Windows Live Messenger 2011 Hangs On Sign-In

I installed Windows Live Messenger 2011 on a new HP laptop, but found that Messenger hung after signing in.  The problem is related to Internet Explorer (IE) 9’s hardware acceleration and the integrated graphics on the Core i3 CPU.  The laptop has switchable graphics and when running on the AMD GPU Messenger doesn’t hang, but it does hang when using the graphics on the CPU.  The resolution is to either disable IE 9’s hardware acceleration, or just use the discrete AMD GPU.

To disable IE 9’s hardware acceleration:

Open IE

Press ALT and choose Tools -> Internet Options from the menu

Go to the Advanced tab and select “Use software rendering instead of GPU rendering*”

Click OK and restart IE