When being logged out, I can see the Microsoft web pages. I have trouble accessing Microsoft websites after signing in with my Windows Live ID. For many pages I try to access, it redirects me to an error page. However, I need to login in order to access some resources, e.g. the Windows 10 Insider builds (related SuperUser question).
AFAIK, I have only one Microsoft Live account and I maintain my password with KeePass since years, so it's unlikely a credentials issue. There's no error message about invalid username or password. I have received emails from Microsoft on that account lately (June or so). In addition, I was able to update my Visual Studio Community edition license using that account today. All in all I'm quite sure it's the correct email address and password that I use to log in.
My default OS is Windows 7 x64 SP1 Professional and my browser is Firefox 48.0.2 with Adblock Plus and HTTPS Everywhere installed. I don't need a Proxy and I have not enabled proxy settings. My virus scanner is ESET NOD32 9.0.402.0.
While the Windows language is English, my keyboard is German (default) but I can switch to English and Chinese. I notice that Google searches often bring me to German Microsoft pages, e.g. the German version of MSDN. I'm not sure if this relates to the issue.
I have tried others (see below).
I am connected to the Internet via Ethernet (private 192.x network) that goes over an unmanaged switch directly into a DSL router (Fritz!Box 7362SL). My line is 50 MBit/s downstream and 10 MBit/s upstream. A speed check roughly confirms that. There's nothing noticeable about the Internet connection in general. E.g. I can access my server via SSH, StackOverflow works well etc.
C:\Users\Thomas>nslookup microsoft.com Server: fritz.box Address: fd00::ca0e:14ff:fed7:9909 Non-authoritative answer: Name: microsoft.com Addresses: 126.96.36.199 188.8.131.52 184.108.40.206 220.127.116.11 18.104.22.168
When I enter
microsoft.com into my browser's address bar, it redirects me to
On that error page, I can click various links that also generate an error:
"Download Center" (http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/default.aspx) --> https://www.microsoft.com/library/errorpages/smarterror.aspx?aspxerrorpath=/en-us/download/ "All Microsoft Sites" (http://www.microsoft.com/en/us/sitemap.aspx) --> https://www.microsoft.com/library/errorpages/smarterror.aspx?aspxerrorpath=/en-us/sitemap.aspx "Microsoft Worldwide" (http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/WorldWide.aspx) --> https://www.microsoft.com/library/errorpages/smarterror.aspx?aspxerrorpath=/en-us/worldwide.aspx
Most important to me at the moment is the Windows 10 ISO download link that does not work as well
https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windowsinsiderpreviewadvanced --> https://www.microsoft.com/library/errorpages/smarterror.aspx?aspxerrorpath=/en-us/software-download/windowsinsiderpreviewadvanced
Some other pages work:
"PC Hardware" (https://www.microsoft.com/accessories/en-us) "Security Essentials" (http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows/products/security-essentials)
How to fix it? Of secondary interest: the technical details on how this can happen and learn about other possibilities of troubleshooting such an issue.
I have tried
The question I can't access any Microsoft website did not reveal things that I considered as interesting.
On the same system:
- logging out and signing in again
- typing the email and password manually instead of having KeePass type it
- disabling Adblock Plus in Firefox
- disabling HTTPS Everywhere in Firefox
- disabling ESET NOD32 for a while ("pause protection")
- using Google Chrome 52.0.2743.116 m
- using Google Chrome 53.0.2785.89 m
- using Internet Explorer 11.0.9600.18426 (Update version 11.0.34)
- using Opera 39.0.2256.48
- disabling IPv6 support of the Ethernet LAN adapter
- switching the User Agent to iPhone 3.0
- looking at C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc\hosts - it does not contain any entries
- checking the proxy settings - it's "no proxy"
- uninstalling ESET NOD32 and rebooting the system
In a VMWare 12.1.1 build 3770994 VM with Windows 7 x64 SP1 Home Premium:
- no Adblock Plus installed
- no HTTPS Everywhere installed
- no virus scanner installed
- Internet Explorer 10.0.9200.17609
In a VMWare with a modern.ie VM Windows 8.1 Enterprise:
- Internet Explorer 11.0.9600.17416 (Update version 11.0.14)
In the Firefox network analysis I see the following when I enter "microsoft.com" in the address bar:
- using HTTP 1.1 Request URL: http://microsoft.com/ gives a HTTP 301 "moved permanently"
- using HTTP 2.0 Request URL: https://www.microsoft.com/ gives a HTTP 302 "found" with Location https://www.microsoft.com/de-de/
- using HTTP 2.0 Request URL: https://www.microsoft.com/de-de/ gives another HTTP 302 "found" with Location https://www.microsoft.com/library/errorpages/smarterror.aspx?aspxerrorpath=/de-de/
- using HTTP 2.0 Request URL: https://www.microsoft.com/library/errorpages/smarterror.aspx?aspxerrorpath=/de-de/ gives HTTP 404 "not found"
- [...] downloading of resources describing the HTTP 404 HTML page
Using Wireshark I can see it's sending a cookie. The content is cryptic, probably like it should be because it only stores a few hashes. I can also see that it connects to an IP address that was not listed by
nslookup: 22.214.171.124. IMHO that's ok, because it uses some Akamai load balancing or similar.