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AOL through DSL - Do I require a multiple-simultaneous users account?

Posted on 2006-06-10
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Last Modified: 2010-03-18
Cleaned up a customer's computer.  She specifically asked that I get rid of all AOL versions other than 9.  So I did that and am left with AOL 9.0 Optimized.  All seems okay unless I try to log on through a router.

AOL told me that I must 'open ports' in the Linksys.

I went to the port triggering and port forwarding and typed in the ports they asked and opened them up.  No go.  I am somewhat in disbelief that I would have to do that.  Are they correct?   I don't think I did that for my customer and I know my customer would not be able to open ports in her D-Link router herself so I am not convinced.

Can get to AOL if computer is hooked up directly to the DSL modem (using a fresh Windows XP DSL Connection (created via add connection wizard in Windows XP)

AOL used to be a pain with routers.  Is this still going on ?  Can I assume my customer has a 'special account' which allows connection through a router.  I really
don't want to be hit with having to help my customer with AOL because she thinks it's something "I did".

My guess is that my user has a special kind of AOL account and there won't be a problem when I set it up for her.  (What I had done during troubleshooting session was delete all locations from the AOL browser software, re-create a simple broadband location and confirmed it works directly through the modem.  )
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Question by:supportoranges
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by:Fatal_Exception
ID: 16876954
AOL is such a PAIN!  But here, read this!  (Nothing to do with a 'special' account though...)

http://kbserver.netgear.com/kb_web_files/n101194.asp
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by:supportoranges
ID: 16877014
Thank you.  Yes I saw that web page before I asked EE.  

Your certifications are very impressive.  Really cool!

Is the need to enter credentials into a router applicable only to a DSL connection?

I'm asking this because I recently installed a new Linksys to a customer site (straight cable connection meaning no authentication (Optimum OnLine).  Her AOL browser (Mac 10.4.2)
was crashing so I did a clean reinstall of the AOL browser on the MAC (with AOL walking me through which files to manually delete for a clean install).

All worked fine.  iMac going through Linksys router out of the box.

So I question again, Is this issue just with DSL?  If the customer had the "Bring your own Broadband AOL Browser" would it make a difference.  I am asking because in my cleanup
I did delete a link to "Try AOL for Broadband" although I don't think that worked either.

Thanks for your time with this.  
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by:supportoranges
ID: 16877022
I get the feeling AOL over DSL has problems connecting that AOL over regular cable connection doesn't.
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by:Fatal_Exception
ID: 16877033
Well, I assume you have created an AOL PPPoE connection using the proper credentials on the router?

and thanks for the cert comments..  not a big deal, but lots of time and effort studying, especially that Cisco Cert..  :)
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by:supportoranges
ID: 16877082
Your welcome, I think it's really cool.

Location:  Lab
Router:  Linksys
O/S:  XP
Connection:  PPPoE through Verizon
Action:  Log on through AOL
Result:  Failure

Location:  Lab
Router:  None
Connection: PPPoE via XP Network Connection (added via the Wizard) which then makes the connection through Verizon because that is my ISP.
Action:  Log on through AOL
Result:  Success

Conclusion:  The Internet Provider does not make a difference using the AOL browser installed on the computer.
Question: Isn't it true that the only thing different in scenario 1 is some NAT and firewalling?  Shouldn't the Netgear document reflect that perhaps just some additional ports need to be open?

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by:supportoranges
ID: 16877089
credentials used in both scenarii are the same
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by:Fatal_Exception
ID: 16877167
So, you can login via the computer PPPoE service, but not by enabling it at the router?  In scenario 2, are you connecting directly to the modem (as in connecting via the router would definitely use NAT)?

Here is another thread that discusses AOL through a router, although this is basically what we discussed earlier..

http://www.smallbusinesscomputing.com/webmaster/article.php/2248681
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by:supportoranges
ID: 16877200
let me leave this open until I bring the computer back to the client and see what happens on her connection.  right now it seems to be unpredictable.  i have to assume she is not DSL and everything will go fine. thanks for the link.
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by:Fatal_Exception
ID: 16877209
Take your time, my friend..  no hurry!  :)
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by:supportoranges
ID: 16877272
Sorry, you had a question I noticed upon review.  Yes in Scenario 2 I am connecting directly to the modem (router out of picture). Thx.
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by:supportoranges
ID: 16877553
Progress.  Spoke to Linksys.  Nothing in their router which could help.  They say call AOL.

Just for kicks.

Safe Mode with Networking - IE and AOL connection now work fine

Regular Mode - IE and AOL do not work.

