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Win98 reinstalls DSL modem everytime it's plugged in

Posted on 2005-02-25
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Last Modified: 2013-12-27
I'm trying to connect an old PII/64M RAM/Window 98 PC to a DSL connection using a Win98-compatible Alcatel SpeedTouch USB modem. I have installed the latest compatible drivers on the PC. The connection, however, works very erratically: out of 10 attempt, I've managed to connect to the Internet only three times.

Sometimes the modems USB and DSL lights keep flahing a while and then the USB light stays green while the DSL light goes off. Sometimes both lights go off (if I unplug the modem and plug it back in). And sometimes both lights are green but I stil can't get a connection (in fact the Alcatel software give me the yellow icon, which means it can't initialize the line).

And here' the oddest part: if I unplug the modem and plug it back in, the PC thinks it's discovered a new hardware and reinstalls the drivers and protocols so when I go to Control Panel/Network I can see multiple instances of the same driver and protocol. I have tried cancelling some or all of those drivers, but the PC reinstalls them everytime I plug the modem in.

Both modem and line work fine on my new ThinkPad (which is what I'm using right now to conect to the Internet).

Also, this is the first time the USB card is being used on the PC, which is seven years old.

Can someone help please?
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Question by:CDRome
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by:nobus
ID: 13409494
you can test the usb ports with other usb devices, or try the other usb port.
you can also delete all usb entries in device manager and reboot (disconnect all usb devices before)
You can also run sfc from the run box, to repair your system files, but maybe it is time to have a fresh install of windows after 7 years, IMHO that would not be bad at all, just takes some time...
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Author Comment

by:CDRome
ID: 13412278
Hi nobus,

I tried all of the above, except reinstalling Windows (since the pc's not mine and the owner can't find all of his program CDs *and* he's never done a backup). However, the pc's stopped reinstalling the drivers every time I plug in the modem. So that's one step forward.

What happens now is that it can't initialize the DSL line and the modem keeps on flashing forever. If I unplug the modem and plug it back in, then sometimes it simply doesn't power the modem at all, or it powers the modem but fail to initialize the line (flashing DSL light), or both lights (USB and DSL go steady green but I still get a "connection failed" message when I try to connect to the Internet. ALSO, if I restart the pc with the modem plugged in, it doesn't power the modem. HOWEVER, on two successive attempts it did manage to initialize the line and connect to the Internet... but on the third attempt, it was back to where it started.
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by:nobus
ID: 13413340
well, i must say i never had such a problem, but since you say :"the modem and line work fine on another pc", i suppose there is a problem with the usb port, so i suggest trying apci to uscb card, or connecting the modem to a powered usb hub.
Did you test the usb port with another usb device? scanner, printer, memory stick? and did  it work ok?
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Author Comment

by:CDRome
ID: 13413485
I tested it with my mp3 player, but since I don't have the software with me I couldn't install it fully. The person that the pc belong to doesn't have any USB devices. I'll have to wait until I get a USB device Monday and try it with that. I'll post back as soon as I have tried it.
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by:nobus
ID: 13413614
Ok ! take your time, i'll watch out.
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by:CDRome
ID: 13423287
OK. The USB connection seems to be working (with one small problem: when I take the MP3 player out of its crib before exiting its software, the computer freezes. But it comes back to life if I end the software and an msg32srv (or something like that) processes).

As to the modem, the first time it seemed to work (though the ISP server failed to repond, which has nothing to do with my problem). But when I shut down the computer and restart it, the problems start: the first time the USB and DSL lights went green, but the software icon was yellow, indicating that the line had not been initialized. After shut down and restart, the modem lights didn't turn on at all. At the third shutdown/restart, I again got the yellow icon and only the USB light. Plus the computer froze at shutdown. I powered off and restarted the pc. But this time I got a blue screen with the following error message (translating from Italian here): Error 0E in 0028:C006F5E9 in VxD VNETBIOS(01) + 000009B1. It has been invoked from 0028:C024C5D5 in VxD VMM(13) + 000005D5.

I hit the enter key and got a black screen. Powered off the pc again, disconnect the DSL modem, and restarted the computer. And this time the computer went into Safe Mode and gave me a message saying the problem could be with the network configuration or the hardware.

Any ideas?
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 13427156
The error is from  trying to setup the network connection; so obviously it cannot do it properly.
A question : on your thinkpad, you are running windows XP? and have what type of usb, 1 or2 ?
and on this box you are running windows 98 right? and the usb is most probably usb 1.0
You can check it in device manager for both, under usb devices, look for the word "enhanced" or usb 2; if you do not see it , it is usb 1
also, did you  run sfc from the run box, to check your system files ?
and can you try the modem on another win98 box?
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Author Comment

by:CDRome
ID: 13434460
Thinkpad has usb 2, win98 has usb 1 (the earliest version I guess, since it was installed back in 1999. I've run sfc twice (in fact, the usb reinstall problem is gone). Unfortunately can't try the modem on another win98 box, but all its documentation, etc., says it works also with win98.
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by:nobus
ID: 13437276
you can also try connecting the modem on a powered usb hub, since it can be a power problem on the usb port too.
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by:CDRome
ID: 13442797
Sorry this is going ahead so slowly but I can only o this during my free time. Since I have to go out and buy a powered hub (I haven't got one), do you think it might be better to get a new USB card? And would a USB 2 card work with such an old system (PII/Win 98)?
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by:nobus
ID: 13447385
>>   do you think it might be better to get a new USB card  << Yes ! a usb 2.0 card will give you 1 to 3 extra ports, at 40 x speed, and you can still connect usb 1 devices to the old ports.
They work with all OS, but with Win98 you must install the driver for it, so check that it is included.
good info :

http://www.aarp.org/learntech/computers/hardware/Articles/a2004-03-12-belkinusb.html
http://www.google.be/search?hl=nl&q=usb+2.0+card&meta=

and a card from a known good brand, is always worth it's cost (say adaptec)
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Author Comment

by:CDRome
ID: 13450691
Thanks nobus. I'll do that and post back.

For the record, the Alcatel support site has so far come up with a couple of completely useless suggestions (like "reenter your username and password," when the problem is that the modem can't initialize the line), which obviously didn't work, and they now say that Win98 does not fully support USB so I need to upgrade. This in spite of the fact that the box that their modem and software came in clearly states that Win98 and Win98SE are compatible with their product!

I'll get the card over the next couple of days and post back if there arestill any problems, or send you your points if the modem works fine wit the new card.
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nobus earned 750 total points
ID: 13450952
yes, but i have seen quite a lot of questions around here that had troubles with usb devices under win98; some people tend to think that the usb support under win98 was not as it should be.
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Author Comment

by:CDRome
ID: 13501698
nobus, hope you're still around to answer one last question. I've decided to upgrade the pc to Win98SE and to flash the BIOS. I've aready updated the USB controller and the chipset drivers. However, I was wondering if I can add an Ethernet card to the pc and then hook up an ADSL Ethernet wireless router to it and THEN connect the USB ADSL modem to the router. Would that be a workaround so that I don't need to move on to 98SE?

Meanwhile, I'm assigning your points for your help.
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 13503894
yes, i'm here; you can hook up a router with a lan card, but with a wireless router you would not need that, but a wireless adaptor which connects to the router.(most wireless modems support 4 lan cable connections too) but i doubt that you can connect the usb modem to the router.
If you did not buy it already, i s uggest buying a wireless router with built in modem, then you would have all in one; only one wireless adaptors need to be purchased then per pc.
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Author Comment

by:CDRome
ID: 13510485
Thanks nobus for all your help.
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