Why does my fax modem show errors?

Posted on 2012-08-14
Last Modified: 2012-11-28
Sometimes when I try to send a fax using Windows Fax & Scan, an error message appears saying the fax could not be completed due to a fatal error.   The fax modem I use is compatible with Windows 7.   I can use a conventional fax machine to send a fax on the same phone line without any problem.
Question by:DoctorK12008
    LVL 17

    Expert Comment

    Does the modem look ok in the Device Manager? Any colors or categories open?
    LVL 40

    Expert Comment

    by:Vadim Rapp
    If this happens with the same destination numbers, but at the same you can send to other numbers without a problem, than this is expected. Practically all fax modems can't ever handshake with some particular other models. What you can do: (1) try different driver (2) install second fax modem in the computer, made by another chip maker, so for example one is Lucent and another Conexant. If one does not work, then another will.
    LVL 42

    Accepted Solution

    I had exactly the same issue a few years ago and found that the specific modem I had was not on the HCL.  Check your modem here ( ) and, if it is not listed as compatible, you'll have to replace it (but check the list before you buy).
    Also (!!!), almost every newer modem has an uninstaller that you must run before replacing the modem.
    LVL 40

    Expert Comment

    by:Vadim Rapp
    a little follow-up comment:

    "What you can do: (1) try different driver"
    - this however will most likely result in shuffling the problematic deck, so to speak - some numbers that did not work will start working, but some others that did work will stop. Finding the modem and firmware (which is in the driver) working with all other models is practically impossible.

    Author Comment

    I discovered that by turning off a stand-alone fax machine that shared the phone line, the problem disappeared.

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