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Old 07-31-2007, 09:20 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Please, I need help with my dial-up connection.


I might as well take it from the top and start from Day 1 when things went wrong. It'll be a while before we get to "present day" (7/31/07), so I'll go ahead and tell you what my problem is:

It has to do with dial-up internet, and possible computer components not working correctly or are misplaced.
When I connect, the connection sounds very sick when it tries to connect sometimes, like halfway through it it'll sound air-ish, almost louder in a way, and then sometimes near the end it'll sound like it's breaking up or there's static on the line. Oh, and the speeds?
9.6 KBPS, 12 KBPS, and 14.4 KBPS. Far from the usual lowest speed of 26.4 KBPS, and the usual high speed of 42 KBPS.

On these "barely connected" speeds, I practicly couldn't and CAN'T do anything on them. It's always "timed out" and when it says "The document contains no data".. I know what's coming, from experience, because it means I'm going to get disconnected shortly thereafter. And I do. But before, before all of these "Unfortunate Events", if you will, happened, it was fine. I was living the high-life. I just didn't know it. That was around 2 weeks ago... So let's get to those events, shall we?

At the very beginning of this, Day 1, My computer was on. It's plugins are in a CyberPower surge protector. The phone lines are also connected through it. We have had it since we've had the computer, which has been about 4 years now. So it was old anyway.

The air conditioners were going throughout the house. My Mom was extremely rushed, and needed to blow her hair dry. From experience, we know that when we fire up the blow dryer and the air conditioner is on the their bedroom (which is beside their bathroom), it clips the circuit, making the power flicker for about a quarter or half a second, and turns the power off in their part of the house. Well, when she tried to turn that power back on, she accidentally turned my room's power off, and then realizing her mistake, flipped it back on.

This created a surge of sorts, which killed the CyberPower surge protector, for good. It also turned off my computer, because the surge protector's battery was empty. Just a little note on that surge protector.... It has served me well. It has taken, well, alot of surges, alot of power outages, and numerous lightning strikes.

Well, I tried turning the surger back on. Nothing happened. I tried over and over again. Dead. It sounded like it was trying to turn on, but it just couldn't. It's fried.

Well, later that evening, when I was sure there wouldn't be any more surges, I risked it and plugged my PC and monitor into the wall. In turn I had to go without my air conditioner.
I didn't know if it'd work, but it did, and I got online through the dead surge protector. (Pardon, sometimes I call it a "power surger" by accident; sorry if it's confusing).
I got a speed of 36 KBPS; an average.

Seems like the next day, I got on. I hit a record speed of 48 KBPS - the fastest I've ever achieved in my life. I should have enjoyed it more.

That night, I got on again. 14.4 KBPS. In context, I "lol'd". I thought it was just having fun with me. Laughing's catching, as when I reconnected, I got 12.0 KBPS. I shrugged it off and tried to do stuff, thinking it'd be fixed by tomorrow. It wasn't.

I assumed it was the surge protector. That weekend, we got a new one. I thought problem solved. At least I was able to use my computer freely again, but it meant nothing as I was still not able to connect online. And when I did, I never got anywhere, and when I finally did start going, I'd eventually get disconnected. "Link to bellsouth failed", it would say, and the countdown would begin to reconnect it.

I looked on my computer and did several things. I read alot of documentation and tried alot of things, such as the Modem Troubleshooter (get to that later), and tried to update the driver but it said it was up to date. Everything was fine, except one part.

During the Troubleshooter, it said something might be wrong with the COM ports. But before we get to that, let me finish the little story of what I've already done, and then we'll get down to business.

What I done that time didn't work. My Dad (My parents don't know much about computers) said "Maybe it's the phone line."
So, sometime or another in the coming days, I tested the phone line. I tested the "out" one with the one that came with the surge protector. Same results. I checked the one to the wall jack (that took 30 minutes of HARD work because it's behind an ULTRA HEAVY dresser; I laid flat and wiggled the phone lines in and out...), and same results. I thought (and everyone else) there was a cut between the wall jack to the real phone jack in the kitchen, because we've weaved the one from my room to the kitchen around alot of things and alot of work has been done to it. Maybe there was a cut.