I wonder where the culprit is?
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by:supportoranges
ID: 16877555
AOL Fine through the router (with Safe mode)
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by:supportoranges
ID: 16877557
Without Safe Mode, even IE fails to work, while Firefox keeps on going.
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by:Fatal_Exception
ID: 16877701
Safe Mode?   Could you  be running an internal software firewall, like the XP Firewall?  If so, try turning it off...  :)
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by:supportoranges
ID: 16877717
You are on the right track.

Played with msconfig.  Shut down ALL non-Microsoft services.  SHut down all startups.

didn't help.

Then I decided to try the reverse as there was so much crap on this PC, perhaps there was a dependency somewhere that I had shut down.

So let's do something different.

I enabled freakin EVERYTHING.  Turned on everything.  Tons of crap came up, IM, Spysweeper, NIS, etc.

Tons of warnings from Symantec products.  Do I wish to allow this and this.  Say YES to everything!

Voila AOL now works.

More coming...
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by:supportoranges
ID: 16877729
I'm sure it didn't help that she had XPP and HOme on the Same Parition!

While in regular mode I did one test where I (via TaskMan) shut down everything that would die.

Didn't help (probably some Norton crap hidden in some deep vdm).

I thought previously I had helped things by turning off some of the start ups.  

I guess There may have been some interdependency between some service and some startup.  Although you would think the services would be atomic.
I guess this is how Norton operates.  Install as much crap as possible on the PC and if a tech dare shut down one and not the other, then punish him.

Everything works now.  There will be a separate post for thank yous and points.  I just love hitting the Submit button.
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by:supportoranges
ID: 16877762
Very interesting.  There was never an XP firewall.  Whatever firewall was there and working obviously did not firewall HTTP traffic (which is why Firefox always worked).  Internet Explorer didn't work when AOL Browser didn't work (understandable as AOL Browser leverages IE from what I understand).

Shutting down some of the startups related to Norton Internet Security probably broke the firewall functionality which puts up messages as prior to the solution never got a firewall alert.
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Fatal_Exception earned 250 total points
ID: 16877768
Whoa..  Pro and Home on the same partition?  and on top of that, using the Norton Security edition?  Worst of all worlds, in regards to networking..  

If this were me, I would just flatten this box out and start with a fresh install..  but, I know that sometimes this is impossible when working with someone elses computer..

Glad you got it!  and hope it keeps!  :)

FE
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by:supportoranges
ID: 16877785
I know it sucks; I'll make the suggestion but hard to convince the customer when all she wanted was for me to fix the fan on the power supply and remove extra versions of AOL.  I'll push the customer for a rebuild for next time.  

Now of course had I not investigated this crap I would have only been very embarrassed at the customer's house with them standing over my shoulder once again telling me "it used to work fine".

Thank you for 'working with me' on this.  When you don't have anybody to bounce ideas off it's very hard to solve some of this stuff.

All the best,  thanks for your patience.
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by:supportoranges
ID: 16877847
she had McAfee firewall and Norton firewall running on the same box, (cry), neither in good shape :(
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by:Fatal_Exception
ID: 16877882
*grin* >>she had McAfee firewall and Norton firewall running on the same box>>

You are very welcome, SO..  best of luck, and thanks for the pts.
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by:supportoranges
ID: 16878023
Just some more conclusions for the community.

Originally I saw Norton Internet Security was there so I inhibited McAfee from startups.  That was my mistake.  I should have uninstalled McAfee instead of just turning off the startup.  By turning off the startup I guess I hid the McAfee GUI while allowing McAfee to block NIS silently -- that's what was so frustrating.

The fact that Firefox got to the net led me away from a firewall problem as I saw AOL as just another browser - which it clearly isn't.

When I re-enabled everything I saw that McAfee Personal Firewall was issuing this alert:

"Symantec Network Proxy Service (ccproxy.exe)  This Application has beeen modified, blah blah"

I could not get into the Norton Internet Security until I repeatedly allowed the McAfee alert.  That's how I knew McAfee was blocking Symantec.  This led to the solution which
was to totally uninstall McAfee.

Funny I had the AOL girl telling me to open ports on the Linksys. :) I guess going through the modem worked because different processes were allowed (machine state was altogether different in this (no-router) scenario.

Just info for the Community.

Cheers!
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by:Fatal_Exception
ID: 16878055
AOL Tech Support =  Oxymoron  (although, I admit, they are getting better at it..)

Thanks for coming back in with further explanations..  it should certainly help the next user..
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