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Creative Blaster problem

Posted on 2003-03-12
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Last Modified: 2013-12-27
I have a Creative Modem Blaster DE5621 external V.92 modem which seems to take forever to download files if it just doesn't stop doing anything.

I've been contacting Creative for 3 days but they aren't much help at all.

This modem seems to work ok in Win 98SE but not W2K where I need to use it.

Thanks for any help you can give me, Mike
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Question by:mjcap
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42 Comments
 
LVL 1

Expert Comment

by:vee90dotnet
ID: 8123425
A few questions:

1. Are you dialing into a v92 ISP and getting v92 connections?
2. What are your connect speeds in both Win98SE & Win2k?
3. In Win2k where you're having the problem does it occur as soon as you get on the net or is it a gradual slowing down of the data transfer rate?
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Author Comment

by:mjcap
ID: 8123576
1. How would I check this

2. Both get close to the 56k max

3. It  gradual slows down the data transfer rate then will stop after a few minutes

Mike
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Expert Comment

by:vee90dotnet
ID: 8123680
#1  Contact your ISP and ask them this question...if they say no that they do not support v92..then we'll need to try to use an init string first to fix this...let me know

#2 I need "exact" speeds if possible :) (it is really important)

#3 So you could actually surf around for a few minutes and keeps getting slower to get pages then wont get anything until you disconnect and reconnect?
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LVL 17

Expert Comment

by:rayt333
ID: 8132427
Here is a few sites to check yopur actual speed:
http://www.bandwidthplace.com/speedtest/
http://homepage.tinet.ie/~leslie/testpage.htm

OK. So you get a "Connect 48000bps". That doesn't mean that your connection stays at that rate, or indicate how many errors (and re-transmission of data) you are getting which affects your throughput. Did you know that a perfect connection a 48kbps connection should yield about 5.3K bytes/second throughput? Your computer receives 10 bits for every character, but the modems only have to send 8; however, the modems do have to send control information, so the maximum data rate is approximately the Connect Speed divided by 9. The best way to check your real connect speed is to download a compressed (ie .zip) file from a site that is close to you and calculate the throughput [ chars. rec'd. ÷ time ÷ 1000 ] where time is the number of seconds it took to download the file, and chars. rec'd is the size of the file in bytes.
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Author Comment

by:mjcap
ID: 8155094
Sorry for being gone for awhile, had a couple of other problems to take care of first.

1---I have a v90 connections

2--W2k-57.6 kbps (from ISP listing)
     Win 98SE  50,667 bps  (from ISP listing)
3-- In W2k it will start about 2,000 bytes/sec then go up to about 4,000- 5,000 before coming down to a stop within 1-2 minutes.

In W2K I can surf anywhere till I start downloading then I'll get "the page cannot be displayed" when surfing

I have used the updated driver and the firmware

Mike
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Expert Comment

by:rayt333
ID: 8155164
Did you check the actual speed, and not reply on the "posted" speed. That posted speed rating is only the initial connect speed, not a sustained connection speed.

More then likely the problem is your ISP which may have a bottleneck at their site causing the slowdowns.

Have you ever tried it in the middle of the night (like 3AM) (when most people are asleep) to see if the problem goes away?
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Author Comment

by:mjcap
ID: 8155368
Used http://www.bandwidthplace.com/speedtest/ on both computers

Win 98SE--45.3 kilobits per second

W2K ---43.3 kilobits per second

Mike

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Expert Comment

by:vee90dotnet
ID: 8155375
it is a little strange that utilizing the latest drivers/firmware that you're still getting the port speed in Win2k... microsoft fixed most if it's issues with Windows DUN reporting the port speed except for a few specific instances (which your situation does not fit).  

I'd like you to try using one of a few init strings and see what happens...posting the connection speed and your result for each init string.  I'm providing a few here but i'm not quite sure they would work with your specific model. if you could find the atcomm.txt file from your Creative driver cd and email it to me (vee90@vee90.net) that would help as well as knowing the firmware version your modem currently is (do a diagnostic on it and get the response for ATI3)

The inits are below:

#1 AT+MS=V90,1,28000,33600,31200,56000
#2 AT+MS=V90,1,14400,33600,45333,45333
#3 AT+MS=V90,0
#4 AT+MS=V90,1
#5 AT+MS=V34

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Expert Comment

by:vee90dotnet
ID: 8155412
it is a little strange that utilizing the latest drivers/firmware that you're still getting the port speed in Win2k... microsoft fixed most if it's issues with Windows DUN reporting the port speed except for a few specific instances (which your situation does not fit).  

