Windows Vista Business fax problem

By Cap'n Billy ·
This is a new laptop which I ordered with Vista Business instead of Home Premium just for the fax software. Try as I may, I can't get it to work. I have it set up identically to my XP laptop, which has been faxing flawlessly for the past 7 years.

What happens is, when I call the fax number the "phone" in the computer rings, the window appears that shows it is receiving a fax, but it keeps ringing. After about a minute a message appears that says something like "Unable to answer this call as a fax." I have checked and double-checked the settings, both for the fax software and the modem, and they are identical to those on my XP laptop. When I unplug the phone line from my new Vista laptop and plug the same line in to my old XP laptop the fax software works normally.

All ideas appreciated.

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All Answers

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Does the modem have a Vista driver?

by seanferd In reply to Windows Vista Business fa ...

If not, it may not work right.

If the modem is not on the Vista Hardware Compatibility list, it may not work.

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Vista compatibility

by Cap'n Billy In reply to Does the modem have a Vis ...

Thanks for your very helpful reply. I checked the link you provided, and did not see this modem on the list. In fact, there are very few Vista-compliant modems available that I can find, especially for laptops, which my machine is.

The driver in the installed modem is dated 2006, so it is most likely not Vista-compatible. After trying to update the driver through the Device Manager and getting a "Best driver software already installed" response, I searched for Vista drivers on the Motorola site and came up empty. I did find one on a drivers site, but I couldn't get it to install.

By the way, the modem is a Motorola SM56 Data Fax Modem, if anybody has knowledge of a compatible driver or is able to recommend a site where one may be downloaded.

The only use I have for a modem is for an occasional fax, as there are still a few people and businesses that prefer using that outdated technology, although they're getting fewer and fewer. Also, I still have my 7 year-old Dell XP laptop and the fax system on that one works perfectly, so I probably don't need to hassle with this much more.

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It is odd that they included the fax software in Vista Business

by seanferd In reply to Vista compatibility

but little driver/hardware support for fax modems.

What is the make and model of the system you need the driver for? HP has this one:

And there are others

Maybe we could find a proper diver and troubleshoot any install problems, if you are interested.

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Modem driver

by Cap'n Billy In reply to It is odd that they inclu ...

Thanx for your reply. My system is a custom-built laptop built by my local computer store. I had it built primarily for photo editing, and secondarily for editing WAV files, so I concentrated on specifications for the screen and graphics card and processor. I didn't give much thought to the modem, as I assumed that any old modem would suit my purposes, which is to send and receive faxes. But you know what they say about assumptions.

I had found the HP site you link to, but didn't think it wise to download and install a driver that was apparently built for HP machines. However, upon reflection, I may reconsider. I suppose I could set a System Restore point before installing and roll it back if it doesn't work, which is what I always do anyway when I install something.

I had actually dowloaded the driver from the X-Drive site on the Google link that you provided but I couldn't get it to install.

Maybe I'll try the HP driver, nothing to lose.

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by Cap'n Billy In reply to Windows Vista Business fa ...

I think I'll close this out with the following.

As I was trouble-shooting this problem and switching back and forth from the new Vista laptop and the old XP laptop, the fax software on the old laptop stopped working too. I used the Dell Modem utility to check the modem, and it reported that it didn't receive a dial tone. I then went to Radio Shack and bought a $10.46 corded phone and plugged it in. Guess what, no dial tone. This was into a convertor that the phone co. provided me to convert a 2-line jack into one that connected just to line 2 for the modem. When I removed the convertor and plugged the phone directly into the wall jack I got a dial tone, but on Line 1. So I went back to Radio Shack and bought a splitter for another $10 or so that separates Line 1 and 2 into 2 separate jacks. When I plugged the corded phone into Line 2 I got a dial tone, and when I plugged it into my XP laptop to my relief the fax was working again. Since I'll be keeping the XP laptop for my wife to use for her e-mail and other tasks (if I can ever teach her how), that's how the situation is going to remain for a while. I'm not really interested in hassling with this any more right now, now that I have the functionality back.

Thanks for all your suggestions.

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