What is Causing my Modem to Try to Connect?

By hwfa
Feb 15, 2005
  1. I'm running Windows 2KPro with all critical updates. The system has been behaving itself very well for many months.

    I use a USB ADSL modem which I configured to *not* connect automatically but to wait for me to ask for a connection.

    All of a sudden, something has started requesting a connection during the boot sequence.

    How can I find out what that "something" is? I'm not competent to read debug traces or memory (core) dumps and I'd need *very* detailed instructions even to generate a trace or dump. Is there some sort of software monitor that will tell me that xyz.exe is requesting an Internet connection?

    I already use the free version of ZoneLabs but its logs don't tell me anything useful.
  2. iss

    iss TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,994

    I would suggest you download a trojan detector/remover like "the Cleaner" from it is free for thirty days. you could very well have a trojan on your system.
  3. hwfa

    hwfa TS Rookie Topic Starter


    I'll try it.
  4. hwfa

    hwfa TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I tried it. Full scan. Nothing. Next?
  5. Electrick Gypsy

    Electrick Gypsy TS Rookie Posts: 76

    I had this problem once. And the same as you it had me baffled for quite some time. It turned out to be a program I'd installed was trying to connect and search for updates to itself.
    Can't remember how I traced it though.
    Suggest you go back through the programs you've installed lately and dig deep into the options / settings.
    Might help.
  6. RealBlackStuff

    RealBlackStuff TS Rookie Posts: 6,503

    Use the attached copy of (XP's) msconfig.
    copy the .chm file to winnt\help
    Click Start/Run, type msconfig and click OK. Check all startup-programs, one of them will be looking for an update.

    Find attachment here:
  7. hwfa

    hwfa TS Rookie Topic Starter


    Thank you.

    I have downloaded and run msconfig as you suggested. It is very helpful but I have another question if you don't mind:

    Is there a utility that lets me *selectively* start the login programs one at a time. In other words, the utility would ask me, for each program that tries to start, whether I want to let it start or not.

    This would save me a huge amopunt of time in tracking down my problem.

    Without such a utility, I have to use msconfig to disable the first possible culprit and then reboot. If this is not the culprit I have to disable the next possible one and reboot again. And so on. Each reboot takes several minutes ...

    Using a utility such as I describe, I'd log in and let the first possible culprit start. If my modem doesn't dial, I just let the next suspect start and so on until my modem dials, at which point the last program started must be the cause.

    Any thoughts?
  8. RealBlackStuff

    RealBlackStuff TS Rookie Posts: 6,503

    If you can write it, you'd be rich almost overnight.
    Never heard of such a utill, anyone else?

    Write down all the names of your startup programs (file.exe is enough)
    Then do a Google with those names. If there are only a few (or no) items in the search, that program would seem highly suspect.
  9. Electrick Gypsy

    Electrick Gypsy TS Rookie Posts: 76

    A program like that would make life so much easier at times. A wonder I've never fell over something that does that.

    Maybe if we simplify msconfig a little.
    Select the "services" tab and check the box at the bottom marked "Hide all Microsoft Services"

    Select the "startup" tab and expand the "Command" section so that you can read most (if not all) of the addresses for the programs.
    Reading down the list you should have some idea of what and where the last few programs you installed are living.

    Not sure with Win2K but Ctrl-Alt-Del to bring up Windows Task Manager might let you see what the cilprit is. If you're quick enough.
  10. hwfa

    hwfa TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Several years ago I worked on HP UNIX systems. The utility I describe was actually built into the OS. You interrupted the boot in a way similar to using F8 to boot into Safe Mode in Windows. Then one of the options was this "selective start" mode. Invaluable.

    Unfortunately I don't know nearly enough about Windows to write it, even though I'd like to be rich!
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