As is usual with many things to do with Windows PC systems -
quite a number of things can go wrong. Here are some of the more common things
that can happen - I'll try to add to the list as time permits.
To save space - in this document My Computer|Control Panel|Modems means Single or Double left click (as required) 'My Computer' followed by 'Control Panel' followed by 'Modems' icons or text.
1. "Unable to open port" or "No dial tone" error messages. Is
the modem correctly installed? If you have an external modem (separate box with
lights) - it should be securely plugged into a serial or USB port, connected to
the phone line and the separate plug pack (if required) should be plugged into
the mains. And switched on! An Internal modem needs a good connection between
the computer and the phone system.
If all of those conditions are met and you still receive errors....
My Computer|Control Panel|Modems If no modem is shown, you need to click the 'Add' button and follow the wizard. If you do not have the manufacturer's installation instructions (or disk/CD) it is usually safe to select a 'Standard 56Kb Modem' from the list, provided the modem or computer was brought within the last 3 years or so. If your Modem is shown all is probably O.K. But check by clicking Modem|Diagnostics|click COM1/2/3 (whatever has the modem listed)|More Info. At this point you should get a message saying that the computer is communicating with the modem and then some information liberally sprinkled with 'AT' commands (don't worry about what it means, or even if it shows various error responses, the object is to check if the computer is "talking" to the modem). Close My Computer by clicking O.K or Close as required. If no modem is shown in Control Panel/Modems, or the diagnostic checks fail - you will need to install (or re-install by removing and adding from My Computer|Control Panel|Modems) per your manufacturer's handbook instructions. There is no point in proceeding further if the modem is not shown or it cannot communicate with the computer - if you can't get past this point - call in an expert. If several modems are shown - you will need to find out which one is 'active', by doing the |More Info trick on each one in turn. It is suggested that you 'remove' (Click the 'remove' button) the one/s that do not respond to |More Info with the AT command stuff.
2. Some of the earlier versions of Windows 95 may not have Dial-up-networking, Dial-up adaptors, TCP/IP protocols, or Dial-up scripting installed. If you suspect that this might be the case, it's probably best to consult an expert. Windows 98 and later should not have these problems.
3. "No Dial Tone" error message. Usually caused by loose or incorrect connection between the computer (or modem) and the phone line. But check that no one else is using the phone line! Also, if you have Telstra voicemail waiting, the changed dial tone is enough to cause a "no dial tone" error message. In that case you can tell the modem to ignore dial tones, or unselect 'wait for dial tone' options. Or better still - get into the habit of listening to voice mail before trying to get the modem to dial.
4. "Incorrect User Name/Password" errors. Once everything is correctly installed and checked out, after clicking on the 'connect' button you should hear the "mating calls of the modems" (A series of tones and hisses that go on for 20-30 seconds) followed by silence and a screen message "Verifying User name and password". If either of these is incorrect you may get a variety of error messages depending on your version of Windows. Make absolutely sure that both the User Name and password are typed correctly. Capital (Upper case) letters are not usually used, but the entries are case sensitive. Spaces are almost never used. If you are certain that you have typed them correctly (re-type them even if they look correct), and you are still having problems. Contact the PCUG centre on 6253-4911 (Mon, Wed, Fri between 10am & 2pm or leave a message), and ask for confirmation that you are a paid up PCUG and TIP member, and that your details are in the Internet system. If everything is O.K. and you still get the errors then it may be time to consult an expert.
5. "Unable to negotiate a compatible protocol" errors. It has been found that these can sometimes be cured by un-installing and then re-installing the TCP/IP protocol. If you are unsure about doing this - again, call an expert.
