Dell Dimension E521 Connectivity Problems ..

Networking, Internet, Wireless

Networking, Internet, Wireless
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Dell Dimension E521 Connectivity Problems ..

  • Processor:  AMD Athlon(tm) 64 Processor 3200+
    Microsoft Windows XP Professional
    Operating System Version:  5.1.2600
    Processor Speed:  1.96 GHz
    Memory:  1024 MB
     
    I purchased two of the Desktop Dell Dimension E521 CPU's on Dec 12, 2006.  One for myself and the other for my 86 year old mother-in-law. 
     
    We both had older cpu's previously and NO previous internet connection problems. 
     
    I might mention that our location is such that we are not able to have high speed, so we are stuck with dial-up.  I have been told repeatedly by Dell AND the two different ISP's that we have accounts with .. that this SHOULD NOT be a (the) problem. 
     
    Since I purchased these two computers, we have had nothing but trouble.  I can't seem to get any answers!  My mother in law has  been near tears way too many times .. she just wants to get her old computer back!! 
     
    We have had the phone company come out (to both our homes) to check on line clarity and those have both been "fixed" as we speak.  (You might remember .. once again, we connected fine on our old CPU's .. but we did as Dell suggested.)  As you might guess, our "correction" of our phone line problems did not fix our connectivity issues. 
     
    Every time myself AND my mother-in-law log on .. the ISP icon indicates that we are in fact connected.   (We have two different ISP's .. so the ISP is not the issue)  When we attempt to go into internet/email, all of a sudden it appears at the top of the screen that we are working "off-line".  (?????)   
     
    My 86 year old mother in law has typed what she thought was an email ready to go (very long emails) and she finds out that the "send" button is not showing up.  That is because she has been working "off-line" all of that time. 
     
    Okay .. so I am computer savvy enough .. I can work with the computer enough that I finally AM working on-line .. but this should not be.  My mother in law cannot do this .. nor can she understand. 
     
    Finally, mother in law's isp suggested that they help us add a line (on the modem ... or something) that would slow the possible speed down ... ?  Not totally understanding that one. 
     
    I am hoping that I am not the only that has experienced this problem.  Does anyone out there have any answers to this dilemma? 
     
    Any info/support on this would be so appreciated!!
     
    Glo
     
     
  • You description is complex and somewhat confusing. Since you had good luck before and you are still using XP (I presume), why don't you try:

    1. Try the old modem or a different modem. Make sure you have up to date drivers for you existing modem.

    2. Check you connection properties to make sure you don't have any surprises (auto disconnect, etc)

    3. Determine if the connection is failing on it's own (i.e. nothing accessing the connection) or fails as soon as data is transferred.

    4. Try calling different dial in numbers so you get a different modem on the other end. Sometimes that can help.

    5. If you have upgraded to Vista, maybe there is something going on there (bad driver, Vista bug, etc).

    6. Try the old machine again (if you still have it) to verify that something new hasn't come up (unlikely, but given your confusion I would try everything to make sure).

    7. Maybe you could try dialing in from something like Live Linux (no HD install required) to see if that works. I've never used dialup in Linux, but it must be there. Live Linux is a great way to determine if problems are Windows related. Oh, I just remembered, that many modems are "Win-modems" and much of the processing is in Windows and there are not necessarily Linux drivers for these.

    This type of problem is very hard to fix via forums, the phone, etc.

    Good luck,
    Peter
  • "Try the old modem or a different modem."
    I have done this at both my home and my mother-in-laws, and those modems work fine .. just very slow.  (Which has always been the case and why I purchased the new Dell  E521.)
     
    "Make sure you have up to date drivers for you existing modem."
    I go to the help and support area on my computer and it essentially tells me that their are no new driver updates.  (I'm assuming that is because we received this from Dell mid-December?) 

    Check you connection properties to make sure you don't have any surprises (auto disconnect, etc)
    I went to those settings and I can't see anywhere that even addresses this .. ?  One thing that I DO see though is that I (previously) had turned off the windows firewall.  I did this some time ago .. as it seemed to be slowing me down big time. 
     
    Determine if the connection is failing on it's own (i.e. nothing accessing the connection) or fails as soon as data is transferred.
    I don't understand this suggestion.  I DO know that there is nothing else connected to these phone lines .. if that is what you are asking?  Because of the fact that we CAN connect on our very old (7-10 yr old) modems, but have all kinds of problems on the E521, I think tells me more about this than anything .. don't  you? 
     
    If you have upgraded to Vista, maybe there is something going on there (bad driver, Vista bug, etc).
    I know there is a lot of discussion here on this forums about Vista .. but I have not done any "upgrades" .. so would I be safe to say that I do not have that? 

     

    Maybe you could try dialing in from something like Live Linux (no HD install required) to see if that works. I've never used dialup in Linux, but it must be there. Live Linux is a great way to determine if problems are Windows related. Oh, I just remembered, that many modems are "Win-modems" and much of the processing is in Windows and there are not necessarily Linux drivers for these.I am showing my lack of basic computer knowledge (probably) but I don't know what Linux is ..?  I'm thinking though, that I am reading that you decided that I probably wouldn't be able to do that because I probably have the "win-modem"? 

