MSN Messenger back up, but some buddy lists lost

Microsoft Corp. said Tuesday that its MSN Messenger online chat service is back up and running for all users. The only remaining problem is that about 1 percent of users will have to rebuild their buddy lists for the free instant messaging (IM) service.

"We are pleased to announce that the interruptions to the MSN Messenger Service have been resolved. All customers worldwide again have access to their MSN Messenger accounts, and more than 99 percent of all MSN Messenger customers have had their contact lists restored," MSN Vice President Richard Bray said in a statement.

"Due to unforeseen circumstances in the final restoration of data, we were unable to restore contact lists for a small number of MSN Messenger customers -- approximately 1 percent," Bray said. "Although these customers can log into MSN Messenger, they will not have their original contact lists available."

They can still add contacts as they normally would, Bray said. Those whose IM clients don't automatically rebuild their buddy lists will have to add names individually or import the names to create a new buddy list.

MSN suggests customers use MSN Messenger's help feature and click on "Add a Contact to Your List" for more information about what to do. Or they can contact MSN Messenger e-mail support at mmssupport@hotmail.com.

The service went down a week ago when a disk controller failed on a database server and the backup server had an error; approximately 12 million users with accounts stored on that server and its backup lost access to their buddy lists.

Although users could sometimes access MSN Messenger, they didn't have access to their buddy lists.

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