Help! (Known Problems)
This is the first page of a step-by-step trouble-shooter for those whose modem will not connect to their Internet Service Provider [ISP]. These sections should help you to identify why the modem will not connect, & perhaps to fix it.
Step this way...
The troubleshooter was originally written for users of the Windows® 95/98 operating system. Most of this section is specific to that OS, but some is true for all.
First - if it ain't broke, don't fix it.
The principle of this troubleshooter is to start with a success and continue with this success each step of the way until the cause of the problem is found. Sometimes, however, it is possible to avoid the slog & get straight to the heart of the problem - which is what this little section is about (do use the contact links at the bottom to send more).
A Listing of Known Problems
If your computer...
If none of these apply, start here with the telephone-line connection.
- ...is running Windows XP & connecting via (UK) AOL v7.0 be advised that whilst v6 (supplied with XP) works fine, v7.0 & v7.0a both have problems with XP. The CD v7.0b also works fine with XP but will have to be specially ordered from AOL. The Smart Link HAMR56 modems (very popular in laptops, recent Packard Bell & other desktop computers) also have a hard time with AOL & XP - symptoms are the computer shutting down during connection & Blue-Screen-of-Death. Follow the steps here to re-establish connection with an updated driver. Finally, the Packard Bell Smart Link modems are V.92 and are also suffering wierd connection problems with AOL (which is not V.92) and other ISPs, including call-waiting notifications - even though call-waiting is not active on the phone line. A V.92 updated driver on the PB site fixes these problems.
- ...is connecting in the UK via ADSL & intermittently locks-up, check with your Telco that they are not using Fujitsu line cards at the exchange. The Register reported that Pipex have discovered that both 1st & 2nd Generation versions of these cards have a tendency to 'lock up' from time to time, preventing an individual user from connecting.
- The Register also reported that the MTU needed changing for ADSL users on Windows XP (the default of 1500 was too large). Shortly after the story, the Microsoft article detailing how to do it (Q314100) was pulled. Thanks, Microsoft.
- ...is a laptop running winMe/NT/2000 & suddenly stopped dialling out after the 21 February 2001 your ESS modem driver has a Millenium bug! (revisions before version 30 are unaffected). A patch is available here (set the date to Jan 2001 to re-enable dial-out).
- ...takes a long time for Dial-up Networking to connect, go here to fix
- ...is a win95 machine with an AMD K6 processor of 350 MHz or faster you will need to install a software fix from here
- ...has a Rockwell (now Conexant) modem with firmware v2.065 or v2.076 you will need to get an updated flash as there is a bug in the firmware. The Zoltrix engineers recommend a temp fix of "at&f&c1&d2w2" (no quotes) within the Extra Settings box. The "Required to Connect" box (same dialog) will need to be clear.
- ...has a Modular Technology modem with firmware v2.083 you will need to get an updated driver as more than one user has fixed multiple disconnections just prior to verifying name & password this way.
- ..has a Rockwell (now Conexant) HSF 56k chipset modem you may need to get an updated flash & possibly a video patch due to conflicts with Virge S3 (& other) video cards. ati3 will show something like "SoftK56V_B2.1_V1.40". More info & links are here
- ...has First Aid installed; this has been reported to corrupt proxy server addresses
- ..has Net Medic installed; this has been reported to corrupt Dial-up Networking (DUN)
- ..has Trio fax software installed, this has prevented connection for at least one other user
- ..has an Intellimouse, this was causing disconnects for another user - altering the setting from 3 lines/part-turn to 1 fixed it
- has Agfa Snapscan 1212P (Scanner software) this causes Freeserve to hang. A software patch is available from the Agfa site - download 1212P_Patch2023.exe - to fix the problem
- ...has the Internet Explorer 5 welcome software loaded this will give a white error box whilst connecting to the server. By default this is C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer\welcome.exe & will load on system start-up
- ..is a Compaq beware of a red "Q" in the System Tray - this is the Compaq Service Connection, & it will try to d/l the latest drivers whenever an internet connection is made, causing the computer to then reset itself & restart into Windows. The Service Connection is loaded from the Startup folder. Other programs to watch out for are Backweb, Watchdog & the Compaq Phone Center (CPQPhone.exe) - this latter is loaded at system boot & will permanently occupy the Com port
- ...is an Advent 3010/3015 with GVC Lucent LT Win Modem you may need a new cable for the modem, as some are wired wrong within the small white junction splitter box