I'd like you to try using one of a few init strings and see what happens...posting the connection speed and your result for each init string.  I'm providing a few here but i'm not quite sure they would work with your specific model. if you could find the atcomm.txt file from your Creative driver cd and email it to me (vee90@vee90.net) that would help as well as knowing the firmware version your modem currently is (do a diagnostic on it and get the response for ATI3)

The inits are below:

#1 AT+MS=V90,1,28000,33600,31200,56000
#2 AT+MS=V90,1,14400,33600,45333,45333
#3 AT+MS=V90,0
#4 AT+MS=V90,1
#5 AT+MS=V34

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Author Comment

by:mjcap
ID: 8155645
#1  AT+MS=V90,1,28000,33600,31200,56000= = = Could not detect modem.

#2  AT+MS=V90,1,14400,33600,45333,45333 = = = same problem

#3   AT+MS=V90,0 = = = same problem

#4   AT+MS=V90,1 = = = same problem

#5  AT+MS=V34 = = = same problem
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Expert Comment

by:vee90dotnet
ID: 8155660
Grrr... I got your email.. this uses the Conexant ACF3 modem chipset and i'm still not quite sure on a few commands...unfortunatley the AT commandset creative provided you (and you emailed me) doesnt have what I need in it. I'm checking a few other sources.
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Author Comment

by:mjcap
ID: 8155804
Thanks
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Expert Comment

by:vee90dotnet
ID: 8156002
Quick post...  Try the init of AT+MS=V90  and if you get an error then try ATZ or AT&F and see what happens...if you get a the error again then it tells me the modem is locked up....  let me know what happens
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Author Comment

by:mjcap
ID: 8156095
Same problem on all 3

Mike
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Expert Comment

by:rayt333
ID: 8156116
Sounds like either the modem is bad or is not fully installed with the proper drivers.
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Expert Comment

by:rayt333
ID: 8156129
I guess if it works OK under Win98 then we can assume the modem does work, so now we need to be sure it has the latest drivers for Win2000 installed.
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Author Comment

by:mjcap
ID: 8156152
I used an updated driver

C:\WINNT\SYSTEM32\DRIVERS\MODEM.SYS

Mike
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Expert Comment

by:rayt333
ID: 8156157
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Author Comment

by:mjcap
ID: 8156176
That looks like it
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Expert Comment

by:vee90dotnet
ID: 8156215
The problem there rayt333 & mjcap is that the download from creative's site is just the firmware... not the "inf" driver file for win2000... MJCAP you may need to uninstall the modem from win2000, and then restart and let it redetect the modem...and then point it to the inf file located on the CDROM you got with the modem..... this could be the root cause of your problem...the "spiral of death" data transmission rate you're getting along with the connection speed being registered as the port speed.
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Expert Comment

by:vee90dotnet
ID: 8156224
oops...well nearly scrap that last part of the post about using the CDROM... i switched the OS to winxp and found this...its the INF file driver package... this *should* work in win2000 as well..and may fix all your problems.

http://files.americas.creative.com/Drivers/Others/498/DE5621WXPDrv.exe
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Expert Comment

by:rayt333
ID: 8156235
It states " This is a driver update for the Modem Blaster De5621 for users running Windows 2000." and it also states " This release includes:
This is the latest firmware update for Modem Blaster V.92 External(DE5621) Revision: ME56-621FW-2-US Date: 9/10/2002"

So it looks like both a firmware update and driver update also.
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Author Comment

by:mjcap
ID: 8156311
What do you think I should do?

Mike
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Expert Comment

by:vee90dotnet
ID: 8156331
i know that's what it states...but here's the list of files in the download:

/DISK.ID
/license.txt
/Readme.txt
/Firmware/flashcom32.exe
/Firmware/flashcom.ini
/Firmware/flashcom32.cnt
/Firmware/flashcom32.GID
/Firmware/1700.s37
/Firmware/amd3.s37
/Firmware/f43aload.s37
/Firmware/f43xdown.s37
/Firmware/f43xload.s37
/Firmware/xmfl.s37
/Firmware/xmfl_dl.s37
/Firmware/flashcom.hlp
/Firmware/trace.txt

None of the above are driver files for the modem...just part of the firmware upgrade, firmware itself and the help files...In the one I posted it has:

/disk.id
/license.txt
/readme.txt
/WinXP/uiusetup.exe
/WinXP/hsfinst.dll  (install library for files below)
/WinXP/mdmxsdk.dll (Conexant ModemXpert Diagnostic DLL
/WinXP/disk1
/WinXP/acf_va.inf  (this is the INF driver file)
/WinXP/acf_va.sys  (a driver file needed to run the modem)
/WinXP/mdmxsdk.sys (part of conexant modemXpert)


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Expert Comment

by:vee90dotnet
ID: 8156341
use the winxp driver file I posted...download it and unisntall your modem in win2000 then run that file and see what happens.... i'm quite sure this is going to fix the issue or get us closer at least.
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Author Comment

by:mjcap
ID: 8156563
It did get better, it downloaded for about 7 minutes before stopping, just as I added a second download.