     

    In a nutshell, I guess, I posted here because I had pretty much convinced myself that this must be a problem with the E521 and maybe because we only have dial-up capablilities in our area?  I came to this conclusion because the exact same thing is happening with both new modems .. but we access internet with totally different ISP's.  At the very beginning, I thought it was all of software that came on the computer .. running in the background, making the computer sluggish and disconnecting.  (That's why I turned off the firewall)  Now .. I just don't know!  I guess .. because of having the same problem on both new computers .. that possibly someone else has had this problem ... ? 

     

    Thanks much for your response!

    Glo

     

     

     

     


  • I would be very surprised if the problem is your machine. The modem is just another add on device and it should be possible to make a modem work with your computer. Getting a modem to work is generally pretty easy these days.

    Did you try the old modem in the new computer?

    You say the old modems work fine but were very slow and that is why you bought a new computer. That does not make any sense to me. How slow was it? What kind of modem? Why didn't you just buy a new modem? Something odd is going on here.

    When you are "offline" do you see the connection icon in the task bar. When you are connected, what speed are you connected at?

    Connection properties on my machine have an Options tab with "Idle time before hanging up". I have it set to never so it will not ever disconnect on its own.

    I meant to see if the connection will fail if you just leave it along. That is, connect but don't do anything. Does it disconnect?

    You'd know if you had Vista. It is not something that can happen without you knowing it.

    Linux is probably too complex for you to deal with.

    Peter
  • The problems you describe are pretty comoon to modern modems & old or rual phone systems.
     
    if you go to modem properties, advanced, in the extra settings box add the following command:
     
    +MS=V34
     
    There is a good probability your new modem will connect.
     
    The issue is the new modem is V92 & the phone system appears to not support V92.  Modems try to connect at the fastest speed 1st, then will try to step down until they can find a speed that it can connect at.  The V92 protocol takes about 454 seconds to timeout before the system drops to V90.  WIndows will abort a connection attempt at 60 seconds by default.
     
    The command above sets the modem to V32 (33,600 BPS) & the modem will usuually connect at 28,800 or so.

    Donald Kempf

    Inspiron E1505 /XPS 10 Windows 8

    Dimension 8400 Windows XP/Vista/8

    #IWork4Dell

  • DaGeezer .. and All,
     
    This is something that either Dell (or was it my ISP?) told me to do some time ago .. when I first received my new computer.  Up until yesterday I had AT&FX keyed into that extra initialization command.  I have talked to SO many people, I'm not sure WHO directed me to do that .. way back when???
     
    While working with my mother-in-law's ISP last night, they told me to yes .. go in and key the string you gave, but to add a comma and a 0.  Well, I tried this on both of our computers and it seemed to constantly slow it WAY down and/or totally lock it up ... ?  Anyway, I have now changed it back to string you suggested without the comma and 0.  (Once again .. showing how really elementary I am in relationship to  all of this technical stuff.:smileyhappy:)  We shall see how that works ... 
     
    On another note .. my Dell support icon showed back up on my start up tool bar at the bottom of my computer monitor.  When I click on that, one of the things it is telling me I need to do is update my BIOS.  After reading about this (a little) it sounds pretty daunting and it ALSO looks like many people have had problems on their E521's after doing just that.  (I was looking at the BIOS area of these Dell forums.)  Do I really need/want to do this?
     
    Thanks to all for ALL of your help!
    Glo
  • Okay .. going back to the first problem .. after adding/changing that string added into that "extra initilization command" on BOTH computers ... they are both locking up .. BIG TIME.  (I guess that would be the terminology?) 
     
    I will get (a lot of times) "Page not available" and then other times when you click to go to another web-page, it will just sit there and not do a thing ...??? 
     
    This is after I added that extra initilization command ... ?
     
    I am now at work ..  took so long for me to attempt to pull up this page at home on my new Dell, I gave up. 
     
    Glo is confused/frustrated ....  
  • I copied this email from the "Dial-Up" modem forum area (??) .. not sure how I got there?  .. And I know that I am going off in (yet) another direction .. but would me adding THIS string in for the modem, mess my connection up even more?  I'm thinking that it probably wouldn't be "slowing" it down, but speeding it up and that is not what I want to do .. is that correct? 

     

    It is all very confusing for me.  I am just trying to learn a little here .. so hopefully you can all bear with me. 

     

    This is the email from the other forum:  "Just got my Vista machine (Whoo Hoo!!) and the one problem I had was that I just could not connect on my Modem for more that 28.8 K  The lines I use let other modems connect > 45K.   After A looonngg chat with Support - I stumbled on this - and it worked like a charm!!    I hope it does for you .... 

    Put the following set up string for the modem;  +MS=V92,1,28800,33600,48000,56000"

     

    I talked to one of our techie people here at work and I am just about ready to go out and purchase a new modem (card?) to test it out that way ... 

     



    Message Edited by glonear on 04-03-2007 10:04 AM
  • Okay .. after all of my whining last week, I thought that I (probably) should at least post an up-date. 
     
    I went out and purchased two new V-92 dial-up modems from my local Best Buy.  I installed those in both my computer and mother-in-laws. 
     
    ... And now, things seem to be working much better. 
     
    I guess ..in my mind .. I can't fathom how I could receive two brand new PCU's from Dell with bad modems.  Who would've thought???
     
    Anyway, after installing those two new modems, at this stage of the game .. our computers seem to be running beautifully. 
     
    Thanks much to all who replied to me!
     
    ~Glo