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Lilla's notes on Inspiron 7000 - Modem - Last updated 13Dec98

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This section contains information about:

Dell Modem Offerings for I-7000

Link presenting modem options:

We offer several modems, including:

Both the PC-Card modems are produced by the manufacturer, and are not specific to Dell (like the older 56k 3Com modem was), meaning they are not Dell branded modems. Both are v.90 ready, but you may need to update them with the v.90 flash upgrade from the website.

Brian McCullough Dell Online Services

Q: Can I order with "no modem"?

A: Yes, sometime around 20Nov98, the online US configuration page added a "no modem" option for the 300MHz i7000 which subtracts $59. Prior to this, you could configure a 266MHz 13.3" system with a "no modem" option and it subtracted $59, but, this "no modem" option was not available on any of the 300MHz configurations and the sales rep's would not give you a "no modem" configuration either. Lilla

Specs for the Internal WinModem (*NOT* available online)

Dell has not posted the specs for the internal WinModem. Therefore there is some uncertainty about which features of the chipset have been implemented. For example, the chipset says it supports caller id, but one user reports that it does not support caller id.

Lucent Technologies L56xAFI and L56xL Host-Based Controller Modem Chip Set with K56flex™ (note: I7000 uses L56xAFI chipset)

Specs for LT WinModem with Lucent Chipset - supplied by Rik, Newsgroup


Data modes:         

Fax mode:

A summary of additional information gleaned from my notes (Lilla):

Updated Drivers for LT WinModem with Lucent chipset

Richard Gamberg's LT Win Modem Info and Firmware Updates site at

Richard is a LT WinModem Guru. He explains that the LT WinModem does not require different drivers for ISA and PCI. Before updating your modem software using non-Dell drivers, I strongly advise that you spend some time reading the information on Richard's LT WinModem Site. If you decide to procede, then carefully read and follow Richard's installation instructions. Numerous people now have successfully updated their modem driver using Richard's site and instructions. This should be considered an "ADVANCED" procedure.

You will find Albert Ho's instructions for installing this modem under NT on the I7000 at Richard's site, and it is also in my FAQ, ie. Lilla's notes on i7000 - OS Section, under NT.

If you want to check your throughput, Richard has links for that too. This is a dynamite site, you'll want to spend some time taking it all in. Imporant stuff here for those who get the internal.

Q: How do you tell whether or not you are using the v.90 connection? David Farah, webtalk

A: Go to Richard's site (see link above) and click the link to hear the v.90 handshake. Right after the sound if it connects it will be v.90, if it does another handshake it probably connects at v.34. R. Allen Chapman, webtalk

Les Jones's Lucent LT Win Modem FAQ site at

User comments about installing updated drivers

A: The newer drivers won't hurt anything, and might just help. I didn't notice any improvment from 5.07 all the way till 5.22 ( I was still getting 46000 or higher, usually about 48000), but once I installed 5.32 I was getting min 49333. Jason Litka, webtalk

A Report from a Satisfied Internal Modem User

I just received my Dell Inspiron 7000, 300 Mhz PII, 15" Display, 192 MB RAM,Win 98, 8 GB, DVD-ROM Drive. The Hard Disk is configured with one FAT32 partition.

Hans (aka. Propeller Head), newsgroup <posted 6Oct98>

A: My modem wouldn't go above 26,400. I followed Hans suggested fix and YEAH!!! It worked. Thank you very much. I upgraded to 5.20a and added the S38=0 line. I am connected now at 50666. Paul Flaherty, newsgroup

User Comments about the Internal Modem

A: When I'm not at home I use Earthlink and I connect with them at 48,000bps and upload is about 26000bps. I had some modems in the past that says its connected at 57,000bps and 116,000bps but actually its connected at 48,000bps. I think what the LTwinmodem displays the speed correctly. I dont have any compaints with I7000 LT modem. K K, webtalk

A: I would seriously suggest getting the internal, and purchasing a pcmcia one serparately, I'm getting mine, with the 56k, and purchasing a combo lan/56k card too, this way, if I need to use a type 3 card or 2 type 2's, I have a modem that is still usable. In addition, you can get 56k modems from auctions on the web for a reasonable price. Steven Mohr, webtalk

Q: Who's the supplier of the internal modem?

A: It is a Lucent Technologies WinModem. Dell/Brian McCullough, WebTalk

A: Lucent Technology is the chipset maker. Someone else mfg'd the modem and used a Lucent chipset in it. Lilla

A: I was told that the internal modem in my 7000 was a Lucent Technologies v.90 winModem. DougD2000, newsgroup

A: I just received my I7k, and according to Control Panel | Modems, it is an LT Win Modem.

