Friday, February 1, 2013

Amazon Kindle for PC Issues

Kindle App
Kindle App (Photo credit: PiAir (Old Skool))

There are a lot of people who are having problems with the Kindle for PC app, in particularly that the Kindle app for PC will not start. For a while, I did too and was stuck using the cloud server with the browser.  The problem is that I don't always want to load my browser, as I have a few tabs "pinned". So every time I load my browser, it tries to call up those pages - even when I'm offline.

This can be a problem when I’ve already have several other programs open as I use kindle books mostly for reference.  The browser starts to stall as it tries to load plugins that aren’t there with limited resources.
I have had an idea for a website percolating for a little while and I finally seem to have some time to get it started. So I figured I would use some of that time to get the Kindle app up and running again.

Unfortunately, it was harder than I thought. I started a few days ago, and I did my best to be good Christian, and made sure that I didn't break any laws – including Murphy’s.

We do have a Western Digital 1 TB book drive, so I was able to back up all of my files before creating another admin account and deleting the old one. This is as close to a reinstall as you can get. Yeah, I did that much damage.

While all of the other problems were solved in doing this, Kindle still wouldn’t load. In the task manager, it would show up, and then disappear. Sometimes, it would show up, and stall. I couldn’t “stop process” through the task manager or “Kill process” in the Process explorer (sysinternalssuite). The only way I could have stop it was to log off, then log back on.

I did a lot of research online. Some suggestions were reinstall (didn’t work), install an older version (didn’t work), something that has to do with DEP (windows *yelled* at me with error messages, probably when my other problems started), and cleaning the registry with ccleaner (also may have triggered some problems).

Seeing several threads on Kindle and possible firewall conflicts, I had stopped ZoneAlarm and found that was ineffective, but for some reason, I felt like I was headed in the right direction. I tried to uninstall Kindle, only for the uninstaller to also not work.

This was the point where I started to notice other problems. It was enough problems to consider doing a recovery, but thought that I would try something different. After backing up my user files, I created another admin account and deleted my old one.

While this solved the other problems, kindle still wouldn’t start. On a whim, I finally decided to uninstall Avast. Lo and behold, Kindle loaded. Before I could break out the Champaign and celebrate, I reminded myself that I was pregnant and tried to register the app. Kindle would not connect to the internet.
Now what?

I used Kindle has a debug feature in its help menu and for some reason it thought that there was no internet connection – even though I was browsing the internet at the same time to find a solution to find out why I couldn’t register the app.

After a few failed attempts, it was getting late and I was falling asleep in my chair. This morning, while eating breakfast (not recommended, it’s a bad habit), I used TCPview (also sysinternals) to see what IP address pops up. I couldn’t get a “whois” via the context menu (right click on the ip, click on “whois”). TCPview gave an error stating that the server took too long to respond.  So I tried pinging the IP using the command prompt.  It came back with no packets loss.

For those who had no idea what I just said, I pretty much asked if the server was there and it responded with “Yes, of course I’m here and doing just fine, thank you very much”. This led me to believe that the problem was on my end: Windows Firewall.

I didn’t want to go without some sort of firewall as I already had uninstalled my antivirus. So, I tried to get windows firewall to allow Kindle, and kindle still couldn’t find a connection.

I had one last solution and I would have to give up. I restarted ZoneAlarm and shut Windows Firewall down. Then I made sure that in the “Secured Programs” list, the Kindle was listed as Trusted. Then I took a deep breath, and ran Kindle again.

Bingo!  It’s now running just fine. Two days of racking my brains to try to find out what the problem was, only to be solve with a 15 minute fix. Computers… Can’t live with them, can’t smash them into thousands of tiny pieces without being fined for environmental pollution or littering.

For now,  I will be using Clamwin as an antivirus until I figure out how to fix the Avast/kindle problem. Why can all programs just get along?
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