Connecting Your Computer
Dialing Up and Getting Online
bullet Troubleshooting Tips
There are a number of things that could go wrong when your modem tries to connect your computer with your Internet Service Provider's host computer. Below are some of the more common problems. Always consult the User's Manual or call your ISP to help you with any problems you may encounter.


bullet Computer does not recognize modem (i.e. the computer and modem are not communicating with each other). You will probably not hear the modem dialing, or, if it's an external modem, you will probably not see activity on the LED panel (the panel with the red lights).

Check to see that:
1. The modem is connected to the computer and that the cable is not loose.

2. The modem is plugged in and turned on.

3. Your modem is connected to the correct port and that the communications software is referencing that port. Most computers have more than one "port" to which the modem may connect in the back of the computer. (The other port is usually for the printer.) On the Macintosh, the choices are Modem Port or Printer Port. On the PC the choices are COM1, COM2, COM3, and so on. Change the port settings on your communication software and try again.

4. You have installed all the software that came with the modem. The computer needs software to talk to the modem.

bullet Modem does not get a dial tone. You simply won't hear your modem dialing (assuming you have the speaker turned on). Your communications software might give you some indication that your ISP is not being dialed.

Check to see that:

1. The modem is plugged into the wall jack.

2. The phone jack is working. Unplug the modem from the wall jack and plug in a regular telephone. If you don't hear a dial tone, then the jack is not working.

3. Your communications software settings take into account where you're dialing from. Some phone systems require you to dial "9" before you can get an outside line. If this is the case, check your communications software settings to be sure that all dial "9" options are correctly configured.

bullet Modem dials number but does not connect. (Assuming you have the speaker turned on, you hear the modem dial but then nothing happens.) This is probably an incorrect setting in your communications software.

Check with your Internet Service Provider about the correct settings for Terminal Type, PPP, and Error Checking. An incorrect modem initialization string is also another possible culprit.

bullet Modem connects but nothing appears on screen. You hear the modem dial but your communications software indicates there is no connection.

Again, check your communications software settings. An incompatible Terminal Type and Display Mode are two of the possible causes -- ask your Internet Service Provider for the appropriate settings.

Internet Primer
Thirteen Ed Online