I tried a big download by itself but that went about the same time before stopping.

I'll get back here later, maybe not till morning, Mike
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Author Comment

by:mjcap
ID: 8161529
Anything else I can try

Mike
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Expert Comment

by:vee90dotnet
ID: 8161613
can you try the list of 5 init strings again and see what happens?
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Author Comment

by:mjcap
ID: 8162553
#1--Could not detect modem

#2-#5 downloaded for 15-17 minutes before I shut them down

#2--about 4.50 KB/Sec
#3--about 5.50 KB/Sec
#4--about 5.50 KB/Sec
#5--about 3.00 KB/Sec

It seems that they're all downloading very slow

I'm putting the strings in at Device Manager--Modems-Creative modem--properties--advanced--extra initialization commands

Mike
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Expert Comment

by:vee90dotnet
ID: 8162578
well at least we're getting somewhere :)

Not quite sure why #1 gave an error but that's ok..
What you provided were the download rates... any chance you could also provide your connection speeds too?
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Expert Comment

by:vee90dotnet
ID: 8162583
oh...also what were you downloading that you could have it keep a sustained download for 15-17 min??
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Author Comment

by:mjcap
ID: 8162612
I was downloading a large file from Intel, same file on all strings.

I only check it once and it was 22.8 kilobits per second

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Expert Comment

by:vee90dotnet
ID: 8162702
that should have been with init #5

init #2 capped the max connect speed at 45333 which makes sense with your transmission speed

init #3 & 4 set the modem in V90 mode (disabling v92 since you're not dialing into a v92 ISP) and both seemed to have given you good data transmission rates

as for your comment about them going very slow....could you explain what you mean by that?  These data transmission rates are inline with what you should be getting at your connection speeds.  Another question.... inits 2-5 DID solve the original problem of the "spiral of death" down to nothing..correct?
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Author Comment

by:mjcap
ID: 8162758
I can download but what can I do to get better downloading speed?

They seem to be slower then when using my 3com modem which was downloading 6-7 KB/Sec

Are all ISPs this slow downloading, (after getting speeds of 43.3 kilobits per second without downloading)


Mike
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Expert Comment

by:vee90dotnet
ID: 8162943
ahh... i see where the issue is....now :) (not to mention the fact that your old 3com modem does have a few advanatages anyway)



with init #2 you got a connection speed of 45333 bits per second. That is the same as writing it as 45.3 kilobits per second or 45.3kbps. You got a 4.5KB/Sec data transmission speed or troughput (a techie term spelled thru-put for shortness purposes).  This is 4.5 KiloBytes per second... 8 bits = 1 byte so you would multiply 4500 x 8 to get 36,000 bits per second. While this is short of your 45,333 bits per second connection by nearly 10Kilobytes it does account for a number of items with your connection.

  1. connection overhead & error retransmissions. 2. internet congestion & 3. your ISP's local POP bandwith congestion..

in general 6-7KB would be 48,000-56,000... now lets say you're getting 50667 connects that would come out to be 6.3KB data transmissions. But given the 3 items above you would probably see something around the lines of a 5.5KB transmission (which you did in the test..but not quite sure what connection speed you got). The other thing you have to consider is the datacompression on your connection. If you're downloading a compressed file (such as the one in the test below) over a relatively long download you're going to get a more accurate reading for your average transmission rate. If you're downloading say the raw logs from a webserver..this is just text files...highly compressable and you could see your transmission speed jump to 7, 8 or even maybe 9KB...but that's due to compression NOT your actual speed. (webpages by design are mostly text based so tramisssion speeds typically burst to from 6-9KB or more even while overcominging the issues i stated due to compression. If a webpage is highly graphic in its content, then it will load slower because graphics are already compressed)

This is why I'd like you to try downloading something else.  The URL is below. Yes it's Netscape 7...but there are  reasons Ill go into later for having you do this spcific test. It's about 14 MB. What i'd like you to do is to use init strings #2-#5 and download this 4 times. I know it is going to take a while to do this. I need you to make sure when downloading (from IE i'm assuming) that you uncheck the option to close the download window when finished. This should give you the total time and AVERAGE speed it took to to download. I'll need this for each one.  Then I want you to boot into Win98SE and do this just once and get the same information . When you post the stuff back... could you put it in the following format:

init #2  connect speed  total time  Average Speed
init #3  connect speed  total time  Average Speed
init #4  connect speed  total time  Average Speed
init #5  connect speed  total time  Average Speed
Win98SE  connect speed  total time  Average Speed




ftp://ftp.netscape.com/pub/netscape7/english/7.02/windows/win32/sea/NS702base.exe

