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AOL Crashing Vista

  1. #1



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    AOL Crashing Vista

    This problem just started happenning a week ago. Whenever I attempt to sign onto AOL through their software, the entire system crashes. Spyware and Antivirus scans came back negative. I tried using different versions of the AOL software but the crashing still occurred. I did a restore back to a time before the crashes started, did not work. Updated all my drivers, still no success. Everything else works just fine. I can connect to the Internet, surf with IE, download files, no problem. I finally deleted my broadband connection, deleted the network/lan card using device manager. Restarted the computer, Vista recognizes the Lan card and automatically installs the drivers. I created a brand new connection in the Network center and tried to sign onto AOL; it finally works! Here's the kicker, though. I restart the computer just to make sure everything works and guess what? When I try to sign onto AOL, the computer crashes! I did not make one single change between the time I successfully logged onto AOL till the time I restarted and it began crashing again. It certainly appears to be something wrong on the networking end of things, I just don't know what. It looks like the AOL software is accessing some network file/setting that then sets off the crash. Is it the card itself, the drivers, some Vista update that didn't install correctly. I am at my wits end. Short of a restore back to the factory install point, I don't know what to do.

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  3. #2
    H2SO4's Avatar

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    Re: AOL Crashing Vista

    If by "entire system crashes" you mean the OS bluescreens and reboots, there's a way to find out why that's happening.

    If you check in \Windows\minidump, you might see a bunch of DMP files - one for each of those crashes. They are memory dumps with a summary of info describing the crash conditions. Upload a few of the latest ones here, zipped up, and someone might be able to help.

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    Re: AOL Crashing Vista

    Hi richone71 and welcome to Vista Forums

    As long as you are able to connect via IE (or FireFox or similar), you don't actually need to have AOL (or, for that matter, any other ISP software) installed on your system. Most do, actually, install a fair bit of bloatware which can slow your system down. All you need is for your router to have the correct settings as provided by your ISP. If you are just signing in to read E-Mails, then use the web interface and not their interface. This is what I did when I was with them AOL.com - Welcome to AOL

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    Re: AOL Crashing Vista

    Going in through IE to AOL is fine; no problem doing that. I'd still like to find out why it is happening for 3 reasons:
    1. This is my aunt's computer and she is just more comfortable using AOL's software.
    2. I'm concerned that this is just a symptom of some underlining problem. I'd like to get it fixed before it causes any more problems.
    3. I absolutely hate not being able to solve a problem, much less a computer one. :-)

    When I get access to her computer again, I'll get one of the dump files and upload here.

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  6. #5
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    Re: AOL Crashing Vista

    I recently had to troubleshoot AOL mess. Is truely a piece of crappy software. I did not come across anything about AOL crashing Vista but since I have not deleted notes you might as well have them. Just because Vista stops crashing does not mean AOL runs good!

    This AOL forum is pretty good AOL Browser - AOL Message Boards but this is better Anti-AOL show how to really remove/reinstall AOL, network adaptor and all Anti-AOL - How to Uninstall the AOL WAN Miniport (Adapter) from Any PC

    Here is one with same problem AOL 9.5, 9.1 Crashs Vista - AOL & Microsoft Windows Vista - AOL Message Boards That forum has a section for Vista vs. AOL AOL & Microsoft Windows Vista - AOL Message Boards

    Java has this tip for optimzing, most agree from what I found How do I resolve problems running applets in AOL? - 1.4.2_xx, 1.5.0, 6.0 If aunt has old slow computer it is best to disable.

    Problem I had to fight was about freezing not total system crash though. Possible fix for freezes is to disable new restore session function in 9.5. And to delete all (IE) browsing history including settings stored by add-ons. Some also have fixed problems by killing "Fast start" which preloads AOL when Windows boots. You see that in log-on screen I think. Or in settings somewhere.

    Worst about AOL must be TopSpeed which now cant be disabled. You can try renaming aoltpsd3.exe in Topspeed\3.0 folder but not sure it works. There are other services and processes regarding topspeed. You need to search for this, cant remember details. I have some notes only.

    AOL actually has a pretty good System information tool, find it in start menu. Click utilities and you can clear its monster cache and click "One-click Fixes". Connectivity tab is most useful but there is no "dont make Vista crash" function. Most of the delete and redetect should be tried. Strange they have so much help for troubleshooting..

    If you try to clean up/reinstall again be sure to back up email/favorites. Or are they on their server? If AOL "personal storage" is corrupted somehow and not deleted then it might not help to "uninstall". Try remove everything AOL. Let AOL backup for you - there are 2 folders or backups, one for settings and one for content I think. Search "pcf folder" for more info.

    And be sure all relevant AOL processes have full internet access in firewall. That is AOL (waol.exe), AOL Connectivity Service (AOLacsd.exe), AOL Connectivity Service Dialer (AOLDial.exe), AOL Loader (aolload.exe), AOL Shared Components (aolsoftware.exe), AOL System Information (sinf.exe), AOL TopSpeed (aoltpsd3.exe)

    Forgot that the IE8 issue talked about here http://forums.spybot.info/showthread.php?t=46906 and here IE8 and SpyBot also goes for AOL. Think even in official FAQ where they show how to delete in registry. Can cause problems with login.

    Last edited by dk70; 28 Mar 2009 at 07:33 AM.
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  7. #6



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    Re: AOL Crashing Vista

    Thanks for the links! I'll try them out and see what happens. The one about uninstalling the AOL WAN Miniport seems especially promising.

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  8. #7
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    Re: AOL Crashing Vista

    The computer which were haunted by AOL was an old Dell machine but I honestly think AOL is worse than any package Symantec ever made. You are totally a spectator to whatever AOL decides to do, like they have their own internet Settings page is huge but somehow AOL take over computer not you. TopSpeed eat ram, cpu big time on old single core machines. 50-60% cpu usage is normal.

    Well some people want it so nothing to do. But remember to check and click in their system information tool. Delete, reset/redetect everything. Complete uninstall could be required but may be faster to let beast cure itself, if possible.

    I battled them about 3 weeks ago and at that time there were loads of "freezing" complaints. May be they have moved on to Vista crashes? heh.

    Did she install IE8 btw? I wonder how well that will go. AOL bones are IE. Should be talked about on their forum. May be solution or another problem...

    Last edited by dk70; 28 Mar 2009 at 03:16 PM.
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