NewDeal Technical Support Document 213


Procedures for installing and trouble shooting a modem

Setting up your modem

Setting up a modem can be a complicated procedure, depending on your computer's configuration, but these instructions will work for most systems.
  1. If you have an INTERNAL modem, find out what COM port your modem is set for. Consult your modem manual for help. The COM port is usually set by changing small switches or jumpers on the modem card. Your modem cannot use a COM port that is already in use. For example, if your computer already has a COM 2, you must disable that COM 2 before you can install an internal modem configured for COM 2. Plug & Play modems are configured using a software program that comes with the modem.
    If you have an EXTERNAL modem, determine which COM port your modem is plugged into. Sometimes the ports are labeled on the back of the computer.
  2. Start Preferences and select Modem. Choose the COM port setting for your modem.
  3. Click on the Speed and Format Options button.
    Set the baud rate for your modem.
    Set the parity (usually None), word length (usually 8), and stop bits (usually 1). These settings must match the settings of the receiving modem. If you're calling a major online service, Internet service provider, or bulletin board system, these settings should be listed with the modem phone number to call, usually in the format N,8,1 (N for No parity, 8 for word length, and 1 for stop bits).
    Leave the handshake setting on None. If you later discover that your connection is not reliable, return and change the setting to Software or, especially if you have a high speed serial port and an external modem, to Hardware.
  4. Close Preferences and start NewComm. To test your modem, enter AT and press Enter. Your modem should respond by answering OK. If it doesn't answer with OK, go to the trouble shooting section.
  5. To dial a number, select Quick Dial from the Dial menu and enter a number. Click the Dial button. Your modem should function normally.

Trouble Shooting

If your modem doesn't work, follow these suggestions to try to remedy the problem.
  1. Run Preferences and click the Computer button. Make sure the COM port for your modem is turned on.
  2. In the Computer section of Preferences, the interrupt settings are displayed for the COM ports. No two devices on your computer can use the same interrupt. For example, if your COM1 has a 4 underneath it and your COM3 also has a 4, the interrupt signals will conflict with each other. If your mouse is using COM1 IRQ4 and your modem is using COM3 IRQ4, for example, you will need to change your mouse or your modem to a different interrupt or a different port.
  3. If you can't move your mouse to a different port, you'll need to change the interrupt setting on your modem.
    For an internal modem, the interrupt is set either by switches on the modem itself or, if you have a Plug & Play modem, by the software driver for the modem. Look in your modem instructions for the correct way to change it. Sometimes the instructions refer to interrupt settings as "IRQ" settings.
    For an external modem, the best solution is to use a COM port with an interrupt that won't conflict with another device.
  4. Once the interrupt setting has been changed on the modem, go back into Preferences and click on Computer. The new interrupt setting should be displayed below the modem's COM port. If the wrong interrupt setting is displayed, change it to the correct number. If a question mark is displayed, raise or lower the number and then return it to the correct number. Click on OK.
  5. Click on Computer again. The interrupt setting you selected should be displayed. If a different interrupt setting is displayed, or you received an error message, your modem is not set for the interrupt you selected, or NewDeal is not recognizing the port and IRQ setting. If you are sure the IRQ setting is correct, try turning the modem off and on or restart your computer and then set the interrupt in Preferences, Computer again. If NewDeal still does not recognize the port and interrupt, read the rest of this document, and also see document 262 (Forcing NewDeal to see COM or LPT ports).
Note: If your modem works with NewDeal, but you have to run Preferences, Computer and set the IRQ each time you launch NewDeal, you can edit your GEOS.INI file to tell NewDeal where to look for your modem. Use the EDIT command at the DOS prompt or use the Windows Notepad to examine the GEOS.INI file in the directory where you installed NewDeal. Look for the section named [serial] and add a line like this:
portn = i
where n is the port number and i is the interrupt request. For example, if your modem is on COM 3, IRQ 10, your GEOS.INI should contain:
port3 = 10
See the note below about Plug and Play modems.

Windows 95 or Windows 98

If you are using Windows 95 or 98 and your modem is working, but you are unsure which Com port your modem is using, open the Windows Control Panel and double click Modems. In the dialog box, choose the modem and click Properties. The COM port will be displayed next to the word "Port:".

To determine the interrupt (IRQ) for the port, go back to the Control Panel and double click System. Click the Device Manager tab and double click Ports in the list. Choose the port and click the Properties button. Choose the Resources tab. The Interrupt Request setting is displayed.

Note: In recent years, some modem manufacturers have introduced modems that require proprietary Windows software and will not work with DOS-based programs like NewDeal. Some of these so called "Win-modems" will not work with NewDeal software. Generally speaking, if the modem will work with DOS-based software, it will work with NewDeal.

Plug and Play modems

The port and interrupt for Plug and Play modems are determined by one of the following: Consult the documentation for your modem or ask the manufacturer of your modem to determine how and where to change the port and IRQ settings, if necessary. Note: In some cases, the port and interrupt settings for Plug and Play modems may change when you reboot the computer or when you add peripherals or change your computer's hardware or configuration.

PCMCIA modems

Many modern notebook computers, and some desktop computers, use PCMCIA modems. A PCMCIA modem is a small card that you insert into the PCMCIA slot, sometimes called a "PC slot" or "thin card slot."

PCMCIA modems require special drivers, similar to Plug and Play modems. If NewDeal is unable to find or use your PCMCIA modem, you might need to load the DOS drivers for your PCMCIA slot. Check with the manufacturer of your computer or the PCMCIA slot to see if DOS drivers are available.

Controllerless or Windows-only modems

In recent years, some modem manufacturers have introduced inexpensive modems that work only with Windows applications and do not work from DOS. The intelligence in these modems has been removed, lowering their production costs, and they require special Windows drivers provided by the manufacturers to compensate for the interpreter that has been removed from the modem. These modems will not work with DOS programs like NewDeal.

ISDN modems

Generally speaking, NewDeal does not support most ISDN modems. However, some customers have been able to use their ISDN modem, if the modem is fully Hayes compatible.

Cable modems

As of this writing, NewDeal does not support any known cable modems directly. One possible work around is to set up a network server connected to the cable modem, and then use the ODI Ethernet driver to connect to the Internet from workstations on the network that are running NewDeal software.

Common IRQ assignments in an IBM compatible system

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Last Modified 15 Feb 1999