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Computer Issue - A rant!

  1. Mar 21, 2006 #1


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    I will be doing 'neurosurgery' (or full blown brain transplant if the surgery is unsuccessful) on a Windows XP (upgraded from SP1 to SP2, which apparently is nearly always fatal) which had AOL 9 (Broadband) Optimized installed. In addition to AOL 9, the wife had installed Internet Access Control - which also seems to be an ultimately debilitating and fatal illness for Windows machines, and perhaps XP is particularly susceptible.

    So the problem started yesterday while trying register a new cable modem. There was a Catch-22:

    Internet Access Control needs internet connection to enable a browser, which is used as an interface to register the modem. However, since the modem wasn't registered, there was no internet connection. AAAAARRRRRRGGGGGHHHHH!!!! :grumpy: :mad:

    So, AOL 9 was uninstalled, more out of spite than a good technical reason (always a bad move, but it felt good at the time :biggrin: ). :grumpy:

    Then I attempted to uninstall Internet Access Control - via another network, which did have internet access. However, the uninstall procedure (this was from AOL's site) indicates that Internet Access Control is not installed. AAAARRRRGGGGHHHH!!!!! :grumpy:

    I called AOL and spoke with their off-shore tech support, and the person told me all I needed to do was stop the process - topspeed.exe. Well, when I went to Taskmanager, there was no Topspeed process running, despite the fact that Internet Access Control was running, and I did find to exe's (aoltpspd.exe and aoltsmon.exe), which are ostensibly topspeed and topspeed monitor!? :grumpy:

    I also found a third program - spcaudt.exe with spcres.dll - the later may have something to do with conflict resolution or address resolution. :grumpy:

    So I have uninstalled AOL and removed the topspeed files (and deleted the registry keys for topspeed), and also removed spcaudt.exe and spcres.dll (and registry keys). So, that's where I am at the moment.

    Lesson learned: Do not surrender control of your PC to someone's software.

    Ultimately, the main HD has to have a clean installation of XP SP2 (or perhaps Linux) and no AOL.

    At the moment, the Internet browser is disabled, and the Local Area Connection cannot be repaired by Windows, because 'cleaning of the ARP cache' cannot be completed. This very ill PC can ping some internet sites, and it can interface with the network. Meanwhile, I am trying to find the procedure for cleaning the ARP (Address Resolution Protocol) cache.

    I will be buying a new PC and will try to salvage what we can from the critically ill PC. :rolleyes:
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 21, 2006 #2


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    Lesson learned: AOL=Evil.
  4. Mar 21, 2006 #3


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    No s***!!!!!

    Actually, I am making some progress.

    I have found a pf file (which I thought was a pdf file). Nasty things sometimes.

    I have also learned that C:\WINDOWS\Prefetch, which is where all those pf files hangout, may be a haven for spyware programs that get activated at startup. That is why some spyware gets reinstalled after it has been deleted, so it is important to detect and remove the insidious spyware pf files, as well as deleting the registry keys.

    But, one has to be careful when editing the registry file.

    AOL = Evil, and MS = Evil, but AOL + MS = :devil: :yuck:
  5. Mar 21, 2006 #4
    Solution: Get off dial-up, install Linux. :-D
  6. Mar 21, 2006 #5


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    AOL software is awful, very spyware like, it roots itself into your system and removing it correctly and easily is not usually possible. I would stay away from Norton's software as well, for the same reason.
  7. Mar 21, 2006 #6


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    Yeah, I am learning that the hardway - which is typical for me. :rolleyes:

    I've got Norton also, but not for long. :grumpy: :mad: :devil:

    We've had AOL since 1996 when we first got a (then) 'modern' PC (P5-133) with dial-up. We kept AOL through broadband, but I've had enough.

    MS WinXP is bad enough by itself, but through in AOL and Norton, and :surprised :yuck:
  8. Mar 21, 2006 #7


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    I learned the pagefile lesson with spyware/viruses the hard way. Nasty little buggers to get rid of. I curse the day that my wife brought AOL into the house. Thank goodness I made her use it only at her office now. I don't envy the work ahead of you Astro.
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