Dial-up Modem: Repair or Replace?

by Hannah Miller 16. October 2009 00:31

Dial-up modems are the core component to a dial-up connection. It is the device responsible for creating and maintaining a connection with your ISP and to translate analog information for your computer to display. If you have determined that your modem is causing disconnects or inability to connect, you will need to reinstall, repair, or replace it.

Three basic reasons that your modem would cause problems connecting are:

1. It is not installed correctly on the computer.

2. It needs updated driver software.

3. It is out of date, physically broken, or has corrupted software.

The solutions to these problems below should solve the problem and get you back online.

Reinstall your modem. Before you remove your modem, make sure you have the installation CD that came with your computer. If you don't, you might be able to reinstall without it. If your computer's operating system is XP or Vista, the plug and play feature should install the modem for you or guide you through each step. On older versions, you may need to consult a computer technician. Then follow these steps:

1. Open Control Panel, then (in classic view) “Phone and Modem Options”.

2. Click on the Modems tab, and click on the modem you wish to reinstall.

3. Click Remove. Click “Yes” or “Ok” to confirm the remove, then close all the windows.

4. Restart your computer. Windows should detect your modem and either install it on its own, or present a “Found New Hardware” wizard that guides you through installing the modem again.

There are a few problems that might occur when you reinstall the modem. You computer may not detect the modem again when you restart. This could mean the modem cannot be repaired by reinstalling or was never physically on the computer in the first place. Another problem could be that your computer tries to reinstall, but won't complete because it requires an installation CD. If this happens and you don't have the CD, you can sometimes find installation software online on the manufacturer's website. A computer technician can help you with this step, or may have other solutions.

Reinstalling does not guarantee to resolve your problem, even if it is successful. However, sometimes it works and it's a worth a try, especially if you couldn't connect to the Internet in the first place.

Update your modem drivers. If you have an older computer, you may need to update your modem software if you still can't connect to the Internet. To update your modem software, you need to know your modem type and manufacturer. Look for your modem name is listed in Phone and Modem Options, under the Modems tab. If you are using the modem that came with the computer, you could also check your computer's manual, or your modem's manual if you bought it separately.

You can browse online to find your modem manufacturer's website. Often there is a “downloads” heading, but you can also run a search on your modem's name. The download will have your modem's name and “driver” in the title. See a computer technician if you are unfamiliar with computer device downloads as this could be too complicated for beginner users to try alone.

Buy a new modem. Your modem may not be repairable if it can't be reinstalled, or if the driver software will not improve your situation. This is especially true for old computers. Buying a new modem may be the best option available. For one, new modems are more reliable, relatively inexpensive (often between $20-50), and have the latest, fastest compression technology.

If you need are not familiar with modems or computer repair, buying a new modem may be the most inexpensive option for you. Installing a new external modem is fairly easy, and paying a computer technician to fix your old modem could cost more than installing a new one yourself.

If you need are not familiar with modems or computer repair, buying a new modem may be the most inexpensive option for you. Installing a new external modem is fairly easy, and paying a computer technician to fix your old modem could cost more than installing a new one yourself.


Written by Hannah Miller, Online Marketing Representative and Customer Service, Copper.net.

Copper.net is a nationwide Internet services provider that is all-American owned and operated. Call today, 1-800-336-3318 or sign up online at www.copper.net! Check out my blog for more articles! 

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About the author

Hannah Miller is an Online Marketing Representative for Copper.net - America's best provider for Dial-Up Internet Service since 1997.

Hannah has been a Customer Service and Tech Support agent for Copper.net since 2007, which has supplemented her knowledge of dial-up, computers, and the Internet. The entries that are posted in this blog are professional articles relating to our industry. Email your questions, suggestions, and other comments to hmiller@copper.net.

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