Skip to comments.Need computer help (dial-up modem/can't download spyware blaster updates)
Posted on 12/17/2004 5:55:00 AM PST by GreatOne
I have 2 computer problems:
1) Compaq Presario 2140 laptop. XP Pro. Dial-up modem will not work - when I try, I get the "no dial tone" message. Phone line is securely in place. Phone line works, and desktop computer dial-up using same line also works. Any suggestions?
2) Dell 8400 Desktop. XP Pro. I have Spyware Blaster downloaded, but cannot get updates. When I try, message pops up saying problem reaching server, try back later, blah, blah, blah. Uninstalled and re-installed, but no luck. Then downloaded Spyware Guard. When first tried to download update, box popped up with 3 options (think it was Norton's but not sure). Chose first option, but now when I try to update Spyware Guard, I get the same message as with Spyware Blaster. So it appears that there is a setting that needs to be adjusted, but I cannot figure out what it is.
1) Bad modem
2) Server down
Check your modem. Run diagnostics on the modem to see if it is installed properly and recognized. Check your phone line connection at both ends. If your modem doesn't find a dial tone on a good phone line the modem either isn't working properly or the phone line connection is a problem.
2) I don't think it's the server because after I've received that message on the desktop, I hook up the laptop and there are no problems connecting to the server. The fact that this box popped up with the Spyware Guard download and subsequent same message is what leads me to believe that it's a computer setting issue, not a server problem.
Check your modem using Control Panel. Click on Control Panel, double click on Phone and Modem Options, click on the Modems tab, click on your modem, then click on Properties. If it shows its not working, try uninstalling then reinstalling it.
I don't know enough about Spyware Blaster to tell you how to jump on this one. I have Ad-Aware myself and find it sufficient for my needs.
Diagnostics said the modem was working properly. Phone line connection is fine (used the same line I have for the desktop, which was working for that computer, but didn't work for the laptop). Even though diagnostics said modem is working fine, could it still be a modem problem?
When I followed your suggestion, it said "this device is working properly". Last night I tried the troubleshooter option, but when I clicked on that one of the first things it wanted to do was connect to the internet using an 800 number, but no dial tone. Didn't see any other "help" options through troubleshooter.
Odd. Every time I've run a diagnostic on my modem, it does so internally and has never tried to "call home."
I'm beginning to wonder if you're not infected with some sort of spyware.
I've had defective modems that didn't recognize the phone connection while passing the diagnostic test. I've also had bad connections between the modem and the phone cable, and a defective phone cable. If you can connect a phone to the modem you can check to see if a dial tone is coming through to the phone. I was able to find a defective modem by doing this.
I didn't mention this before. Since it has happened to me I don't mind suggesting that you check to make sure that you have the phone cable in the correct hole on your computer.
1) The modem could still be bad. PCI modems are not true modems and require proprietary drivers to work properly. Have you uninstalled/reinstalled the modem driver? If you have to replace the modem, I would replace it with an external serial modem. They are the easiest to configure/troubleshoot and connect at the fastest speed.
2) Don't know. When I encounter problems like this I just wipe the hard drive and reinstall everything.
I have a couple of the original 56K internal hardware modems that came out. Both work well but since they require ISA slots I can't put them in my later computers. I keep one old computer ready with one of those as backup in case I have a problem with my cheap modems.
You might want to research your spyware. It might be the problem. PC World has a great article about how many anti-spyware programs actually add spyware to your PC.
Before wiping your hard drive or some other radical idea, at least try this:
Go to Control Panel and "uninstall" the modem. Reboot, and maybe it will reload the drivers correctly if that was the problem.
If that didn't work, go to your "Connections" and copy off all the pertinent information. Then delete the "My Connection" or whatever the dialup is called. Then reboot and re-enter the information.
If none of these work, you might just try a new modem, available now for almost nothing, if not totally free,
That's your problem right there. I've had nothing but problems with every Compaq machine I've ever used.
You have to PAY for updates. $9.95 and worth every penny.
For a Compaq? For a laptop? I'll bet selection is limited and not cheap.
If the modem did not work, you would not be able to post here or get any IE pages to load.
There could be something specific to the settings within the particular progams that are trying to use it though.
Laptop: Try a USB modem or a PCcard modem. Both should work in your laptop. It may just be a driver issue, but modems do go bad.
Desktop: Check the "hosts" file in your computer. Spyware or viruses may have hijacked the addresses of anti-virus and anti-spyware websites to prevent updates.
Look for entrys like
These make your internet connection look on the local computer for these sites.
If everything was working correctly at some point in the past I would try doing a System Restore, click start, then click Help and Support, then click System Restore. Choose a date and restore to that point, if everything works then you know it's some internal setting that got messed up. This worked for me when I started to suddenly get very slow hookups, never did know exactly what it was but now I'm fine.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.