How to Resolve Cable, DSL, and Dialup Modem Problems
by Otis Cooper
When it comes to diagnosing the modem and any other computer problem, always
start with the most obvious first. Modem problems may be repaired as fast as
re-booting the computer or can be as complex as resolving hardware conflicts.
First remember to check for the most obvious signs of trouble, such as loose
connections at the rear of the computer for external modems. Internal modems may
have their retaining screw at the expansion slot loose are missing. Phone line
connections may simply be inserted in the wrong connector. Nearly all internal
modems are inserted into the PCI or Peripheral Component Interconnect slot in the
No Power at the Modem
For Internal Modems, first try inserting the modem in a different PCI Slot.
Reboot the computer and click on Start, Control Panel, and click the Phone And
Modems icon if you have Windows XP as your operating system.
Then click on modems, properties, and look for the statement "This Device Is
Working Properly". You can click on Diagnostics and run a test to see if the
modem has power as well.
External modems can be checked for power by inspecting the adapter plug to see
if it is plugged in completely. Look to see if any indicator lights flashing and
be certain you are using the adapter for your modem.
Be sure the surge protector or wall outlet is providing power by plugging in a
lamp or a radio. If the radio works, the culprit may be the adapter or the
external modem itself.
If you purchased the modem in your town, you may have the chance to return to
the store and ask the technician to test it with a known good power adapter. You
can been replace either the adapter or modem.
Modem Disconnects Often
If your modem, whether internal or external, is working but disconnects from the
Internet very often, without warning, check to be sure your call waiting option
is not enabled.
Another culprit that causes this headache is line noise. This noise and
interference can be caused by such things as loose wiring.
Poor waterproofing, old wiring, worn phone jacks are some causes that will
result in line noise. Make sure no other equipment is using the same line that
your modem is on.
Be sure other devices as your fax machine, answering machines or even security
alarms are not sharing the same line as your modem.
Other PCI devices may be causing conflicts with your modem. Clicking the Control
Panel, and clicking the modem icon will show the message "This Device Has A
Problem" or something similar if there is a conflict.