windows vista and modem dialup issues RRS feed

  • Question

  • I recently bought a brand new laptop that came with vista ultimate installed and I live out in the sticks so I don't have access to any internet connection except dialup which doesn't seem to work at all with vista.  The system is brand new, the modem an agere.  I've tried two different isp (one of them msn itself!) to see if that was the problem and spent numerous hours with manufacturer and isp tech support and the conclusion everyone has come to is that it doesn't work, that vista is broken for dialup capabilites.  At least on this systems hardware configuration.  So I am pretty upset as the primary purpose for buying the laptop was internet connectivity, almost 5k for something I've had for two months and can't use.  The only way I've been able to even get what upgrades/fixes I have so far is that I go about once a week to my isp and hook into their connection directly.  The manufacturer says I should wait for the service pack and that it will 'probably' fix the issue but if the service pack isn't due out until '08 that means I sit on a useless system for a year for a fix that may never come.  We have dinked and fiddled for hours with various settings, reinstalled drivers, tried other drivers, everything.  It just doesn't work, the modem works fine but when it gets to actually communicating with the isp its like one is talking greek and it I get that fascinating dialogue box that gives you the option to diagnose the problem and the wonderful answer of 'gee, nothings wrong with it'.  Its all very frustrating.  Its not the only thing broken with the OS either, my second video card is a useless piece of junk sitting in there because vista doesn't like SLI and who knows how long I have to wait for a driver for that.  So I write here in hopes someone has some insight as to how to fix said modem issue/knows if anyone actually cares in msn to fix said issue/if said issue may be addressed sometime in the reasonable future?  I know dialup is going the way of the dodo and not many people use it anymore but there is still a signifcant number of people who live in rural areas and don't have access to dsl/cable or whatnot.  Any help would be greatly appreciated.


    Sunday, May 20, 2007 5:42 AM


  • Hi folks:


    I'm sorry you're having trouble getting your modem to work. However, this forum is for discussing programming issues with Windows Vista. I recommend that you work with your hardware manufacturer to get this porblem resolved. It sounds like they don't have a valid driver for the modem.



     - Mark Hopkins (MSFT)


    Thursday, June 7, 2007 5:57 PM

All replies

  • I am sitting at my xp laptop because like you I have tried everything to get vista ultimate to log on to dial up internet, drives have been reloaded phone lines tested service providers contacted and band width tests performed, but between page cannot be displayed and the connection being so slow you would never bother trying to use it  the frustration sets in. It is interesting that the problem seems to be vista itself as I have been back to the supplier of the vista computer on several occasions to rectify the problem. Vista seems to work well  with dial up connection from their shop but refuses to behave at home. Sorry I have no answers but I thought you might like to know that I share in your frustration.
    Wednesday, May 23, 2007 9:40 AM
  • a possible remedy  try turning off your phishing filter   click internet explorer , tools, turnoff phishing filter      apparently vista isn't designed for dialup and the filter checking every page slows the connection down. I have done this and it seems to be working well.   good luck.
    Wednesday, May 23, 2007 11:06 AM
  • I recently did a Vista upgrade on a laptop that was supposedly Vista ready. I found that I couldn't get to the internet with the version of PeoplePC that I was using. I sent for a Vista-friendly version and can now log on but every time I try to download anything, including Windows updates, I get disconnected. I have the phishing filter turned off so that's not the problem. Vista seems to be designed for broadband. A service pack exists but Microsoft seems to think that regular updates online will be enough to fix any problems. SURE!

    Start downloading updates and keep re-dialing to finish.

    Sunday, May 27, 2007 12:34 PM
  • Hi folks:


    I'm sorry you're having trouble getting your modem to work. However, this forum is for discussing programming issues with Windows Vista. I recommend that you work with your hardware manufacturer to get this porblem resolved. It sounds like they don't have a valid driver for the modem.



