AOL broke my MS network browsing?

I have a small network. The server is Windows 2000 SBS SP1. My workstations are Windows 9X.
The workstations connect to a file share on the server. Sometimes, they cannot connect. If I reboot the PC, I can map drives and whatnot again most of the time. There is no IP or name conflict. They can connect to the server for MS Exchange just fine, and can ping the server and surf the web fine.

When I look in Network Neighborhood, I can see the server, and one new PC I just installed Win98 on, but not the 3 others that are the original pre-server, pre-network PCs.

These 3 all have some version of AOL ( usually multiple versions ). I know AOL 5 had some problems with breaking networks. Is it possible that it broke network browsing?

I tried setting up the server as a WINS server and pointing the PCs at that, no good. I tried a LMhosts file, no good.

If it's AOL, I also know that simply removing the software won't help, I already tried that on one PC.

Any ideas?
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AaronKingeryConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Have you considered that you are not very bright and should have one of your co-workers look at the problem.

have you tried removing all the networking components (adaptors,protocols,etc.) Then re-booting and re-installing?
jjeff1Author Commented:
The PCs had no network originally. I added the NICs and the various network stuff to make it work, but I don't recall if I ever removed everything.
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Do you logon to the Windows 2000 server at the beginning or do you logon to your local PC? You should try writing a batch file for network shares (i.e. file shares, print shares, etc.) Check out this site for more info:
jjeff1Author Commented:
I know how to do it. It just does not work.

But to answer your question, the systems all logon to the domain on startup. They map 1 network drive.
i dont think it has anything to do with the aol software, one way of proving that is that AOL software has to be loaded before it can make any changes.

so boot your computers up (workstations) and then see if you can see them on the network, #

then load AOL softare on one of them, of it vanishes of the neighbourhood then its AOL if not then its not. simple.

cant see how there software can affect the network any how, unless somebody can tell me exactly how with proven evidence.

I would say that you have the wrong logon client installed or your not logged on to be seen on the network.

check your clients first.

hope this helps


you maybe able to surf the web without any problem but that doesnt mean that all the computes have to be showing up in the same neighbourgh hood, if they can access ther server then they more than likley can surf the web if the server permits them to,

it's not a question about which neighbour hood they are in.

i feel that if they can surf the web your got something wrong with the client protocols like already mentioned.

jjeff1Author Commented:

First of all, AOL does not need to be running for it to make changes to the system. It loads a whole pile of DLLs and whatnot. Also, it installs a network device ( the AOL dial up adapter).

Additionally, network browsing uses netbios, where internet browsing uses stright TCP/IP and DNS. There is nothing wrong with the way things are setup. Again, let me say this one final time:

3 different people have checked out this setup. I normally work on enterprise networks with 2000 nodes or more. I know how to set it up. It just does not work sometimes.
good luck
1) Check the licensing manager and make sure that you are not having problems there.

2) Get the latest NIC drivers for all NIC's and install them.

Since your problems are intermittent, I would also check things like the server connections. Maybe they are not being disconnected and that's why they are having problems reconnecting ?

Is there a Login Script ?
Does it delete mapped drives before trying to restore them ?

I would also check cabling/ hubs/switches to see if there are any problems.

I hope this helps !
I agree with AaronKingery
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jjeff1Author Commented:
I did. You are one of my co-workers Aaron. You did look at the problem. It's still broken.

I did format one of the other machines for other reasons. That machine was not infected with the AOL virus. It works fine.

Thusly I conclude the problem is with AOL. It does some wacky stuff to networking and appears to break the browsing.
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