View Full Version : A modest AOL question

02-14-2001, 09:39 PM
I know AOL might generally be frowned upon by most in this forum but it's email and ftp space turns out to be cost effective for my wife's business. I'm having an interesting problem with it. I have AOL 5.0 installed on a LAN with a G3, 7200 and 6110 via a cable modem. It runs fine on the 7200 and 6110 but every time I launch an AOL link on the B&W G3/350/128 running OS 8.6 it quits with a type 2 or 3 error. It's not memory allocation and I tried running it with only base extensions yet the problem persists.
It doesn't really impact us because, as I mentioned before, we only use AOL for email but it's annoying and I can't determine the cause of the problem (neither can AOL tech support). Reloading the software only works temporarily. Any suggestions?

02-14-2001, 11:40 PM
I can't suggest much of anything except downgrade to version 4.0. It's much more stable, smaller, and you can do e-mail and access FTP space with it. Or give the program insane memory(80MB+). I finally gave up on using it for my ISP because it was too unstable and rather slow, and I've tried to get 5.0 to run decently since it came out. Never could go more than 3 days without crashing. 3 hours if I go on the Internet at all.

[This message has been edited by Tylor (edited 14 February 2001).]

02-15-2001, 12:31 AM
Thanks, Taylor. The trade-off is the 2 additional email addresses in 5.0 (and more FTP space) as opposed to only 5 email addresses in 4.0. I know I could access them as a "guest" but my question is, why does it work perfectly on the 6110 and 7200 and crash on the G3? I don't use AOL as my ISP but access it through my cable modem account. That's what makes it cost effective.

02-15-2001, 04:05 AM
are you running the same versions of MacOS and InternetConfig on all machines?

02-15-2001, 01:52 PM
Hi magician. I'm running OS 8.6 on the 6110 and G3 and 8.1 on the 7200. I have the same Internet Config. on all the machines.

02-15-2001, 02:56 PM
it almost has to be a corrupted preference file or an extension conflict. Look carefully at what is installed on the machines where it works well, and the revision numbers of your extensions, and isolate what is different on the machine where it doesn't work well. That should yield enough clues to enable you to track it down.

02-15-2001, 04:34 PM
I tried trashing the preferences and running it with only base extensions and neither worked. Funny thing is that it works for a few times after I reload the software but then it starts crashing again.

02-16-2001, 12:06 AM
I find AOL useful in some ways as well so I keep my account as well. I'm running v5.0 rev 19.28 on a PowerBook (Firewire), an 8500 with NewerTech card, a 9600 with an XLR8 G3 upgrade and a friends 6500. All machines are running OS 9.1 however...

On none of these systems have we/I had any problems with 5.0. A funny thing I've found about AOL is that it installs a backup installer into the System Folder, and if AOL "has a problem" running or starting up it looks for this installer to fix it. If the installer wasn't there I've had some very strange crashes and errors in the past. I would suggest a full reinstall...

If you had copied the AOL folder across from another drive then you'd be missing this file, and who knowz... just a guess...

Hope that this helps.

02-16-2001, 12:35 AM
if you have another isp then you could use ie or netscape and go the aol.com and then access your mail from the home page. that's how i do it from work or a computer away from home. i also use the webaddress service from cjb.net. it gives you configureable email addresses and aliases. i works out pretty good for my website.

02-16-2001, 03:13 PM
does reload the software mean reinstall? maybe my suggestion is foolish then... maybe you need to use Norton or something similar and fully check the drive on this machine to make sure all is okay there... good luck...

02-16-2001, 04:43 PM
I have been doing all the work arounds you suggested. It's not a major obstacle since I don't use AOL for browsing but I'm just puzzled about the cause of the problem. BTW, it will also quit if there is a link in my email. I did another uninstall and reinstall this morning after they put a dedicated cable line to my modem. Same thing. It worked on a couple of links and then it quits with a type 3 error. Norton finds no problems and everything else seems to be working. Any other suggestions?

[This message has been edited by pixpicker (edited 16 February 2001).]

02-16-2001, 11:03 PM
just noticed in my first post I never indicated that I'm running AOL 5.0 on a B&W G3 with OS 9.1 as well (the reason I posted). You've a very strange problem indeed! how tricky would it be for you to install a fresh System Folder and try running AOL (a fresh install) with it? Just rename your old System Folder and hide the system and finder files in say the preferences folder temporarily... do a clean instal of 8.6 and AOL and see what happens.

final thought is that the deletion of ALL AOL folders and files is probably very important before a reinstall when you've had problems with AOL. You might want to make sure EVERYTHING AOL is actually gone before another reinstall. Otherwise, gotta tell ya that I've had absolutely no problem with AOL 5.0 on my rev. 2 B&W with XLR8 card upgrade. dang that 466/233 runs sweet and cool at 500 MHz in this machine...

best of luck!

02-19-2001, 10:18 AM
I tried everything suggested. I recently put 8.6 on another computer in the network and it runs AOL 5.0 flawlessly. It has to be an extension conflict on the G3.

02-20-2001, 01:02 AM
pix, so lemme get this right... you've gone through the exercise of generating a COMPLETELY stock B&W G3 with a clean OS 8.6 install and a clean AOL 5.0 install, making sure that EVERYTHING else was "hidden" or deleted and the same problem persists? Meaning, AOL runs a few times and then will not run again, crashing with type 2 or 3 errors? That's very strange indeed if this's the case... There are no extra PCI cards installed, stock processor, stock graphics card, etc... ? If so I'm tempted to try the experiment myself for the "fun of it."

