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[ The PC Guide | Troubleshooting and Repair Guide | The Troubleshooting Expert | Troubleshooting Specific Components | Troubleshooting Modems | Operation and Connection Problems ]

I am trying to get a connection with my modem but it doesn't work

Explanation: You are trying to connect to your internet service provider, or another remote machine, but the connection does not work.

Diagnosis: There are about nine billion reasons why this could be happening. :^) Seriously, it could be anything from a bad modem to the wrong phone number being dialed. You first need to at least figure out if you can communicate with the modem using its internal "AT" command set. Then you can narrow down the problem somewhat and get to a troubleshooting section that might actually be of help to you. I am only looking at the issues related specifically to getting the modem to work.

Recommendation: The first thing you need to do is to establish whether or not you can communicate with your modem. All modems accept commands that begin with the letters "AT"; this is the "AT command set" ("AT" stands for "attention"). To test if you can communicate with the modem, open up some simple communications software, such as BitCom or ProComm for DOS, Terminal under Windows 3.x, or HyperTerm under Windows 95. Double-check the settings for the software and make sure that it is set up to run the modem on the correct COM port. Then open the modem window and type "AT" and then {Enter}. The letters should show up and the modem should respond with "OK" visible on the screen. If this does not happen, continue here. If it does, and you are having some other type of problem with your modem, choose it from the index.

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