Looking forward to seeing the results.
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Author Comment

by:mjcap
ID: 8164438
#2  48 min 20 sec----4.86 KB/sec
#3  43 min 30 sec----5.41
#4  43 min 10 sec----5.44
#5  1 hour 22 min----2.84

Can't do Win 98SE because it's on a different computer and it's tied-up right now

Mike
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Expert Comment

by:vee90dotnet
ID: 8166105
Ok... the only thing that was missing was what your actual connect speed was but this is good enough to figure out what I was going to show you.

init #2 2900 sec x4.86KB/sec = 14,094,000KB vs 14,460,112KB total 38880 average speed 44874 adjusted speed (45333 actual speed)

init #3 2610 sec x5.41KB/sec = 14,120,100KB vs 14,460,112KB total 43280 average speed 49860 adjusted speed (50,666 actual speed?)

init #4 2590 sec x5.44KB/sec = 14,089,600KB vs 14,460,112KB total 43520 average speed 50247 adjusted speed(50,666 actual speed?)

init #5 4920 sec x2.84KB/sec = 13,972,800KB vs 14,460,112KB total 22720 average speed 26451 adjusted speed (28.8-33.6 actual)



Explanation:
1. I changed the total time you gave to seconds
2. I then multipled the total time by the average download rate you gave to come up with a KiloByte total.
3. I then show this KB vs the actual KB total of the download.
4. I then used the actual KB total and divided the total time into that to come up with a more accurate download rate (not shown)
5. I then multiply this more accurate download rate by 9 (8 bits + 1bit for overhead) and come up with the adjusted connect speed.
6. I then show the actual connect speed you see (or my approximation of it)... note that with init #2 i know the connect speed is 45333 as that is what it is capped at by that init string. Also note that with init #5 the total time was given in hours & min ...seconds were missing because it wasnt shown to you. This is why the actual connect speed i list is a range.
7. With the lack of the actual connect speed shown by windows I cannot deduct much further than what's posted here. Also after each download then disconnection I could have asked you to do a connection diagnostic test in hyperterminal to get what the connection's ending speed actually was directly from the modem itself.  This would have proven or disproven my findings above. One thing you have to remember about connection speeds is that what windows shows you is the initial connection speed. As line quality improves or erodes so can your connection speed. I know i'm getting to the borderline between speaking "geek" here but I'm hoping you can understand everything above. If not please ask questions.

All of this shows that everything is working pretty much as good as it can with each init string.  With this data I would recommend using init string #4 because it seemed to give the best results.

I can tell you that the test above is one of those that i hate giving out because of the amount of time it takes just to prove such a small point. Given the extra information i discussed in item #7 above and qutie a few more data, further items could have been deduced such as if you have any local interference in your phone system causing problems, if there would be telco related issues with your line, and a few other more complex & obscure connection related issues that I do not usually come in contact with much anymore. The entire diagnostic proceedure (of which I only provided about one third) at times has taken days ..and sometimes weeks to figure out what the problem is. Luckily yours wasnt really much of a problem anymore...just working to get you the best connection

Let me know if you have any questions or any other concerns. As far as I see it...you should use the init string of AT+MS=V90,1  and should be getting the best possible connection speed and thru-put your connection would allow.
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Author Comment

by:mjcap
ID: 8166508
Using same modem & Win 98SE on other computer

#4   41 min 50 sec  5.62 KB/Sec

Mike
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Accepted Solution

by:
vee90dotnet earned 1000 total points
ID: 8166865
2510 sec x 5.62KB/sec = 14,106,200 vs 14,460,112KB total 44960 average speed 51849 adjusted speed (50333 or 51666 actual speed)


looks to be working just slighly better in win98 but that would be a variance of 1 notch in a connection speed (1333bits) so I'd definatley say stick with init #4

good luck
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Expert Comment

by:vee90dotnet
ID: 8183129
How goes it?
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Author Comment

by:mjcap
ID: 8184687
I did accept this answer 2 days ago, must be something wrong with the site again.

Thanks for all yor time, modem is working ok, maybe a little slow but working

Mike
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Expert Comment

by:vee90dotnet
ID: 8184950
*smile* Glad to help...this one was definately one to pull out some of my tricks on :)

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