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AOL Desktop 9.7. with Dial-up has Disconnecting Issues


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#1 faye raye

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Posted 18 January 2015 - 05:49 PM

Hello. I was sent to this section from the Malware Log Check section. I have a Dell PC with XP and a dial-up internet conection with AOL, and my main browser is Firefox.

 

For the past year or so, AOL has been having an issue with re-dialing, disconnecting. Sometimes, a web page will say it cannot display, and then a little box will appear in the conrner of AOL, saying it's redialing, and it will have four steps of initializing, dialing, connecting and requesting network attention before it disappears. And sometimes, it doesn't get past the second step of dialing, it stays on it and then AOL signs off. However, if you press the red "X" on Firefox to stop a page from loading as soon as you see that box, it seems to really help decrease the chances that it won't finish dialing up.

 

The most annoying, though, are big downloads and loading online videos. They were already aggravating before, as my dial-up meant they take hours, but lately, if something takes more than an hour to download, it will most likely not get to finish because it will need to re-connect. Also, my avast! antivirus needs to update to the latest version. This takes very long so I usually let it load overnight, but lately by morning AOL has disconnected, and it doesn't get to finish.

 

 

I know that when other applications and folders are left open for a long time, Firefox can become very sluggish. Same goes for if the same window of AOL is signed and connected for like a full day. And it seems that this also increases the likelihood of AOL re-dialing/disconnecting/signing off.

 

 



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#2 Chris Cosgrove

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Posted 18 January 2015 - 08:04 PM

I sympathise with your problem. Is this a 56Kb modem you are using ?  There are a number of possible causes for this type of problem and only some of them are in your control.

 

First of all, are you having any other problems on your phone line - such as crackling or other noises ?  If you are, this could indicate a line fault and it would be up to whoever supplies your line to resolve that problem.

 

The only part of the system you are responsible for is everything on the wire from your computer to the box on the wall where your telephone line comes into your house. Check for good connections and undamaged cables - no kinks, cuts or nicks. Assuming that everything here is OK, that only leaves AOL's little box. This could be faulty, ask AOL for a replacement.

 

I have a broadband connection and about 18 months ago its performance dropped to nearly dial-up levels. The fault was eventually tracked to a crack in a cable at the road-side junction box about 300 yards from my house.

 

Chris Cosgrove



#3 faye raye

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Posted 19 January 2015 - 06:33 PM

I'm afraid I don't know how many kbs my modem is. Also, I don't have a little box for AOL, I have AOL with dial-up- I plug the phone jack straight from my PC to a jack in the wall.

 

 

 

I have a broadband connection and about 18 months ago its performance dropped to nearly dial-up levels. The fault was eventually tracked to a crack in a cable at the road-side junction box about 300 yards from my house.

 

 

The phone lines dorectly outside my apartment were just checked and said to be working fine, but now I wonder: could a dial-up connection such as mine be affected by something like this?

 

 

Also, there are times when it seems that AOL needs to re-connect in direct response to certain big web pages or videos, as in, you push play on a video, Firefox freezes up, the AOL re-dialing messasge box I described before appears.  When it finishes, I refresh FF, try to push play on the video, same thing happens. But if I load an ordinary web page instead, it doesn't dis-connect/need to re-dial. But other times I can at least start a video loading. Very odd and annoying issue to me.



#4 Chris Cosgrove

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Posted 19 January 2015 - 08:03 PM

I live in the UK and almost all of our telephone system is installed and maintained by a company called BT (British Telcom) and they use a lot of aluminium cabling between their junction cabinets and their exchanges. Copper wire is used for distribution from the junction box to residential and business users. Aluminium cabling is much cheaper than copper but is much more prone to cracking if handled incorrectly, and as I said, the snap, crackle and pop on my phone line was traced to a cracked cable at the junction box. If your phone company uses aluminium it is always a possibility.

 

AOL's dial up technology has changed considerably since I last used it, nearly 10 years ago !  Then, you were supplied with a little box into which you plugged the cable from your computer, and then plugged the cable from the box into the telephone socket on the wall when you wanted to use the internet. One of the major attractions for me in switching over to broadband was that you could use the phone and the internet at the same time !

 

I understand that for various reasons broadband internet in the USA, and I believe you live in the USA, is considerably more expensive than it is here and I accept this may be a factor but I will admit that one of the reasons I thought you are using dial-up is that you lived miles from anywhere else and it was the only option available. But you say you live in an apartment. Have you considered switching over to broadband ?

 

At the end of the day, the signal path is motherboard to modem to socket in house to line to exchange to the web. If your computer is working normally then there are only two pieces you are responsible for - the modem and cable to your wall socket. Try a different cable first - even if you have to buy one they are cheap !  If that makes no difference, then try a different modem, which is a small board fitted inside your computer. You could see if you could borrow one and, again, if you had to buy one they are not expensive. If neither of these changes make any difference to your connection quality then the problem almost certainly lies outside your apartment.

