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Installing a Modem under Windows 95/98

Installing a Modem is not difficult under Windows 95/98. Close down all programs (good practice) and double click on My Computer and then on Control Panel and you will find an Icon called Modems. Double clicking gets to a screen listing all your Modems with an Add button. If you have a disk or want to chose a driver then tick the box Do Not Detect my Modem, I will select from List and then select the Modem manufacturer and type you have been told or click the button Have Disk and then insert the disk with the driver or Browse for the Driver set which will be a file with .inf extension. The first screen you get to from double clicking Modems in Control Panel also has two other buttons which are useful namely Dialling Preferences where the settings are very obvious and Properties which works down to most of the settings you need to make with a series of buttons and tabs.

Click Properties and then click the General tab set the Maximum Speed to at least 4 times the Modem speed (115200 for a system with a fast serial link) leave the Only at this speed box unchecked and the Speaker Volume to what you want. Now go to the Connection Tab and leave Data Bits at 8, Parity at none and Stop Bits at 1. Tick Wait for Dial tone before dialling. The other settings are optional and I suggest leaving unset until you are up and running after that a limit on the idle time is useful in case you forget to disconnect. There are now two further buttons and it is worth checking the defaults set are correct - firstly click Port Settings and make sure that Use FIFO buffers …. box is checked and click Defaults then go back by OK. Now click Advanced and here is essential to check the Use flow control and then Hardware boxes. The Use Error Control may be greyed out if a driver has not been selected but may still be the modem default. If possible select Use Error Control then Compressed Data, I usually also check Required to connect but I would advise trying out the system first. This is the place to add any additional strings for the Modem if you do not have driver. There is a check box to record a log which is very useful if you are trying out settings and/or checking out the Modem the first time. Do not leave it checked as it gets very big and may stall the system. You will find you have to uncheck the box on every modem on the system before you will be able to delete it (another undocumented fact) and it will not be backed up properly as it is always open. Do not play with Modulation Type which will probably be greyed out anyway. The other box marked Extra Settings is where you can add any extra modem control stings. These should not be needed if you have an .inf file from the manufacturer. Work your way our by clicking a series of OKs

There is more details on optimising modems in the Maximise Modem Performance for the Internet. Updating the driver (.ins) files and the Flash Memory in the latest 56K modems is covered in a separate page Updating A Modem with Flash Memory. This page also covers identifying modems and finding the correct driver (.inf) files - relevant to all modems. Both pages provide additional background on the use of extra modem control strings (AT commands).

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Content revised: 14th November, 1996
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