Issues with Skype on the Windows 8 Developer Preview? Here are a few basic workarounds.

 

As many of you will already know, last week Microsoft released a developer preview of Windows 8 at the BUILD conference. Attendees were supplied with Tablet PC’s with the build pre-installed along with the set of developer tools, with the build being made public shortly afterwards.

Since the build went public at 4 AM here in the UK I downloaded it early the next morning and installed it on both my desktop and laptop systems. Everything seemed to be going well until I attempted to launch and sign into Skype. Upon doing this the application hung then crashed in the usual fashion:

Skype_Fail

Now, this actually comes as no surprise as Skype also suffered issues on previous builds of Windows 8, and even early builds of Windows 7. In fact, it would crash in the very same way, either immediately or a couple a seconds after signing in.

During a hunt around the web I had found out that the nice people over at Skype had released an updated version (5.5.0.117) that was compatible with the Windows 8 Developer Preview. Or was it? I uninstalled the previous version and cleared both the Appdata and Program Data directories of Skype then proceeded to install the updated version.

After the installation I singed in and held my breath, and lone behold the main Skype window popped up, everything seemed to be working correctly. Great! That was until I closed the application and tried launching it for a second time, it signed me in then stopped dead in the water…again.

By this time I had exercised most of all basic troubleshooting techniques, all which resulted in no success in actually getting the thing working again.

So then, just out of curiosity I attempted to launch the application  from the new Windows 8 Start Screen (Hey you never know!) and BAM! Skype singed me in and loaded it’s main window! How strange…

Whilst testing this method multiple times, with each deeming successful I also stumbled upon a few other simple methods in which gets Skype functioning properly and also results in Skype crashing, so here they are.

 

Launch methods that get Skype working correctly:

NOTE: Not all of these will cause the application to startup normally; the issue appears to be intermittent. Results will vary.

  • Launching Skype from the Start Screen (already mentioned)
  • Signing out of Skype first before quitting the application
  • Unchecking automatic sign in to Skype
  • Restarting Windows Explorer then launching Skype

Launch methods that cause Skype to crash:

NOTE: Not all of these will cause the application to crash; the issue appears to be intermittent. Results will vary

  • Launching Skype from the desktop icon
  • Launching Skype from the Taskbar (if pinned)
  • Quitting Skype without signing out first
  • Checking automatic sign in to Skype

 

So there you have it, a few basic things in order to get Skype working on the Windows 8 Developer Preview. As of writing this I have not yet looked into finding the root cause of the issue, however I suspect it could potentially be down to the NT versioning change of 0.1 as early Milestone 3 builds of Windows 7 also suffered from this issue.

If I find anything else out regarding this issue I will provide an update. That is unless Skype provide another version update to resolve the issue that they obviously haven’t fixed!

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