Can't Find, Re-subscribe or subscribe to any Excel NG's

Discussion in 'Windows Live Mail' started by Paul Calcagno, Jun 8, 2010.

  1. I'm running Vista Home Premium SP2, 2 GB RAM, Firefox, Spyware Doctor (with
    real-time Intelliscan), MBAM, SAS and Cleaner, Office 2007.

    I might be posting on the wrong NG but that's because I cannot seem to
    subscribe anymore to any Excel NG's such as: Microsoft.
    public.excel.anythingatall, so I can't set up a new post.

    Each of these NG's related to Excel is declaring that there are "no posts
    available anymore". I used to be subscribed to Microsoft.
    public.excel.setup, Microsoft. public.excel.programming, Microsoft.
    public.excel.general, and a few others but they seem to be all gone now, and
    in fact they all vanished (with the same note about no postings) today. Each
    time I tried to sync up to get new posts on any of these Excel NG's they
    started disappearing with that error message.

    Is anyone else having problems subscribing/posting on these Excel NG's?
    Would a virus cause this? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks in advance...............Paul C.
    Paul Calcagno, Jun 8, 2010
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  2. Correction, the error message I'm getting actually says: "Newsgroup
    Microsoft.public.excel.programming is not available on the news server
    `Microsoft Communities'". I get this error message for any Excel NG that I
    try to go to (ie subscribe to).

    Am I perhaps using the wrong port? I am (and have always used port 119 (on
    the advanced properties tab)..........Paul C.
    Paul Calcagno, Jun 8, 2010
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  3. George Valenti, Jun 8, 2010
  4. Paul Calcagno

    Bruce Hagen Guest

    Bruce Hagen, Jun 8, 2010
  5. George, thank you for your reply, but you're going to have to say this in a
    little plainer English.
    Am I supposed to be downloading something called an NNTP Answer's Bridge and
    what the heck is that? I used to be subscribed to several NG's with the
    word Excel in them. I DID NOT DELETE them. They just started declaring that
    "Newsgroup Microsoft.public.excel.programming is not available on the news
    server `Microsoft Communities'", and now their no longer on my Newsgroup
    listing for me to subscribe to.
    Where did they go and why did they go. The rest of my NG's (like the one
    I'm using to post to you) are working just fine.
    Paul C.
    Paul Calcagno, Jun 8, 2010
  6. Bruce, thanks for your reply.

    Are you saying that the Excel NG's were all deleted on June 1st? And if so,
    does that mean I can never view or respond to Excel NG post anymore?

    Paul C.

    Paul Calcagno, Jun 8, 2010
  7. Paul Calcagno

    Bruce Hagen Guest

    Here's the whole story.

    Microsoft Responds to the Evolution of Communities

    By October, the MS news server will cease to exist. Other news servers
    will continue to carry the newsgroups. How long, no one knows.

    If you subscribed to a server such as Eternal-September, you will find
    your lost groups. That said, there will be less people asking and
    answering posts as time goes on. I am posting now in the new Microsoft
    Answers forums as well as the Usenet groups.

    You do not need the NNTP Bridge to access the forums. You can decide on
    that later.

    This is the forum equivalent to the Microsoft. public.excel.programming

    Here is the Microsoft Answers home page.
    Bruce Hagen
    MS-MVP [Mail]
    Imperial Beach, CA

    Bruce Hagen, Jun 8, 2010
  8. Hi Bruce, thanks so much for that fine description of the current situation.
    Turns out I just subscribed to the MS Answers Forum a few minutes ago and
    posted a question about these lost NG's so I think I now will be able to get
    the rest of my Office/Excel questions answered.
    I really got used to and like the fact that the NG's were part of WLM. That
    way, I had a record of what questions I asked in the posts that I created.
    Sounds like the Answers website won't offer that feature.

    Regards............Paul C.

    Paul Calcagno, Jun 8, 2010
  9. Since June 1st all the NGs are slowly being fazed out. The new access
    portal is thru forums. In order to get access to the forums in WLM you will
    have to download the answers nntp bridge from the link I provided below.

    George Valenti, Jun 8, 2010
  10. Paul Calcagno

    Bruce Hagen Guest

    I really got used to and like the fact that the NG's were part of WLM.
    Since this is a Web based forum, you can bookmark any thread and save it
    to a folder in My Favorites.

    The NNTP Bridge looks like your newsgroups, but complete threads are
    broken. I constantly see someone reply to a post with the exact same
    answer I gave hours earlier because they couldn't see my reply. I use the
    bridge more for a 'notification' or 'alert, and then do the actual posting
    in the real forum.

