MODEM FAQ
 
How can I modify or add to my modem init string under Windows 95?
NOTE: This is an advanced feature. If you are not familiar with modems or what initializations strings can do, it is not recommended you add or augment your modem's initialization strings. Please see the documentation that came with your modem for further instructions.
Click the "Start" button, usually located in the lower left-hand corner of your screen
Click on "Settings"
Click on "Control Panel"
Click on the "Modems" icon
Click on your modem once to highlight it, then click the "Properties" button
Click on the "Connection" tab at the top of the window and click the "Advanced" button
In the field labeled "Extra settings" add the appropriate values
After you've input the values, click "Ok", click "OK" again, and then
click "Close" to close the "Modem Properties" window.
How can I turn off x2 once my software is upgraded?
NOTE: This information refers to USR Courier and Sportster modems. For any other USR modem using x2 technology, please your modem users guide.
For Couriers, disable x2 support on your modem with the init string command:
ATS58=1.
To reenable x2 type the following init string in modem properties:
ATS58=0.
For Sportsters, disable x2 support on your modem with the init string command
ATS32.5=1
To reenable x2,type the following init string in modem properties:
ATS32.5=0
If my modem hangs, and I lose the carrier, did my ISP crash?
It's extremely unlikely this is the case. If you can call right back and get connected, you were most likely experiencing a telephone line problem. There is also a chance it could be a modem problem, especially if there are other symptoms, such as error messages. If you call back and the phone rings without connecting, contact support.
How can I figure out if I have line noise?
You can contact your local phone company and ask them to test your lines (NOTE: Some phone companies are unable or unwilling to do this depending on their system and contractual arrangements). If you can prove that your voice calls are degraded, you'll have a better chance of getting help, whether it's a simple solution, or something more complex, like the reinstallation of your phone line.
How can I turn v.90 on and off?
The following init string will disable v.90 on courier modems:
s58=32 (turns off v.90)
s58=0 (turns on v.90)
My modem is a 28.8, 33.6, or 56k, but connects at a lower speed. Why? Is there something wrong with your network or the modems you use?
"28.8 modem" and "56k modem" is a bit misleading. More appropriately, they should be named "28.8 capable modem" or "56k capable modem". A standard modem does over 2000 line tests when establishing a connection in order to determine the maximum speed of the line you're using. Those lines tests look for many factors, all of which can contribute to your line speed being less than optimal. The maximum line speed is influenced by the quality of the wiring of your physical phone line; the distance between you and your phone company's central office, switching equipment, and how they route your call.
Considering all these factors, there are few areas that will get consistent 28.8, 33.6, or 56k connections. Even the newer modems which support 33.6 - 56kbps are influenced by the same factors. The majority of phone lines will only be able to make a connection at less than optimal speed.
While connections at 24k or 26.4k can be expected with 28.8 or 33.6 modems, very slow connections, such as 19.2k, may be indicative of a phone line problem. You may want to contact your phone company for a line test if you get consistently slow connection speeds.
How can I dial if I have call-waiting messages saved through my service?
Some phone companies alert you to call-waiting messages through a pulsed-dialtone when you first pick up the receiver. This will interfere with your ability to connect to your ISP because the modem will not sense a true dialtone. To circumvent this on USR modems you can set a string: S6=N where "N" is the number of seconds the modem will try to detect a dialtone. If that number ("N") is set longer than the amount of time that the pulsed-dialtone persists the modem will sense the dial tone even if call-waiting messages are waiting. Our recommendation is to set the string to S6=5, giving the modem five seconds to detect a dial tone.
NOTE: This approach usually works with Couriers and Sportster USR modems. If you have a different type of modem (USR or not), please check your modem's documentation to ensure this can/will work for you.
My modem keeps disconnecting me or, I lost the carrier.
SPII.NET will automatically disconnect you if you are idle for 30 minutes. An idle connection is when no information is being transmitted between your computer and your ISP. If you aren't idle and keep losing the carrier, you may want to increase the S10 register on your modem. The S10 register regulates delay time before a carrier signal loss. You will need to refer to your modem's user guide or contact the modem manufacturer for more information on how to do this. Increasing the S10 register will help if you have an especially noisy phone line and will likely solve your sudden disconnect problems.
When I connect to my ISP, my modem says "CONNECT 57600", or "CONNECT 115200". Am I really connected at that speed?
