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Why did my memory upgrade kill my modem?



I have a strange problem with my motorola sm56 pci voice modem.My m/c configuration is win98, p3 933 with intel 810 graphics chipsets, 256 MB ram,20 gb hdd. My modem started responding very strangely after i installed a 128 MB memory. Whenever i click on the connect button in the DUN , the system freezes after dialing for 2 or 3 secs.And also no external COM ports were working then.I tried both PCI slots, installed and unistalled the modem and even the more info button works fine.but system hangs whenever i try to connect to the net.I upgraded to win98SE , still the problem appears. In between i reinstalled my DUN several times, but no use and also i have taken out the dimm i have added. Finally i formatted my machine and loaded win98SE. the problem is still there . Infact i was using very old drivers for this modem( driver which was released in 1999 with the hardware ). I never upgraded my modem driver. Later i have taken out my motherboard and put it in my friend's WinME machine and here the modem is working very fine and is able to connect to the net and also the external com parts are also working.In this machine i used the latest driver for sm56 ( build 84.41 , downloaded from\download for my model). Also note that everything else works perfectly except modem.

Now my question is what could have been the problem and where it went wrong in the first place and will it work without any problem if i use the latest driver in my win98se machine. OR should i go for WinME. i infact don't want to go for WinME.

Please help.


This question was answered on December 16, 2002. Much of the information contained herein may have changed since posting.

The age-old (in computer years) adage: Hardware or software?

Most of the time, when I have troubleshot a problem to the point of exasperation, it turns out to be a hardware problem.

Indeed, the old driver you were using may not "like" an operating system other than the original Windows 98 Since your drivers originated sometime around 99, distribution channels being what they are, they could have dated back a while.

But the problem first presented itself at the point of a memory upgrade.

Putting that motherboard in another PC and seeing it work surprised me That doesn't always happen Basically, what that accomplished was about the same as trying another hard drive with Windows already installed, which would have been a lot easier to accomplish in the first place, physically The only other thing most common in such a fix might be the Power Supply.

I would put everything back the way it was before this entire mess began Leave the new memory module out of the machine Install the latest driver you have It ought to work with either operating system, as long as it's a 9X driver (which includes ME).

If it doesn't work, I'd try a different modem Try borrowing one with known-good drivers If you have problems with a second modem, I'd strongly suspect the motherboard With all the stresses that motherboard has taken as of late, it could indeed be the problem.


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Posted by Robert of Mesa Community College on December 16, 2002