Weather, and the demise of the Microsoft Gadget

The Windows 7 weather gadget on my spare laptop stopped working, reporting that it cannot connect to service. It can be fixed but I note that gadgets have been discontinued due to serious vulnerabilities that could allow remote code execution.

Gadgets are no longer available because the Windows Sidebar platform in Windows 7 and Windows Vista has serious vulnerabilities.


Microsoft is announcing the availability of an automated Microsoft Fix it solution that disables Windows Sidebar and Gadgets on supported editions of Windows Vista and Windows 7. Disabling Windows Sidebar and Gadgets can help protect customers from potential attacks that leverage Gadgets to execute arbitrary code.

However, I wondered if I could get the Weather gadget to work again, I could, and here's how:

First stop the gadget (press its X to close it). Then go to C:\Users\USERNAME\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Live\Services\Cache, open Config.xml and save it File -> Save without doing any changes. After 10-20 seconds restart the gadget!

The gadget worked again after doing this but the second thing that I wanted to do was change the location. I could not get that to work at all, so I am stuck with a gadget showing the weather in Dublin. Although interesting, it isn't really relevant for my current location.