Some time ago, subscriber Ralph Campbell wrote me about configuration problems after upgrading his ZoneAlarm firewall program:
I use MSN Messenger to communicate ( chat) with a number of friends. Normally I stay signed out except at certain times of the day/week when I am likely to find one of these parties online. So, imagine my chagrin when I tried to sign on to MSN yesterday, only to find “no connection- denied”!
I puzzled with this thing yesterday afternoon, last night, and again this afternoon, but to no avail.
Then I recalled that, within the past few days, I had updated ZoneAlarm.
I checked the Programs Menu in ZA, and sure enough, the access to MSN
Messenger was being denied! it was not something I had changed, but that ZA had changed by default, I suppose.
I cleared that up, and it took a reboot to work out the kinks, but I can sign in to MSN now.
Do ZA updates usually reverse ones’ old settings? ( This was called an “install”, once I had started the process)
This turned out to be one of the problems that sometimes occur with upgrades. If you don’t realize exactly what the options mean, or if you mistakenly select the wrong one, you may end up with the wrong results.
With ZoneAlarm, we get options when installing for “upgrade installation” and “new installation.” Even if you have ZoneAlarm installed, you can select either — but the results are markedly different…
If you select “upgrade installation” versus “new installation,” ZoneAlarm normally retains all of your previous settings.
Many people do not use the ubiquitous MSN Messenger program. They see the icon in their status bar, it is taking up memory and computer cycles, but not active (we hope).
Turning it off is the solution for them, but even that is a challenge, as Outlook Express will turn MSN Messenger back on again, unless you change some of the OE settings.
MSN Messenger is also known as Windows Messenger, Messenger and in the Outlook Express’ help files as “the Windows Messenger service” which means something entirely different in Windows XP.
Read more about this and other examples of naming confusion in my article Messenger and Messenger and Other Confusing Program Names.
[originally published in 2006]