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Windows 7: AOL (ugh) taking incessantly long time to sign on & respond


03 Feb 2014   #1

Windows 7 Pro x64
 
 
AOL (ugh) taking incessantly long time to sign on & respond

Hello good Windows 7 people,

I have a friend who refuses to be weaned off AOL and I'm trying to help him troubleshoot a problem he's having. My friend has two Windows 7 desktop computers, one in LA and one in NY (he has homes in both cities) that I set up for him. They are both Dells with 4GB of RAM, Corei5 processors and Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1. The one in LA is 2 years old, about a year older than the one in NY, but otherwise they are pretty much identical in terms of the software installed on each - same antivirus, same version of Office, same AOL 9.7, same everything. He syncs documents and contacts/calendar between them so it was essential that we set them up to be as identical as possible.

The trouble is, his LA computer seems to take an interminably long time to sign on AND respond to clicking on links. In LA & NY he has TimeWarner Cable Internet with around 13-20 mbps speed in both.

At first I did the typical check for malware etc - using Avast, Malwarebytes, Ccleaner - but found nothing. Then a couple of weeks ago I suggested doing a complete clean install of Windows, so that's been done now. Formatted the drive, installed Windows 7 & updates, installed all his applications and restored documents etc from backup. He was in NY at the time and only just returned a few days ago, and is saying that the LA computer STILL takes an incredibly long time to load & respond to link clicks, while his NY computer does not seem to have this issue. I'm baffled since the software is identical, all updates installed on both, etc. AOL Filing Cabinet has been wiped clean too.

I am not too familiar with how AOL authentication servers work but at this point I'm wondering if it might be a factor - maybe computers signing on from his specific location in LA are authenticating off a server that's having trouble - but I'm also concerned there may be other factors to consider, such as a flaky network adapter.

Does anyone have a recommendation for other troubleshooting steps to try? Maybe I should try adding in an additional Ethernet adapter (like a USB one) to see if that resolves it, or maybe I need to adjust RWIN etc...any suggestions?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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03 Feb 2014   #2

W7 Pro SP1 64bit
 
 

Welcome to the Seven Forums.

AOL 9.7 seems to be using Chrome 21. That is an old and very flawed browser. Let's hope that financial transactions are not being completed via that browser. It might be best to let this slowness convince the user to abandon AOL.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Feb 2014   #3

Windows 7 Pro x64
 
 

Unfortunately, that's not going to happen anytime soon. I'm hoping perhaps there might be some other feedback here from other users? Believe me, if I could convince him to abandon AOL I would.

The problem I have with the assumption that it's the AOL software itself causing the issue is that he is using AOL 9.7 on his NY computer too, same version, and yet the issue does not occur there. Makes me think it might be a problem specific to either his LA computer or connection...
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03 Feb 2014   #4

Windows 7 ultimate 64-bit
 
 

it is quite possible that it could be a flaky ethernet adapter. Unfortunately the one thing with dell is they dont exactly use the best quality components out there; even if you tell them to because the components they use are well just not that great imo. I had a dell tower previous to this current system and it had its fair share of issues and the thing with dell also is a lot of their stuff is proprietary so you can only get replacements through them. As for abandoning AOL; well surprisingly; my parents still use AOL and have been ever since we became members in the mid 90s. I use to use it exclusively; but now i use my ISP exclusively for internet and email.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Feb 2014   #5
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

We are using AOL since many years and never had a problem. The wife uses the full AOL installation and I use it via Internet explorer. That is faster. Just put AOL.com into IE, click on the mail icon and sign in. See how this works.

We think AOL is a very good email system since they store all our stuff on their system And in 7 years we have never lost one piece of mail - and the wife gets 100 mails per day, on avaerage.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Feb 2014   #6

W7 Pro SP1 64bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by whs View Post
We are using AOL since many years and never had a problem. The wife uses the full AOL installation...
Then you might be the best person to spend the time/labor/effort to see if AOL Desktop 9.7 really is using a year+ old/flawed version of Chrome (21.0.1180.0 is in the user agent string for the latest AOL browser and the cache files appear to be from Chrome too).



If memory serves me, there is an exploit that allows one of the Chrome instances to run at the system integrity level.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Feb 2014   #7
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

I am just using it. I never gave it much thought how it works. All I need is a safe repository for my mail. Anything that is potentially dangerous I do in Linux anyhow.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Feb 2014   #8

W7 Pro SP1 64bit
 
 

If she accesses her AOL e-mail using AOL's (Chrome) browser, then the password to the e-mail account could be discovered. Accounts that rely on that e-mail account for password resets could be at risk. Your efforts to protect things by using Linux is compromised by the weakest link.
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3 Weeks Ago   #9

32 xp
 
 
New to this site

I find it takes ages to sign out of aol on firefox, plus have a adnxs on aol and they are not much help, so dont use it directly no more
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3 Weeks Ago   #10

Windows 8 Pro / Windows 7 Home Premium x64 dual boot
 
 

It's an AOHell thing , always has been, always will be.
I abandoned AOL ages ago for this very reason amongst many, many others and the only thing I can suggest to your friend is to do the same, and since you say he will not (lord only knows why anyone would even want to stick with AOL) then he and / or you will just have to live with the incessantly slow connections. BTW, you may want to point out to your friend that AOL is probably one of the most insecure ISP's around, everything is tracked and NOTHING you do on it is even remotely private.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by whs View Post
We think AOL is a very good email system since they store all our stuff on their system And in 7 years we have never lost one piece of mail - and the wife gets 100 mails per day, on avaerage.
It would be safe to say if any ISP shares info with the NSA without them asking, it would probably be AOL.

IMO, only those that are not very computer savvy would even consider AOL, basically because it entices those without computer knowledge with ease of use and their system pretty much doing and saving everything for them, but the tradeoff ultimately is insecurity and ones system being loaded down with tons of unnecessary crap from their software, also all those emails you store on their system / server have probably already been read or at least accessed by someone else without your knowledge.

Not to speak about their malware, virus riddled, sexual deviant, pedophile infested chat rooms. That alone is reason enough not to use it, because by sticking with it means you condone that sort of behavior and AOL will never do anything about it.

It took me only three months of using AOL back in the 90's to figure out it was nothing but garbage and dumped it like a bad cold.

The best advice I can give you and I am sure everyone here will agree is dump it and dump it fast. That is the only thing that is going to correct your problem.

One thing you might try which is something that worked for me back in the 90's during the "dial up" days is to totally uninstall AOL's software and just use their internet access to gain access to the internet. I totally uninstalled the AOL software and just used their dial up number(s) at the time to connect to the internet and used Internet Explorer to surf the net instead of AOL's browser and it was a hell of a lot faster then surfing with their software. The drawback is that if you use AOL mail you may not be able to access it, but then again there are tons of other mail options out there, I wouldn't however use outlook to download mail off the AOL servers, everything about AOL is just too insecure and flakey for me to recommend downloading anything off their systems.

Those of you that still use AOL will probably argue it's not like that anymore but I will tell you that you can't teach an old dog new tricks, AOL's problems are still the same, they just learned how to hide them better.
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 AOL (ugh) taking incessantly long time to sign on & respond




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