56K modem difficulties in Windows 98


OSNN Addict
Yeah, I know -- for some reason, I feel as if this has been everybodys nightmare at some point in time. Windows 98 and software-driven modems. It is one problem after another. I have an older box, it's a windows 98se box, and I'm trying to install a conexant soft 56k modem in it. I don't have any other options. Dont ask me why :) (These are the circumstances!)
It was a hell of a time, But I finally got windows to communicate with it via the diagnostics tab in Modem properties. That goes by without a hitch, the trouble starts, however, when I try to dial out to an ISP. You can hear the modem initialize, and then bang - my computer freezes. The modem makes a weird clicking noise and that's that.

Has anyone had this problem before? What can I do to fix it? Please feel free to ask any questions that I havent answered already. Any help would be kick ass.
Windows freezing is probably an interrupt request problem. Try changing the IRQ that the modem uses. The old boards had dip switches, some of the newer ones use software that comes with the board to change the interrupt. Your modem software must be set to use the same IRQ and I/O ports as the board uses.

You need to install the Windows 98 drivers that came with the board. The manufacturer might have new ones on their website. There are no generic drivers for Windows 98 add in cards so if you can't get the right ones you are pretty much screwed.

PS Get Windows XP for the box. Life is too short to screw with the ancient idosyncrisis of Windows 98.


OSNN Addict
Thanks Lee. I really appreciate your input. It's not the first time you have helped me - a true OSNN'er you are. I have been pondering the idea of putting Windows XP on the box, and I suppose your suggestion just emphasises it. It's not my computer and I am fixing it for an older couple, well, attempting to fix it. I'll have to get up with them on the matter. I wanted to avoid reformatting at all costs, though. I just view it as a "sissy solution" and wanted to definately save that for the last resort. I'll probably fool around with it another 3 or 4 hours before ultimately making that decision, though.

PS - Do you think a 533Mhz celeron with 256MBRAM can handle XP? As far as I'm concerned I think it's a go - what about you?
Thanks again,
I've run Windows XP on a 450Mhz K5 chip, about the same speed range as that Celeron. There was a noticeable speed increase and no driver problems. The box is still sitting under my workbench as an emergency back up in case my real computers go down.

My only concern would be the memory. XP has grown obscene in it's memory usage. 184 megs would be my minimum recommended, 256 is better.

Pop a spare HD into the system and install XP onto that. If it finds all the driver ok then you are safe install XP over the existing 98 install and have it keep a copy of 98 to roll back to. I can't remember if I ever did a successful uninstall that way. It's been a long time.

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