Red Baron, When your buddy said control panel I am assuming you are using Win XP. Are you getting a Windows Messenger pop-up like the one shown? I disabled mine in XP. Here'* how you do it.
1. Click Start->Control Panel
3. Dbl Click-Services
4.Scroll down&Highlight "messenger"
5.Right click the highlighted line and choose Properites
6.Select Disabled on the drop-down menu
7.Click the STOP button
I also use pop-up stopper but the free version and it does work. I never get unwanted pop-ups. Heres the link.