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Earthlink Access Software v 8.0 Software errors and why they happen
  • Article ID: 35751
  • Last modified date: June 23, 2010 5:06
Summary
Introduction

This article describes fatal crash errors when opening the EarthLink Access Software v 8.0 and what to do about them.

Procedure

All of the errors shown and discussed here were created by renaming or unregistering the dll’s that make up the software. They constitute most of the common errors customers call in about and typically have to reinstall for. There are 32 dlls and 2 “always running” .exe’s in the software.

Of the eight files described below whose absence or damage will cause a fatal crash, seven are dll’s (dynamic link library). We are hoping that a feature in a control panel repair kit, Dialer Settings, which is part of this new software will fix a lot of these issues for customers. See KB article EarthLink Access Software v 8.0 Control Panel App- Dialer Settings. Effectively this control panel repair kit has a button which re-registers all of the software’s dll’s. Testing where the below errors were created by unregistering dll’s are eliminated by using the “re-register” functionality in the control panel app. If any of the software dll’s are not present, the “re-register” function will message the customer. Then we will know to either copy over the missing file from the CD or to try a reinstall of the software.

Bartshel.exe -When a customer sees the small gray EarthLink icon in the system tray that is Bartshel.exe.

It can be running in the background but also it is the dialer connection window that pops up when customers click on the EarthLink icon:

 

If this file is not present or is damaged, the software will not open. With other errors, sometimes the dialer window will not open and continued clicking on the icon will cause multiple instances of Bartshel.exe to run. On a call with a customer who is experiencing an issue where the dialer will not open, it is effective troubleshooting to first go into Alt/CTRL/DEL/Task Manager/Processes and terminate all instances of Bartshel.exe before clicking on the EarthLink Access Software icon again. Here is a view of  task manager/processes with multiple instances of Bartshel.exe. The only other software executable that normally runs besides accelerator is PPShared.exe.

Dialer.dll-This is a critical file. The software can show at least 3-5 different types of errors including script errors if this dll is not registered or is missing. The errors have different messages and the dialer window can even open and look normal but definitely won’t function properly.

ISPUtil8.dll
Locations.dll
Phonebook.dll
PPCOXML.dll
Users.dll
XPRas.dll
These 6 dlls when missing or unregistered will cause the Bartshel.exe to malfunction. What the customer will experience is they will click on the software icon and the Connection Manager window either won’t open or will open and not function properly. The error message type and format will vary substantially but the end result is the Connection Manager will not open or not function.

 

PPShared.exe - This file is always or should always be running in the background when Earthlink Access Software v 8.0 is properly installed so it is listed here although it can be removed and the dialer will still open. It's used for cross-process communication -- to send messages from one BART window to another such as 1) dialer/home page, 2) systray, 3) accelerator settings, 4) toast.

  • A note on script errors-Because the primary component, Bartshel.exe, is a customized version of Internet Explorer, customers experience and call about script errors. In most cases, there is not a good or quick solution to these types of problems. The most important thing to remember or ask a customer about a script error is did it happen before or after connecting to the Internet. The main difference is:
    “Before connecting” script errors more than likely will require a reinstall of the software if “re-register Com Objects” button doesn’t fix it.
    “After connecting” script errors more than like will not require a reinstall of the software to fix them. It is an error on a server webpage. Expectations need to be set with the customer that Earthlink will fix it as soon as possible but there is nothing they have to do (or can do) on their computer.
    Script errors before connecting to the internet (when trying to open or configure the dialer)-These are the types of errors we are discussing in this KB. They are more than likely associated with a fatal crash of the Connection Manager software and may require a reinstall of the software. The line number and text of the script error can and will change depending on whether the customer cancelled out of previous errors that came up or if they click on “Yes”to “do you want to continue running scripts on this page” however because the script error happened before connecting, it is more than likely a fatal crash of the software. In all cases, here is the general call flow:
    1. Confirm errors are happening BEFORE connecting to the internet or when opening or configuring the dialer.
    2. Use Alt/CTRL/DEL/Task Manager/Processes to kill all existing instances of bartshel.exe. Click on the Image Name tab at the top to sort processes by name to find them easier.
    3. Go into the control panel application and have the customer click on “re-register Com objects”.

Note: If the customer says they see some message about missing files, try copying over the missing file or files from the CD into the same folder in C:\\program files\\Earthlink and clicking on “Re-register COM objects” in Dialer Settings or a uninstall/reinstall of the software.

