Please help -- dialup connections getting dropped

By chunkstyle ยท 15 replies
Jan 28, 2005
  1. hey

    i'm having as TON of trouble with my dialup internet connection, and
    desperately could use some help, please. i've posted about this before
    recently, and have tried a few fixes based on the replies i got, but nothing
    has helped.

    the problem is that i'm getting disconnected frequently, and have no idea
    why. it generally happens every 5-12 minutes. my isp is wal-mart connect
    (yeah, i know -- goofy!), and it usually connects at 50666. this started
    happening about 3 weeks ago, and is now a guaranteed occurrence every
    time i go online. i haven't changed anything about the system, phone jack
    or phone cord before the problem started. we did move the computer to a
    different spot in the same room, but didn't start having this problem until a
    couple weeks after that move. in the interim, the internet connection
    worked fine.

    there's another pc in the house, using the same isp, that hasn't had any
    trouble staying connected. it has a us robotics modem.

    the old modem was a broadxent hcp 56k winmodem. people online
    advised me that winmodems can be pretty crappy & that the driver might
    be corrupted. i tried updating the driver by uninstalling it in the control
    panel, restarting & letting windows re-find & reinstall the driver. that
    didn't help. plus -- the process was pretty ambiguous, and i couldn't tell if
    a new driver had really been installed or not. the "driver" tab in the
    modem's "properties" window always seems to say the same thing about
    "microsoft digitally signed" driver, blah blah blah, no matter how many
    times i tried to update it. perhaps they really were either different drivers
    or different installs of the same driver, but i really couldn't tell. so i ran
    this "listmodem" application, learned more about the modem & got a
    generic driver from conexant, whose chips this modem used. again -- the
    update ended up kinda ambiguous, the "driver" window still read
    "microsoft digitally signed," and nothing improved with the connections
    being dropped.

    some guys online thought the modem itself might be bad, so per that
    advice, and the apparently good reputation of us robotics modems, i got a
    used 3cp5610a hardware modem from a guy on ebay. i installed the new
    modem card yesterday, taking care to ground myself to the chassis, and
    upon startup, it autodetected fine & could go online fine. but it's still
    having the same problem, even with the new modem. i went to usr's
    website yesterday on the "good" computer & downloaded their "control
    center" software, with the intention of upgrading the driver and flashing
    the modem's rom to the v92 standard. the control center installed ok,
    downloading the update went ok (got disconnected once during the
    transfer, but it went thru ok on the 2nd try), and the dialog boxes indicated
    that the flashing process went fine.

    but i've still got the same disconnect problem, and on top of that, if
    anything, this usr modem is a lot slower that the previous one. i thought
    hardware modems were supposed to be faster than winmodems. and i
    doubt this second modem is physically bad, even though used, because
    they're both displaying similar symptoms. however, ever since installing
    this new modem yesterday, i am getting some funny messages, short of
    actual disconnects, about "action cancelled" & "being unable to link to the
    page i requested."
    it's like this modem really chokes easily.

    we have norton systemworks 2003 on this pc, and the automatic virus
    definition update seems to happen pretty regularly (although a deliberate
    "live update" has failed for me a couple times today because i can't stay
    online long enough to download the files), and we run the virus scanner
    every week or two, so i assume the virus protection is pretty much up to
    date. we also run ad-aware at about the same frequency (although it's
    probably been a while since we've tried to update its definition files), and
    have used spybot, although we don't know how to update its definition
    files. as far as i know, unless i'm missing something, we should be pretty
    clear on viruses & spyware. the norton software always says that no
    viruses were detected.

    also -- changing local isp access numbers makes no difference.