     - Mark Hopkins (MSFT)


    Thursday, June 7, 2007 5:57 PM
  • I have spent hours with the manufacturer.  I have spent hours with my university computer support department.  The driver has been reinstalled multiple times.  Its not the only driver that vista has broken just the most crucial to me at this time.  SInce this post I still do not have internet connectivity and have pretty much decided to format the computer with a different operating system.  The OS as a whole is buggy, very few programs work with it and those that do suffer from wierd crashes and errors, frankly I don't want to mess with being a guinea pig for microsoft to troubleshoot their products on.  Maybe in a couple of years it'll be useable but right now I am quite the -unsatisfied- consumer.  I did not even ask for this OS, I had no choice.  Funny, a few weeks after I bought the system the manufacturer established an option to choose either vista or xp because of all the complaints they received on vista.  Lucky me ordering the stupid thing when I did, I could have had an OS that has been through the 'couple of years until it works' cycle.  And, frankly I see it as a programming issue.  The modem works fine with xp pro, not with vista.  Its not a 'brand x' computer, it cost me $5000 which irritates me even more.  Too much more stress over something that I expect to work right out of the box for something I perceive as a basic function (dialup internet) and believe me the next computer I purchase will not have a microsoft OS on it.
    Sunday, June 10, 2007 1:27 AM
  • Hello, i don't know if you resolved your issue with the dial up modem but i recently bought a new PC running Vista Home Premium.  Had problems at first but it was my telephone line, since i got it fixed my dial up is running great i used an external modem it is a Sweex 56k USB Modem V92 Smartlink chipset Hayes compatible 98SE, XP, and 2000.  I think it is a fax modem too.  It cost about £20 once it seemed to freeze but i unplugged it and dialed up again and had no problems since i have had it about 4 weeks.  I share your frustration at not being able to get broadband.  Hope this helps.
    Thursday, July 5, 2007 8:49 PM
  • Hi,

    We rescently purchased a laptop for my daughter for a graduation gift. It has vista on it. For some reason we couldn't get the darn thing to log on threw peoplepc, which is our dial up right now, but we used an aol disk and it managed to dial up threw that? Makes you wonder. I am planning to call peoplepc to see if maybe they have a vista friendly way for dial up. Don;t know if that helped you any but thats how we fixed that problem.

    Friday, July 13, 2007 1:41 AM

    i share your frustration. have found this site to be informative. http://www.modemsite.com/56k/vista.asp. there are modems that are supported, but many at this point. you should be pissed about buying a rig with vista instaled that that has hardware that isnt ready. i know i am!

    Friday, July 20, 2007 1:54 PM
  • I do support for a major isp and can tell you that I have Vista frustrations every day.  First, Vista is just not dial up friendly.  Xp was great cause you could setup the connection to automatically dial when Internet explorer was opened but in Vista half the time IE 7 doesn't do that even when it is setup to do so.  Even when you are connected ie 7 doesn't always recognize it until you refresh.  It doesn't sound like a big deal, but for a lot of customers this results in a support call.

    Vista's diagnose button is easily the most useless feature in Vista.  It's a real pain when a customer calls in with an "unable to make connection" error.  This means we have absolutely no idea where to start, it could be a modem problem, a username/password problem a pop problem.  We have no idea, I learned months ago not to bother with the diagnose problem button.  I wish that when you pushed that button it would read "vista sucks."  Hopefully that button will actually give an error message in the future.

    Another problem I've run into frequently is with windows mail.  We typically setup a mail client but Windows mail from time to time just will not send email.  This isn't an unheard of thing except that when it doesn't send email it doesn't give an error message either but instead sends the mail to the sent items folder.  This leads the customer to believe their email is being sent when it isn't.  My fix for this is having them use webmail or Microsoft outlook which appears to work just fine.

