Many thanks in advance,
I'm running a Dell Inspiron 5000, pentium III, Windows ME. It's a "new" hand-me-down, and have recently transferred all files (mostly just Word docs & email). I installed an HP printer, Iomega Zip--everything worked fine, for about 3 days. Suddenly, the LT Winmodem, already installed and functional on COM3, stopped working. No Dial Tone (no lightning storms or anything--don't think it's mechanical). For a while, also had the "port already open" problem in the CP Diagnostics, but that's fixed now. I know very little, but I think I may have messed things up in Device Manager (I know just enough to cause mischief, I'm afraid), and that my problem is either driver or IRQ conflict-related.
After scouring this & other boards, here are the things I've tried:
1. Updated drivers: nothing; following the advice of a link recommended here, I then "downgraded" using ltremove. Currently, am at File Version 4.90.3000 for LT Winmodem. It actually lists two drivers in the "Driver File Details" in the Device Man.: WDMMDMLD.VXD and VMM32.VXD (vcomm.vxd). Under "WDM Modem Enumerator/WDM Communication Device" (a separate tree in Device Manager), I am at driver version 5.79.
2. Uninstalled/reinstalled modem: more times than I can count; no effect.
3. Although no conflicts are listed for any device, I noticed what appears to be a bad IRQ conflict (Winmodem--listed here as "WDM Communication Device"--is on IRQ 5; but so is ESS Device Manager, and Intel 82371AB/EB PCI to USB Universal Host Controller, as well as ACPI IRQ Holder for PCI IRQ Steering. All on IRQ 5. Device Manager/Windows will not let me switch IRQ assignments manually. So I uninstalled ESS Device Manager, hoping it would choose another IRQ on startup. No luck.
4. Uninstalled Iomega Drive. (Seems unrelated, but I figured why not?)
--Another, possibly symptomatic quirk: My default dial-up "Connect To" window spontaneously opens when I click on Device Manager (and, actually, last time during startup even appeared out of nowhere on the pre-desktop wallpaper...). What's going on here? Is it possible I've got a bad TCP/IP file, or something? My settings all appear normal there...
Any and all help will be hugely appreciated. I'm driving myself nuts, and fear I'm only doing more damage. Plus, I'm a teacher & rely on e-mailing from home to communicate with students. Sorry to flag with such urgency, but this is a particularly bad & time-sensitive problem for me. Thank you for your help.