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Modem Disconnected message


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amenditman

My parents who live a long distance away are having a Windows XP dial-up modem problem.

 

When they try to log on to check emails they get the following,

"The modem has been disconnected. This may have happened due to a problem in transmission or a temporary communications problem. Please try connecting again."

 

Needless to say they have tried again.

 

Here is the list of what we have tried over the phone.

Another computer can connect on the same phone line to the same internet service.

Connected a phone on that wire and have a signal.

Replaced internal modem with a known good modem.

 

What should I have them check?

 

My Dad is OK with troubleshooting, but needs direction.

I haven't messed with a telephone modem in soooo long I can't remember where to start.

 

Suggestions?

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Most of the computers in our home no longer have a 56k connection so I can't look at modems to see any sort of settings.

 

I did find this for things to look at.

Control Panel / Phone and Modem Options / Modems / (select your modem) /

Properties

 

/Advanced / Advanced Port Settings ... what buffer size is set? Note that

smaller sizes are suggested for connection problems!

 

/Resources .... could there be a resource conflict? That could cause

trouble. Also check Device Manager under Control Panel / System for device

problems (yellow question marks).

 

/Advanced / Change Default Preferences

Is compression enabled? Disable it as a test. Keep it that way until the

problem is resolved.

 

If the working computer also runs XP, open both computers and compare the settings.

Also, look at device manager on the non-working computer to see if any process there might be causing the disconnection.

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burninbush

Here is the list of what we have tried over the phone.

Another computer can connect on the same phone line to the same internet service.

Connected a phone on that wire and have a signal.

Replaced internal modem with a known good modem.

 

++++++++++++++

 

Try replacing with another known-good modem. Try 'moving' the working computer to the nonworking location [with a long phone cord] to see if it's the house wiring that is causing the problem.

 

Are any of these non-working parts the so-called 'winmodems' that use software to decode the modem signals? See if an external serial port [?] or usb modem would improve it. If that's the type, then just swapping the modem card is not enough, you'd also need to install the driver for it.

 

Try a lower baud rate -- probably a setting in the dialer app.

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amenditman

@burninbush - We tried those items in your list.

Another computer does connect over the same line (same wire and jack)

Phone has signal and can make/receive calls

Replaced internal modem with known good (uninstalled old drivers and used disc from new to install new drivers)

 

@zlim - Checked the items on your list.

"The buffer sizes were as high as they could be set. I reset them as low as they could be set.

In Device Manager, I got a message that the device is working properly.

Initially I could not see anything about compression, but then I did a "Query" and, in the lines of text, I saw that the compression is off."

 

In the process of doing all this long-distance, we saw one behavior which I can't explain.

 

"At one point during "Troubleshooting", the screen asked me to connect to the Internet (Mom's machine does not have Internet

connectivity normally) and I told it to connect. It did and I was able to get Mom's e-mail ! What the heck is going on ??"

 

So at one point (during "Troubleshooting") the modem did connect to his dial-up server, but it does not do so when attempting to connect normally. I'm sure it's a software problem, but where and what!

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Guest LilBambi

If it worked during trouble shooting but not afterwards, might want to remove the connection and create a new one.

 

Sometimes the connections get bunged up and the easiest and quickest way to fix is to delete old connection profile and create a new one.

 

Also, to check the modem, go to the Modem section in Control Panel and choose your modem . Then Click Properties, click Diagnostics, and then click Query Modem.

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amenditman

If it worked during trouble shooting but not afterwards, might want to remove the connection and create a new one.

 

Sometimes the connections get bunged up and the easiest and quickest way to fix is to delete old connection profile and create a new one.

 

Also, to check the modem, go to the Modem section in Control Panel and choose your modem . Then Click Properties, click Diagnostics, and then click Query Modem.

That sounds like what I would have done in the bad old days. Problem is, I have no Windows XP machines on hand to help me walk through the process, not to mention I haven't used a dail-up modem in years. Also, I'm brain-damaged lately when it comes to remembering stuff.

 

Care to explain the process a bit so I can help them with it?

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goretsky

Hello,

 

I used to see quite a bit of this when I lived in Colorado during the summer lightning season, but the behavior in endemic wherever lightning storms occur. What would normally happen was that the internal PCI modem card—and sometimes the PCI expansion slot it was installed in—would be damaged when the lightning earthed itself on the phone lines.

 

The solution was to install a PCI modem card in a different slot.

 

In some cases, though, lightning would shorten the life of the computer and it would need to be replaced after the motherboard began to behave in strange ways (fried chipset).

 

Regards,

 

Aryeh Goretsky

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amenditman

That's a good suggestion, especially here in the lightning capitol of the world. We did have a few big storms during the time the computer began this behavior.

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Guest LilBambi

I agree with Aryeh! That is the easiest way.

 

Here's the instructions though, since they may be needed at some point. From Microsoft website for Windows XP:

 

To test a modem

 

You must be logged on as an administrator or a member of the Administrators group in order to complete this procedure. If your computer is connected to a network, network policy settings may also prevent you from completing this procedure.

 

1. Open Phone and Modem Options in Control Panel.

2. On the Modems tab, click the modem you want to test.

3. Click Properties, click Diagnostics, and then click Query Modem.

 

Note

 

To open Phone and Modem Options, click Start, click Control Panel, and then click Network and Internet Connections. Under See Also, click Phone and Modem Options.

