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SBS 2011 and 2 Fax Modems

Posted on 2013-05-14
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Last Modified: 2014-03-22
Hi All,

After a little advice, I hunted around for a few hours before I did this but I could not find any articles that said SBS 2011 could not handle multiple FAX devices.

So I have a server which has been running a Multitech Fax Modem since the day the server was installed.  Recently the owner of the company wanted to add a second fax line to the system, so i did my research found nothing and ordered a second Multitech modem.

I made one stupid move and ordered a serial modem, as I forgot I only had one serial port and had to use a USB to serial adapter.

I plugged in the modem and Windows was happy all drivers loaded the lot.  I went into the Fax Console and everything was fine, 2 modems were discovered and I was able to configure them both.

Shortly after we ran a test and suddenly neither fax line was working.  The was no obvious issues on the server and all services were running, therefore I restarted the fax service.  This is were it all started to go wrong....

At this point no matter how hard I tried the fax service would not start it just times out eventually and stopped trying.  When I unplug the new modem it all works again, reattach the modem it fails...

Can anyone out there shed any light on this matter, as I cannot find any definitive answers online.
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Question by:Auratek
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Expert Comment

by:Imtiaz Hasham
ID: 39163834
Did you, before removing the modems, delete the drivers from the Device Manager so that it would start getting new drivers?

I have had 4 fax modems on a SBS server and it's always worked fine.

This sounds like Driver corruption that I've experienced even with a single modem.
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Author Comment

by:Auratek
ID: 39163892
Good thinking, I was also contemplating deleting the new modem from the registry settings for the Fax Server as well, try and get it to load them all from fresh.
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by:Imtiaz Hasham
ID: 39164258
Let us know if this helps :)
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Expert Comment

by:Cris Hanna
ID: 39167806
SBS has always supported up to 4 Fax Modems (you can have more modems than that for dial in....but not used much any more)

My suggestion would be to purchase an add in serial port card so that you can connect it properly.  They are not expensive.   Faxing is SBS's weakest link and you won't see it back after SBS 2011.   So trying to connect with a serial to usb will most likely be problematic on an ongoing basis
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Author Comment

by:Auratek
ID: 39167910
Thanks Guys,

That's handy to know Cris i was getting worried it only supported FAX 1 modem, i have suspected the adapter but thought it was worth a go as no one on site is brave enough to open the server.

We now have a call open with Microsoft at the moment, just to see what they say.  If we get any answer i will let you know.

If this does not work I'm off to site to fit a serial card :)
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by:Imtiaz Hasham
ID: 39170610
I have always used USB modems as they are faster to replace.  Keep one on-site and you're laughing.  I have used Zoom devices.
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by:Imtiaz Hasham
ID: 39244775
Any updates on this?
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Author Comment

by:Auratek
ID: 39262712
Hi all,

we are still working with Microsoft on a clean server we cannot make this fail on the live server it fails every time.

As soon as we know whats going on we will update this post.
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Accepted Solution

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Auratek earned 0 total points
ID: 39339800
We have purchased 2 other Fax machines and they work fine with the server so we have put this down to faulty hardware.
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Author Closing Comment

by:Auratek
ID: 39947186
Hardware fault and re-purchase of kit appears to have resolved the issue.
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