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AOLservice running on Bellsouth DSL times out,freezes and crashes.

I have two PC's running XP Home and XP Media Center. Connected to internet via Netgear Ms814v2 router.My wife loves AOL so I added AOL 9.0 to the Home edition for her.From the time I set up the DSL and the network(8 months ago) my AOL service has behavied like this: AOL works fine as long as you are using AOL specific services,e.g. email ,finance,people,IM ,radio,etc. Works fine, that is, for,perhaps as much as 20 minutes. Then it freezes, even tho TASK MANAGER shows "running" . Then it crashes . I usually have it set to reboot automatically, and it does.  The computer does not crash during these episodes, in fact other than the audio you may not be aware of the AOL crash if you are on an unrelated web site.
Now it turns out that AOL behaves exactly the same way on my XP Media Center desktop.No error messages are ever offered on either machine. In my various explorations I installed verision 8.0 on the  Media Center machine. It behaves  the same as the 9.0,except that a"Connection Was Lost" window appears after the crash.and a message is offered: "The TCP/IP virtual circuit was cancelled due to a timeout"




 
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Ridgejumper
Asked:
Ridgejumper
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1 Solution
 
Fatal_ExceptionCommented:
The TCP system relies on a virtual circuit that is established between the requesting machine and its target.  This Time-out could be a problem with either your systems and the network, routers on the internet between you and the AOL servers, or the AOL servers themselves.  That being said, with a broadband connection, these timeouts should be at a minimum (or never) and since this is only happening with the AOL software, this question really should be brought to the attention of those wonderful techs at AOL (sorry, I am being a little condenscending here..:)

Personally, out of the hundreds of technicians that I know, not one of them would hookup to AOL, even if they were giving it away.  The service is terrible, the browser is way too busy, and their software only seems to cause problems on computers wher it is installed.  Now, this is just a personal observation, and my own opinion...  :)

Hopefully, another expert, and perhaps an AOL guru will stop by, but there are not too many around, for obvious reasons mentioned above......

FE
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RidgejumperAuthor Commented:
Thanks forthe comments .I've talked many times with AOL techs. In yesterdays session I was advised to uninstall and reinstall the TCP/IP Stack. I was told that it is an easy job,but  some jurisdictional reason prevented them from helping me do it. It was this search for the "holy grail" that lead me to discovering ee. I never did get a handle on the Stack.It looked like a procedure I could get into a lot of trouble with.
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Fatal_ExceptionCommented:
Actually, it is pretty straight forward, and there are a couple of ways to do this.  The easiest is to use the winsockfix utility, if you are running XP...  In fact I have it available on my website, along with an explanation of what it does..

www.doverproductions.com

Under XP links, look for WinsockFix Utility.

Now, I really don't think this is your problem, since you are only experiencing the problem with AOL, but it could be that the AOL software corrupted the stack...  Give it a try and if it does not work, we can do it manually..

FE
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RidgejumperAuthor Commented:
Thanks again FE. I used the winsockfix as you suggested and you were right on, the problem is still with me. I browsed your site a bit,I'm impressed. In doing so I was reminded of some malware detected some time ago by Spybot-S&R that has resisted all efforts to dispose of it; Aluria and a couple others don't even detect it:"CoolWWW Search.Msconfig" Spybot  calls it  an IE contex menu item HKEY_USERS\S-1-5-5-21-4102020344-42214611-2939185114-500\Software\Microsoft\In..."Cool" is detected only on my Media Center PC,it doesn't appear on the Home Edition machine.
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Fatal_ExceptionCommented:
In that case, I would run HijackThis on that machine.  When you do, you can copy the logfile into a website that analyzes it for you and suggests certain repairs.  This is also outlined on my site under the Spyware link.  Everything you need is on that page....   Spyware is definitely one thing that can create these issues...
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RidgejumperAuthor Commented:
And again I thank you FE for your continuing interest. I went to your site and believe I follwed instructions accurately. 1. Booted in safe mode/networking. 2. Reviewed  Add/Remove programs (recognized all). 3 run HighJackThis; copied log file( didn't see any thing that looked suspicious); Emailed log to : virus@hijackthis.de (sent it yesterday evening-- no reply yet) 4. Run Spybot-S&D.  "Cool" was there and Spybot could not touch it. 5. Run Ad-aware 6. It detected a couple tracking cookies, but missed Mr. "Cool", so does Aluria. 5. Re-booted and run Ad-aware & Spybot again with Ad clean & Spy still fingering Mr. "Cool"
Nothing has changed regarding the specific Aol problem.
 
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CarlWarnerCommented:
If EE doesn't get you to it, try posting at this forum:

http://www.dslreports.com/forum/ilec,bels
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Fatal_ExceptionCommented:
I am running out of ideas on this one.  We hate to send users to other forums, but Carl may have a good idea here in that Broadband Reports does have a good following of experts that may have suggestions worth trying...

FE
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CarlWarnerCommented:
I only mentioned the BroadReports site because even the BellSouth techs hang out there in the BellSouth forum.  

I have BellSouth aDSL with a Westell modem (after my Alcatel modem quit last year).  And, when I originally started with BellSouth about three years ago,  posting my situation at that site got me resolution where my performance went up from what I was getting to about 150% better.  It's the kind of improvement all of us would like.  Regardless, there are plenty of other questions there as well, including setting up a router in conjunction with the modem.
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RidgejumperAuthor Commented:
I apprecite all the attempts to help me with my posted problems,particulary FE's suggestions. I still have the problems, including Mr. "CoolWWWSearch.MSconfig". Should I repost in other areas of EE. If this is  worthwhile, Where?
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Fatal_ExceptionCommented:
CoolWWWSearch.MSconfig could actually be a false positive.  Take a look at this thread, as they had the same problem..

http://forums.vnunet.com/thread.jsp?forum=6&thread=43046&message=250422
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RidgejumperAuthor Commented:
As it turns out FE put me on the right track regarding Mr. " Cool". It probably was a false positive. At least it no longer shows when I run Spy Bot, the only app that ever showed It. The first instance when "cool" failed to show was first run after an update. My AOL problem still exists after many many hours. My wife is now running Version 7.0. It sometimes runs 30-40 minutes before  the" virtual circuit times out ".
I'm new and have no experience with your clean up procedures. I'm happy to award my points to FE  and start a nrw thread ,I have other problems that I need to clean up.
Please advise on what I need to do next. Thanks for all your support .
Ridgejumper
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Fatal_ExceptionCommented:
Thanks.  This should help you with closing the thread:

http://www.experts-exchange.com/help.jsp#hi68

And wishing you the Happiest of Holidays..

FE
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Fatal_ExceptionCommented:
Thanks again!!

FE
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RidgejumperAuthor Commented:
You are welcome. Merry Christmas and a great New Year
Ridge...
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