    My advise is to avoid using Vista, I'm an xp fan myself.  I haven't had any problems with it that I can't (normally) fix.  Bare in mind that all of these opinions of Vista are based on the thousands of phone calls I've taken since it came out several months ago, I always breath a sigh of relief when my customers tell me they have xp.
    Monday, September 3, 2007 7:27 PM

  • I have a serial modem which worked fine with XP. It was quite straight forward to get that work.
    In Vista Business, it seems very difficult. In control panel when I click the Phone and Modem Options I do not see any modem and advanced tab in the control panel. Without the modem and advanced tab it is not possible to give extra setting and initialization strings. Though this link http://www.modemsite.com/56k/initmagic.asp describes the howto, but for premium customers only. Help from forum members will be appreciated.
    Tuesday, September 4, 2007 8:25 PM

    we should take out a class action lawsuit against Microsoft Vista , we bought a product, we cannot use our computors, or notebooks, we only have dial up, and our computors are worthless.many people up here are pissed off, lost a lot of $ for our purchase. The OS should have been compatible with both dial up and DSL. Dial up customers, many of them too, cnt get online! People Pc is mine, they give you a temporary dial up, while it's said that in 2008 they will have an upate, well we did not know, they id not ask, this should have been all confirmed, configured, and reay BEFORE they sold us our Vista OS computors or notebooks. But what the hell, the notebooks and computors look good sitting there worthless if you are rural and on dial up.

    Thy should of assured the people cold use the OS, not let us find out after we buy the product.


    It's like buying a new car, but the engine is not under the hood.Damn!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Lets start a clas action lawsuit , we were dupped!

    got pretty pc's with out OS , they should of been prepared and then market the OS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! you cant dial up or looe connection, or not responding, it is aggravating, not wht a new pc should be about...

    Terrence E. Gaylor,


    mad as hell   !!!!!!!

    Thursday, September 6, 2007 8:44 PM
  • Hello everyone.


    I am saddened to hear all of the frustration that you are experiencing in regard to using your dial-up modem. I am afraid that this forum is really used by developers trying to learn about creating applications for noteboooks, Tablet PCs, and UMPCs. You are far more likely to find an expert who has the immediate answer to your question if you ask this on the Windows Vista General Discussion newsgroup or the  Windows Vista Networking and Sharing newsgroup.


    As a matter of fact, there is a current thread in the Windows Vista General Discussion group titled "Dial Up," in which an MVP is asking questions about the very problems you mention. 


    Good luck getting this resolved.


    Eliot - MSFT

    Friday, September 7, 2007 9:48 PM
  • Oh, I forgot to add that my first guess as to what is blocking you is a missing Windows Vista driver on the modem. If you check the website for the company that made the modem, they should have a Vista-compatible driver available to download.


    Best of luck.


    Eliot - Microsoft

    Friday, September 7, 2007 9:50 PM
  • That seems like a typical MSFT response. I have a brand new Toshiba laptop. My modem works for everything accept Internet browsing. It connects but has limited connectivity and can't browse. All these different laptops and PC's yet MSFT thinks it is a hardware issue. Slim chance that all these modems are from the same manufacture. Sounds like a "programing issue" to me.




    Tuesday, September 11, 2007 1:10 PM
  • Hi David.


    I'm really sorry that you're having to go through this, honest.


    Perhaps I am not explaining myself very well. What I am saying is that I believe it is, indeed, software that is missing. For each new hardware device such as a modem, there is a device driver, a small program that enables a computer to interact with a peripheral hardware device. Each driver is specific to a particular device. And for each device there are drivers specific to each operating system. It's the software that comes with each printer, modem, etc.


    For instance, say I bought the MyCompany printer model X. It has different drivers than their model Y. And model X may have an OS/X driver, a Linux driver, a Window XP, and a Windows 2000 driver that comes with it. But if I then buy a computer running Windows Vista, I somehow need to get the driver that enables my Windows Vista computer to interact with my MyCompany X printer. The operating system cannot anticipate all drivers that may exist, nor should any computer try to store them all. Therefore, it is through MyCompany.com that I would get drivers.


    If you take a look at Toshiba's Technical Support Center, you see a way to navigate their drivers and updates. I am suggesting that if your modem was working fine on Windows XP and suddenly doesn't work well on Windows Vista, the first thing to check would be whether you are missing that company's device driver for Windows Vista. And unfortunately, not every company made a Windows Vista driver for all models of their hardware.


    I am sorry if I did not communicate this well in earlier mail. I know it can be frustrating, and I know it sounds like the software company saying it's the hardware and the hardware saying it's the software.