So we went to Lowe's and got a 50 ft. phone cord. I tried it. Failed. Or did it? Seems like I got a faster speed, but like ALWAYS when it tries to trick me, it's fast like, 2 seconds of working, then it seems to drop like a rock, eventually disconnecting 30 minutes to an hour later, and when I reconnect, I get the 12 KBPS etc...

But that wasn't the only problem. It just wasn't my computer. It was the phone line to the phone itself. Sometimes, people would have to call 5 times in order to get the phone to ring. They said it sounded like someone picking up, and then hanging up. I know from experience by trying to call the house: Instead of it just sounding like someone was answering, it was like someone was bashing the phone onto a hard surface, then hanging up. Crazy as all getout. But at this moment, we didn't really notice this (it was after the following), so we'll get back to this soon.

Then, I thought my computer was overheating. Because I got faster speeds when my room was ice cold with my air conditioner going. And for some time, it seemed like the truth. Before, I didn't have my air conditioner (now will be referred to as A/C) going, and I was getting faster speeds.


Soon, it was back to the way it was.. 12 KBPS.

I pretty much lost hope then. I tried to work more computer-wise, but never got anywhere.

Last Thursday, my Mom called BellSouth, because the phone was also acting up, because it just wasn't my internet connection. They ran tests, and said it would be fixed by today (Tuesday). Well, today, a guy came. He checked the box outside. My Dad said that it was burnt up. It had took a lightning strike. He replaced it. It wasn't 6 PM yet; they said when my Mom called earlier that it would be fixed by 6 PM.

Well, the phone is exellent now; but my internet.... it's still 12 KBPS. I thought it was going to be fixed. I was so happy. When I tried to connect and saw that "9.6 KBPS".... My heart broke. It really did, and it is now. I'm gonna get a new game 2 days from now, and I was looking forward to playing online. Well, I was looking forward just to getting back to the way it used to be!!! When I check my email for the first time in a week or so it's gonna say "200 new messages"!

I have been put through heck. I really have. I guess I need to fit one last piece of the puzzle in place before this will work out. And now we get down to brass tacks.

The modem is Lucent Win Modem. It says it's attached to "COM3". The Troubleshooter said there was something of odd interest with the COMs. What it suggested to do was already done. I learned to check the Device Manager for COM ports, to see if anything is there and if anything is disabled.
I checked it.

COM3 isn't in the list. The only thing it shows is COM1 and some other thing that has to do with something else. No COM3. I tried to learn, if possible, how to reactivate it.
I KNOW this is pretty much the problem. How do I turn it back on? What do I need to do? If this doesn't work, my last thing to do is call BellSouth and get the man to come back (he said he would if nothing changed) and check the lines. Some could be waterlogged, like my uncle suggested. But if the problem's my fault, I don't want to trouble them, so I want to do this first. Because this I think is my problem. If nothing helps....

I'm screwed. Game over man. I can't get DSL because of where I live. Really, if I was, do you think I'd be here asking this question? I'd already have it in the blink of an eye. There's always satellite internet, but how good is that? They say it's not good for online gaming, for the fact I think the connection waivers in speeds. But if I can at least pull off the speeds I used to get, you'd think I'd be able to do the same with it. But it's so expensive....

Help me. Please. I hope if I can do anything more, that it works. I can't stand this anymore. I'm on the verge of tears. I've been using my Dad's laptop to just do simple things. In fact, I typed this out on my computer, saved it, put it on a USB driver and transferred it to his laptop, dropped it off, and then came here.

Thank you for your time....

I asked this on Yahoo answers, but due to Yahoo's cutoff, I had to drastically reduce this. And people are like "Get DSL" but I CAN'T and I'm SICK of people telling me that! I live on a mountain! I can't help that.

