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AOL Help: AOL stops connecting at 'Step 4: talking to network'

If you're trying to connect to AOL but are being stopped at "Step 4: Talking to Network", try one or all of the following steps to resolve the issue:

1. Check your PC specification
Ensure that your PC meets the required specification to run AOL.

The minimum system requirements for AOL 9.0 are as follows:

  • Operating system: Windows 98, 2000, Me or XP
  • Processor: Pentium-class; minimum speed as recommended for your operating system (e.g. 266MHz or above for Windows XP)
  • RAM: 64MB or above (128MB recommended)
  • Hard disk space: 129MB or above
  • Screen resolution: 800x600 and 256 colours or greater
  • Connection: Any of the following: 28.8Kbps modem or faster; broadband (DSL or cable); ISDN; or TCP/IP (LAN connections)


2. Run the 'I cannot get connected to the AOL service' Auto Fix (AOL 9.0 only)

Note: Make sure that any external modem is connected, powered on and that AOL is offline.

  1. Close all open programs, sign-off AOL.
  2. When offline, click Help (located on the AOL toolbar).
  3. Click the + beside Resolving Problems, and then click Solving Common AOL Problems.
  4. Click I cannot get connected to the AOL service.
  5. Close all programs (including AOL) and click Continue.


3. Perform a HyperTerminal test

  1. Click on Start and select Run.
  2. Type hypertrm then click OK.
  3. Type test and click OK.
  4. Enter your access number and click Dial
    After a successful test, you should get the prompt: Login.

If this fails to dial, please contact your PC vendor for technical support.


4. Repair the AOL Connectivity Service  (AOL 9.0 only)

  1. Click Start, then Settings and Control Panel. Windows XP users: Click Start and Control Panel.
  2. Double-click Add/Remove programs. Windows XP users: Click Change/Remove programs.
  3. Select AOL Connectivity Services and click Add/Remove.
  4. Select Repair AOL Connectivity Services, click OK to start the repair process.
  5. Once complete, close all windows, start AOL 9.0 and click Sign On.
  6. Enter the location name and click Next to continue. AOL will now auto-detect the connection device.
  7. Confirm connection device by clicking Next and then click Sign on to AOL Now.


5. Are you using firewall software?

Some personal firewall software configurations can restrict access to AOL. If you find that you are having persistent difficulties in connecting to AOL Broadband, it may be due to the presence of firewall software. In the event of this happening, disable your firewall software and retry AOL.

If you can connect when your firewall software is disabled, try changing the security settings on the software and signing on again to see if the problem is resolved. If you have lowered your security settings and still can't get online, please contact your firewall software vendor for further advice.

Further Information: Sign on to AOL and visit AOL Keyword: Firewall Software

If the problem reoccurs, call AOL Member Services on 0870 320 2020 for further technical support.