    Eliot - MSFT

    Tuesday, September 11, 2007 11:39 PM
  • I too had a problem connecting to the Internet on my Acer Aspire laptop using Vista Home Basic.  From my wife's Compaq desktop I downloaded a copy of the AT&T dialer program onto a memory stick and transferred it to my Acer laptop,  I was then able to connect to the Internet even though I received a dialog box telling me that I had some compatibility problems.  I have since gone to the AT&T site to download a Vista compatible dialer.  I have been successful in downloading it but it disappears when I try to intstall it.  I'll continue with what I have and also continue to try to install the Vista compatible dialer.  I will soon switch to DSL with Verizon but I hate all of the phone company penalties and contracts.  I have only a month to month with AT&T with no penalties and no contracts.  I only wish they offered DSL in my area of North Central Massachusetts.



    Saturday, November 24, 2007 3:13 AM
  • I just ordered a new laptop with Vista Home Premium (haven't even gotten it from the store yet - wanted to do some dial-up research so when I try to do it, I won't go into it blind).

    I just can't wait to see what happens - I have peoplepc dial-up right now and ordered their DSL package today, too... fortunately, I have my current tower where everything works just fine (XP Prof SP2).

    Remember when we were forced to NT? Feels just like that, eh?


    P.S. To the MSFTs: you guys may think Vista is okay, but you must certainly understand the frustration of your customers. I've been a Windows user since its inception, and am usually a Microsoft advocate in OpenSource discussions... It would just be nice to have you guys honestly and openly acknowledge that there are Vista issues - that are not going to be successfully resolved by just downloading and installing a driver...
    Wednesday, November 28, 2007 12:31 AM

    I had a similar problem, although I don't have a lap top, I have a desktop PC.


    Before I explain what I went through, I will say:
    Yes, it is possible to use a dial up modem with Windows Vista, so don't give up hope.  More on that in a few moments.


    I got a new computer about two weeks ago with the Vista operating system (Vista home premium, 32 bit).


    I first tried my old, internal dial-up modem in my new computer, but that didn't work, so I took it out.

    I then went to the store and bought an internal dial up modem by Dynex (model # DX-M102 S M 56kb), and I installed the driver that came with the CD that was with the modem.


    The packaging that the Dynex modem came in said on the front "Vista Compatible," but it was not.

    My computer would not recognize the Dynex modem.


    I called Dynex twice, and the situation wound up with the representative telling me to take the modem back to the store and get a refund, which I did.


    Previously, she had told me to go to their site and download the driver from there (presumably, it had files on it that the CD's driver did not).


    So if you have Vista and a Dynex modem that doesn't work (at least the DX M102 model), don't bother downloading the driver from their site, as it doesn't help; it's a waste of time.


    I next went to Wal-Mart and bought an external dial up modem, and it works! I am typing this message on my new computer that uses the Vista operating system, as a matter of fact.


    The dial up modem I bought is an external modem by US Robotics, 56K USB FaxModem, Model 5633B. If you're looking for it on store shelves, (as opposed to buying it on the web) It comes in a red and white box.

    Friday, November 30, 2007 8:25 PM
  • It seems to be a problem with the dial-up connection that is user-created.  Mine wouldn't work, but Juno works fine.  After feeling all the same frustration as everyone else, and not wanting to pay a geek to try to fix a bug, I uninstalled and reinstalled the connection numerous times, and what I find (vista Basic on a Compaq Presario) that the software either will NOT store your password or will store it twice.  If you go into into internet options, and click on make a connection, go back and check before exiting, to see if your password is there or not and if it has twice as many characters as it is supposed to have.  If you just leave password blank and enter your password each time, it seems to work.

    Vista=disaster.  At a professional presentation, a Dr was trying to use Powerpoint and his comment on Vista, almost unusable.  Those were my exact words.  After changing anti-spyware and anti- virus and adding 2 g of ram, it now works fine except for the dial up issue.
    Saturday, January 12, 2008 2:13 AM
  • It seems to be a problem with the dial-up connection that is user-created.  Mine wouldn't work, but Juno works fine.  After feeling all the same frustration as everyone else, and not wanting to pay a geek to try to fix a bug, I uninstalled and reinstalled the connection numerous times, and what I find (vista Basic on a Compaq Presario) that the software either will NOT store your password or will store it twice.  If you go into into internet options, and click on make a connection, go back and check before exiting, to see if your password is there or not and if it has twice as many characters as it is supposed to have.  If you just leave password blank and enter your password each time, it seems to work.