Otherwise, if re-register is successful the customer will see this 

Have the customer close out of the application and go back to the desktop and click on the EarthLink icon 

Script errors after connecting to the internet with this new software:

They are related to webpage code on a server or something with the type of account the customer has. There is nothing that the customer can do on their computer to fix a script error that occurs after the customer successfully connects with the software and the homepage is coming up or trying to come up.

We need to set expectations with the customer to click on yes to “keep running scripts on this page” to get past the script errors and to tell the customer EarthLink will work to resolve the issue as quickly as possible. If the customer cannot get beyond the script error, meaning the homepage will not come up because of the script error, this may be an escalation. Refer to KB article EarthLink Access Software v 8.0- Script errors

A note on disabling customer Anti-Viru /Firewall software -Customer third party Anti-Virus or Firewall software might be the reason some of the software dll’s do not get installed and registered properly. It is probably a good idea to have the customer temporarily disable their third party software before re-installing our software if the Control Panel application “re-register all Com objects” does not solve the problem.

Below, we will see some of the errors that are caused by either an unregistered or missing dll or missing exe. Remember-What is critically important is not the error itself but when it happened; before or after connecting to the internet. In other words, did the software successfully open and get the customer connected or did this error happen when the customer clicked on the icon to open the software.

Errors due to a mis-installed Dialer.dll- This critical file causes a fatal crash when clicking on the icon if unregistered or missing. This might be but is not necessarily the first error a customer sees if dialer.dll is unregistered, missing or damaged.

The customer can click on more details and see this information.

The customer can cancel out of the above error(s) or perhaps click ok and the dialer will continue to open. The customer may get script errors next. The line, char and text of the scipt error will vary depending on whether the customers click on yes to continue running scripts or if they try to cancel out of the error.

The solution -

  1. Confirm errors are happening BEFORE connecting to the internet or when opening or configuring the dialer.
  2. Use Alt/CTRL/DEL/Task Manager/Processes to stop all existing instances of bartshel.exe. Click on the Image Name tab at the top to sort processes by name to find them easier.
  3. Go into the control panel application and have the customer click on “re-register Com objects”.
  4. If any files are missing, uninstall/reinstall software or if “re-register” is successful, go back to desktop and try to re-open software.
  5. If re-register doesn’t fix it, uninstall and reinstall software. Remember to temporarily disable the customer's Anti-virus/Firewall software.
  6. If the customer tries to install multiple times and the dialer will still not function for them, they will need to use a Dial-up Networking connection.

 

Errors due to a mis-installed ISPUtil8.dll - This dll if unregistered, missing or damaged will show the fatal crash as a series of script errors. It might also display the “blue error” box shown belo, but not necessarily.

If the customer clicks on Yes to continue running scripts or cancels out of the error, they will see more and different script errors like the following:

They may get actually get to the Connection Manager window. It may be incomplete and will not respond.

The solution -

  1. Confirm errors are happening BEFORE connecting to the internet or when opening or configuring the dialer.
  2. Use Alt/CTRL/DEL/Task Manager/Processes to stop all existing instances of bartshel.exe. Click on the Image Name tab at the top to sort processes by name to find them easier.
  3. Go into the control panel application and have the customer click on “re-register Com objects”.
  4. If any files are missing, uninstall/reinstall software or if “re-register” is successful, go back to desktop and try to re-open software.
  5. If re-register doesn’t fix it, uninstall and reinstall software. Remember to temporarily disable the customer's Anti-virus/Firewall software.
  6. If the customer tries to install multiple times and the dialer will still not function for them, they will need to use a Dial-up Networking connection.

 

Errors due to a mis-installed Locations.dll - This controls the location functionality in the dialer and will throw some of the following error messages or script errors. This is not necessarily all of the errors a customer might see.

 

 

The solution -

  1. Confirm errors are happening BEFORE connecting to the internet or when opening or configuring the dialer.
  2. Use Alt/CTRL/DEL/Task Manager/Processes to stop all existing instances of bartshel.exe. Click on the Image Name tab at the top to sort processes by name to find them easier.
  3. Go into the control panel application and have the customer click on “re-register Com objects”.
  4. If any files are missing, uninstall/reinstall software or if “re-register” is successful, go back to desktop and try to re-open software.
  5. If re-register doesn’t fix it, uninstall and reinstall software. Remember to temporarily disable the customer's Anti-virus/Firewall software.
  6. If the customer tries to install multiple times and the dialer will still not function for them, they will need to use a Dial-up Networking connection.

