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SBS2008 Fax Modem Stopped Working When BT Infinity Installed

Posted on 2013-06-11
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Last Modified: 2013-06-11
Hi,
I have a client who is running SBS 2008 and has had a US Robotics 56K PCI Modem installed and it has worked without issue for over 2 years.  They recently upgraded their broadband to the new BT Infinity high speed broadband and a BT Engineer fitted a new telephone socket in their office which as well as providing broadband is also the fax line the USR modem is connected to.

Since that time the client has reported that inbound faxes work but all outbound faxes fail with the error:

Event ID: 32101

The attempt to send the fax failed. The service will attempt to resend the fax.

 Reason: The remote fax machine did not respond in time, and the call was terminated.
 Sender: A N Other.
 Billing code: .
 Sender company: Client Name.
 Sender dept: .
 Device name: U.S. Robotics 56K PCI Modem.
 Job Id: 0x0201ce667c9041ea.
 User name: Domain\user.
 Please check the activity log for further details of this event.

I have contacted BT who have checked the line and claim all is OK, I have also checked all the settings and they seem OK. Looking up the same error in the MS Forums, one user with this same error was directed to reduce the time between retries and also to increase the number of retries.  I have done that setting both values to 5 (5 minutes between retries, down from 10 and 5 retries up from 3) but it makes no difference.  Listening to the fax working it just seems to dial out and then cancel before the remote machine replies.

BT have offered to send out an engineer costing £210 and an additional £110 per hour there after which is a non starter for the client as they rarely use fax but have to occasionally for some of their business contacts, so I wondered if anyone else has seen this with BT Infinity lines and if so what was the fix?

Siv
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Question by:Siv
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Expert Comment

by:Dave Baldwin
ID: 39237108
For a first test, I would plug a regular phone into that jack and dial the fax numbers and measure the time it takes for the remote fax machine to answer.  If it never answers, making the timeouts longer or shorter won't matter.  Make a chart of the times so you have something to talk to BT about.  It would also be good if you could make the same tests from a non-BT line for comparison.
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Author Comment

by:Siv
ID: 39237182
DaveBaldwin

I am not on the client site but I will see if the client has an old handset and try that and post back with results.

Siv
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Expert Comment

by:Dave Baldwin
ID: 39237209
Good.  Without any measurements, it is just an argument about who is 'right' and how much it will cost.
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Author Comment

by:Siv
ID: 39237212
Now that's strange the client has just emailed me to say that a fax has got through now, it initially failed as I got the above error after making the changes to the retries and retry interval and then restarted the fax service. So I am confused as to what's going on?
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Expert Comment

by:Dave Baldwin
ID: 39237229
It sounds to me like BT's phone switches are just slow at connecting calls.  Make the measurements I suggested on both BT and non-BT lines to see if there is something to talk to them about.
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Author Comment

by:Siv
ID: 39237236
Will do, I don't think we have the option of using a non BT line as everything in their office is on BT?
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Expert Comment

by:Dave Baldwin
ID: 39237250
Go to a different location outside their office.  We're just talking about dialing a couple of number and measuring the time it takes for the fax to answer the call.  You need something to compare BT's response time to so you can determine if you have a basis for a complaint.
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Author Comment

by:Siv
ID: 39237275
I got the client to make the call and she says the fax machine at the remote end answered within one ring. So clearly this is not an issue with the line as if anything the remote fax is answering very quickly?

Is it possible the remote fax is answering too quickly for the fax modem. The fax she sent that did get through was failed on the first attempt, but must have been accepted on one of the retries?

Because the fax did get accepted now (previously it never got through prior to me making the changes to the fax settings) the client is happy to leave things as they are as they don't want to get into a lot of cost with BT for something that is rarely used.

I would like to get to a situation where it is 100% reliable rather than failing the first time and then getting accepted on subsequent retries.  Is there anything else you can suggest that I might look at in the Fax settings?

Siv
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Dave Baldwin earned 500 total points
ID: 39238715
100% reliable is not an acceptable goal when you have to rely on someone else's, BT's, services.  I have never heard of a fax answering too quickly.  I don't think it's possible since the first thing faxes do when they connect is 'negotiate' the line speed based on line conditions.  I think it is more likely that BT's problem either got fixed or went away when something related got fixed.  I think there is nothing for you to do at this point.
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Author Closing Comment

by:Siv
ID: 39239799
Fair comment Dave, thanks for your help.
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Expert Comment

by:Dave Baldwin
ID: 39239852
Glad to help, thanks for the points.
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