6. Connection dropping out. Once a connection has been achieved there are numerous reasons why there may be occasional or regular 'drop outs'. The first one is that trying to connect at rates up to 50Kb per sec and above is pushing a normal telephone line to it's limits. Small reductions in line quality can cause havoc to data connections. The list of possibilities is very long. Always 'hover' the mouse pointer over the connection icon in the system tray (bottom right of the screen). This will at least tell you the speed that the modem initially connected at - but not the current speed which may be different. The indicated speed is a useful starting point when describing the problem to others. If you can stay on line long enough - checkout http://www.tip.net.au/cgi-bin/modem-status.cgi which will tell you the current connect speed and a lot more information about line quality. While on-line, move to http://www.tip.net.au/tip/help/h56modem.htm - this extensive set of trouble shooting procedures can be printed when you are off-line.
1. Is the TransACT set top box O.K? Getting TV programs via the
STB? If you did not subscribe to TV, check that the Stand alone box connections
are O.K. and the Power light is ON.
2. NIC Installation. It is assumed that you have followed the installation instructions in http://www.tip.net.au/connect/broadband.htm If you then find you cannot connect, first check the NIC by looking at the back of the computer when you plug in the cable that comes from the TransACT set top box (STB) or Broadband modem. Most modern NICs have a green LED indication which lights up if you have a valid installation and connection (at least as far as the STB). If the light is not on - check that the STB is plugged in and you are receiving TV from TransACT. If the STB is OK (The STB can be in standby and broadband can still be used), then look in Device Manager on the PC. Use a right click on 'My Computer' then Properties|Device Manager Tab (Windows XP Hardware Tab|Device Manager button) Make sure that there are now red or yellow exclamation or question marks in the Network adaptors area. If there are any beside anything labelled "...PCI Adaptor", then click on that item and click the remove button (Windows XP - right click the item and select 'uninstall'). Then shut down the computer, power off the system, and restart. Windows should re-detect the NIC, and you can follow the manufacturer's instructions to install again. Do not proceed until you get a clean bill of health in Device manager. If you can get access to another computer or use dial-up, try http://wpool.com/cablesharing/3.htm for more detail. If after all this you cannot get fault free Device manager indications or the magic green light - then it's time to consult others.
3. Assuming you have the green light but still no connection. Try rebooting the STB (unplug the power for 30 secs or more - then turn back on and watch the STB display till it shows the channel number - and a TV picture - this may take 2 minutes or more). If this does not help - for all Windows systems except XP, it's time to uninstall (via 'Add/Remove Programs' in Control panel) the Enternet-300 program. After the re-install from the TransACT CD is complete, follow the instructions to create the PCUG BB profile. Pay particular attention to the point where the software attempts to contact the TransACT server. If that is still unsuccessful - again, seek help. In Windows XP look at the properties of the PCUG BB connection and double check all the settings are as mentioned in the Broadband connection procedures.
4. Password and Protocol errors should be checked out per 4 and 5 in Dial-up problems above. For Broadband - make sure that your full Email address is used for User Name in the Connect box. It's worth re-typing both the User name and Password.
5. Unplugging and re-plugging the LAN cable connection to your P.C. has been found to help on occasions. Also deleting and rebuilding the Broadband connection in XP.
1. In Outlook Express - most problems are due to the mail
account not being set up correctly. Go to
Tools|Accounts|Mail tab|PCUG account|Properties button. Double check all
parameters per the connecting procedures. Pay particular attention to the server
names and your user name and password.
2. By far the best Email Test is to send a message to yourself - this checks both sending and receiving of course. Do not expect to see the message returned in less than 4-5 seconds after it is sent. This normally means clicking on Send/Receive twice.
3. A lot of Dial-up users complain they are getting dropouts when they have 'disconnect after sending and receiving messages' or 'Hang up after sending or receiving' selected. This setting is normally found in Outlook Express Tools|Options|Connection tab.
1. Shouldn't be too many if you can connect O.K. No proxy settings are required these days. They can be deleted by opening Internet Explorer and selecting Tools|Internet Options|Connections Tab and making sure there are no Ticks in the PCUG Settings, or LAN Settings for Broadband.
These procedures are very much a work in progress. All suggestions are most welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me on 6161-1524 (Before 7 pm please).
John Saxon (3 Feb 2003) Updated (11 Jan 2004 and 19 Feb 2004)