Windows 2000

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Windows 2000 Modem Configuration Options

Quick Links: Modem Settings | Init Strings |

There are several ways to get into your dial-up networking component of Windows 2000. The easiest is pictured below. 

You can click Start -> Settings -> Network & Dial-Up Connections as pictured below. 

The network and dial-up configurations window is pictured below. 

You can right-click on the connection to choose properties as shown above.

You can also double-click open the connection window, shown below. From here, you can click "dial" to connect to the internet or you can click the "properties" button to configure the DUN connection.

If the Properties option is grayed-out, you are not logged in as an Administrator.  You will need to log-off your computer and log back in either as (1) Administrator or (2) any other user account you have set up on your PC with Administrative rights.

The DUN properties window has numerous tabs starting with the general tab pictured below. 

Here you can configure your modem and change the the number your computer dials to your ISP.  Enter any necessary numbers in the Phone Number field.  This includes 9, *70 and the area code for 10-digit dialing.  To avoid problems, make sure the checkmark is taken out of "Use Dialing Rules".


Click the Configure button to open the modem properties seen in the following window. 

Set the maximum speed to match the modem. For example, a 56k modem should be set to 57600. The modem will have an unstable connection if you set the speed too high.

The flow control option is a bit tricky, since it depends on your modem.  The rule of thumb is that most internal modems need Software flow control, while external modems need hardware flow control.  However, most new internal modems operate okay with hardware flow control even though they're generally optimized for software flow control.   If you find that you keep getting disconnected early in your connection then this is one of the most likely culprits.  You may need to experiment with this one.  Note:  If flow control is disabled, error control and modem compression will automatically be disabled too.

If flow control is enabled, you'll also want checkmarks in the error control and modem compression options 99% of the time.  If you've got bad modem software then you will rarely need to disable these options.  Doing this will actually worsen the performance of your modem connection so save this as a last resort.  Modem Compression can only be enabled if Error Control is enabled, which can only be enabled if Flow Control is enabled.  

These are the most common "win" modems: US Robotics 56k Win Modem, LT Win, SupraMax 56k, HSP Micromodem, PC Tel, Motorola SM56, Zoltrix, Shark, ESS and anything with an HSP in the name. Note: Rockwell claims that the HCF modems are hardware flow modems but try software flow if that doesn't work.

It is a good idea to have a checkmark in the box for the modem speaker. It helps to troubleshoot modem connection problems if you can hear the squeal, busy signal, etc.  Once this is configured, click OK to return to the previous window under the General tab. 

Important:  You may be tempted to change these settings in the Phone & Modems section of the Control Panel.  Changes made in the Control Panel will not affect existing connections.  Changes must be made here in the DUN connectoid to take affect.  The exception is init strings, discussed further below.


Init Strings:

Advanced users can also set an "init string" in the Phone & Modem Options of the Control Panel. Don't do this unless you know exactly what you are doing. A bad init string can cause your computer to think that there is no modem installed. It can also cause that modem to not work correctly.

To access these modem settings, click Start, Settings and select Control Panel as pictured below.

The Control Panel is pictured below.  Double-click the Phone and Modem Options

The Phone and Modem Options window is pictured below.

Select the Modems tab to access additional modem options.

Click "Properties" to open the following window.

Click on the Advanced tab to see the image below.  

Here you can add initialization strings to change the operation of your modem.  These are typically not required, but can be useful in correcting connection problems.  Consult your modem documentation or contact your ISP for help.

If you have an internal 56k modem and you just can't get a stable connection due to your phone lines or your modem software, you might want to fix that problem by putting in a V34 init string. This will cause your modem to connect at only 34 kbps but at least you'll have a reliable connection. The two most popular V34 init strings are AT+MS=V34 or ATS37=19. Only use one of them and don't put in any extra spaces.

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