 

Errors due to a mis-installed Phonebook.dll - If this file is not installed properly, running the software will give this or a similar error when trying to connect or when trying to access or change the access numbers/location in the dialer.

The solution -

  1. Confirm errors are happening BEFORE connecting to the internet or when opening or configuring the dialer.
  2. Use Alt/CTRL/DEL/Task Manager/Processes to stop all existing instances of bartshel.exe. Click on the Image Name tab at the top to sort processes by name to find them easier.
  3. Go into the control panel application and have the customer click on “re-register Com objects”.
  4. If any files are missing, uninstall/reinstall software or if “re-register” is successful, go back to desktop and try to re-open software.
  5. If re-register doesn’t fix it, uninstall and reinstall software. Remember to temporarily disable the customer's Anti-virus/Firewall software.
  6. If the customer tries to install multiple times and the dialer will still not function for them, they will need to use a Dial-up Networking connection

 

Errors due to a mis-installed PPCOXML.dll - If not installed properly, a customer will see this message, signifying a “crash” message that Bartshel has encountered a problem and needs to close.

The solution -

  1. Confirm errors are happening BEFORE connecting to the internet or when opening or configuring the dialer.
  2. Use Alt/CTRL/DEL/Task Manager/Processes to stop all existing instances of bartshel.exe. Click on the Image Name tab at the top to sort processes by name to find them easier.
  3. Go into the control panel application and have the customer click on “re-register Com objects”.
  4. If any files are missing, uninstall/reinstall software or if “re-register” is successful, go back to desktop and try to re-open software.
  5. If re-register doesn’t fix it, uninstall and reinstall software. Remember to temporarily disable the customer's Anti-virus/Firewall software.
  6. If the customer tries to install multiple times and the dialer will still not function for them, they will need to use a Dial-up Networking connection.

 

Errors due to a mis-installed users.dll –If not installed properly, the software may not open or throws this message:

 

The solution -

  1. Confirm errors are happening BEFORE connecting to the internet or when opening or configuring the dialer.
  2. Use Alt/CTRL/DEL/Task Manager/Processes to stop all existing instances of bartshel.exe. Click on the Image Name tab at the top to sort processes by name to find them easier.
  3. Go into the control panel application and have the customer click on “re-register Com objects”.
  4. If any files are missing, uninstall/reinstall software or if “re-register” is successful, go back to desktop and try to re-open software.
  5. If re-register doesn’t fix it, uninstall and reinstall software. Remember to temporarily disable the customer's Anti-virus/Firewall software.
  6. If the customer tries to install multiple times and the dialer will still not function for them, they will need to use a Dial-up Networking connection.

 

Errors due to a mis-installed XPRas.dll- If not installed properly, the customer will see this or a similar message:

The solution -

  1. Confirm errors are happening BEFORE connecting to the internet or when opening or configuring the dialer.
  2. Use Alt/CTRL/DEL/Task Manager/Processes to stop all existing instances of bartshel.exe. Click on the Image Name tab at the top to sort processes by name to find them easier.
  3. Go into the control panel application and have the customer click on “re-register Com objects”.
  4. If any files are missing, uninstall/reinstall software or if “re-register” is successful, go back to desktop and try to re-open software.
  5. If re-register doesn’t fix it, uninstall and reinstall software. Remember to temporarily disable the customer's Anti-virus/Firewall software.
  6. If the customer tries to install multiple times and the dialer will still not function for them, they will need to use a Dial-up Networking connection.

 

Conclusions:

  1. To best solve the software problem the customer is calling about, it’s all about when in the connection process the errors occur and then what the error message is. This is critically important to remember for Script errors.
  2. If the customer is experiencing problems or errors before they even get connected to the internet, the software is not installed properly. In short:
    1. The solution is to first run the control panel application and “re-register all Com Objects”
    2. Then try an uninstall/reinstall of the software. Before the reinstall, first temporarily disable the customer's Anti-virus/Firewall software.
  3. Customers are going to call about script errors. Remember to ask “When did you see the script error, before or after you got connected to internet?”
    1. If it is before, it’s an issue with the software on the customer’s computer.
    2. If it is after connecting to the internet, the issue cannot be solved on the customer’s computer so no uninstall/reinstall.

 

 



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