tips given in the Microsoft Answers threads linked above. I’ve visited the site isitdownrightnow.com. Although zone.msn.com is listed as “up”, there are many people reporting, that Windows Internet games won’t work anymore.
Visiting the MSN site for Spades shows, that Spades has been retired since October 2015. So it seems, that the MSN game server is switched off at that time. And one user’s comment here also claiming, that Microsoft’s game server has been switched off. And here one of my MVP colleagues reports the same thing.
Voodoo has happens again …
Uhh, above I mentioned “voodoo” has fixed this issue in the past. This morning (12/2/1015) I stumbled upon a post in Microsoft answers forum:
Problem solved. Yeay, I can now play Internet backgammon after days of torture. I use Win 7. Clear the SSL State by following these steps.
- Press the Windows Key and the R key simultaneously to get the Run prompt.
- In the Run prompt, type inetcpl.cpl and press enter.
- In the Internet Properties window, click on the Content tab.
- Click on Clear SSL State.
This solution has been posted also in this Microsoft Answers thread. While I appreciate this suggestion, it’s senseless in our case! I was notified about that post – so I fired up my Windows 7 machine (which wasn’t able to run MS Internet games during the last days). Before I followed the steps given above, I fired up Internet Backgammon – and voilà, the game runs without any interaction, without resetting Windows 7, without resetting SSL state and so on. Just a kind of voodoo – or some Microsoft engineer hit the reset button on a game server.
Which brought my minds 3 and a half decades back in history. As a young engineer I made the experience, that all users working with thumb terminals on main frames tries to switch to the upcoming IBM PCs. These machines offered to work independent from “central mainframe infrastructure”. Nowadays there is a movement to force users back to “server infrastructure within the cloud”. History will be repeated only as a farce …