Tuesday, March 17, 2009

ZoneAlarm Was the Cause of All My Pains

So, literally some two months after it began, I managed to isolate the source my intermittent connectivity: ZoneAlarm. Yes, even with ZoneAlarm set to run manually (and eventually disabled entirely) as a service, even with the program set not to auto-launch, and all the other options ticked to make sure it was completely disabled, ZoneAlarm was still cutting browser connection completely once every few minutes. And no, I do not know why.

Now I'm having problems with Windows Firewall... but at least I'm not having to reboot every 5-10 minutes!

The only way I found relief was by completely removing ZoneAlarm from the system - literally removing it in its entirety! I haven't had a single connection problem since, either (knock wood)! But now I have to go through and figure out something with Windows Firewall. I wish I had just left it running as it was and never even bothered with ZoneAlarm. I remember ZA being a pain in the ass back when it was still free, and the only reason I got it again is because I got it free (through a special, limited offer).

In the midst of all this, minimized programs on the 98 box suddenly began disappearing - the taskbar ate them alive! I tried everything I could think of, as well as registry hacks and so forth I found online, to no avail. Finally, I uninstalled the last program I'd installed on there and it fixed it. Again, not before I'd spent hours and hours toying with everything else...

So, if you are having connectivity issues of any sort, they always tell you to drop your firewall first - it's pretty much the first step in the troubleshooting process - but if you are using ZoneAlarm and you've gone through the entire process at least once without change, uninstall ZA and see if that doesn't fix the problem.

© C Harris Lynn, 2009

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