I'm just beginning to research this, but I'll post it here hoping for advice while I do that.
My Inspiron w/"Lucent Win Modem" is about 2 1/2 years old and I use dial-up service with several ISPs. They've been OK mostly because I could typically get speeds of about 42kbps or thereabouts. One day about two months ago the speeds for all of them--AOL, MSN, and another--all dropped by about half. Now I am lucky to get 28.8 and often it is closer to the teens! Too slow even to get e-mail.
I really thought it was a change in my local phone line, local wireline software or some such thing (and I asked Qwest (Colorado) a lot of questions). I've also had serious spyware, trojan, and virus problems--I thought maybe that was a factor--but now I am very confident my laptop is clean. Part of the reason is I just bought a desktop and "cleaned off" the laptop and did a bunch of other things. The new desktop always connects at 44-46kbps using the exact same phone cable and same ISPs/software.
What is wrong with my Dell or its modem? I have heard that modems can degrade over time but I don't quite understand that. Do I need to replace it? Could it be a software problem?
I read most of the links and FAQs on this board and am going try the modem test described.
Any experience, advice, or suggestions? Thanks much.
Message Edited by PeterinCO on 09-16-2004 08:08 PM
I would think that whatever software problem you were previously having is the cause of the problem and that your best bet is to backup your personal data, format the harddrive, and then reinstall the Operating System. Modems generally either work or don't work.
Thank you for choosing Dell.
Thanks John(s), but I'm still searching. Cleaning off the entire hard drive is a difficult option and not a guaranteed cure anyway. I already cleaned off a couple of gigs because it needed it and it helped in my overall virus/spyware clean-up process, but to get rid of everything would be very hard. Plus, reloading 2 1/2 year-old software? There are probably 200 MB of XP updates alone.
Besides, recently I bought the larger battery and installed the newer/newer bios. And, I have already installed the new modem driver and that didn't help. I've tried different phone jacks and short, direct cords in my house and that also makes no difference. Again, my new desktop using the same phone lines and cords is twice as fast.
I'm still searching and researching, but to be honest, my theory at this point is 'limited modem life' or 'planned obsolesence.' I was/am still hoping for a more definitive diagnostic approach and/or solution from Dell.
I can tell you right now that reformating his hard drive is not the solution for this guys modem problems. I don't know what is yet but I hope to find the answer. I have had the same problem with my wife's Inspiron 2500 laptop with Lucent Modem. She had been getting excellent speeds for 1 1/2 years using a combination of Win ME and Win2k. Then about 6 month's ago (Approximation - Time flies when you are having fun), her modem speeds dropped by up to 50%. She now hits 14.4 to 28.8 all the time. We have 2 phone lines and it is the same on both lines. My computer hits the mid 40's most of the time. I am using a 3 Com external modem and I have hooked it up to her laptop with the same results. I have since reformatted her machine twice. Once with a reload of Win2K and most recently(Last Weekend) with WinXP. Same results.
My advise...don't reformat. Wait for an answer.
Wow! I am happy to have any sort of "discussion" here!! It is still on my mind. In a last ditch effort to try and use this forum I was considering posting something on a page that might get some more traffic.
Actually, I did reload Windows a while ago but I cheated in that I didn't clear off the whole drive first. In the meantime I've reloaded or reset everything that should affect the speeds. Thanks--sorry I didn't write down your name and I don't know how to spell it--or rather, sorry, that you have the same problem. I'm still looking too.
Actually, I don't think I put my name down. (work related) Good luck in your pursuit! I hate modem problems. I have never been able to troubleshoot them properly. I'm really starting to believe that it is a Windows O/S problem with the driver. As the driver that comes with XP and the driver that comes with Windows Update are provided by Microsoft. I did try stepping back the driver version a while back. I might try it again now that I am using XP.
My primary theory at this point is that my laptop needs a new modem. I know I can go to local stores (e.g., COMPUSA) and get an answer to what that entails, but I was hoping Dell/the forum moderators or hosts would do that. Are they addressing issues until they're resolved or what? There ought to at least be a definitive way to "bench" it.
Dell--the people here or elsewhere--could answer or address it if they wanted to. When I bought my new desktop I only barely considered Dell. Most of my opinion/experience with them stems from when I first bought the laptop. I was using it and there was a storm and somehow it fried the motherboard. The computer was maybe two months old. First they argued and basically said 'that's too bad,' insisting they would do nothing. Then they finally said OK, send it back and their service was great: an express delivery company showed-up the next day complete with packing boxes, the computer went to Texas, and about four days later I received a fixed machine at my door. All under warranty and free of charge. Their expertise was impeccable once they employed it.
This modem thing seems like an issue that should be diagnosable.
Message Edited by PeterinCO on 09-15-2004 09:24 AM