Connectivity issues with the AOL software

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Connectivity issues with the AOL software

Sometimes, you may have problems connecting to the Internet using the AOL software. Listed below are the solutions to resolve the issue. After trying the first solution, check whether you can connect to the AOL service. If you still can't, continue using the suggested solutions until the problem is fixed.

You may wish to print or save a copy of these instructions as this page may not remain visible as you go through the suggested steps.

Information you need

You will need to know the version of the Microsoft Windows operating system installed on your computer. You can find this information by following the steps given in the online help article How do I determine the version of Windows I have?

You will also need to know the version of AOL Connectivity Service (ACS) installed on your computer before you proceed. If you are using AOL 9.0 VR or higher, you have ACS 4 installed on your computer. If you are using AOL 9.0 Optimized, AOL 9.0 Optimized SE/LE, or AOL Security Edition, follow the instructions given in the online help article How do I determine the version of AOL Connectivity Service (ACS) I have?

Solutions


Delete all connection locations and redetect the modem

Completely deleting the sign on locations and connectivity files removes not only bad access phone numbers but also dialing options and incorrect modem or broadband settings. The AOL software will automatically search for and select the right connection device and guide you through the process of selecting appropriate access phone numbers and dialing options.

WARNING: You will incur charges on your phone bill if you select an AOL access phone number that is a long-distance call or is not covered by your local calling plan. Please check with your local phone company to determine whether the access phone numbers that you select are local for your calling plan. Remember that members on certain plans may be charged an hourly rate for dial-up connections. See AOL Keyword: My Account or go to http://myaccount.aol.com for details regarding the charges applicable to your account.

Please click the link corresponding to the version of ACS on your computer for instructions to delete the connection locations and redetect the modem.

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Check physical connections

1. Check whether the phone cord is unplugged from the back of the computer or the wall jack.

2. Plug a telephone cord into the phone jack used by the modem, and then pick up the receiver to check for a dial tone. If there is no dial tone, please contact your local phone company.

3. Verify that no splitters are plugged into the wall.

4. Ensure that the phone line goes directly from the wall jack to the computer.

5. Ensure that one end of the phone cord is plugged into the wall jack and the other end is plugged into the modem jack. The modem jack will either be labeled Line or be represented by a phone receiver.

6. For external modems, please ensure that the power cord is plugged into a working wall jack.

7. Ensure that the home phone line is not being used by another member of the household.

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Swap the phone cord connected to the modem with a cord from a working telephone

Replace the phone cord connecting the modem to the phone jack with another phone cord from a working phone.

Ensure that one end of the replaced phone cord is plugged securely into the wall jack and the other end is plugged securely into the modem jack. The modem jack will be labeled Line, Telco, or Wall.

For best results, the phone cord should go directly to the wall jack. Remove any splitters, phone line surge suppressers, answering machines, fax machines, or other devices connected to the modem as these devices may affect your modem's ability to connect.


Uninstall AOL Connectivity Service (ACS)

The AOL software uses ACS to connect to the AOL service. Uninstalling ACS will allow a fresh copy of the ACS files to be installed. Please click the appropriate link from the table given below to know how to uninstall and reinstall ACS.

Operating System
ACS Version
Windows 7/Vista ACS 4 NA NA NA
Windows XP ACS 4 ACS 3 ACS 2 ACS 1
Windows 2000 ACS 4 ACS 3 ACS 2 ACS 1
Windows Me/98 ACS 4 ACS 3 ACS 2 ACS 1

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Temporarily disable your firewall or configure McAfee

There may be a firewall or other security software on your computer that is preventing you from connecting to the AOL service. You can temporarily disable your firewall and check whether you are able to connect to the Internet. To learn how to disable the firewall, read our online help article Disable a third-party firewall software.


Disable SystemGuard using McAfee

SystemGuard may be blocking the AOL software from connecting to the AOL service. Disabling SystemGuard may help you resolve this issue. For instructions on how to disable SystemGuard, refer to the Disable SystemGuard section in the online help article SystemGuard in McAfee Internet Security Suite - Special edition from AOL.

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Repair the network stack list using NetShell

Note: If you are using Windows 98/Me, follow the instructions given in the online help article How to run WebUtil.

One of the components of the Internet connection on your computer is a built-in set of instructions called TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol). TCP/IP can sometimes become damaged or corrupted. If you can't access Web sites in spite of trying all the above-mentioned solutions, we suspect TCP/IP to be the cause of the issue.

TCP/IP is a core component of Windows. Therefore, you cannot remove the TCP/IP stack. However, you can reset TCP/IP to its original state by using the NetShell utility (netsh).

Click the link corresponding to the version of Windows installed on your computer to know how to repair the network stack.

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Enable only essential startup programs

Multiple programs may have been set to start automatically when a computer is turned on. These programs may cause the computer to slow down. Not all startup programs are essential for the proper functioning of your computer. For instructions to enable only the essential startup programs on your computer, please click the appropriate link from the ones given below, depending on the version of Windows installed on your computer.

If you are using Windows 2000/Me/98, you will have to manually close all the programs that are currently running on your computer to resolve the issue. Please click the link corresponding to the version of Windows you have on your computer for instructions to close all programs.

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Uninstall and reinstall the AOL software

If the issue persists, we recommend that you uninstall and reinstall the AOL software. Uninstalling the AOL software removes all damaged and non-repairable files, and reinstalling the software installs new, error-free files.

Please click the link corresponding to the version of Windows on your computer for instructions to uninstall the AOL software.


Contact your computer manufacturer

We have determined that the issue is not caused by the AOL software. We recommend that you contact your computer manufacturer, or if your computer is no longer under warranty, a local computer repair shop or technician, for further assistance. Let the computer manufacturer/technician know that you are unable to get a connection through your dial-up network and ask him/her to check the following as these items have been known to cause problems with dial-up connections.

  • Out-of-date or corrupted modem drivers
  • Remote access configuration issues
  • Firewall configuration issues
  • Operating system updates
  • Operating system problems
  • Application conflicts
  • Low resources

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About this article:
Last updated: 06-19-2014
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