Troubleshooting modem problems

This document describes some of the problems associated with modem use, and offers a number of solutions and explanations.

90% of Phone line drop-outs are due to phone line problems.
Telstra are being made responsible for some of these problems and hence
have made available a checklist for customers to go thru to assist in
finding the cause of phone line drop-outs on the internet.

Have a look at Telstra's check list for modem drop-outs Click here

Ezylink's Recomendations Below

First things First
If you are having modem problems, the first thing to do is update your modem driver, make sure you take a look at the web site of your modems manufacturer and download the latest modem drivers. Refer to documentation that should come with the drivers for installation instructions.
Below is a list of popular manufacturers.
Protac WebExcel - click here for Protac driver site
AME Patrol 56K - click here for AME driver site
Motorola 56K - click here for Motorola driver page
Banksia Wave SP56 - click here for Banksia driver page
Netcom 56K - click here for Netcom driver page
Dynalink 56K - click here for Dynalink driver page
KTX 56K - click here for ktx driver page
X-Link or Kingmax 56K - click here for xlink driver page
If you have none of the above try clicking here

What Next ?
If you have a 56K modem and it is not connecting
not staying connected
put two commas (,,) after the dial in phone number.
example   97920000,,
To do this do the following....
Double click on My Computer
Double click on Dialup Networking
With the Right mouse button click once on the Ezylink Icon (or the one that says dial your account)
and select Properties with the left mouse button.

after the phone number insert two commas (,,)
then click OK.
After doing this try dialling in again to see if this has corrected your problem

Modem Disconnections

The most common reason for frequent disconnection problems, where the modem hangs up (usually between 8 to 15 minutes) is that other devices are connected to the same telephone line that the modem is plugged into.
It does not matter if the modem is connected to the phone line in a different room to the other phones, it is important to unplug all phones/faxes connected to the same phone line that your modem is using.
The reason behind this is that the phones and faxes recharge their memories from the telephone line. When this takes place it puts electrical noise onto the line, causing unreliable network connections or even making the modem disconnect.
If this fixes your problem, you might think about trying different brands of phones, or just disconnecting these phones when your using the internet. It may only be one phone, not all of them, so try putting one phone back on at a time.
If this does not fix the problem, then still leave phones disconnected when troubleshooting.
Line noise/bad quality line
Plug a phone into the line that your modem is on, dial "1" or any other single digit, and then listen into the receiver. Can you hear any crackling hissing or whatever in the line? Crackling and hissing, will cause interference with the modem which may mean that you will have trouble connecting, or staying connected to the Internet. Plug a different phone into the same socket, and do the same - just to see if the phone is the device that is actually the crackling and hissing. If it continues, it may mean that you should call Telstra to organize a technician to have a look at your phone line.
Changing Modem Settings
If you are using Windows 95, and have installed your modem to use its own particular driver, it may be a good idea to force the modem to use the factory default settings, also slowing down the speed that your serial port on your computer talks to the modem may help.
Many older computers have problems keeping up with the huge amount of data being delivered to them. Double click on My Computer
Double click on Dialup Networking
With the Right mouse button click once on the Ezylink Icon (or the one that says dial your account)
and select Properties with the left mouse button.
Click on Configure
Change the Maximum speed to: 19200 if you have a 14400 bps modem,
or 38400 if you have a 28800 bps modem
or 57600 if you have a 56k modem.
Click On OK and then Click on OK again to save the changes.
Dial up again to see if the problem has been fixed.
If it has not, then change the modem configuration.
Double click on My Computer Double click on Dialup Networking
With the Right mouse button, click once on the Ezylink Icon (or dial your account icon)
and select Properties with the left mouse button.
Click on Configure
Click on the Connection Tab
Click on Advanced
In the Extra settings box, type the following (all in lower case): at&fx3
Click on OK, OK and then OK again to save the options.
Dial up again to see if the problem has been fixed.
Why cant I get a connection as fast as my new modem ?
The connection speed of modems is affected by many things, but the usual reason why you are connecting at say 26400 rather than 28800 or 31200 rather than 33600bps is usually to do with the phone line. Telstra currently guarantee a high speed modem will work at 2400 (yes 2400) and no higher, and you are lucky if you get any higher. Although in reality most people in the metropolitan areas of major cities should be able to get 26400 or above. The speed is effected by the number of kilometers that you are from the telephone exchange to your house and the general quality of your phone line, in addition to any noise on your line - these issues cause "loss" on the lines, meaning that your modem speed is decreased. It is also important that to get higher connection speeds your phone line has to be on one of the newer telephone exchanges (usually supporting Telstra Easycall service) It does not matter how far Ezylink are from the telephone exchange, as all our modem phone lines are provisioned across ISDN digital phone lines. As the lines are digital there is no such loss between us and the exchange.
If you are connecting at speeds less than the maximum speed of your modem, you may need to call Telstra to check your phone line.
My modem can connect at 2400 but not at high speed using windows 95 Dial-Up Networking
It seems that in some instances, Windows95 Dial-Up Networking will fail a high speed connection (baud rate 19200 or higher) with "Dial up networking could not negotiate a compatible set of network protocols" ... etc. Yet at low speed (2400) the DUN connection will work.
A terminal window login at high speed will also work.
Don't always dismiss this as a line noise problem.
When some modems connect at high speed using error correction protocols, they may be configured to report the connection speed AND error correction protocols. ie. CONNECT 38400/LAP-M or CONNECT 28800/REL.
This extra connection info has been found to confuse Windows 95's DUN authentication, causing the failure.
To rectify this, the extra connection info has to be turned off. Try adding W2\V0 to the "Extra settings" field of the modem configuration. Hopefully these commands will be standard across all modems (check your modem manual). The W2 command should tell the modem to report the line speed on connection (not port speed) and the \V0 command should tell the modem NOT to report error correction (reliable) protocols on connection.