Getting an Account
The "main" problem was that Verizon (aka the monopoly) cancelled the purchase order .... 4 times.
That's right, my friends ordered DSL and the order was cancelled a few days later. So, they called back and ordered it again ... cancelled. And so forth.
It took over 10 phone calls (not counting all the calls that were never answered) and 2 months before DSL was "available" (whatever that was supposed to mean).
On the "next to the last" phone call, my friends decided that they had had enough and they asked for a real street address that they could write a real paper letter to - the person on the phone refused to provide the address. Instead Verizon produced a supervisor who, after just checking the records, found that DSL was already "available" and that my friends could now install the software.
Installing the Software
The software is very simple minded - it walks you through every step. Even someone with no experience could follow this.
I placed the Verizon CD in the machine and it crashed - InstallShield refused to run. Not wanting to trouble shoot the problem, I simply located the install software and ran it. After a half an hour of following the instructions (which are actually quite clear) another program tried to run InstallShield. Crash (as expected).
This machine has a history of virus problems. Every time it connects to MSN.net (via a regular modem), McAfee starts finding viruses on the machine. I always thought that programs of that type were supposed to prevent viruses from getting on the machines, but I guess that letting them get through and then finding them before they do any real damage isn't too bad.
Based on this history, I made the obvious assumption that some virus had messed with InstallShield and decided to deal with it after I had DSL working. Unfortunately, it was now obvious that I would have to fix IKernel.exe before I could get DSL to work.
I was not able to find IKernel.exe on the machine because the Search feature in Windows Explorer would not work - right click, select Search..., nothing happens. Another indication of a probable virus that McAfee missed.
I obtained another Windows XP system and located IKernel.exe, to my suprise
C:\Program Files\Common Files\InstallShield\Engine\6\Intel 32\IKernel.exewas on both systems.
At this point, the system experienced a hard crash and I had to turn the power off and back on. On a whim, I logged on as a different user and, guess what, InstallShield worked fine. (I'll have to look into that later - after the high speed Internet connection is operational.)
Installing the software - Part 2
We got all the way to "setting up the user account" when the next round of problems began.
To make a long story short, the user name on the Verizon bill is almost the same as my friends' last name, but the DSL account name is different than either (one letter was omitted).
Well, mistakes happen, and I accept some of these ... but
At this point, I assumed that the names on the account and in the database probably did not match ... or maybe Verizon simply lied. At any rate, I tried the 24 hour tech support number - it said
In all, I think that I ran the idiot install program 6 times before getting this far.
My friends had to allow the support person to log onto the machine and manually tweak something. The support person also had to disable (or unload) MSN.net because "it was causing a problem".
After and hour and a half, email was working.
At this point, Internet Explorer is still not working.