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Please help me bring my 56k modem back to life!

Posted on 2000-03-08
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Last Modified: 2013-12-27
Hi guys.
My 56k modem is dead!
Here's why:
One time my friend came over, and saw that I can connect to the net with my USR. 56k x2 faxmodem at only 31,200bps
and he said that he has the same modem, and he did a firmware upgrade on his, and now it connects at 50,000bps (or close to that). So he gave me a diskette with a Flash Upgrader Software  for my USR, and I asked him ten times if it won't harm my modem and he said it would only make it better, so I ran the program, it found my 56k modem, and said that it was checking flash, and that everything is ok, and if I want to continue the upgrade I should press "flash now" (this is USR original software!) and I pressed, and it said that the upload was ok, then it said that its rebooting the modem, and then it had an error (something with the comport).

So I tryed again, but this time, it didn't find my modem.
I realized then that I wrecked my modem and not even Win98 recongizes that it exists!!
The modem doesn't respond to anything, and is DEAD!!

What can I do?
The modem isn't under warranty, so I can return it, and I don't want to buy a new modem!!

PLease help me!!
I need someone to tell me what to do so that my modem will come to life again!

Thanks

(p.s. the modem doen't even respond to AT commands!!)
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Question by:meetyg
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19 Comments
 
LVL 6

Expert Comment

by:1cell
ID: 2597624
first, if you and your friend are both on normal analog phone lines, he was mistaken.  You are only able to get a little over 48k on normal phone lines.

if the modem will not respond to AT commands and Windows does not recognize it, chances are you are correct that it is dead.

if this is true, your only option is to try to flash the BIOS back to the original but most likely it will not happen.

perhaps your friend gauranteed his advice?
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by:sorgie
ID: 2597632
does it show in device manager??
If it does go to Regedit open HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE
open the ENUM folder and scroll down to modem or it may say modemwave. Delete and reboot see if it gets recognized.

then see if it responds! If it does go to USR web page and find your own upgrade.
Remember you phone line and you ISP are just as responsible for your connection as the modem so check them.
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by:sorgie
ID: 2597642
Good one 1cell!!!

If his friend does we can use him too!!!!
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Author Comment

by:meetyg
ID: 2597760
No, nothing recognizes it!
I tryed to install it but nothing!!
Its like it doesn't exist!
Is there anything that can fix the Firmware Chip?
I think that my friend gave me an upgrade that wasn't meant to be for my sportster 56k!

Can it bee that the Chip where the firmware is stored has bad or incompatible data and that's why this happened? If so, what do i do to enter the original firmware back into it?
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Expert Comment

by:1cell
ID: 2597803
Can it bee that the Chip where the firmware is stored has bad or incompatible data and that's why this happened? If so, what do i do to enter the original firmware back into it?


Absolutely!!  Unfortunately, the only way to fix it is to get the firmware flash which IS meant for you modem and run it.  This should have about a 35% success rate.  Unfortunately, it's also very possible that this ruined the BIOS chip.
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by:sorgie
ID: 2598868
well I guess it is dead.
Part of windows and plug and play is at startup the OS read and bios that are on installed cards. It seems your system has nothing to read.
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Expert Comment

by:Otta
ID: 2599505
> If so, what do i do to enter the original firmware back into it?

Buy an EPROM programmer; this will be more costly than buying a new modem.

Or, contact USR, tell them what happened, and see what they will do.
The "worst" they can do is "nothing", so it will cost you only the time/telephone-charges to inquire.
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Author Comment

by:meetyg
ID: 2599708
Isn't there any program that can access the EEProm without accessing it like the flash programs access it?
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Expert Comment

by:Alisher_N
ID: 2599946
hi all,

i had this problem and I know what is happening exactly....

to meetyg: try to run any terminal program, connect to modem's, com-port, see what is the response, if you can see only '>Boot' message this means that modem in booting mode which allows only to write new flash contents, you have to find PROPER flash firmware and write it with special program. If you caonnected to proper com-port and modem not responding at all - this means that not only flash firmware erased, but also boot block and this is much worse - there is nothing you can do, but program flash eith external programmator deivce (flash chip must be removed, un-soljered also) so probably you can NOT do it...

there IS a program that allows yout to access flash and write a firmware, just check if you have that boot mode and I will post you a url for program
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by:Gtrist
ID: 2605442
1cell, your comment about line speed was incorrect.

>first, if you and your friend are both >on normal analog phone lines, he was >mistaken.  You are only able to get a >little over 48k on normal phone lines.

I connect regularly at 50,667 over standard phone lines.
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by:Otta
ID: 2606913
Gtrist, what is your definition of a "little" ?

By my calculations, '50667/48000' is only 5.55625 percent faster.

While I wouldn't turn down a 5.55625 percent raise in pay, I probably wouldn't notice the difference in download-speed between 48000 or a "little" faster (50666).
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by:Gtrist
ID: 2606970
I'm not overly impressed with that small of a performance gain. My statement was in response to 1cell's when he said the following in response to the statement that meetyg should be able to do 50k. Read the postings.
"first, if you and your friend are both on normal analog phone lines, he was mistaken.  You are only able to get a little over 48k on normal phone lines."

 
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by:Otta
ID: 2607104
>> it connects at 50,000bps (or close to that).

1cell wrote:
> You are only able to get a little over 48k on normal phone lines.

I agree with this statement.
Most of the time, my USR modem reports '48000'; occasionally, it reports '49333', and very rarely, it reports '50666'.
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Expert Comment

by:1cell
ID: 2607168
and to add, anything greater than 48k is due to the compression from the modem.
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by:Otta
ID: 2607931
> anything greater than 48k is due to the compression from the modem.

Not necessarily true.

To repeat, my USR modem usually connects at 48000, occasionally at 49333, and very rarely at 50666.

I once tried a Cardinal V.90 modem,
which was an exact copy of the USR Sportster, and it consistently connected at 50666. Weird!

Remember, we're measuring the modem-to-modem speed, not the actual "throughput" (which is influenced by compression/decompression by the two modems).
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Author Comment

by:meetyg
ID: 2607995
Ok, lets get back to my problem please.
When i try to connect to my modem using a terminal, it just gives me a blank screen and doesn't reply to any commands (including AT commands).
It doesn't say "boot" either, just a blank screen.

PLease tell em that there is something I can do?
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1cell earned 523 total points
ID: 2608151
as has been mentioned, flashing the BIOS of your modem involves a certain level of risk.  Your options are slim and your best bet if any is to try to find a proper flash for the modem you have and see if it solves anything.  Very likely though, your modem is dead.
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Author Comment

by:meetyg
ID: 2608592
I thank you guys for trying to help, but I'm disappointed that I didn't find a solution this time. Well, i guess you can win em' all ...

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LVL 12

Expert Comment

by:Otta
ID: 2610739
> disappointed that I didn't find a solution ...

Reread the comments dated "Wednesday, March 08 2000 - 10:41PM".

A EPROM programmer _IS_ a solution;
expensive, yes, but it _IS_ a solution.

An alternative solution was given: contact USR, and see if you have voided your warranty, or if they will help you.
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