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Posted: 3/21/2006 2:30:45 PM EDT
We've got dialup, and suddenly our computer won't get online anymore. When I try, I get a little window that says there's no dial tone. The line is good, so I figure it's the modem, and I run the modem troubleshooter. It says the modem is working fine.

I then disconnect the line from our PC, and hook it to our laptop. No go there either. I hook it to my mom's laptop, and it works just fine. I've switched the line between them several times just to check, and my mom's laptop is the only one that will get online.

I ran SpyBot on our PC at the suggestion of a friend, but it found nothing.

Any ideas what could cause this, and how to fix it?

Barring that, if I can come up with the $ to get WildBlue, would that eliminate all of this trouble? (I have no idea how satellite connects).
Link Posted: 3/21/2006 4:55:13 PM EDT
if your computer is the one that will not dial. the first step would be to replace the modem.


i would not wish satelite internet on my worst enemy............... well maybe
Link Posted: 3/21/2006 5:51:33 PM EDT
I had a very strange repair once. An apartment complex was facing daily fines from the fire department because the fire alarm was malfunctioning and wouldn't call out. I came out to check the phone line and it seemed to be fine. Just before I yanked the clips on my butt set, I heard the dialer go off hook and dial, but it didn't break dial tone. Hmm. I could call out but the dialer couldn't. It turned out that a transfer was set up on the cable and the half-taps at the CO were enough attenuation that the dialer was just below threshold.

In english, did you do something like hook up an old telephone or other equipment to your phone line?

You could try unplugging all other phones and equipment hooked to the phone line.

Check the condition of the end of the cord itself, or swap it out with another one.

What do you hear if you tell the modem to call out and pick up a telephone to listen while it dials? If you have the config software or know how to edit your modem string, you could turn on the modem speaker.

Do you hear any static after picking up the phone and pressing a button to make the dial tone go away?

Link Posted: 3/21/2006 6:08:39 PM EDT
no dial-tone is "the" most common modem failure. power surges and thunderstorm activity burns out the "dialing" circuitry. your modem can still "talk" to other computers or windows but it can no longer dial out. the windows modem diagnostics tests the modems ability to communicate with windows.
Link Posted: 3/21/2006 6:12:00 PM EDT
It's been a long time since I've used dial-up, but I recall there being a setting where you can tell the computer not to look for a dial-tone first, but to just dial the number. I still have computer with a modem on it, so I'll check it out.
Link Posted: 3/21/2006 6:12:57 PM EDT

Originally Posted By thejokker:
no dial-tone is "the" most common modem failure. power surges and thunderstorm activity burns out the "dialing" circuitry. your modem can still "talk" to other computers or windows but it can no longer dial out. the windows modem diagnostics tests the modems ability to communicate with windows.



yep.. i was gonna say blown modem or modem chip. if you can get your modem to talk to you via AT commands and get it to squeal, there is an AT command (cant remember but google it) to make the modem go off hook. then you should hear dial tone thru the modem or thru the pc speakers. but i have had the exact thing above, surge or ligtning zaps the modem or modem chip in laptop.
Link Posted: 3/21/2006 6:19:31 PM EDT
I was right.

Go to "Phone & Modem Options" from the Control Panel. Click on the "Modems" tab, select your modem from the list and click on the "Properties" button. On the dialog box that opens up, click on the "Modem" tab and at the bottom of the tab, there is a box labeled "Wait for dial tone before dialing." Uncheck that and click "OK" and see if that doesn't solve your problem.
Link Posted: 3/21/2006 6:42:45 PM EDT
Cruze,
My PC and my laptop won't get online, but they both have regularly before. I'm just fortunate that I have my mom's laptop here right now, or I wouldn't be online at all.
What's wrong with satellite internet, and do you think it's worse than dialup in some way.



Arlis,
Nothing new has been hooked up, but I never thought to try listening on the phone to see what it's doing. I've been getting no sounds through the PC speakers though. No static, no dialing, no dial tone.


jokker,
We did have some lightning recently, but my laptop wasn't hooked up at the time.


Nimrod and Stonewall,
I'll try that and let you know if it worked.


Thanks everyone.
Link Posted: 3/21/2006 6:58:12 PM EDT
I'm on a satellite connection right now. Works fine. It isn't quite as fast as a good Cable or DSL connection, but it beats the hell out of dialup. Satellite connections use a control box that connects to the dish over coaxial cable. The control box connects to your computer or a router over Ethernet, so modem troubles won't have any effect on it.

The only downside is the cost. The equipment/install costs are high, even compared to Cable and DSL. It's a question of whether the speed is worth it.
Link Posted: 3/21/2006 7:05:57 PM EDT

Originally Posted By mace:
I'm on a satellite connection right now. Works fine. It isn't quite as fast as a good Cable or DSL connection, but it beats the hell out of dialup. Satellite connections use a control box that connects to the dish over coaxial cable. The control box connects to your computer or a router over Ethernet, so modem troubles won't have any effect on it.

The only downside is the cost. The equipment/install costs are high, even compared to Cable and DSL. It's a question of whether the speed is worth it.



cost and rounrd trip. hard to do games over sat, VOIP and some VPN stuff. But if you have nothing else, it works anywhere.
Link Posted: 3/21/2006 7:11:11 PM EDT
Mace,
Cost is the only thing keeping us on dialup. WildBlue wants $380 for installation and equipment, and with with a $100 rebate that's good until around the end of this week. A guy owes me $200, so if I can get it out of him I'm better than half way there. (It's a big if though).


Back to the connection deal;


I did as instructed, by unchecking the box that says wait for a dial tone, but it made no difference. When I went back in to put the check back in place, I noticed that there's two modems in the list. One was selected, so I checked the other one too. Click-click, it worked! I'm now online with my PC again. I don't know whether my laptop will work too, but at this point I don't really care. I got it mainly for when I travel anyway.

I appreciate all the help from you guys. It's been difficult not having access to PC and internet at the same time.
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