One of the things however someone told me was the modem got fried. It's possible, but I'm tired of wasting money. I need answers. I may get a USB modem. I saw one on

But I'll wait before I do anything more. Thanks again..

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Old 08-01-2007, 04:17 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Please, I need help with my dial-up connection.

I'd suggest getting a new modem.. maybe it got messed up or something. This is really a shot in the dark though, as I know next to nothing about dial up and phone lines and things.

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Old 08-01-2007, 12:12 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Please, I need help with my dial-up connection.

Try switching ports on the motherboard. Hopefully you have an empty PCI slot besides the one the modem is in to test. Try putting it in that, and if that doesn't work, you may have to go out and buy a new modem (we sell them a $20 at the radioshack where I work, or I'm sure you can get 'em cheaper somewhere else).

Try the port switch first though. And then try this:

go to your device manager > right click on the modem > properties > (err..I can't remember where it is exactly) it's somewhere in that dialog box, maybe in advanced? but it's a tool to test to see if your PC is 'talking' with the modem properly or not. Try that before/after you switch ports.
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Old 08-01-2007, 12:18 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Please, I need help with my dial-up connection.

Creative DI5733 PCI Modem Blaster 56K V.92 - NEW BULK

$6.39 shipped
Antec 300 Illusion
430w Antec Earthwatts
AMD Q4 640 Propus
2x4gb Patriot DDR3 1333
750gb Seagate 7200.11 Hard Drive
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Old 08-01-2007, 02:06 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Please, I need help with my dial-up connection.

Thanks everyone.

As a person said on Yahoo Answers, something probably happened to the modem during all this. And, well, that's what you all said here.

Last night, I read how to change COM ports. I change it from COM3 to COM4, and no dice. I switched it to COM1, which is the only one listed in Device Manager under COM and LTP, even if it was in use, and tried that. Still slow speeds. I changed it back to COM3 and called it a night.

I talked to my Mom when she got home, and she actually told me what I had already figured by now (modem got zapped) because someone probably at work told her.

Well, anyway, I don't know how to open up my computer. In fact I'm afraid to. I saw a USB modem for 56K on, but when I looked yesterday, it wasn't there anymore! I also don't know how well that'd work out. My USB ports I think are still 1.0, not 2.0... But I'm not sure.

My parents seem to think about just getting a new computer altogether. The modem isn't all that's wrong with it. I'd say it's still 80% good though. Speakers suck. It "skips" when offline, the pointer and such sticks for about .3 a second that goes like clockwork. However, I've lived with that. ANd it's not my biggest concern.

I do suppose I could get it and take it to BestBuy or something and get them to install it, but my PC is personal and has personal data on it, and I know there's been accounts of theft. Even someone I used to know had their PC serviced, and when they got it back, the guy who worked on it had downloaded alot of adultry crap and such onto it and pretty much used it as his own.


Reluctantly, I tried connecting again earlier. And believe it or not, I got 28.8 KBPS. I d/c'd, and tried again. 24 KBPS. I know not to get my hopes up because they've been crushed so many times. I d/c'd and tried again:

37 KBPS. MY lovely sweet spot.
I kept it and piddled to see if it got slower or I got disconnected (d/c'd). Well, about 3 times I thought it was, but it actually held it until I had to disconnect.

But I have no faith in it; I know when I try to connect again later, I'll get 12 KBPS. If I don't, and this miraculously heals over, then good. But I'm not going to be sleeping good at night until I know it's fixed -- for good.

Thanks for helping, still open for comments.

I'd like to know whether it's actually the modem, or it's waterlogged phone lines... Our house isn't exactly Ms. Hilton's mansion. :P
But the phone itself sounds crystal clear, and so does the fax when it dials out. Therefore, it -must- be the modem. But it'll suck if we get a new computer and it's still slow. >_>

Unfortunately, as I said before, I'm not experienced enough to install a modem. EVen if it's easy, the way things have went, I'll end up destroying the whole computer.....

