Ext Modem & XP

XP with an external modem is a real PAIN!!! Anybody know how to get around this?

I use an external modem on my sometimes XP box, cause I have DSL, sometines boot Linuix(Suse, love it!) and really don't need a modem except for ocasional fax - and I don't keep the modem on constantly due to its limited use. A good external modem around is a really great, versitle, reliable and never a problem - except with XP!

I have to reboot XP after I turn on the modem to get XP to see the MODEM!
BUMMER! If the modem isn't on a XP startup, XP just won't see the modem and I don't know how to get XP to see it other than restarting XP... a real pain! W2K, Linix and previous versions of Windoze and actually all other OS's(OS/2 and Virtual OS's) DONT have this problem, but if XP doesn't detect the external on a com port at start up, I have to restart XP to send/recieve a fax...

Anybody know how to get XP to load the modem driver dymanicly?
(or just just load it anyway?)

Modem is a USR 56k, and is versitle enough to use either the USR/3COM external driver, or generic modem driver, and all works fine if its ON XP on start up...

Just a Pain with XP and surely there's a remedy???
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  1. That's very interesting.

    On all the systems that I've run, with <i>any</i> 32-bit version of Windows (Win2K or WinXP), neither of these operating systems was able to detect an external modem on a serial (COM) port and load the driver unless the device was turned on prior to booting the system. I currently have USR external modems connected to two systems, one running Win2K, and the other WinXP. If they don't have power before starting the computer (or rebooting) -- no device is found.

    If memory serves me right, I recall running into the same situation with Win9x, but it's been years since I ran the OS, so don't quote me on that.

    It seems to me that the workaround would either be to always turn on the modem before starting the computer. Or leave the modem on all the time. Or perhaps to move to a USB modem, instead of using the serial port. But even then, it's very likely that the modem would need to be turned on before booting, or it won't be detected.

    I've seen the same thing happen regularly with parallel port and USB scanners, and even digital cameras connected to PCI firewire cards. If the device isn't operational, and able to communicate with the computer, Windows will not load the driver, and the peripheral won't show up in a category in the Device Manager.

    Perhaps one solution would be to try out a faxing program that has an online account, so you can use broadband to send the faxes, instead of the external modem, such as these:

    <A HREF="http://www.electrasoft.com/32bi.htm" target="_new">32bit Internet Fax</A>

    <A HREF="http://www.ifax.us/html/fax-blast-broadcast-software.html?source=bizcom" target="_new">iFax.us Fax Blasting/Fax Broadcast</A>

    <A HREF="http://www.efax.com/products/broadcast/" target="_new">eFax Broadcast</A>

    <A HREF="http://www.edfax.com/faxsav.htm" target="_new">FaxSav Incorporated</A>

    Of course, none of these services are free, but it would eliminate the need for the dial-up modem, and then all you would need it for would be emergencies, if the DSL was temporarily down for some reason.

    Another simple workaround would be to cough up $30.00 or so, and buy a decent PCI internal data/fax/voice modem. That would certainly remove the source of the problem, and you wouldn't need to turn it on before rebooting. I'm particularly fond of the <A HREF="http://www.walmart.com/catalog/product.gsp?product_id=1951582&cat=4432&type=19&dept=3944&path=0:3944:3951:4432" target="_new">Broadxent V.92 PCI Data/Fax/Voice Modem</A> ... it's the easiest to install that I've found, and works very well. It actually comes with a viable driver disk, which is a welcome switch from anything I've seen from 3Com or US Robotics.


    <A HREF="http://forums.btvillarin.com/index.php?act=ST&f=41&t=328&s=91c282f2e5207e99b7a652ee13b3512a" target="_new"><font color=green>My System Rigs</font color=green></A>

    <A HREF="http://forums.btvillarin.com/" target="_new"><b><font color=purple>BTVILLARIN.com</font color=purple></b></A> - <i><font color=orange>Your Computer Questions Answered</font color=orange></i>
  2. Think I've found a workaround... searchin aruund i found,
    If the ext modem isn't on when XP starts up, you can start the "Add/Remove Hardware" wizard, and it will find and load an existing and previously used driver if you respond correctly to use the existing driver, and ya can get the device and driver to load without restarting... Havnt tried it yet but will soon...

    As as you say, I should be getting the same behavior in W2K - but am definitely not! If I try to send a fax and the modem wasnt on when i started w2k, i just get a no dial tone error - can turn the modem and just try again and it will go out... Hmmmm?, wonder why i'm getin that behavior in w2k. Don't know, but whatever it is, i like it! - will look aounud on the w2k box that is known to do it...

    Anyway, it's a NIT! I can easly keep the modem on all the time or nothin that 30 bucks won't fix... Plus I tend to keep the modem turned off cause, like most of us, we just have too many little plug in PS's(speakers, phone, router, modem, camera, charger, etc's..) and I pop out the PS for lack of plug in space or don't want if fried for not being on a good supressor... gonna have to plug a power strip into the good surge protector just for all the little PS's in use...

    It's Linux that has renewed my liking external modems. When I look at the stack (big stack) of old internal modems i've had to replace, for one reason or other(lighting, new os, new v.xxx, driver support), that have been replaced by a versitle EPROM updatable external modem, i just hate to go back to an internal on all boxes... A good external is GREAT to have around!
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