    i swapped out the phone cord this morning, and that made no difference,

    i also turned the graphics acceleration to zero, which i'd seen something
    somewhere about it being able to possibly interfere with the modem. no

    here's the system configuration, per aida32, a few minutes ago:

    win xp pro, w/sp2
    athlon xp 1733mhz 2100+ processor
    msi kt3 ultra2 mobo (5 pci, 1 agp, 1 cnr, 3 dimm, onboard audio)
    via vt8367 apollo kt333 chipset
    768mb ddr sdram
    ami bios (9-11-02)
    nvidia geforce4 mx440 w/agp 8x video card (64mb)
    floppy drive
    western digital wd1200jb hd (120gb, i think)
    " " wd400bb hd (40 gb, i think)
    cdrw 52 x 24
    partitions: c: 114431mb (99412 free)
    e: 38162mb (25886 free)
    us robotics 56k fax pci modem

    i just ran "listmodem" on the new modem, and it returns info about the
    modem being an "unknown" brand & model, hcf type, with no win xp
    inbuild support. i got this copy of listmodem from conexant's website, so
    perhaps it can't recognize usr modems.

    i'm very sorry for this being such an extremely long post, but am trying to
    be very specific about the problem & attempted fixes thus far, so as to
    offer you all the info you might need on this problem. hellllllpppp!

    thanks for any help you can offer.

    drew j.
  2. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,739   +417

    The computer in another room connects fine correct?
    Try taking the modem from that and putting it in the machine that has problems with the old modem and your recently purchased hardware modem.
    If the modem from the known working system works fine in the comp thats having problems then you know its either the modems are physically bad, or your system doesn't agree with them. (Not agreeing is possible, my athlon machine has modem problems with 2 different modems, a pci one and a usb one, and the USB one works fine on other comps).
    If the modem from the known working comp works in the comp thats having problems, try using the modem from the comp having problems in the comp that could connect fine. Basically just switch the modems in each computer. With any luck they will both work fine.

    If the known good modem from other comp doesn't work well in the one with problems, then it is something specific to your computer that is causing the problem. Post back if that happens and I or someone else might be able to suggest some things to try.
  3. chunkstyle

    chunkstyle TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 16

    i haven't tried switching out the modems yet, but i did bring the other pc downstairs & it's working fine on that phone jack. so it's not the phone line.
  4. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,739   +417

    I think switching the modems would provide one of the more valuable pieces of information about this problem, at this point.
  5. chunkstyle

    chunkstyle TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 16

    ok -- i'll give that a shot tomorrow. thanks for keeping your eye on this thread. i appreciate your input.
  6. chunkstyle

    chunkstyle TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 16


    i switched modems today, and except for a bit of initial slowness in the "good"
    pc that i'd switched the "bad" modem into when i went online, the connections in both machines have been fine. i've been on this (the good one with the modem from the problem pc) machine now for about 50 min & counting -- vastly better than before. when i first went online, pages were coming in extremely slow, but at that same time, windows was doing an online update (also painfully slow), so perhaps that was slowing things up. now that the update's over, pages are coming in at normal speed.

    the other machine (bad one with the good modem) seems to stay online fine now, too.

    could someone please explain what's going on here? that modem worked fine in that pc for about 2 years with none of these problems, and i can't figure out why simply switching them would help that.

  7. chunkstyle

    chunkstyle TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 16

    Dialup disconnect problem still happening after switching out with known good modem


    regarding the problem i've been having with my dialup internet
    connection getting
    dropped all the time, one or several of you guys recommended that
    i try switching modems with my other computer that i haven't been
    having such problems with.
    i tried that yesterday, and afterwards, mistakenly thought that the
    problem was gone.
    i'm now using the pc that has been having the problems, which
    now has the modem from the trouble-free pc in it, and
    unfortunately, the problem's not gone after all. i've just gotten cut
    off twice this session -- each time after 9 minutes of being online.
    this is the typical figure for how long i can stay online before
    getting cut off -- sometimes as high as 13 min.or so, but typically
    around 9.

    so the modem itself is not the problem, and it's not the phone line,
    as the other computer worked fine on this same line yesterday.

    any ideas what the problem is, and how i can fix it?

    thank you!
  8. StormBringer

    StormBringer TS Maniac Posts: 2,244

    I do not recall your original post on this(should have replied to it instead of creating a new thread) but you say that it isn't the phoneline, have you tested it? Simply hold the phone to your ear, press a button to kill the dial-tone and listen closely. If you hear anything but dead silence, you have noise in the line and it doesn't take much to cause a problem like this.
    The problem could also be with the number of switches that have to be routed to the central office of the phone company locally. If this is a new problem, this could be the cause(I once had this happen due to expansion of the local phone system)
    This could also be an ISP issue, especially if they are trying to serve more customers than they can handle.

