I got a new computer at work last week (I mainly wanted it cause of the larger hard drive). So I went through the motions installing all my favorite apps, which included GAIM. A wonderful open source application that I've been using almost as long as I've been using GNU/Linux. A few years ago they released a Windows client that I've also happily enjoyed while working in a windows environment. Unfortunately with this new install I ran into two major problems.

  1. GAIM would not sign onto AOL with any screen name
  2. GAIM eventually didn't even start up when I tried to run it

After a few hours of researched I solved both problems and I'm posting my results here:

If you install Cygwin, go into the folder: C:\Program Files\Gaim\plugins and remove the tcl.dll file. For some reason the Cygwin tcl.dll will take over and cause GAIM not to start up properly. By removing this .dll everything works fine and you won't even notice it's gone.

If the connection status stops at "Connection established, cookie sent" when trying to connect to AOL you must install the version of GTK that comes with GAIM and not a newer version. I installed GTK v2.8 thinking that it was newer than v2.6 that GAIM comes bundled with, but apparently there's some type of bug that prevents it from working correctly. The same issue appears with GAIM 2.0 beta.

So there you go; if you run Cygwin and GAIM remove the tcl.dll and don't install a version of GTK that doesn't come bundled with GAIM on windows.