The Annoyance:

I can’t get my modem to dial out. I hear a click followed by the number tones, but I don’t hear a dial tone. I don’t see anything wrong in the Device Manager.

The Fix:

You’ve probably got a problem with the telephone line. First, plug a telephone into the wall jack using the same phone cord that you plugged into the modem. Verify that you get a dial tone. If not, then there’s a problem with the telephone cord, the phone line, or the jack. Try another telephone cord first. If that doesn’t work, contact your local phone company and report the problem.

Examine the little metal fingers on your modem’s phone jacks; look for any bent or damaged contacts that might prevent a good connection. If you find damage, you’ll have to replace the modem. Otherwise, reconnect the telephone cord and ensure that you attach the cord to the modem port (not the daisy-chained telephone port). If the problem persists, the modem’s internal phone interface circuit may be damaged, so try another modem instead.


The Annoyance:

My modem connects for just a few minutes over a dial-up connection, then disconnects.

The Fix:

Disconnect problems are very common with dial-up connections, and can usually be traced to one of several areas. Before you simply assume that there’s a problem with your hardware, consider your phone line. Keep in mind that a telephone connection between two points is established through a hodgepodge of telephone ...

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