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Dial-up Modem Diagnostics

Posted on 2002-06-29
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Last Modified: 2013-12-28
A client has an issue with her 56k dial-up modem, doesn't connect at all, but did connect the other day. Physical connection is OK and a regular phone at that location works just fine. No further elaboration; the following inquiry is general and to be applied in my work on all modems.

1) Apart from the Windows Control Panel self-test, what other special tests can be run(DOS or Windows based)
2) Are there third party utilities available which excel at modem testing? If so, which ones and why?
3) What else might I do to correct a flaky modem problem?
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Question by:pallidin
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6 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:LeeTutor
ID: 7119466
Listening...
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Zoplax earned 500 total points
ID: 7119483
1.  You can obtain a DOS-based terminal program (for example, QModem or ProComm Plus), to enable you to get to the command "console" of the modem and run various diagnostics on it; anything from dialing numbers manually to doing the "AT &Ix" commands (where x is a number) to find out the modem's internal settings.  

Check out www.56k.com for more good info.

2.  Modem Doctor is my favorite modem diagnostics utility.

http://www.modemdoctor.com/

3.  If reinstalling the modem is possible, guide the user through this.  If not, send a replacement modem, if that's feasible, and have the user delete the existing modem from the system and add the new one through Add New Hardware.  

Other than these steps, you can guide them through changing the init string to the factory default (AT &F).  In the modem properties, there should be an area under the Advanced section where you can specify additional commands to send to the modem; placing "AT &F" in this area should cause it to override any other commands with the factory settings.

Also, BellSouth (for example) modifies the dial tone when you pick up a phone if you use their voicemail service and have messages waiting; the dialtone goes "dit-dit-dit" fpr a few seconds instead of the usual steady tone.  See if this might be the case with this user's phone service.  You might also check to see whether call waiting might be causing a problem (you can disable this with *70; usually an option among the modem configuration screens is listed so that you can easily tweak this setting).
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Expert Comment

by:SysExpert
ID: 7119513
Besides the above advice, I would suspect that the modem was damaged, possibly by an electrical storm. Happens all the time if surge protectors are not used on the modem line.

I hope this helps !
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by:pallidin
ID: 7123411
OOooo... 2 for two on my Q cleanups for Zoplax. Great job!
Also, SysExpert brought-up an excellent point, so when I get my new mothly allowances of points I will send SysExpert a "thank-you" amount for bringing up an often overlooked aspect.

Thanks to both.
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by:SysExpert
ID: 7123456
Just so that you know :

To distribute points you can accept a comment as an answer or

You can open up new questions with points for each expert with a subject like " For xxxnname" for help with...
, and notify the experts here of what you did and perhaps even provide the links,

or

You can put in a request to                    
http://www.experts-exchange.com/jsp/qList.jsp?ta=commspt 
to distribute the points in any manner you think is proper.
This is especially true when you think you have received good information from more than one person.

Also see  http://www.experts-exchange.com/jsp/cmtyQuestAnswer.jsp

     I hope this helps !
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by:pallidin
ID: 7125485
To SysExpert: Thanks for the info regarding the ways to split points. Very helpful.
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