AOL Desktop 9.7 starts but then dies on Windows 8.1

Posted on 2014-07-23
1 Endorsement
Last Modified: 2015-05-14
I have a somputer for an AOL user that he bought new with Windows 8.  I set it up and installed Windows 8.1 on it, then installed AOL 9.7 desktop (as he had on his old computer) and it worked fine for months.  About 3 weeks ago Desktop just stopped being able to be run - from the Start Menu or the desktop shortcut you click and it starts (AOL is loading .... 100% .... AOL connecting ....) but then nothing else happens and Task Manager shows AOL Software and AOL Connection Manager going from 0% CPU to about 10% CPU to 0% CPU but nothing happens after that (no windows open).  I have tried turning off the security software and firewalls, uninstalling and re-installing AOL Desktop, gone through all of the AOL Support articles to delete registray entries and Connection Settings, tried installing and re-installing AOL Desktop 10.1, and even tried installing 9.7 in Safe Mode (but I cannot start the AOL Connectivity Service in Safe Mode so the software cannot run there).  I searched the articles here but could not locate anything for this specific AOL Desktop issue.  Thanks for any assistance !!!
Question by:gpavlicek
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LVL 70

Expert Comment

ID: 40216097
Hi, my first thoughts is it running at start up and could be running some services in the back ground.
Check his start-up group if it's ticked to run. Also you mention that (as he had on his old computer)  have you signed into AOL I don't know if this could have references to his profile/account on AOL and it is registered to his old computer still?
Set up AOL account on another computer 
Have you setup his email account yet?
How to Set Up AOL Email Account on Windows 8 
cmd=displayKC&docType=kc&externalId=218795&sliceId=1&docTypeID=DT_AOLHOW_TO_1_1&dialogID=3659866462&stateId=1 1 1512398689&radios=False

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Good Luck hope it helps

Author Comment

ID: 40223260
Thanks Merete !
AOL Desktop 9.7 was running fine on the new Windows 8.1 computer for about 2 months, then it "just stopped working".  It is not set to automatically start.  I looked at the AOL Connectivity Service and it was set to Manual so I reset it to Automatic per the AOL Support pages.  When you double-click on the desktop icon or start it from the Start Menu, you get an AOL logo on the screen that says 'loading', then goes to 100%, then says that the connection is being looked for, then that window/logo closes and that is all that ever happens.  Task Manager shows AOL and Connection Manage, at 0% or maybe 10% at various times, but no AOL window on the desktop.  That is the best that I can get to happen.  He said Malwarebytes did detect some issues the week after all of this died, but those issues were able to be removed.  I have uninstalled all AOL applications, removed AOL entries from the registry, and then re-installed, and my description above is the best that I can ever get - I never get to the main AOL window.  The strange part, which is leading me to believe it is something that has 'failed' on that computer, is that the friend got a 2nd new PC at the same time as this one (also Windows 8.1 but different model) and AOL has been working fine on that one since day 1.  Maybe it's time to try a Restore Point ....
LVL 70

Accepted Solution

Merete earned 500 total points
ID: 40223320
thanks gpavlicek, since your not getting internet for AOL,
No error messages? is it just timing out?
Could be a problem within windows unfortunately it's not a straight point to a problem
Going on this>He said Malwarebytes did detect some issues the week after all of this died, but those issues were able to be removed. << are you sure, there could be damage done to the winsock or internet protocols?
Which browser is he using?
Have you set it to defaults? if IE?
Using the system restore could be dangerous if any malware was found prior to a system restore.
But yes give it a go being aware of this.
It may help fix problems within windows.
Do scan the restore folder before performing a system restore.
Does he have any internet problems?
Look in the events for any problems reported?
internet is working ok just not with AOL?
email client works ok?
Added AOL to exceptions in firewall?
Rebooted the router if applicable, as the router may also have AOL listed and needs to be refreshed.
Deleted the registry key after uninstalling?
Any temp folders?
AOL has many hooks and maybe nearly impossible to clean remove
run a system file checker go to start open cmd and type in sfc /scannow << exactly like that

If your AOL Desktop Software does not respond while you are online, try the solutions listed below to resolve the issue.

Author Closing Comment

ID: 40777452
It ended up being a problem within Windows.  I finally had to uninstall all AOL software with Add/Remove Programs, then go and remove all AOL folders in the Program Files and Program Data folders as well as the user's App Data folders.  Then I had to go into the registry and delete all SOFTWARE keys for all AOL products.  Then ran Norton WinDoctor help clean-up things I may have missed.  Ran Windows Updates until none left.  Rebooted five times and prayed.

At all of that I was able to download a fresh copy of 9.7 and install it.  When it started up I chose to manually do the 'how to connect' process instead of using the AOL Wizard, and after all of that it worked.

'Gotta love AOL.  (I sure don't)
LVL 70

Expert Comment

ID: 40778301
Yes unfortunately I have had to perform a clean install because of the tenticals AOL weaves into your system.
The manual approach is the preferred.
If it helps keep this
AOL Removal Tool 0.5
Uninstall the AOL Desktop Software in Windows 7/8/Vista
Great to hear you can move on now. Glad I could help you thank you.
All the best

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