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Modem fails: "The port that the modem is using is currently open by another application"

Posted on 2004-09-11
16
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Last Modified: 2013-12-27
Hi,
I've installed SmartLink 56K Voice Modem in my Pentium 4 WinXP system. The Modem line in the control panel looks ok (no question mark).
When I dial, I get the following error message:

"The port that the modem is using is currently open by another application. Exit any application that may currently be using the port."

I checked my applications. None seem the cause. I tried changing the COM port, but all alternatives end up with the same error message.

I checked the Ports list on the control panel, and only COM1 and LPT1 show up.

What's wrong? An application? A missing COM port? or else?

Ran
0
Comment
Question by:chermesh
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16 Comments
 

Author Comment

by:chermesh
ID: 12035435
Hi,
Thanks for the link. I tried most of the suggestions, but the problem is still unsolved.
I wonder, can't there be a problem with my COM ports? Should only one port (COM1) be listed in the control panel? Is there a way to set more COM ports? (My modem is preconfigured to COM4, is the a way to add COM4 to the list? Any chance this will solve my problem?

Ran
0
 
LVL 3

Expert Comment

by:Fairco
ID: 12043321
Since your modem is using a so called "virtual COM port", it is natural that you don't see COM4 listed in device manager. It is not related to the problem.
Visit this thread, which is related to your problem: http://www.experts-exchange.com/Hardware/Q_21111489.html
0
 
LVL 8

Expert Comment

by:eccs19
ID: 12047421
Assuming that the modem is a PCI modem, try it in a different PCI slot and see if that makes a difference.  If your not using a serial mouse / printer / modem, etc,  I would go into your BIOS and disable and of the COM / serial ports you see listed, and see if that helps.
0
 
LVL 31

Expert Comment

by:rid
ID: 12068936
Is this a software modem or a real modem? COM 4 is not necessarily a "virtual" COM port - any normal BIOS will handle 4 hardware serial ports.

Anyway, you should take a look at what is running on the computer. Some (possibly unwanted) service may be started somehow and it is using/blocking the port.

To find out how many ports there are on the system, take a look in BIOS setup and/or watch the POST screens. One of them is usually a summary of drives, RAM and ports (COM and LPT) present on the system.
/RID
0
 
LVL 3

Expert Comment

by:Fairco
ID: 12072160
Fellow experts, I'm really surprised that you are all still not sure about what type this modem is. A search engine tells it in no time, therefore start with the fact that this is a PCI soft modem.
Have a look at this:
http://tekgems.com/Products/et-9778-mdm-i56ksp-f00.htm
0
 
LVL 31

Expert Comment

by:rid
ID: 12072331
So, a fake modem... Anyway, I usually ask these questions in the hope that the authors will realise that:  A) They should try to find out these things when they shell out the $$ for the component, and,  B) it helps if they include as much detail in the question as possible from the start, so that they get better help at an earlier stage.

As this indeed seem to be a software modem it is likely that it has gone bad, or that the drivers need to be reinstalled again after all references to a modem or a COM4 has been removed in the O/S device manager. Also a thorough check for any rogue processes (spyware, trojan, virus) needs to be performed.
/RID
0
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Author Comment

by:chermesh
ID: 12073166
Hi,
Thanks for your comments and suggestions. Let me add details about my modem. It's a FM-56PCI-SL, produced by Well Communication Corp. (http://www.wellgroups.com).

The discusion whether the modem is a soft (fake) modem or hard (?) ("real"), is new for me.

So, is my modem soft or hard? Does it make a difference is term of solving my problem?

Ran
0
 
LVL 31

Expert Comment

by:rid
ID: 12075215
A hardware modem has an on-board serial port that adds itself to the computer as an additional serial (COM) port besides the normal 2 ports. Behind the serial port hardware sits a modem, just like an external modem would be connected to an outside serial port. The computer BIOS will detect this hardware as a third serial port ("COM 3" on a windows machine). You can communicate with this modem with very simple means even if you were booting into old-fashioned DOS, running some old comm software.

A soft(ware) modem is very much simplified in the hardware department and relies on drivers and other software components to do the job of a real modem. It hasn't got a real COM port for the BIOS to detect, so it will create a "virtual" COM port, detectable only from your O/S (windows, most likely) after the drivers are loaded and active. Such modems seem to be prone to failure and they are sensitive to driver corruption as well. Testing the hardware of such a modem is probably beyond most home users unless a proper diagnostic program is included in the software that comes with it.

So, if it is a soft modem, which seems to be the case, you can only try to remove it  and its drivers and then reinsert it and reload drivers. Also check for interference from unwanted programs or processes running on your system.

/RID
0
 
LVL 3

Accepted Solution

by:
Fairco earned 43 total points
ID: 12327331
There were several suggestions about how to resolve the problem. We are now waiting for the asker to inform us on the outcome. If we still get no response, I recommend a split accept among everyone who suggested solutions, namely me, eccs19 and rid.
0
 
LVL 31

Assisted Solution

by:rid
rid earned 41 total points
ID: 12327399
Sounds OK to me.
Cheers
/RID
0
 
LVL 8

Assisted Solution

by:eccs19
eccs19 earned 41 total points
ID: 12327881
I'm OK with that to.
0
 

Author Comment

by:chermesh
ID: 12328653
Sorry for keeping everyone waiting.
Thanks for your suggestions. Unfortunately, none solved my problem. The pc I asked about is no longer in my possesion, and therefore I can't test new ideas.
Since so many tried to assist, the fairest option is to accept Fairco's idea to share  the points equally among the three of you.
Thanks for the efforts and sorry for the delay in my response.

Ran
0
 

Expert Comment

by:Harold_Stern
ID: 14299469
I am suffering this same problem and the above discussion seems inconclusive. Can someone put me straight, please? Other information is that if I run the Modem setting helper it indicates that the (new) card is not reacting correctly and then gives result code: 0106101-0.0. I have tried, without success, uninstalling and reinstalling the card and moving it to a new slot.

The installation is on a new PC under WIN XP Pro SP2 with all avaialble updates installed.
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