Just incase others have this problem. If you buy a USB to serial adapter, you will need to download a driver that recognizes the adapter. I found this one that worked:http://download.cnet.com/USB-to-Serial-Port/3000-2112_4-126677.html
once I installed this driver, Windows XP was able to automatically detect my modem as P2P hardware.
Not sure how to delete a thread, but figured the solution may come in handy for someone else one day.