Installing a 56K PCI Modem

How to Install an Internal Modem

Installing a 56K Modem into a computer running Windows XP is fairly straightforward because XP comes equipped with a variety of "generic" modem drivers, including modems based upon all the popular chipset's.

PCI ModemIn many cases, adding, changing, or removing a modem is based on Windows plug and play. But, sometimes conflicts can occur so this guide runs through all the actions you need to take to successfully install a 56K PCI Modem.

Installing an internal modem is not that difficult a task and only involves the following steps:

1. The first thing to do is turn of your computer.

2. Unplug your computer from the mains socket and remove any wires or other peripherals from the ports at the rear of the machine.

Before you carry out any work on your computer make sure you protect your PC's delicate circuits from static electric charges on your body by properly grounding yourself. If you don't have a grounding strap at least ground your body by touching the metal part on the outside of your PC's case before touching the inside of your PC or any component, including the motherboard.

3. Open your computer's case (by removing the holding screws or any catches) to reveal the motherboard and the available component slots.

4. Locate the appropriate slot in the motherboard for your particular modem. This will no doubt be a PCI modem (although some older ISA modems do exist). It should be easy to work out which slot is appropriate for your style of modem, based on the design of the connectors. It also helps to know that PCI slots are coloured white.

5. After locating the correct slot, press the modem firmly into place on the motherboard, making sure the connectors are completely in contact with all of the pins.

6. Now reassemble your PC by closing up the case and plugging everything back into its appropriate socket.

7. Plug in any phone lines you wish to use into the back of the modem. You will probably need to buy a telephone splitter so that you can use your telephone when you are not online.

8. Turn on your PC and wait while Windows XP tries to detect any new hardware that has been installed. Windows' database of hardware is extensive, and more 56k modems are listed in the cache file. A bubble may appear, indicating that new hardware has been found. Click on the bubble to bring you to the "Add New Hardware" menu. From there, Windows XP will walk you through the steps needed to both install and troubleshoot your new modem.

9. Be sure to place any software provided by the modem's manufacturers into the appropriate drive. Drivers for providing or improving modem functionality are often provided on software CD's.

If you do not have a driver disc and Windows itself can't find a driver for your modem you will have find a compatible driver from another source. To find a Windows XP driver, or even a Windows 2000 driver which may work, the best place to visit is generally your modem vendors website. If , for some reason, you cannot locate a driver we suggest you just buy a new modembuy a new modem complete with its drivers on floppy disc or CD.

Installing an External Modem

Installing an external modem, rather than a modem card, has a number of advantages. Internal modems can sometimes lock up and not work. When this happens this often needs a reboot of your PC before the modem can be detected by Windows.

external modem

If an external modem locks up you can usually just turn it off and back on again to reset it. This can save you time. Not only is the external modem handy but you can travel with it and hook it up to other systems.

Here are some common steps for installing a a external modem:

1. Turn your computer off.

2. Plug the external modem into a free serial port.

3. Attach the modem to a mains power socket and plug in your telephone line.

4. Restart your PC. Your Windows XP operating system will recognize your new modem hardware, especially if it is a Plug and Play device. In most cases you will be brought to a hardware wizard and it will ask for a driver for your device. Make sure you have the installation CD or floppy in the drive.

Dial Up vs Broadband

Although installing internal and external modems is not too hard to do, your internet connection will be slow and many web pages will take an age to open for viewing. A good site for those forced to use dial up is the search engine Google. It is certainly a quick loading site because there is hardly any content on their home page. See for yourself by searching Google.co.uk.

Thankfully broadband is now widely available and much simpler to use. It is also much faster than a dial-up connection. Check here to see if you can get broadband -

Check broadband availability by using your BT telephone number

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