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Script Error, Not SQL Server, Caused Hotmail Outage

Last week the Data Driver wondered if SQL Server was behind the recent Hotmail outage.

The answer is: No.

It was a script error, according to a Windows Blog post by Mike Schackwitz, pointed out to me by a helpful member of Microsoft's PR firm.

To sum up, a script meant to delete temporary accounts used for automated testing accidentally deleted some real users' directory records. This supposedly didn't delete any actual data, but a lot of users responded to the post and disputed that, with many saying they lost years' worth of messages and that some accounts were still unavailable. The complaints were still rolling in as of today.

Microsoft representatives were helping some of those users, but there were many comments along the lines of "Disgusted!!!!" and "Shameful!!" and "IT IS CERTAINLY NOT FIXED."

If you're still missing data, the blog lists several links that might be able to help you recover it.

Are you still having Hotmail data issues? Comment here or drop me a line.

Posted by David Ramel on 01/12/2011 at 1:15 PM

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Reader Comments:

Tue, Jan 18, 2011

THE SERVICE IS FREE and yet you whining people you act AS IF you are paying customers! What a telling display and indictment of utter arrogance and outsized senses of self-entitlement! Get a life! One that exists in THE REAL WORLD where things of value don't simply poof into non-existence thereby causing you panic attacks! If YOU MUST HAVE 100% reliability, PAY FOR IT FOOLS!

Thu, Jan 13, 2011 David Virginia

What is going on?! Have not been able to access Hotmail for 2 days! Not on my phone, through Outlook, nor on the Web!It was up twice for only a few minutes. Do I now have to go through the hassle of switching to gMail? There no communication as to what's happening. A Google search turned up this site. Someone please help us!! This is beyond ridiculous!!

Wed, Jan 12, 2011 Bob Silver Spring, Maryland

When Microsoft switched to "Live Mail", or whatever they call it, they ruined HotMail. The entire Microsoft Live suite is intended to take business from Flickr, Facebook, blogging services, and even Adobe Flash. The very useful contact list was replaced with something that cannot be easily used, although now I can tell what "Network" my contacts are in even though I don't use Microsoft's social network. Unfortunately, Yahoo seems to be more and more like HotMail every day and AIM is not an option. I will likely switch to Google's G-Mail. It is simple and reliable. It also lets me view videos and pictures without a major hassle, while HotMail continues to try and get me to install SilverLight to view pictures. As for the maintenance notices, they have been a regular "feature" of the system the past few days.

Wed, Jan 12, 2011

I have been getting the same "maintenance" message but haven't been able to access it all day except once for a couple of minutes.

Wed, Jan 12, 2011 Satchel Clearwater, Fl

Hotmail has been inaccessible all day. Getting the all-too-frequent message "There was a problem with the Windows Live Hotmail service (a temporary network connectivity issue that has nothing to do with your computer). Please try again." over and over. I've seen this message more and more over the last few months. Hotmail is a dinosaur and is beginning to be a hassle. After many years with Hotmail the time has come to stop using this Microsoft abortion. So long, Hotmail ... you can't keep up with the changing technology and as such, you're no longer useful. Other e-mail programs work better, are less of a hassle and provide more reliable service. Ba-bye!

Wed, Jan 12, 2011 sandy hawaii

no service for 3 days --- where do I get a live person to talk to? My entire business contact directory is in hotmail....never again!

Wed, Jan 12, 2011

Haven't been able to access hotmail for a day, seems others have been experiencing it for up to 3 days. Message claims maintenance but that it should be running within one hour...I'm guessing it's something else going on.

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