    Here is the NNTP Bridge info should you want to test it out.

    Bruce Hagen
    MS-MVP [Mail]
    Imperial Beach, CA

    Bruce Hagen, Jun 8, 2010
  11. Thanks, Bruce.

    For now I'll stick with the Answers forum and assume most who used to use
    NG's in WLM will migrate over to that. My fear is that if I went with the
    NNTP Bridge approach there won't me many who even know about it for quite a
    while (which would mean less responses to my posts). Might make more sense
    for me to wait a while and migrate to NNTP later.
    Besides, just the description of the NNTP features (you sent me) looks
    daunting and contains language that I can't relate to.

    Paul C.

    Paul Calcagno, Jun 8, 2010
  12. Paul Calcagno

    R. C. White Guest

    Hi, Paul.

    I'm no techie, but I've used computers long enough to have picked up some of
    the knowledge and jargon. I've used newsgroups for well over a decade and
    email lot longer. And I've been trying to use the NNTP Bridge since the
    early beta over a year ago. It's just now getting to be usable - for me.

    NNTP means Network News Transfer Protocol, which is different from HTTP,
    Hypertext Transfer Protocol. News servers and clients (such as OE/WM/WLM
    and others) use NNTP; Internet browsers (such as Internet Explorer and many
    others) use HTTP. Newsgroups use NNTP and are hosted on news servers, such
    as; a quick search for "news servers free" will turn up
    thousands of other free news servers, including and Forums are hosted on websites, including - and millions of others. Many forums are
    privately owned or sponsored and there are MANY for Windows 7 (search "forum
    windows 7"). Most of these forums require "membership" for more than casual
    use, such as for posting, so that they can be moderated effectively.

    After years of providing these 2,000+ public newsgroups, Microsoft decided
    to close them and transition its free support efforts to Forums. There are
    several families of Microsoft Forums, including Answers, MSDN, TechNet and
    others. Some require paid subscriptions, but Answers requires only that the
    user register, using a Live ID, which is free. As has been announced in
    each newsgroup multiple times, this transition started with closure of many
    newsgroups as of June 1, 2010; all of the public newsgroups will be closed
    before the end of 2010.

    During this transition period, there is a lot of confusion as to which Forum
    will be appropriate for (former) users of each of the 2,000 newsgroups.
    There is not a true one-to-one matching of forum names and content to their
    newsgroup counterparts - as you've seen with the Excel newsgroups and

    To TRY to ease our transition, Microsoft developed the NNTP Bridge. As the
    name suggests, this is not a new forum or newsgroup; it is not new content.
    It is only a way for users of Windows Live Mail and other newsreader clients
    to access the Forums without using their browsers. Using the Bridge, we
    create a new News Account with the default name of "", which
    translates to "Localhost", which just means our own computer - which
    connects to the Internet via Port 119 to see the Forums. In other words,
    when I use the Bridge in WLM to access Answers.en-US.w7desktop on the News Account, I am reading exactly the same messages as when I use
    IE8 to go to .
    In still other words, I can read the question posted by "ekelleci" on June
    6, 2010, Subject: "windows 7 settings changes to where?" in two ways:

    In WLMail, via the Bridge, I subscribe to the Answers.en-US.w7desktop
    "newsgroup" and download the messages there. Then I can read ekelleci's
    question and that whole thread.

    Or, in IE8, I can go to:

    and read the same thread.

    I can post a Reply in WLM, or in the browser; either way, it will show up in
    the thread - in both WLM/Bridge and the Forum.

    To find the Excel forums, go to . Or install
    the Bridge and subscribe to Technet.en-US.excel (but I don't know if that
    TechNet forum is available without a paid subscription).

    R. C. White, CPA
    San Marcos, TX

    Microsoft Windows MVP
    Windows Live Mail 2009 (14.0.8089.0726) in Win7 Ultimate x64)

    R. C. White, Jun 8, 2010
  13. Paul Calcagno

    ...winston Guest

    Use of the Bridge client Bruce recommended will allow you to read the Answers Forums in your news client(WLM, current[2009
    version/Wave 3 and the next Wave 4 version due out later this year] instead of Internet Explorer or another will see
    the same posts and replies using either.

    ms-mvp mail

    ...winston, Jun 9, 2010
  14. R.C. thanks so much for that fine explanation. Having the background is
    always helpful. Sounds like I'm going to install the bridge so I can read
    and post within WLM. Paul C.

    Paul Calcagno, Jun 9, 2010
  15. RC, et al, I've got some trouble with my attempts to download and install
    the NNTP Bridge.

