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Thread: dead or dying 9 pin serial ports

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2001

    dead or dying 9 pin serial ports

    i have a problem with my PC that i used to use as a server for our net access at home, what has been happening lately is that the modem sometimes dials and sometimes doesnt, it will stay online for varying amounts of time, from under 5 minutes to over an hour

    this same modem works very well in windows XP ona different machine without any dilemma's at all, im using mandrake 9.1 on this server box at home and have concluded that the o/s is not at fault (i had the same problems with XP pro, win2k server and redhat 8)

    ive tried the modem on both of the serial ports and that doesnt make any difference on this machine, does it seem that (both of) my serial ports are either dead or are on the way out?

    the machine is a dell optiplex GX110, p3 667, 256meg RAM with a voodoo 3 PCI card and 2 USB ports, its well out of warranty as i bought it secondhand 2 years ago, is it likely that both of my serial ports are stuffed or should i try another serial modem just to be sure before i go buying a USB one?

    i will post again after i try another modem in it, coz i have another one back home elsewhere, so will be able to test that next week, if it doesnt make a difference, could someone tell me a modem that can be bought in australia that is USB and is compatable with mandrake 9.1 and most of ther linux systems

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    There used to be a bios setting to set the order that com ports are assigned in. ie. which com port is com1 and which is com2.

    On older Dell Pcs, it used to be set to auto - try setting manually if you can. I've seen similar 'faults' before and changing this has helped.

    You could also try another serial cable between your modem and puter.......

    Hope this helps a bit

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    us robotics modem

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    im now back home typing using the same 'troublesome' modem on my parents box, not a problem at all, this PC even comes complete with a dodgy keyboard port

    tr3kker - i did try that COM port BIOS setting, but it didnt make any difference at all, still the same problem, it cant be the cable coz it works well on 2 other PC's that ive used it on so far, unless my newer computer can cope with line noise better than this older one, thats a long shot i know

    if the other modem doesnt help i'll mess around with the COM port settings a bit more, then i'll give up and buy a USB modem i think, or borrow one to see what happens

  5. #5
    AO Curmudgeon rcgreen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Sounds like a software problem. Your chances of both serial ports going bad are
    pretty slim. Also, it works part of the time, right? You could try disabling thaoe ports in
    the BIOS, and getting a serial port card.

    Did you know you can rerun setup to reinstall windows, without formatting or
    trashing your existing stuff? My daughter's PC had trouble with a network
    card not working, and IDE driver failing to use protected mode (slow). I ran the
    setup for windows. It ran through like a new install, but all existing software
    was left untouched.

    You would just put in the install CD and run SETUP.EXE
    I came in to the world with nothing. I still have most of it.

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