How to Troubleshoot "No Dial Tone" Issues in Windows XP

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Article ID: 326681 - View products that this article applies to.
This article was previously published under Q326681
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SUMMARY

When you try to dial out by using your modem, you may receive an error message that is similar to the following:
Error 680: There is no dial tone
This article describes how to troubleshoot "no dial tone" issues in Windows XP.

MORE INFORMATION

To troubleshoot "no dial tone" issues in Windows XP:

Make Sure a Dial Tone Is Available

Make sure that there is an available dial tone at the telephone to which your modem is connected. To do so, connect a telephone to this outlet by using a different cable, and then make sure that you can hear a dial tone. If you cannot hear a dial tone, try using a different outlet to connect your modem. You may also want to contact your telephone company for information about how to obtain a dial tone at the outlet.

Note Some voicemail and other advanced telephone features that create a broken dial tone may interfere with some modems. Make sure that the dial tone you are hearing is an ordinary, continuous tone. You can cause your modem to pause before it dials by typing several commas before the dial-up number.

Check Your Telephone Cable

  1. Check both ends of the phone cable to make sure the connection is good.
  2. Make sure that the cable is connected to the modem "Line" jack.
  3. Use a different cable to connect your modem to the telephone outlet. If this solves the problem, you have a damaged cable. Replace the cable with a new cable.
  4. Use your modem cable to connect a telephone that you know works. If this does not work, you have a damaged cable. Replace the cable with a new cable.

Check Your Modem

  1. Remove the phone line from the phone jack on your modem, and then reconnect the phone line to the same jack. If this solves the problem, you may have a damaged modem. You may have to replace your modem.
  2. Connect a telephone to the telephone jack of the modem to make sure that the modem can pass a dial tone , and then make sure that any modem lights indicate the modem is functioning correctly. If this does not work, you may have a damaged modem. You may have to replace your modem.

Check the Modem Driver Version

Make sure that you are using the correct driver for your modem:
  1. Click Start, click Control Panel, and then click Printers and Other Hardware.
  2. Click Phone and Modem Options, and then click the Modems tab.
  3. On the list of installed modems, click your modem, and then click Properties.
  4. In the Modem Properties box, click the Driver tab, and then note the driver information.
  5. Contact the manufacturer of your modem to find out if an updated driver for your modem is available.
  6. Contact the manufacturer of your modem to make sure that your modem and driver are compatible with Windows XP.
  7. Download and install the latest driver for your modem. For information about how to download and install drivers for your modem, contact the manufacturer of your modem.
For additional information about how to contact your modem manufacturer, click the article numbers below to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
65416 Hardware and Software Third-Party Vendor Contact List, A-K
60781 Hardware and Software Third-Party Vendor Contact List, L-P
60782 Hardware and Software Third-Party Vendor Contact List, Q-Z

Check Your Modem Configuration in Device Manager

To make sure that your modem is correctly configured:
  1. Click Start, right-click My Computer, and then click Manage.
  2. In the Computer Management pane, click Device Manager.
  3. See if your modem is listed in the hardware tree with a symbol that indicates a problem:
    • A black exclamation point (!) on a yellow field indicates that the device is in a problem state. Note that a device that is in a problem state may still work.
    • A problem code that explains the problem is displayed for the device.
    • A red "X" indicates a disabled device. A disabled device is a device that is physically present in the computer and is consuming resources, but does not have a protected-mode driver loaded.
    • A blue "i" on a white field on a device resource indicates that the "Use automatic settings" feature is not selected for the device and that the resource was manually selected. Note that this does not indicate a problem or disabled state.
  4. See if there are multiple instances of the same modem in Device Manager. If there are, remove all instances of the modem, and then restart your computer to reinstall the modem.

Look for a Network Adapter Conflict

If you do not have a network adapter, go to the "Check the Regional Settings in Modem Properties" section of this article.
  1. Click Start, right-click My Computer, and then click Manage.
  2. In the Computer Management pane, click Device Manager.
  3. Expand Network Adapters, right-click your network adapter, and then click Disable. If this solves the problem, your modem is conflicting with your network adapter.

Check the Regional Settings in Modem Properties

If your modem is set for the wrong country, it may be "listening" for the wrong dial tone. To check the regional settings:
  1. Click Start, and then click Control Panel.
  2. Click Printers and Other Hardware, and then click Phone and Modem Options.
  3. Click the Dialing Rules tab, click your location, and then click Edit.
  4. Click the General tab, and then make sure that the correct country is listed under Country/region.

Disable Dial Tone Detection

If you cannot determine the cause of the "No Dial Tone" error message, it may be possible to work around the issue by disabling the dial tone detection of your modem. To disable dial tone detection:
  1. Click Start, click Control Panel
  2. Click Printers and Other Hardware, and then click Phone and Modem Options.
  3. Click the Modem tab, click your modem on the list of installed modems, and then click Properties.
  4. Click the Modem tab, click to clear the Wait for dial tone before dialing check box, and then click OK.

REFERENCES

For additional information about related topics, click the following article numbers to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
314455 'Error 691' Error Message When You Try to Connect to Your ISP
184086 Phone Company Services May Disrupt Modem Functionality
308022 Resources for Troubleshooting Modem Problems in Windows XP

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Article ID: 326681 - Last Review: May 7, 2007 - Revision: 1.4
APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft Windows XP Professional
  • Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition
Keywords: 
kbtshoot kbhowto KB326681

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