 

This procedure sends standard AT commands to your modem, and displays the responses that indicate features supported by your modem.

 

And this modemsite.com article, entitled, Windows XP & Modems even has pictures of the windows they will see so you can guide better.

Edited by LilBambi
added another site with images in the walkthrough
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amenditman

Thanks.

 

I think we are going to find that either the connection itself has gotten fouledup or that lightning in the phone line has caused a failure.

 

Sounds like those are the most likely culprits.

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goretsky

Hello,

 

One other thing you might want to do is physically inspect the old modem, both with a sniff test (burnt component smell) and for signs of component damage. On one memorable modem, the controller chip was not just scorched, but had a hole blown open in it about 3mm in diameter. When I shined a light directly over it, I could see some silicon in the bottom.

 

Regards,

 

Aryeh Goretsky

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amenditman

SOLVED!

 

I thought I would post this update.

 

We tried pretty much every suggestion from this thread and nothing solved the problem.

 

So, I packed my happy self, and a bunch of old computer parts, into the truck and headed over to my parents' house.

 

We proceeded to go through checking the modem with the Query function and Windows Troubleshooting utility. - No go.

We deleted the connection, uninstalled the drivers, installed the latest available drivers and made a new connection. - No go.

We plugged the other, fully functional, computer into the offending phone line and tried it, all working. - No Go.

We took the modem out of the working computer and installed it in a different pci slot in the offending computer, installed drivers. - No go.

Swapped the motherboard out for a known good mobo, installed requisite drivers and deleted and made a new connection. - No go.

 

At this point I was ready to throw the computer in the trash and/or upgrade my parent's antique dail-up to DSL at my expense.

But I thought, let's have lunch, a beer or two, and pause to reflect what else I might have missed. Sure enough, after a long, and very late, lunch we came back to this problem.

 

Here's what I found.

 

When my father logs on to the Juno server (yes Eric, Juno is still around and is now charging folks $10 per month for dail-up internet access, used to be free when they were email provider only) there is a user interface window which has three tabs. Read, Write, Web.

My mother's computer is an email only add-on (still free) and has Read, Write, and the Web tab is greyed out. When I start the Juno app on my mother's computer it opens, I press the Read button to fetch mail from the server I get the error, "The modem has been disconnected. This may have happened due to a problem in transmission or a temporary communications problem. Please try connecting again."

 

I figured, what the heck, and clicked on the Wrtie tab, same result.

 

So I figured, what's the worst that can happen if I click on the greyed out Web tab. When I clicked on Web, it connected to the Juno homepage, just like it should for a user with an internet access account. This computer has only email access configured in the local settings, and only my mother's email only account set up.

 

Obviously, Juno made some kind of change or installed an update on their servers which broke their client software.

Very frustrating! My father insists that he has to call Juno and get this fixed. More power to you, Dad.

 

There you have it, SOLVED. There is nothing wrong with the computer, Windows, the modem, or the phone lines. It is not even operator error.

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  1. Was it one beer or two?
  2. My sister still uses the Juno client software for email only. Chances of Juno helping with the software? - Zilch , they are stuck by contract to not disable it but they do not have to keep it updated. They just can't make it totally useless.
  3. How was the nap?

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Guest LilBambi

Excellent that you figured it out. I bet you really did feel the need for a nap after that one!

 

I hate it when they change the water and don't tell anyone.

 

Have you checked while logged into their account to see if there is a new version available for the client software? If you have their login credentials, you can login on your own computer and download any new sofware updates that are available on a better connection than the dialup.

 

I had to do that for a dialup user who wanted the new software years ago.

 

Just a thought.

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I had an older couple (now in their 80s) who I help that used Juno as their dialup provider. I used to bring their computer to my house every few months just to do the windows updates!

Fortunately when they moved, they decided they needed to get Comcast broadband. Phew. I have Juno linked so they still see the familiar email window. (It is the only email they have ever used).

 

Another person I help (she is in her 60s) has Juno as her dsl provider! I have no idea what the cost is.

http://www.juno.com/dsl all it says is "as low as".

Perhaps you can suggest to your parents to gain a bit more speed.

 

I'll bet the XP computers are not up to date because on dialup, it would tie up the phone line for hours.

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amenditman

Twice a month, and overnight, my father downloads the updates and installs them to both computers. Windows updates, anti-virus updates, Flash updates, and Java updates.

I convinced him to finally give up IE and use Firefox because Juno would cut him off in the middle of a download. Firefox download manager has been able to resume interrupted downloads for years. IE never did when he was using it, it might now, I don't know.

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amenditman
  1. Was it one beer or two?
  2. My sister still uses the Juno client software for email only. Chances of Juno helping with the software? - Zilch , they are stuck by contract to not disable it but they do not have to keep it updated. They just can't make it totally useless.
  3. How was the nap?

1. One beer. I only ever drink one beer. For medicinal purposes only. No really, my back and leg nerve specialist doctor recommended I try it. And it worked better than any pharma pain pills all the other doctors tried to kill me with. Plus, one beer a day for the rest of my life, probably live longer than without and less than $1. Misc. pain pills prescribed (most didn't do squat for my pain and usually made me feel worse) one or more a day for the rest of my life, it will be dramatically definitely be shorter than if I didn't take them and most more than $5 each.

 

3. Too short!

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