Windows XP




 
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Windows XP Modem Configuration Options

Quick Links: Modem Settings | Init Strings |

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

click the Start button and select Control Panel as pictured below.

Windows XP gives you the option to view the Control Panel in "Category View" or "Classic View".  
Click on "Switch to Classic View" if you prefer this mode.  It's on the left side of the Control Panel.  Both views are presented here.

Category View

 

Classic View

Click on Network and Internet Connections to open the screen below.

 

Click on Network Connections to open the screen below.

 

Classic View does not have the window picture to the left.
The Network Connections icon is already in the Classic Control Panel (pictured above).

Click on Network Connections to open the screen below.

 

The Network Conections window is pictured below.

 

Double-Click the Dial-Up icon to see the screen below.
Or, right-click the icon and select Properties from the menu.

Double-Click the Dial-Up icon to see the screen below.
Or, right-click the icon and select Properties from the menu.

Tip:  Delete any old, unused dial-up connections.  This ensures your programs will not use old connections.  With only one connection listed, Internet Explorer or Netscape will automatically use the right one.

Unlike some previous versions of Windows, you can reset your username, password, and phone number in the Connect box below.  Be sure to include your ISP's domain tail on the User Name.  For example, Santa's username for his ISP northpole.com would look like santa@northpole.com.  This is not an e-mail address although you might have a matching e-mail address.  Click on the Properties button to continue.

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.

 

General Tab:

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. 

This is where you can set the speed and flow control.  There are some things that you need in this window.  First of all, click the little drop-down arrow on the far right of the top box to set the maximum speed to match your modem's speed.  For example, a 56k modem needs 57600 selected.  If you leave it set for 115200 then you won't get a faster connection because a 56k modem just isn't capable of going twice as fast as its speed.  You will simply destabilize your modem connection by trying to get it to do something that it can't do.

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.  

The terminal window is strictly optional.  We highly recommend that you do have a checkmark for the enable modem speaker option.  This will let you hear if you are getting busy signals, operator messages or similar problems when connecting to the Internet.  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 the Start button and select Control Panel as pictured below.

Windows XP gives you the option to view the Control Panel in "Category View" or "Classic View".  
Click on "Switch to Classic View" if you prefer this mode.  It's on the left side of the Control Panel.  Both views are presented here.

Category View

 

Classic View

Click on Printers and Other Hardware to open the screen below.

 

Click on Phone and Modem Options to open the screen below.

 

Classic View does not have the window picture to the left.
The Phone and Modem Options icon is already in the Classic Control Panel (pictured above). 

Click on Phone and Modem Options to open the screen below.

 

The Phone and Modem Options window is pictured below.

 

Either route brings you to the Phone and Modem Options screen 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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