    May also try looking here: Dr. TCP may help if it happens to be a setting on your system causing it.
  9. chunkstyle

    chunkstyle TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 16

    i know it's not the phone line, because i connected my other pc to the same jack a couple days ago, and it stays online just fine -- no problems at all.
  10. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 4,572   +65

    Some modem chipsets are more sensitive to line static than others. If you got your hands on another cheap modem, then chances are the same thing will happen.

    If you are technically inclined enough, I'd take out that modem from the system you KNOW works fine, then install it in the computer you are having problems with.

    If you have the same problem, then it looks more like the computer is to blame, although I don't really have much in the way of suggestions for you. If it doesn't happen anymore, then you know the problem is the modem.
  11. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,739   +417

    Rick, he has done this already, but he created this whole new thread rather than replying to his own thread for no apparent reason :suspiciou

    I'm going to see if I can find his other and just merge it with this one.
  12. chunkstyle

    chunkstyle TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 16

    still having the problem. i tried a couple suggestions from guys about adding extra modem initialization strings -- one that (i believe) extended the time that the modem waits for a reply before timimg out and another that limited the connection speed to 45333 bps.

    nothing's helped so far.

    any ideas?

  13. Triton

    Triton TS Enthusiast Posts: 82

  14. chunkstyle

    chunkstyle TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 16

    hi triton. thanks for the reply. the browser i generally use is the default one that is part of wal-mart connect's software -- i don't know if it's internet explorer or not (maybe ie running under a different skin?). there is a separate ie icon in my "start" menu that, when irun it, the interface looks different from the isp's default one. either way, whichever one i use, i still get kicked off.

    i did try uninstalling & reinstalling the wm connect software. that made no difference.

    could you please elaborate on how to do the procedures you mentioned in your post? they're unfamiliar to me.

    thank you!
  15. Triton

    Triton TS Enthusiast Posts: 82

    I am afraid I did not realize that Wal-Mart is now using proprietary dialup software.
    From what I have found on the Internet it may be a watered down version of AOL.
    My experience with both is limited.
    AOL installs its own version of a TCP/IP adapter, it does not use the Windows dialup adapter and your problems may relate to this proprietary dialup software.
    AOL had many problems with older version of their dialup software running on Windows XP and claim AOL 9.0 fixed the problems.

    Upgrading to the latest Wal-Mart dialup software might fix your problem.
    If it is AOL and they have not released a version equal to AOL 9.0 this could be the problem.
    If the Wal-Mart software has a Auto-update feature I can't find any information on it at the Wal-Mart web site.
    You need to determine if you have the latest Wal-Marts Connect software.
    I looked over Wal-Marts Connect Troubleshooting and it was useless.
    You may need to call Wal-Mart Connect member services 1-888-855-0942 and have them help you determine if you have the latest software.
    According to Wal-Mart web site they have Wal-Marts Connect software CDs in store but you need to make sure its the latest version for Windows XP and SP2.
    The download is very large so a install CD of the latest software would be best.

    Good Luck.
  16. Triton

    Triton TS Enthusiast Posts: 82
    Reviewer: IDAHORAY
    Wal-Mart Connect 6.0.2
    "For those getting disconnected (Walmart Connect) with Windows XP. I had same problem stay online maybe 10 mins. This all started after installing service pack 2. There is a patch for it."
    The name of the patch;

    From what I have read there are two files that do not register properly in Windows XP after a SP2 upgrade that cause the problem. The patch fixes it.?
    The patch does not look like a Microssoft patch. but it appears SBC Yahoo is also recommending the patch for problems with their service.

    I "PEEK" ed into the binary (xpsp2fix.exe) and the Copyright says Yahoo! Inc. It looks like Yahoo wrote the patch. It might work for you.
    "InternalName; XPSP2Fix."
    "LegalCopyright Copyright; 2004, Yahoo! Inc."
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