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No Dial Tone ERROR 56K

by 9balljunkie / June 17, 2008 12:14 PM PDT

I was attempting to fix a connection error for a friend of mine with her 56k modem. I tested several things including: connected to "line" and not the other port, replaced phone line with brand new one, phone gets dial tone no problem, answering machine does not interfere with the dial tone when messages are present. I also plugged in my external USB modem by TrendNet (
I am connecting intermittently but not 100% of the time like she wants. I also tried changing the COM port the USB modem uses from 5 to 3, 2, and 4. none of these affected anything. She does have an older system (e-machine with XP) but i do not suspect it to be the machine considering i plugged in a brand new modem. She is in an apartment complex and i am wondering if there is just simply too much interference in the line with insufficient RFI shielding?? Any suggestions?

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Look into...
by Willy / June 17, 2008 1:19 PM PDT
In reply to: No Dial Tone ERROR 56K

Check the telco line at the junction box, remove cover and be sure its clean and tight(snug). Use only the modem to the telco line, no other telco device. Eliminate all devices that area attached at least to verify the modem works alone to the system. Be sure to de-install any other modem s/w, etc., if so installed. Boot into safe modem, find the modem and delete again any found. Once done, reboot and then attach new modem and and any driver s/w and attempt connection. if you use some ISP s/w, reload and repeat the process for the modem removal s/w, etc.. Doo all this at the same time or retry. It important to try as a clean slate as possible. If you pick-up the phone and get a clear dial tone, it should be alright. But, if you hear a scratchy or slightly noisy line, there maybe an issue. Do all that and report results.

tada -----Willy Happy

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tried that stuff
by 9balljunkie / June 17, 2008 2:21 PM PDT
In reply to: Look into...

If you are refering to the line before it enters the building, access is not possible. She lives in an apartment community where these things are locked to prevent theft i guess? I had already uninstalled the old internal modem to make sure only the new, external one is used. She uses AOL to connect. In their advnaced settings i also deleted any prior modems used for connecting. I read that apartment buildings can be harder to use 56K modems because of all the wiring involved. When listening to the dial tone through the phone, no excessive or odd noise was found. any other recommendations?

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About it....
by Willy / June 17, 2008 10:48 PM PDT
In reply to: tried that stuff

Check the apt. telco box that the actual telco line uses inside.

Since AOL ISp, verify that the setting do use the current modem. It can be changed and if you never get any dial tone, suggests its going to a phathom modem. Under the modem check in windoze device mgr., use the "properties/diags" and report what does it offer. If good, it should start testing and finish. If not or says, "port already open" or fails, then either the modem is bad(for that system) or not installed right or wrong port.

If AOL has been installed more than once, check under the network or internet connections, remove all of them using AOL, then, un-install AOL. Reboot and re-install AOL and when prompted point to the new modem. If by chance this system is that old and use some serial device that is also part audio device, these had reserved IRQ and caused grief, but an ext. modem should be OK. Also, if USB type connection, make sure the port works. If the modem is USB 2.0, it will need a USB 2.0 link, as an older USB 1.1 maybe iffy. Other than these suggestions, anything else is pretty much covered.

tada -----Willy Happy

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Just a thought....
by caktus / June 18, 2008 2:52 PM PDT
In reply to: No Dial Tone ERROR 56K

I have known noise suppressors to be very beneficial, even when the line [sounds] perfectly clear and even no appliances are connected. Many power strips and surge protectors have a noise suppressor incorporated, but the phone line must be routed through it. Also, as I recall individual stand alone noise suppressors are available at Circuit city and such for just a few $.


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Go to the modem settings. . .
by Coryphaeus / June 18, 2008 9:11 PM PDT
In reply to: No Dial Tone ERROR 56K

and check the box to NOT wait for dial tone. Unknown to most people you do not need dial tone to dial out. Dial tone is simply a "feel good" signal for customers. The Telco switch will work without it. I'll go into the reasons later why the modem is giving that error message if you wish.

Wayne (IBM freak - 6)

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