    I followed the instructions for downloading the bridge and that seemed to go
    ok. Then I checked in my WLM Newsgroups and saw a new Account called
    `'. Ok, fine so far, but when I click on that
    account it appears to start the process of downloading new posts, but THEN
    STOPS and asks me for my password for my Live login name server (which is
    `'). That's when everything stops because the
    password I created during the NNTP install process (which I wrote down)
    doesn't work. I put in that PW and it's not accepted. I've tried every
    other version of that password and it doesn't work. I also tried my main
    WLM user name and password to no avail.
    At this point I haven't a clue what to do. I can still sign in/read/post new
    posts on MS Answers Forums.

    Any help would be appreciated. Thanks..........Paul C.

    Paul Calcagno, Jun 10, 2010
  16. Paul Calcagno

    R. C. White Guest

    Hi, Paul.

    Well, I'll try to add some more, but it gets confusing - to me, at least.
    There actually two, no, THREE Bridges. The first two are from Microsoft;
    one handles forums in the Answers family, the other handles the Microsoft,
    MSDN, TechNet "brands" of forums. I never can remember which Bridge does
    which, but you have to download and install BOTH of them to get the full set
    of Forums. One creates the News Account; the other creates the
    Localhost News Account; both are on port 119 - or 120 - mix or match. (See
    why I'm confused?)

    I'm now using the THIRD bridge, called the "CommunityForumsNNTPServer".
    This one is not from Microsoft, actually, but is written by Jochen Kalmbach,
    an MVP in Germany, and made available on CodePlex so that other coders can
    make and suggests improvements to it. And, boy, have they ever! Jochen has
    been issuing updated versions so fast that it's hard to keep up, several a
    day sometimes. I first installed Build 10, then 14, then 24 last week - and
    V34 yesterday. Every update has worked better and better. I've heard of no
    disasters with this "unofficial" bridge, and lots of praise for it.

    The main reasons I like Jochen's bridge are that (1) it can access all the
    "brands" of forums, (2) it can automatically sign on and then minimize to
    the Notification Area, and (3) I can use <Ctrl>+H with it to quickly list
    and access MY threads - which I can't do with the two official bridges.

    If you'd like to try the CommunityForumsNNTPServer, recognizing that it
    still is a work in progress and NOT officially supported by Microsoft,
    download the latest revision (I see that V35 was posted yesterday) from:

    Jochen's bridge is the one that Bruce mentioned a few messages ago. Is this
    the one that you downloaded and had trouble installing?

    It may be a little "geeky" for some users - but less so than the two
    Microsoft bridges, it seems to me.

    R. C. White, CPA
    San Marcos, TX

    Microsoft Windows MVP
    Windows Live Mail 2009 (14.0.8089.0726) in Win7 Ultimate x64)

    R. C. White, Jun 10, 2010
  17. Paul Calcagno

    R. C. White Guest

    Hi, Paul.

    Newsgroups on that `' server are usually restricted
    to beta testers and require passwords that are not available to everyone.

    But there is limited public access for some projects, such as the NNTP
    NNTP Bridge Guide: Frequently Asked Questions

    From that FAQ page, click on the top item in the left-hand menu, Online
    Forums Connection Home. And then read, "Please following these instructions
    to sign up for the download."

    Is that the route that you took?

    R. C. White, CPA
    San Marcos, TX

    Microsoft Windows MVP
    Windows Live Mail 2009 (14.0.8089.0726) in Win7 Ultimate x64)

    R. C. White, Jun 10, 2010
  18. RC. Yes, that's the route I took. I followed the instructions on that page
    (signing into Live, then clicking on the link to download the 881kb zipped
    set up file.

    And somewhere along the way I was asked to create a new password. I remember
    that step well because I ended up trying to generate a new password about 10
    times. When I finally got one that was accepted, I wrote it down. That's the
    password I've been trying to use inside WLM NG's when the login window
    popped up as I was attempting to download the posts to the server.

    Did I do something wrong?.........Paul C. .

    Paul Calcagno, Jun 10, 2010

  19. You only use that userid and password for connecting to via NNTP. E.g. here:


    The bridge connection is via localhost and does not require
    authentication. That is done by using your LiveID when you open the bridge


    Robert Aldwinckle
    Robert Aldwinckle, Jun 11, 2010
  20. Robert, I know you were trying to be helpful but here's what happened after
    I read your post using the link below
    When I clicked this a window pops up asking me for my connect news password.
    My password doesn't work but I CANNOT GET THIS LOGON WINDOW to stop popping
    up, even if I try to open an different NG. The only way out of this was for
    me to erase the Connect news account altogether.
    Paul C.
    Paul Calcagno, Jun 12, 2010
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