(THanks again and sorry for speeling errars because I'm still using my Dad's laptop.)
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Old 08-04-2007, 05:54 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Please, I need help with my dial-up connection.

That's a helluva story. The cheapest way out of it IMHO would be to whack a new modem in & see what happens.

Really- it's quite simple, even I can do it. Just look for a tutorial.

Besides if your mum's offering a new PC- you have nothing to lose eh?

(I'm no techie, just a learner.)
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Old 08-04-2007, 12:30 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Please, I need help with my dial-up connection.

First try - new modem. If you have USB 2 ports, get one that connects via a USB2 rather than Com port. It's a plug and play, so you don't have to constantly restart after connecting.

Second thing - you may have a virus that's redirecting your calls to Brazil or Lithuania. DON'T LAUGH. This happened to us. My kids complained about slow dialup connections when our 52K modem (usually operating at about 43K) dumped down to 14K. When they finally alerted me to the problem (which also had connecting and disconnecting issues), it had been happening for about a week. I sat down at the computer, "X"ed out of whatever page they were on, and "Google Brazil" popped up, complete with all text in Brazilian.

I called Comcast (our phone service provider) and found out that our phone bill (usually 62 USD for the month) was $2,300. Luckily, I caught it before the bill went out, and we resolved the issues.

I don't do this to scare you, but it's something you NEED to check since you just posted this. International line speeds are ALL over the map, so when you've said you've had all kind of speeds happening, this might have happened to you.

To solve this, first talk to your dad. Have him call your phone company and tell them what happened, and ask him not to freak out when they tell him what your account balance is. Then, go to Ad-Aware @ Lavasoft - The Original Anti-Spyware Company - Lavasoft and download the free version of ad-aware.exe, run it and install it on your computer. While Symantec and the other anti-virus software check out viruses, they do NOTHING for adware and spyware which adds more files to your computer and slow down its functioning. AND, if they're not constantly run and updated, any new mutations of viruses are missed.

I downloaded this on the computer my kids were on. First I ran my Symantec and it found nothing. I ran the Ad-aware and it found the Aurora virus, which changes the registry of your computer. It certainly changed our dial-up configuration.

Hope this helps, but I think this is a LOT more complicated that "something's wrong with your modem." I hope I'm wrong, but better safe than sorry.

Oh - and tell your dad...he'll appreciate the honesty since "viruses happen."


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Old 08-04-2007, 12:40 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Please, I need help with my dial-up connection.

That could be the case, Instrumediatech, although he said that his house was hit by lightning, which could have just damaged his phone lines/his dial-up modem.

And's very easy to install/uninstall a PCI modem. Most come with instructions nowadays anyway though too. You'll just have to uninstall the driver for the old modem (do this if the new modem has a driver disc with it...otherwise you don't need to uninstall it). Then just shut your computer down, open up your PC, use a screwdriver to take out the screw that's holding the modem in, and (make sure you ground yourself out before touching any PC components, just do this by touching a metal surface), and pull the old modem out. Don't be afraid to use a bit of force, because they're usually in there fairly snug. Once its out, just push the new one in (make sure it's snug in the PCI slot), put the screw back in, close your PC, and boot up. Then install the driver for the modem =).

You can find a USB modem somehwere I'm sure too, but they're usually a bit more expensive than regular PCI modems (which, like Brinson said, are quite cheap).
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Old 08-04-2007, 06:43 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Please, I need help with my dial-up connection.

If you do need to get & install a new modem, this link will help you. It's basically what carnagex said, but a little more in-depth, and with pictures.

Installing a modem - Illustrated How to install a modem (Internal 56K)
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Old 08-04-2007, 08:22 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Please, I need help with my dial-up connection.

Instrumediatech makes a good point re your phone calls being redirected- I had that happen myself & ended up with an extra $100 phone bill. You can easily check it by looking in connections in properties.

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