HSP 56 Modem Problem

When I plug the phone line into my modem it is accessing the line. Even if the PC is turned off it's like I have the phone off the hook. There are no conflicts of any kind anywhere. This is a homegrown win98 machine running a PCChips MB w\ on board HSP56 modem. Anyone who has seen this before and can help me resolve this issue is greatly appreciated. To show my appreciation I am giving away a whopping 275 points for a correct answer.
MillwoodAsked:
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OttaCommented:
If everything is connected correctly,
i.e., cabled to the correct jack in the modem,
if there is more than once,
then it must be a "broken" modem,
which takes the telephone-line "off-hook".

Replace the modem, but first take the computer to another
telephone-jack (at a colleague's residence), and try it,
to verify that it is _NOT_ the telephone-wiring in your home which is faulty.


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slvrbullet420Commented:
If the phone line works right with a regular old phone plugged into it, then I'm going to agree with Otta and say that the modem is bad.  The only thing that could cause these symptoms when the power to the computer is off is a faulty modem.

No setting in the BIOS, Windows, or anywhere else can fix the problem if the power to the machine is off and the issue still occurs, as these settings only affect things when the computer is on.  We can definately call this a hardware problem.  

The only other thing I might recommend is trying a different phone cord from the wall to the modem.  I wouldn't worry about taking the machine to someone else's house, as plugging a telephone into the wall jack and getting a dial tone will verify that the internal wiring is good.

-b
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BelugaCommented:
Since it's a home-grown system with an on-board modem, check that no part of the motherboard is shorting out on the case. In particular, the underside of motherboards sometimes makes contact with screw pillars, mounting posts and other protrusions on cases.

A modem usually takes the line off the hook using a relay - an electro-mechanical switch that's designed to fail-safe (ie. drop the line) when the modem is switched off. So if the pins on it are shorted out, it could keep the line up even if the power is off.

It could also be a faulty relay, ie. faulty modem, which is what others have suggested.

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cumboCommented:
Otta and Beluga are correct. One big reason for  shorted relay contacts on the Modem is a Lightning strike. If you don't run
the phone line through a Surge Protector this can happen. If the Computer is off when Lightning strikes it enters the
phone like and fries the relay contacts. In essence the Modem protects the rest of the Computer.

Cumbo
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MillwoodAuthor Commented:
Thanks to all for your help. All of your answers were pretty much the same, and also right. After questioning the owner of the system a little more extensively it is likely that lightning is the guilty party. However, the points go to Otta for giving the quickest response.
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cumboCommented:
No problem here, Otta deserves the points.

Cumbo
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