Modem Disconnection Problems
What Causes Modem Disconnections and other
Unfortunately modems are analog devices and
your modem will disconnect whenever noise or loss of signal on your telephone line exceeds
your modems ability to deal with it.
The number one problem is your modem. Go to http://www.usfamily.net/cgi-bin/viewfaq.cgi?access for a free test modem.
Do other users have disconnection problems?
Generally no, we regularly have users who
forget to disconnect and stay connected for days at a time, however all internet providers
have a small percentage of users who cannot stay connected. This is extremely
frustrating for both the user and the provider. The problems are frequently
resolvable unless the problem is deep within the telephone network and not at the users
location. Problems at our office are easily located and resolved because we have
tens of thousands of calls a day and our daily statistics make it easy to locate any piece
of equipment that falls outside of normal operating parameters. User modems
fail often, click here for a free test modem.
What can be done about frequent
Your modem is degrading. Click here
for a free test modem.
Your modem or phone line aren't stable at high connect speeds.
Your drivers aren't up to date.
Your video settings are stealing all the processing power.
Noisy phone line. (unplug all other phones and devices)
Email set to disconnect after sending.
15 minutes of total inactivity.
Call Waiting call disconnects modem
Can't figure it our yourself? Click
here for our rates.
The problems can often be resolved or reduced by:
Modems have the highest failure rate of any
component in your computer system. Be sure to read all our information about access and modem problems
including our FREE test
modems and modem replacement plan. Modems are analog and degrade or die
frequently, many are poor right off the shelf. If your modem just started
failing recently, it may just need to be fully reset. The only way to fully reset a
modem is to repower it, for internal modems, this means turning the power
completely off on your entire computer system. If you have to fully reset your modem
before each connection it is time for a new modem. We generally have replacement modems available
for $10. (This is way below our cost, as a service to USFamily.Net customers only.) Click here for a free test modem.
Be aware the modems automatically disconnect
after exactly 15 minutes of inactivity. If you disconnect while composing an email for
exactly 15 minutes look into composing off line or being sure your computer is doing
something to keep the line active.
There are now 2 large main modem pools
Try both as you may experience a slightly different phone line quality to one over the
other. Some modems don't handle these phone issues gracefully. http://www.usfamily.net/chgnum.html
Add 3 commas to the end of the phone number
being dialed. To do this click settings or properties in our connection manager (the
rocketship) and change both numbers to 651-393-2600,,,
This may reduce your connection speed but may improve your modems reliability. If
the disconnections are reduced or eliminated try more ideas below until you find the
optimum capability for your phone line and modem.
Locating and removing the telephone line
noise sources in your home by disconnecting all other phones or devices plugged into your
phone line. The recharge cycle on cordless phones and older or broken
phones are common sources of line noise. Big motors found in air conditioners,
refrigerators, garage door openers, and sparkplugs in car engines along with radio
transmitters or cell phones can all induce noise into your phone line when they kick in.
Unfortunately the source is not always in your home as your wires run all the way to your
Also pick up your telephone handset and press the number one, the line should sound
completely dead and clear of noise, hum, clicks etc. If you can hear any noise the phone
company can usually find and fix it for you, if you can't hear it then it is more
difficult for them to address.
Make sure incoming call waiting calls aren't
the problem. Call waiting must be turned off during your
internet use as incoming calls will usually cause a disconnection.
If your disconnection issue only
happens in email, and not while surfing the web, your problem is not the phone line and is
more easily resolved. Check our help page under email disconnections
Try a new modem. We offer free test modems, and make modems available far below our cost,
just to help our customers with modem issues. Upgrading the firmware in your current
modem from the manufacturers website is also essential. Manufactures frequently fix
problems with their modems related to improving marginal connections.
If your modem connect speed is above 45k it
could be you can make your modem ignore the noise by forcing a connect speed about 5k
lower than the max rate your line is capable of. See below for instructions.
Reinstall all your network and modem drivers.
The use of a previous service such as AOL sometimes goofs up your modem and network
drivers making it incompatible with other services. This seems to be increasing in
frequency. This is usually resolved be reinstalling all networking but can also require
reinstalling the modem. See reinstalling a modem
Reduce your video usage and reduce the
number of programs active.. Very often a system's video controller uses so much system
resources that there is insufficient CPU time left to control an internal
"Win-modem". To reduce your video usage.
Click My Computer
Click Control Panel
Reduce colors to a lower number
Reduce size to 800x600 or lower.
This problem may also be resolved with an ISA or External modem whitish have their own
dedicated processor instead of sharing your main internal CPU.
To check system resources:
1.Double-click the My Computer icon
2.Choose About Windows under the Help menu.
3. Ideally Sytem Resources should be above 85%.
Call Waiting call disconnects modem
go to http://www.usfamily.net/chgnum.html#callwaiting
If all else fails, try a different Internet
provider. The telephone system is a complex system with trunk lines interconnecting
every local phone office. It is possible that a less noisy connection to some other
part of town may exist. This is why some users have less problems connecting to our
backup modem pool or to another Internet provider. We get lots of users leaving
other Internet providers coming to us for the same reason that they find our connections
better than what they were using.
A helpful modem disconnection debug site is http://tweakhomepc.virtualave.net/modems/disconnections.html
move your cursor over the menu on the left. There is info about
noise sources and solutions.
A good site with lots of technical info about
modem disconnection, drivers, and specific modems is at http://808news.com/56k/tshoot.htm
Also, go to yahoo and search for "modem disconnection"
and you will find lots and lots of suggestions because every provider has some users with
Lowering Connect Speed to Reduce
14. If your connect speed is high (above 40k)
but you can't stay connected your phone connection may be too erratic to maintain that
speed. Trying a slightly reduced speed could help maintain a constant connection. You
might also consider trying one of our free test modems to see if a different modem
resolves the problem and maximizes your connection speed.
We offer tested Lucent chipset modems for test or replacement. To set the max connect
speed on a Lucent modem do the following.
go to my computer
go to control panel
go to modems
highlight your modem
click the properties button
click the connection tab
click the advanced button
into the Extra Settings field
s10=60s38=3 is for max 35k
s10=60s38=6 is for max 40k
s10=60s38=8 is for max 44k
try each setting to see if you disconnections decrease.
For a Conextant HFC, Soft56 or Rockwell Chip set use:
to set the max connect speed to 40k, Change 40 to whatever speed works, there are 5 commas
and a semicolon at the end. On some other modems the same command with just 3 commas
works. the command
should show the correct format for your modem if you are familiar with hyperterm.
(Other modem chipsets have other commands. )
Have a particularly
difficult connection problem or no technical people to help you?
15. If you call USFamily.Net you can often get
an appointment to drop your computer off overnight for analysis and repair of connection
problems. (Sorry, due to our support call volume we have absolutely no "repair while
you wait" ability. Just call 651-697-0523 and ask for an appointment for
drop-off repair of a connection problem. Our standard fee is $25 and if a new modem
is needed we have replacements for $10 for standard PCI modems and these are also
available free, for a test period. Please bring your windows CD and modem driver CD
if you have either of them. There is no charge if we can't find a problem.
Be careful and aware that vibrations and
static of transporting your computer, especially during dry winter months, can on
rare occasion cause new problems for which we are not responsible.
Also, if you think your computer falls into the "old piece of junk" category, we
would appreciate if you don't bring it in to us.
Other service locations. While we have
the most experience with connection issues, for general computer maintenance call Computer
Renissance, the Geek Squad, the Byte Shop etc.
Thanks for using USFamily.Net
Have a comment? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.