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(Originally by AOL-Files staff member Tau)

Cloning, as it has come to be called, is the process of signing onto more than one screen name simultaneously on the same computer. There are however two restrictions that you should be aware about before beginning. First, you have to use whatever America Online version you are currently using (4.0, 5.0, or 6.0) and America Online version 2.5. Second, the two screen names you want to use must be on different accounts. So, if both of the names you want to use are on your Sign On list, you cannot use them. If you do not have a problem using AOL 2.5 and you have access to two accounts, then continue reading.

Before you begin, you need to have America Online v2.5 installed on your computer.

Step 1: Opening more than one AOL

If an attempt is made to open a second AOL while a first AOL is already running, then the first AOL pops up and the second stops loading. It is crucial to understand what happened while loading AOL that causes this to happen. Every window has a name, just like every person has a name.

Every AOL version has the name "AOL Frame25". While AOL 2.5 is loading, it checks to see if any other window has the same name. If it finds another window, which would be AOL 4.0, 5.0, or 6.0, with the same name then it stops loading. However, if AOL 2.5 cannot find another window with the name of "AOL Frame25", then it continues loading.

It is possible to bypass this if the name AOL 2.5 searches for is altered. For the sake of simplicity we will change the name to "AOL Frame26". So, after the alteration to the name is made this is the process by which two AOLs can load.

To epitomize what was just said, I will take you through the process that will happen after the following alteration is made. First, you will load AOL 4.0,5.0, or 6.0. This AOL has the name "AOL Frame25". Then, when AOL 2.5 is loading, it checks to see whether any window has the name "AOL Frame26". Since no windows do, it loads.

In order to accomplish this, you will need to manually edit the waol.exe file in the AOL 2.5 directory.

Step 2: Setting AOL to Sign On more than one name

If you have not done so already, load AOL 4.0, 5.0, or 6.0 (what ever you normally use) then load AOL 2.5. There are two methods which most people use to get online with AOL. The most common is with the phone line and the other is via TCP/IP. The TCP/IP method allows you to connect to AOL via an already an already established connection to the internet with another ISP.

That is how AOL Instant Messenger works; it connects via an already established connection. In this step we are going to set AOL 2.5 to allow you to sign on via TCP/IP through the connection made with AOL 4.0, 5.0, or 6.0. If you already sign on AOL 4.0, 5.0, or 6.0 via TCP/IP then this will still work.

To change the sign on settings for AOL 2.5:

  1. In AOL 2.5 click "Setup"
  2. Click "Add location"
  3. From the combo box with various methods of signing on, choose "TCP/IP".
  4. Click "OK"
  5. In the list box on the left side of the setup window choose the last item (the one you just added)
  6. Click "OK"

Step 3: Putting it all together

Now everything is set. To begin cloning:

  1. Load AOL 4.0, 5.0, or 6.0 and sign on.
  2. Load AOL 2.5 and sign on. (Note: If this is the your first time using AOL 2.5 you will need to select "Existing Member" then sign on. This will allow you to set all the names in the sign on list to the screen names on your other account.