Like a lot of people, I eagerly downloaded and installed the Windows 8 Release Preview (RC).
Like a few people, I was already running the Consumer Preview on my machines (tablet and laptop), so I just reimaged both machines with the RC. And I reused the same computer names for each machine – which seems pretty reasonable to me (but isn’t as it turns out).
Much to my surprise, I was unable to download any apps from the Microsoft Store. The failure message wasn’t helpful – it just said there was “a problem”.
After some tweeting and emailing with colleagues, I spent a couple hours trying random things to resolve the issue. Eventually I did figure it out.
The problem is that the store or live.com gets confused when you connect using a fresh install of Windows where the computer has the same name as before the install.
In other words, I already had a ‘RockyTablet’ machine connected to the store and/or live.com, and now I had a “new” computer with the same name connecting. This confused Microsoft’s servers, so they wouldn’t let me download anything.
There are two solutions.
- Give your computer a new and unique name
- Go to http://skydrive.live.com and remove your existing computer from the list of computers. To do this, click on the computer in the list on the left, and then click the subtle “Disconnect computer from SkyDrive” link near the top of the page. This apparently deregisters your computer with live.com and/or the store and allows the store to start working
If your computer isn’t listed or registered with SkyDrive, I’m not sure what else you can do other than option 1. If there’s another way to find and remove a computer from live.com I haven’t found it…