 

And to find out what performance you are getting, go to a web-site called Speedtest - www.speedtest.net - and run their on-line test. It's both free and you don't even need to log in for a single one-off test.

 

Chris Cosgrove



#5 faye raye

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Posted 21 January 2015 - 11:08 PM

Does it matter that Speedtest is for broadband connections?



#6 Chris Cosgrove

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Posted 22 January 2015 - 07:54 PM

Ah, silly me !  Actually it won't do any harm at all, at the worst it just won't work.

 

Your real problem is that you are stuck with an internet connection that is essentially obsolete because in comparison to modern file sizes it is far too slow. Ten minutes of video in most formats equates to about 60 MB (megabytes) and you have a 56Kb modem. This means that if your modem is working flat out it will take about two hours twenty minutes to download, but you still shouldn't be getting the disconnections etc. you are complaining about. To me, this sounds like a line / exchange problem is at the root of it.

 

Can you leave it with me for a day or so and I will see if I can get a second opinion on this.

 

Chris Cosgrove



#7 CaveDweller2

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Posted 23 January 2015 - 08:38 PM

Hi faye,

 

   Chris asked me to have a look at your issue. Now the disconnecting can be caused by the smallest of static on the line so that doesn't surprise me but the redialing failing does. Normally when something like this happens I just blow out all the software and drivers then reinstall them. Have you tried reinstalling the AOL software? What about the drivers for the modem? 


Hope this helps thumbup.gif

Associate in Applied Science - Network Systems Management - Trident Technical College


#8 faye raye

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Posted 24 January 2015 - 12:39 AM

Hi CD!  Yes, in fact the copy of AOL I'm using is from a disc I just ordered from AOL themselves a month or so ago, it's AOL Desktop 9.7. As for drivers, I'm always afraid that messing with those will leave the PC worse than it was...

 

I've learned that, if AOL and FF have been running for hours, and I try to load a video, it will most likely disconnect after I push play, and I'll have to stop it, refresh FF and try again, and it doesn't get anywhere. But if I close everything on the desktop and open fresh copies of AOL and FF, it often works- that's what just happened earlier. I left one video loading overnight after opening a fresh AOL and FF, and it finished.

 

Then a little earlier today I tried to put another, much shorter video, and as I've said it does sometimes before:

 

Also, there are times when it seems that AOL needs to re-connect in direct response to certain big web pages or videos, as in, you push play on a video, Firefox freezes up, the AOL re-dialing messasge box I described before appears.  When it finishes, I refresh FF, try to push play on the video, same thing happens. But if I load an ordinary web page instead, it doesn't dis-connect/need to re-dial.

it couldn't start loading. So I closed AOL and FF, got new ones out, and tried again, and it worked fine.. It finished loading after an hour or so. BUT not very long at all after I closed its window, and just as I closed another program, (nothing was loading from the web.) the re-connecting box appeared, didn't go through, and AOL signed off completely. 



#9 CaveDweller2

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Posted 25 January 2015 - 12:07 AM

faye, I think you are trying to do broadband things on dial up and it just can't handle it. It has been forever since I have had AOL. I seem to remember if you connect with AOL but use a browser outside of AOL it will not detect any activity in the AOL system and disconnect you. Is that what seems to be happening? You let FF download the video but you aren't doing anything inside the AOL program?

 

So what you might need to do is stop back by and do something in the AOL program. Like send an IM or click on something. Some sort of activity to let AOL know you are still there.

 

I am curious why you don't have broadband? But if it's none of my business please feel free to say, because it is none of my business I'm just a curious fellow. =)


Hope this helps thumbup.gif

Associate in Applied Science - Network Systems Management - Trident Technical College


#10 faye raye

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Posted 25 January 2015 - 12:43 PM

^ Hm, I never thought about doing that before. I will keep that in mind next time that issue comes up! As for why I don't broadband, just being lazy, I guess, since what I have always worked acceptably fine unil the past year or two..

 

I still have to try to update avast...

 

I saw a re-connecting box just moments after I posted this, so when it was done I tried clicking on an AOL news story link, but I closed the browser before it finished, and a few minutes later it was re-dialing again. (Maybe I should let it finish or do more) I have no downloads running, just browsing with FF with no sluggishness or freezing or anything..


Edited by faye raye, 25 January 2015 - 01:10 PM.


#11 CaveDweller2

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Posted 27 January 2015 - 06:36 PM

How long were you browsing before you saw the disconnect box? 

 

Who is your home phone through? Cause I am betting they have a dial up service you could use and get the hell away from AOL. OR stop being lazy and get out of the 80's already lol =)


Hope this helps thumbup.gif

Associate in Applied Science - Network Systems Management - Trident Technical College





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