    Vista=disaster.  At a professional presentation, a Dr was trying to use Powerpoint and his comment on Vista, almost unusable.  Those were my exact words.  After changing anti-spyware and anti- virus and adding 2 g of ram, it now works fine except for the dial up issue.  I was able to tell him what was wrong and how to fix it, and he asked the same as I had: why would MSFT release anything this bad?  I do'nt know the answer to that, I am just budgeting for a Mac.
    Saturday, January 12, 2008 2:15 AM
  • I am back on the xp machine because that fix no longer works
    Saturday, January 12, 2008 3:18 AM
  • same proble. Buy a U.S. Robotics 5633 modem. It will work vista. It supposively has capabilities to let you know when a call is coming in. With vista it doesn't work yet as U.S. Robotics is working on a software upgrade free. Spoke to tech support. But at least for $90.00 I am up with the external modem 5633B

    Friday, February 22, 2008 12:34 AM
  • I, too, live in an area where I can only get dialup service.  I have peoplepc.  I've been frustrated by modem problems since November, 2007 when my 3-month-old Acer mini-tower with Vista home premium started having modem problems!  I bought my computer at Radio Shack, so I called them.  They said to return it to the store and they would send it for repair.  WRONG, they sent it to Radio Shack repair who said it should have gone to Acer.  After a total of 8 weeks, Acer finally returned to me!   It worked for a few weeks and then appeared to burn up a string of modems which Acer very patiently shipped to me because the error message I kept getting was "no dial tone" when I actually had a dialtone.  I could plug in a friend's laptop and be back in business instantly.  Acer has had my computer a total of 3 times!  The last time, it lasted 9 days before it stopped working.  Now I'm getting messages of "remote computer not responding".  This afternoon, I stopped and looked at the modem box, and guess what?  The box says Windows 98SE/ME/2000/XP!  Dumb me, I assumed Acer had enough sense to send a modem that would work with the computer they sold me.  I didn't even think about reading the box to see if the modem would work.  I guess I'll go to Wal-Mart and buy the modem someone talked about in one of the other posts.  I've even talked with one of the Acer people in Corporate Customer Support.  As I told her, "It's a shame that I'm pulling my hair out with computer problems while all of my friends seem to be happily surfing the net and sending and receiving emails.  What a shame!"

    Sunday, July 27, 2008 5:41 PM
  • The problem exist due to the following circumstances. One Rural phone lines are not maintained and windows vista uses a software modem rather than a hardware modem. If you purchase an External hardware modem it should correct the problem and allow you to connect.
    Friday, August 29, 2008 12:23 PM
  • It is a typical response.  I regularly try to get help within the MSDN, which IS for programmers.  Since Microsoft is so worried about piracy, they seems to have failed all of us Windows Users by not allowing the new code to be dispersed throughout the programmers world.  Remember the driver problems with XP?  Program compatability issues?  They haven't released an OS that has been up to par since DOS!  Watch the updates you are getting, because if you watch some of them are updates to fix updates!!!  If you truly want to find a fix, you might want to become a programmer (or at least Visual Basic), you might have better luck getting help.  All of you that are using dialup, I wish you luck in finding a solution to this problem that seems to be plaguing Vista.

    Saturday, September 20, 2008 12:54 PM
  • Hi ISP Support Guy,

    I so totally agree with you! I also do support for an ISP and I strongly recommend using windows XP rather then Vista.

    I really don't understand why people want Windows Vista....it to me is ***. Except for the gadgets and graphics that Windows vista has...that's basically the only thing it has! It is totally useless especially with dial up!

