Why Does My Modem Keep Disconnecting?
Connection drop-outs can be caused by a number of factors:
- Browser Settings (Internet Explorer) - To make sure that you don't
get disconnected automatically while browsing on the internet, follow the
steps mentioned below :
- Click on "Tools" in the main menu on the top of
your Internet Explorer.
- Click on "Internet Options" and choose the "Connections"
- Choose CAL Internet Services under Dial-up settings and click on "Settings"
- Click on "Advanced" button and make sure that the
following options are UNCHECKED :
"Disconnect if idle for ..."
"Disconnect when connection may no longer be needed"
- Click on "Apply" button and then click on "OK".
- Fax Machine / Telephone / Answering Machine - If you have a fax machine
or a telephone plugged into the same phone line as the modem. They may draw
electrical current from the phone line. This is enough to interrupt data transmissions
through the modem. To solve this, you should unplug the phone when you use
your modem. Also, do not route a phone line being used by a modem through
answering machines. Some of the "smarter" (and cheaper) ones have been known
to intercept/inject data, which of course is undesirable.
- Phone Extension Cords / Jack - More often the problem is related
to the phone extension cords, phone line between the phone jack and modem,
or serial connection between modem and microcomputer serial port. Make sure
that the cord is free from tangles. Do not route the phone line within three
inches of any electrical cord or extension cord, or PC CPU cord, or Printer
cord, or Monitor cord, or any electrical appliance or power supply. This often
means taping or stapling the phone line away from such places between jack
and modem. Symptoms are random dropping of the line, problems with TCP/IP
clients, logging in, etc. Inductance from electrical lines wreaks havoc with
phone lines. Do not route a phone line underneath a carpet since people probably
will walk on it, thus crushing the very fine wires therein. The same is true
for running phone lines where doors will close on them, etc. Do not use old
phone lines from jack to modem. Use a new phone line of the correct length,
without splicing (splicers also have been known to cause loose connections,
and thus problems, in some cases).
- Call Waiting - If your line has call waiting, this will also cause
modems to drop the line when an incoming call is detected. You need to disable
call waiting by adding *70 before the phone number you are using to connect
- K56Flex or V90 - You may experience drop-out problems with 56k modems.
If this is the case you need to put a string in your modem settings which
can be found under the modems icon in the control panel for PC's. Try entering:
at&f%c0+ms=11 This needs to be entered without any spaces. You can use the
same string on Macintosh Computers alongside Modem Init under Config PPP.
Note: we do not support X2.
- Noisy Line - You may also have a noisy phone line.You need to contact
your local phone company to check your line for noise. You can also put a
string in your modem settings which can be found under the modems icon in
the control panel for PC's. Try entering: s91=13.
- Burglar Alarm - If you have a burglar alarm which automatically
dials and transmits data, this will affect your line quality and may cause
dropouts. Ensure your modem communications are not carried out during it's
communications cycle. If you're not sure contact the alarm manufacturer.
- Modem Drivers - Make sure that you have the correct driver for your
modem; you can check that you have the latest driver by going to the Website
of the modem manufacturer. Make sure your modem is set to the correct speed.
For 56k modems set your maximum speed to 115200. For slower modems set it
- Modem Strings - Your modem may need a string (Modem String) at times
when the line is bad or noisy. Follow the steps below to find out if your
modem already has a Modem String :
Click Start -> Settings -> Control
Panel -> Modems -> Properties ->
Connection -> Advanced -> Extra Settings
To get the correct modem string for your modem, click
here. Type this string in the Extra Settings text box. If you already
have a string in Extra Settings text box delete the old string and type the
new string. You can also visit www.56k.com
for more information on modems.
- Flow Control - Make sure your modem and PC are set to do hardware
flow control. If they are set for software flow control you will find when
downloading it may stop unexpectedly! This is found under advanced settings
for the modem in Windows 95, and to ensure the modem uses hardware flow control
at&k3 can be put into the modem under advanced settings.
- Screen Savers - Some PC screen savers do interfere with communications.
Typical symptoms in this case are "random" line drops (when screen saver kicks
in/out), and file transfer via FTP interrupted and aborted. We do not recommend
running screen savers or other timer-related DOS Terminate and Stay Ready
programs when using modems.
- Fax Software - Fax software which if loaded will interfer with data
transmission. Using Fax software can also leave the modem in Fax mode; if
a modem reset (AT&F and sometimes ATZ) is not done before DATA mode is used,
the modem will dial a data line but login scripts will either not work at
all or work with anomalous results.
- Modem Connections - For external modems, if your serial adaptors
or serial cable is old, adaptor pins bent, or cable cracked, replace them.
Make sure your serial connections are TIGHT. For internal modems, and for
all microcomputers in general, dust buildup on internal components compromises
built-in PC cooling systems. While any PC is running, fans circulate air around
internal components. After unplugging all related electrical connections,
remove the CPU cover and carefully blow dust off all computer components,
including internal modem cards, at least once a year; compressed air cans
(purchased where electronic components are sold) or reversible vacuum cleaners
may be used this purpose. Dust free components PREVENT communications problems.
- COM Port Conflict - Finally, there may be COM Port conflicts. This
can be COM Port addresses on microcomputers where COM Ports are configured
with BIOS Setup incorrectly. In this case if the BIOS Setup were changed the
modem may not even be accessible (won't dial). More often than COM Port conflicts
can be IRQ conflicts. Note that with normal (default) IRQ settings, COM1 and
COM3 share IRQ 4 and COM2 and COM4 share IRQ 3. This means that if you're
using COM4 for an internal modem, for example, then you may not have any COM2
software (e.g., scanner) active while the modem on COM4 is being used. If
you do, in general the modem won't work at all, but it may dial and then sporadically
disconnect depending on a lot of factors. Detaching hardware from COM2 won't
solve the problem in necessarily. Make sure there's no software (e.g., drivers,
programs etc. started for a COM Port that shares an IRQ with your modem while
you're using your modem.