Message: The connection to AOL has been lost (AC-3002)

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Message: The connection to AOL has been lost (AC-3002)

If you receive the message "The connection to AOL has been lost (AC-3002)" while you are signed on to the AOL software, try the solutions listed below. After trying the first solution, check whether you can stay connected to the AOL service. If you still receive the message, 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 and AOL software installed on your computer. You will also need to know the version of AOL Connectivity Service (ACS) that your AOL software (AOL 9.0 or higher) uses to connect to the Internet. You can find this information by following the instructions given in the online help articles mentioned below:

Solutions


Verify whether the Web page can be accessed using an external browser

Try connecting to the AOL Web page with a stand-alone browser, for e.g. Internet Explorer, to determine whether the broadband connection to the Internet works without using the AOL software.

To open Internet Explorer
1. Click Start.
2. In the Search or Start Search box, type Internet Explorer, and then tap the Enter key on your keyboard. Alternatively, select Programs or All Programs, and then click Internet Explorer.
3. In the Address box, type http://www.aol.com, and then press the Enter key on the keyboard.

If the AOL Web page opens, try signing on to the AOL software again. However, if you are unable to access the Internet with the external browser, please contact your Internet Service Provider.

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Verify whether your computer meets all system requirements

Check whether your computer meets the system requirements of the AOL software that you are using. If your computer doesn't meet the system requirements, please contact your computer manufacturer to upgrade your computer. To find out the minimum system requirements of the AOL software you are having problems with, please read our online help article System requirements for the AOL software.


Check physical connections

1. Check whether the phone cord is unplugged from the back of the computer or wall jack.
2. Plug a telephone cord into the phone jack used by the modem, and then pick up the receiver to check for the dial tone. If there is no dial tone, please contact your local phone company.
3. Ensure that the phone line goes directly from the wall jack to the computer. Disconnect any splitters or answering machines that are connected to the phone line to ensure that these devices are not causing the issue.
4. 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.
5. If you are using an external modem, ensure that the power cord is plugged into a working wall jack.
6. Ensure that another member of the household is not using the home phone line.

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Use an alternate access phone number

Changing the AOL access numbers not only improves the speed of your connection but also resolves connectivity issues with the AOL software. Warning: You will incur charges on your phone bill if you select an AOL access 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 numbers that you select are local for your plan. Remember that members on certain plans may be charged an hourly rate for dial-up connections. See AOL Keyword: My Account for details regarding the charges applicable to your account. The steps to change access numbers may vary depending on the version of ACS installed on your computer.

Please click the appropriate link given below to change access numbers.


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 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.


Enable 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 a computer. Click the link corresponding to the version of Windows installed on your computer to know how to enable only essential startup programs on your computer.

If you are using Windows 2000/Me/98, you will have to manually close all the programs 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 on how to close all programs.

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Run WebUtil

WebUtil restores the system settings to resolve connection and browsing problems.

Please click the link corresponding to the version of ACS installed on your computer for instructions on how to run WebUtil.


Temporarily disable a 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 firewall.


Disable SystemGuard in McAfee Internet Security Suite - Special edition from AOL

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.


Repair the network stack list using NetShell

Note: If you are using Windows 98/Me, skip to the next solution.

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 websites 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). To know how to do so, please read our online help article Repair the network stack list using NetShell.

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Uninstall and reinstall 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 below to know how to uninstall and reinstall ACS.

Operating System
ACS Version
Windows 8/7/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


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 AOL software does not cause the issue. 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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