[This message has been edited by dannemale (edited 20 February 2001).]

02-20-2001, 11:13 AM
dan.....I did not try a clean install but that will be my next step. I removed everything AOL and tried reinstalling it. I also tried it using only base extensions and the same thing happens. That has me a bit concerned. There are no extra cards but tons of software. As I said, it's running flawlessly on my lowly 6110 with a G3/300 upgrade using the same OS 8.6. Since my wife primarily uses the G3 for her business, it may have to wait until the weekend (I refuse to do it in the middle of the night!)

02-20-2001, 03:18 PM
gotcha, middle of the night, don't go there... if I can find the time I'll put a clean 8.6 and 5.0 on my B&W and see what happens. got a couple busy days as well...

[This message has been edited by dannemale (edited 20 February 2001).]

02-25-2001, 04:35 AM
pix, did some playing around tonite. i've an old quantum fireball that was the original drive in my 8500; i attached it to a Miles SCSI adapter in my B&W and installed OS 8.6 and AOL 5.0 on it. did this to not mess with my other drive and System Folder...

so, i ran AOL a bunch (launch, play, lather, rinse, quit, reboot (or not), repeat, ...) and did some surfing (dang I hate AOL for surfing) and email and had no problems to speak of cept'n typical AOL Saturday night everybody and their dogs causing heck for throughput even though I'm on 512 kbps DSL, which would of course rock if I just used the OS 8.6 included explorer... anyway, i ramble as usual... my point is NO PROBLEMA between the two...

what I do have to report is somewhat interesting and reminds me why I installed OS 9.04 so quickly on my B&W in the first place. the damn machine would do random temporary freezes with 8.6 for no reason whatever I was doing every 10 mins or so. but, when given 15 secs or so it would recover and be fine. my machine did this same thing "out of the box" when I got it before I made any modifications or software installs. I immediately upgraded to 9.0.4 and had basically forgotten (till tonite) that this happened in the first 12 hours I was playing with my B&W. deja-vu awakened some sleeping neurons to remind me why I upgraded my OS to 9.0.4. if you or your wife had been having these freezes and forced a reboot during such something very easily could have been seriously corrupted.

my conclusion is that there isn't a problem persay with OS 8.6, AOL 5.0 and B&Ws, but that new-world macs are much happier with OS 9.0.4 or 9.1, the code is much more optimized and "PowerPC native." I am clearly ignorant as to why this was happening; others might have similar experiences or not; i'd be very curious to hear...

my suggestion is that you borrow OS 9 and see if you're happy with the results and then go out and buy it with a smile on your face...

02-25-2001, 05:37 PM
Thanks for going to the trouble. My wife is furiously pounding away on the G3 upstairs and I’ve been working on a bunch of old 1 and 2GB drives someone gave me. I’m about to post a problem concerning this in Networking. As I said, I’m going to try a clean install when I get some time on the G3. BTW, I get to drive the old car as well. The reason I don't think 8.6 is the root of the problem is because AOL works flawlessly on my 6110/300 using the same OS.

02-26-2001, 12:29 AM
you're certainly welcome, I even had fun... http://macgurus.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

what surprised me was that my B&W behaves so strangely on 8.6. maybe it's an open transport, DSL and DHCP server thing in conflict with the newest firmware for my Cisco 675... so many here have spoken so highly about 8.6 that I am surprised MY B&W behaves so oddly with it. does your wife see any random freezes like I was describing? ...seeing that she's the one "driving the new car?"

IMHO and experience OS 9.1 is a wise install for new-world boxes.

best of luck...

02-26-2001, 07:15 PM
Other than the AOL problem the b&w has been pretty stabile with 8.6. Believe me, I would hear about it if it wasn't. Did you have any serious upgrade issues with OS 9.1?

02-27-2001, 12:14 AM
from 9.0.4 to 9.1 I experienced no problems at all. I ran into problems when I jumped from 8.5.1 to 9.0 with need for upgrades to some PCI card drivers mostly. I have heeded the gurus advice and I'm doing pretty good keeping my System Folder lean and mean; this is important, no doubt. Before you jump over, though, you should just check to see if any of the software that is important for you or your wife would require any more than free downloadable upgrades for OS 9.

03-05-2001, 08:00 PM
Here's the update. I initialize the G3 and reinstall 8.6 ( I needed to do this anyway.) I install AOL 5.0 and now two things happen - it either hangs on the TCP/IP part of the logon process or I get an error message about AOL enhanced link not being installed when I do manage to get on. I find two AOL Enhanced Link extensions which I disable. Now I'm able to logon but get an error message about enhanced link not being loaded. I call AOL tech support and they insist it's an ISP issue and that you don't need enhanced link with a cable modem connection. I mention that my two other Macs are running AOL 5.0 using the same cable modem without a problem. They stand firm on the ISP issue. So I look at the other computers and notice there was no AOL Link Enhance extensions in the version of 5.0 loaded on them. I purge all things AOL on the G3 and copy the version from the other computer. Works flawlessly. Another AOL software improvement.