No. The maximum allowed speed for analog modems is 53333. The "CONNECT" message your modem reports is one of two things. Your modem may be reporting the speed at which your computer is sending information to your modem. This speed can be 19200, 38400, 57600 or 115200 (on most machines). If you want your modem to report the true connection speed, it's as simple as adding the string "W2" to your modem's init string
(NOTE: this may not work on all modems, please see the documentation that came with your modem for assistance regarding this procedure).
I recently upgraded my modem to a faster external modem. The new modem seems as slow as my old modem. Why?
NOTE: This addresses the issue of modem speed only if your computer is relatively old and you have a high-speed external modem hooked up to your computer's serial port. This does NOT apply to internal modems. External modems rely on your serial port in order to transmit information between your computer and your modem. Older computers may have a serial chip that can't keep up with a newer modem's transfer speed. Specifically, The 8250 and 16450 serial chips can only handle up to around 9600 baud (the rate of transfer). These chips work fine with slower modems, but not with those supporting faster rates. The 16550 serial chip (an updated chip) has a maximum transfer speed up to 115200. Here's how you can check to see if you what type of chip you have:
Windows 3.1:
Drop to a DOS command line Type "MSD" (without quotes) and select "COM Ports"
Under the COM port your modem is on, check the "UART" setting. If it is 8250, 16450, then you have the older serial chip and should get a newer serial card capable of handling higher speeds. If it's 16550, then you have the latest serial chip.
If you don't have the MSD program, check with your computer's manufacturer about the type of serial chip used in your machine.
Win95/98:
Right-click on the "My Computer" icon on your computer's desktop
Scroll down and click on "properties"
Click on the "Device Manger" tab at the top of the window
Scroll down and double-click on "Ports (COM & LPT)"
Double-click any of the COM ports (preferably the one your modem is using)
Click on the "Port Settings" tab at the top of the window
You should see "Bits per second"
Click on the drop-down arrow next to the text box and scroll through the choices. If there is a setting for 115200 then your computer has the newest serial chip.
I keep getting "COMM Overrun" errors when using Trumpet Winsock. Why?
The most likely reason is due to a slow serial chip. Additional help can be found above. If you're using Windows 3.1, you can check your system configuration file for other problems. To do this, there are a few things you can try:
Open your File Manager and click on "File" then click on "Run"
On the Command Line, type "sysedit" (without quotes) and click "OK"
One of the windows that opens will be called "system.ini"
Look for the "comm.drv=" line in the "[boot]" section. If you see "comm.drv=comm.drv", you are likely using the original comm driver which was designed for slower modems. We suggest you try another comm driver.
You can search for an updated driver on the Internet. If that doesn't solve the problem, try adding the following to the "[386Enh]" section the system.ini file:
comXfifo=1
comXbuffer=1024
comboosttime=8
Where X is the number of the COM port your modem is using (most often COM 2).
ADDITIONAL INFO: Some video drivers using the s3 video chip can cause overruns as well. s3 has driver updates that cure this particular problem. Please contact your computer's manufacturer or video card manufacturer for specific driver updates.
NOTE: When your computer is accessing local disk(s), Windows briefly halts any I/O to the COM ports for a short period of time. This will, in many cases, cause overrun errors, when the Winsock is unable to access the COM port. The only way to avoid this problem is to upgrade to Windows 95 or 98.
When I connect online my mouse freezes up. Why?
This problem occurs when your mouse and modem are sharing the same IRQ (Interrupt Request) on your computer. In most cases, COM1 and COM3 share IRQ 4, and COM2 and COM4 share IRQ3. If your mouse is on COM1 and your modem on COM3, they will conflict for the computer's attention. You will need to place your modem and mouse on complementary IRQs (i.e. Modem on COM2 and mouse on COM1). Certain modems have jumper settings that will allow you to change the modem's IRQ. You will need to refer to your modem's documentation for instructions If your modem doesn't offer this option, you will need to contact the manufacturer of your computer. If contacting your computer manufacturer is not an option, try contacting a  computer repair store.
Why do I keep getting the message, "NO DIAL TONE"?
There are a few causes for this, please check the following list to narrow down the issue:
Is your telephone cable securely seated in the correct modem port (line in)? If your modem is plugged in to the wrong port in the back of your modem, it will not work.
Is the cable coming from your modem securely seated in the wall jack?
Is your telephone cable bad? (you can check to see if it is by plugging it into a working phone and seeing if it operates normally)
Is the wall jack functioning properly? Plug a phone into the wall jack (preferably using the same cable you use for your modem) and see if the phone functions properly
Check to make sure all phones, answering machines, etc. are "on the hook"
Make sure you can get a dial tone on every other phone in your house
 
Are you using a surge suppressor, try removing the surge suppressor and connecting directly to a wall jack
Many phone companies use a pulsed-dial tone to indicate call-waiting or voicemail messages. Your modem will not be able to detect a dial tone if it detects a pulsed-dial tone. Please see the above workaround for this problem.
