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Hardware for Windows 2008 fax server

Posted on 2014-09-11
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Last Modified: 2014-09-12
We would like to start using Windows Fax server.  We do not currently have a fax modem in our server.  

Our server is located AWAY from our switch and our incoming fax line.  

Question 1:  Can we avoid installing a fax modem in the server itself by using some kind of "box" at the switch?  The box would accept the incoming fax line and would "output" to a network cable that goes into our switch, and thus make a connection to the server?

If so, can someone recommend a brand/model?

Question 2:  If we must install a fax modem in the server itself, is there a type that would accept as input the network cable?  One of our main issues is we would prefer to NOT have to re-run our incoming fax line to the location where the server is physically located.
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Question by:K A
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7 Comments
 
LVL 62

Expert Comment

by:gheist
ID: 40318659
The cheapest option is to dig up any old fax modem and connect it via USB serial cable.
Another is to get networked multifunction device with fax

How much would a two-wire copper of 50m cost? Something like 20$?
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LVL 43

Expert Comment

by:Davis McCarn
ID: 40319053
Unless the phone line already available is on a different breaker box, this will solve the problem of running a wire: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Wireless-Portable-Phone-Jack-new-/221539957079?_trksid=p2054897.l4275

Be a little careful about choosing your fax modem; many are not considered compatible by Microsoft.  Here is a list: http://www.windowsservercatalog.com/results.aspx?bCatID=1459&cpID=0&avc=10&OR=1
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Author Comment

by:K A
ID: 40319589
DavisMcCarn, thank you for two helpful links.  

Here's a follow-up question:  we've got in hand an old USRobotics fax modem (model 5605) that reportedly is not compatible with Server 2008, but is with XP.  IN GENERAL, can we attach this device to an old XP box, and use it from Server 2008's fax server role?
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LVL 43

Accepted Solution

by:
Davis McCarn earned 2000 total points
ID: 40319690
The 5605 is a winmodem meaning it takes a lot of overhead to modulate the phone line and I would never try to use it for a shared fax.
The good old 5686E is an intelligent modem which would be far better($19 w/ cable and shipping): http://www.ebay.com/itm/USRobotics-USR5686E-Modem-USED-Working-Condition-/301162026866?pt=PCC_Modems&hash=item461ea7d772
As long as you have a serial port on the server, you'd be all set!
http://support.usr.com/support/product-template.asp?prod=5686e
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LVL 62

Expert Comment

by:gheist
ID: 40319697
It is USB serial port that takes AT commands. Should work with W2008 without any drivers whatsoever.
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Author Closing Comment

by:K A
ID: 40319875
Thanks, DavisMCCarn...we ordered one of those modems (but new)...
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LVL 43

Expert Comment

by:Davis McCarn
ID: 40319906
Gheist,
I hate to say it; but you're wrong.  Winmodems can be as simple as a relay to pick up the phone line and a tone generator to make noise.  The software to drive one has to work in real time, creating or interpreting the various tones needed to send or receive the string of ones and zeros.
With an intelligent modem, the processor on the modem takes care of that, passing or accepting the finished byte and rendering it into the character.
That, by the way, is why that 5605 has NO drivers newer than Windows 2000:
http://support.usr.com/support/product-template.asp?prod=5605
Back in the dark ages (i.e. Windows 3.1 or 95), winmodems became the bane of computer manufacturers; because, installing a new printer would clobber some dll used by the winmodem drivers rendering it unusable.
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