    From experience, I guess you could try turning of the firewall or uninstall the Anti virus...but sometimes that works...most times it doesn't! Its a headache....every time I assist a customer...the moment they say they have Vista....all *** breaks loose! It is really not user friendly as Windows XP. I am a fan of Windows XP and I guess as long as Vista is around...I would never use it nor recommend it. At least Windows XP gives you an error that can point you to something...with Vista...like what ISP Support Guy says "the diagnose button is the most useless feature" and I would say AMEN to that!

    Well I guess this doesnt really help the initial problem of not being able to dial up, however I just thought I'd share my frustrations from experience with Windows Vista!
    Thursday, October 23, 2008 3:00 AM

    I have been using Vista 64 for a while, once I installed AT&T Global Network Client for VPN, my all type of Dial-up stopped working (I had Blue Tooth Device Dial-up with my Windows Mobile, Even if I try to setup a dial-up connection using my Internal modems, it says is the modem connected, is the modem switched on? – So I figured out right now, it can’t setup any dial-up using any of those modems, Also, I have some tried with some other cell phone modems, but none of them though when I query that modem, and diagnose it shows that that modem exists and get responses from them.

    Also, whenever I turn off – turn on my Wireless connection, the windows Host process crashes, sometime it crashes without that as well. This is the second time – I have installed Vista Ultimate 64 bit for my HP Pavilion tx1000, and it seems like – I will have to either wait for Windows 7 or going back to XP to trust MS OS. Had so much respect for Microsoft, but Vista seems like telling me “Astalavista baby”

    • Proposed as answer by charlesfla100 Tuesday, August 25, 2009 9:18 PM
    Monday, February 16, 2009 12:10 AM
  • To those of you still having difficulty with dial up and Vista 64 bit.  I am not a computer whiz, but this may help someone.My father in law purchased an HP pavillion slim line that did not come with an internal modem.  We were able to get an external usb modem (Zoom) to work well.  We did have to go to the manufacturers notes, but it does work.  The biggest problem was getting an isp program that would work with Vista 64 bit.  We were able to download a current program (AOL) via my cable connection and copy it to disk, then install on his computer.  An external usb modem may be something to try, even if you have an internal modem already, and be sure your isp is compatible with 64 bit.
    • Proposed as answer by Rickedy Sunday, November 6, 2011 6:36 AM
    • Unproposed as answer by Rickedy Sunday, November 6, 2011 6:36 AM
    Tuesday, August 25, 2009 9:31 PM
  • Well it's 2011 now and thank God and MS that Vista has been replaced by Windows 7.  People like Windows 7. 

    At this very moment I'm working on a friends laptop with Vista.  Darn thing was slow and dial up issues up the ying yang

    It's nice and fast now but dial up fixes seem few and far between.

    Got a few hints from this old forum .   I trust they let the rest of you posters out of the loony bin by now.

    Thanks for the hints .

    Vista is still crap. But usable nowadays.  Maybe.

    Sunday, November 6, 2011 7:09 AM
  • I know mark said this is a programming issue forum and according to the posts this is one.  I have a Gateway with windows Vista.  I had no choice in the OS as I bought the computer at a Best Buy.  It has worked well for us the past two years.  We had comcast as an ISP, no major problems.  I tried to connect a wireless adapter for another desktop (Belkin) and the customer (dis)support had no idea and nor did comcast.  In lieu of this we got rid of that and now have verizon.  We have been with verizon for ten months now and things have been great.  The other evening, May 23rd I started having connectivity issues.  I would restart the external verizon sponsored router and it would be fixed.  On and off for the following times of access there would be access at times and none at other times.  Ultimately now I have no internet access on that computer and my ISP states that all connectivity is there; of course as I am able to coordinate this post on the remote computer. 

    With the Vista, has anyone had problems wherein the internet access has died though the router works fine?  Is this another wonderful Vista failure or may there be another factor involved?

    If I change OS on my PC where can I get it cheap?  I feel Microsoft should offer free upgrade to Windows 7 as it is there fault Vista is screwy; can I still get XP anywhere as that was the ideal OS in my opinion? 

    Anybody have some answers.


    Friday, May 25, 2012 12:08 PM