If all else fails, please contact technical support. Be advised, however, that if the above does not fix your issue, there may be a hardware problem (i.e. a bad modem).
How do I turn off call waiting/forwarding?
Click on the "My Computer" icon located on your computer's main screen (also called the Desktop)
Click on "Dial-Up Networking (DUN)
Double-click on the icon you use to connect to the Internet
Click on the "Dial Properties" button
Check the box next to "To disable call waiting dial:" and put in the number to disable call waiting (in Windows 98 you can choose form a drop-down list). The number is usually either *70, 70#, or 1170.
Alternately, you may also wish to turn off call waiting in this manner:
Click on the "Start" button, usually located on the lower-left hand side of your computer's main screen
Click on "Settings" and then click on "Control Panel"
Double-click on the "Modems" icon
Click on the "Dialing Properties" button
Check the box next to "To disable call waiting dial:" and put in the number to disable call waiting (in Windows 98 you can choose form a drop-down list). The number is usually either *70, 70#, or 1170.
NOTE: You may or may not have a turn off feature associated with your particular call-waiting/forwarding plan. Please contact your telephone company for specifics.
Why does my connection sometimes seem to run slower over time?
If you are occasionally noticing decreased performance over a period of time when you connect, also called "spiraling death", and own a USR Sportster 28800 (and sometimes even the Courier V.34), then you may need to update your modem's firmware (available at the USR web site http://www.3com.com/56k/usr/). You may also try some of the following:
If possible, see if the problem persists on a different modem
The problem may be caused by line noise. Have the phone company test your line and have them suggest possible solutions
If you have an external modem, turn the volume all the way down before trying to connect
NOTE: This problem is generally associated with your hardware and is therefore not covered by our technical support representatives. If you need further assistance, refer to your computer or modem's documentation and/or manufacturer
Why do I sometimes get disconnected for no apparent reason?
There can be several reasons for this. Please check the following:
Do you have call waiting? The incoming call signal can sometimes disconnect you. To avoid this problem, you may be able to temporarily disable Call Waiting when you make a data or fax call. Follow these steps to disable call waiting:
Click on the "My Computer" icon located on your computer's main screen (also called the Desktop)
Click on "Dial-Up Networking (DUN)
Double-click on the icon you use to connect to the Internet
Click on the "Dial Properties" button Check the box next to "To disable call waiting dial:" and put in the number to disable call waiting (in Windows 98 you can choose form a drop-down list). The number is usually either *70, 70#, or 1170.
Alternately, you may also wish to turn off call waiting in this manner:
Click on the "Start" button, usually located on the lower-left hand side of your computer's main screen
Click on "Settings" and then click on "Control Panel" Double-click on the "Modems" icon
Click on the "Dialing Properties" button
Check the box next to "To disable call waiting dial:" and put in the number to disable call waiting (in Windows 98 you can choose form a drop-down list). The number is usually either *70, 70#, or 1170. NOTE: You may or may not have a turn off feature associated with your particular call-waiting/forwarding plan. Please contact your telephone company for specifics.
Are you using modem error correction? If you don't know, follow the steps below
Click on the "Start" button, usually located on the lower-left hand side of your computer's main screen
Click on "Settings" and then click on "Control Panel"
Double-click on the "Modems" icon
Click once to select your modem then click on "Properties"
Click on the "Connection" tab at the top of the window
Click on the "Advanced" button Check the "Use error control" box and select either hardware or software (refer to your modem's documentation. (NOTE: Not all modems offer this feature. Please refer to your modem's documentation for the specifics on this option)
Are you running several programs the same time when you are connected? Sometimes,  this will interfere with the COM port your modem is using, causing a dropped connection.

Is the line excessively noisy? You may need to have your phone company test your line for noise.
Are you experiencing inclement weather? Believe it or not, bad weather can play an important roll when it comes to line connectivity. If you experience more frequent disconnections during windy or rainy weather (especially if accompanied by lightning), your disconnections may be due to poor line quality exacerbated by poor weather, a phone line that is not grounded properly, or other telephone line problems.

If you are still experiencing frequent disconnects, please contact technical support. You my also need to contact your computer or modem's manufacturer for specific solutions related to your hardware or software.