A: It _is_ a Lucent Technologies winmodem. That's how we support it, that's how it gets installed, that's how it's upgraded, so it damn well better be one! :) Rik, newsgroup

A: Action Tec is the company that makes the modem. You can visit their website at . They use the Lucent chip. Marc, Email

Q: Is internal modem 56K, X2, or V.90? Dual Mode?

A: The modem is 56k v.90 compliant. Dell, WebTalk

A: Modem is V.90 compatible (not X2). Dell/Max Murphy, WebTalk

A: Based upon the specs posted in the newsgroup by Rik, it is dual-mode "K56Flex and V.90". Dual Mode means it can connect at the old kFlex56 or the new standard V.90. Lilla

A: V.90 code should be released sometime in October. The V.90 protocol is not final until then. David Mullins, Webtalk

Q: Where is the port for built-in modem located? Does phone line interfere with area used by ext. mouse?

A: It should not interfere. The telephone line port is located on right side, near center, as shown here

Q: Is built-in modem integrated into the motherboard?

A: The modem itself is not built in to the motherboard, it's a modular that is plugged into the motherboard if you select the modem option when you buy it. The phone jack however _is_ integrated to the motherboard, so _ever_ 7000 will have the internal phone jack (it'll just be covered if you didn't get the modem). If you don't want to use it, you can disable it in the BIOS settings so the machine will never see it. Rik, newsgroup

Q: What bus is the internal modem on: ISA, PCI, USB ?

A: The internal modem is on the ISA bus. Dell/Rollie Reid

A: Information to consider, clipped from zdnet article: This may turn out to be the last PC Expo for the venerable ISA card. The PC 98 and PC 99 guidelines from Microsoft and Intel call for the elimination of the current ISA bus, whose 8-bit version goes all the way back to the original IBM PC. That means sound cards, modems, and other expansion cards will have to move to PCI, USB, or 1394. To help clear the way for this grand migration, 3Com will show its USB modem. (Lilla)

Fax Capabilities of Internal Modem

Q: Can built-in modem send and *receive* faxes?

A: Since Win98 does not come with it's own fax application, Microsoft included the familiar Windows Messaging/Fax application of 95. To get to the Fax application, place your Win98 CD in the cdrom drive and go to this folder TOOLS\OLDWIN95\MESSAGE\INTL The readme text file from that directory details how to install the Windows messaging/fax software. Dell/Max Murphy, WebTalk

A: Microsoft Outlook98 running corporate mode includes Microsoft Faxing Capability. However, Outlook98 running in Micorost Outlook Express (mail client included with Win98) compatibility mode does not. I use Outlook Express as my Email client, but have set up Outlook98 (running in corporate mode) for my Fax Service. I also use a couple of other features of Outlook98, but I do not use Outlook98 as my Email client - at this time.

Note: If you need Fax and Speakphone, see RingCentral post in SpeakerPhone heading.

SpeakerPhone Capabilities of Internal Modem

A: You should be able to get voice functions to work with the modem, but you will need to purchase a software package for this, as Dell does not ship one with the unit. Dell/Brian, Webtalk

Q: Is there a way to use my 7000 to make standard phone calls? I can use the phone dialer to call a number and listened to someone when the answer, but I have no full duplex. I have tried several shareware phone and answering machine programs but still no luck. I stay in a lot of hotels that have small desks and they always put the phone in the wrong place. Also I do not want to spend $120 for WinFax pro. I have an internal modem. Allen Chapman

A: I use a piece of software called RingCentral which does the job quite nicely with the Inspiron 7000's internal modem (LT Lucent winmodem). Point to URL: for more information. The features I like about the program are: 1. Email, fax, phone, and data in one 2. Pager notification of messages, fax, email 3. Caller ID support -- you can append the number to the pager 4 (however, this modem does not support Caller ID). Text-to-voice email from remote location 5. Small footprint 6. win98 telephony compliant (big plus: you can share the modem with other applications) I paid $50 for the software; they might have a demo version. Alistair Erskine, webtalk

* As regards the internal modem, the guys at Dell Canada were more than sure that the Lucent modem was not a voice modem. I called again on the same day, hoping to speak to someone else, and this guy was absolutely sure, instead, that IT WAS a voice modem, even though he was not sure what it meant....
* Anyway, I can use it now as a regular phone [aka. speakerphone] using a very nice application called WillowPhone, a free program downloadable from So our LT modem IS A VOICE MODEM! The interface is really nice. I also tried 3-4 different shareware programs able to convert the PC into an answering machine, but none of them seem to work on the Ik7000.
* There is no plug for a modem mic: only a plug for an external mic and for a line input (to use for an external source like a CD player or tape recorder.)
* As regards the mic, I am using a headphone with a built-in mic connected to the mic port of the computer but you can also use the internal mic of the IK7000, even though the quality is not so good. I use a Labtec C-322 headphone with a built in mic. It comes with a trial copy of "Naturally speaking" by Dragon system. The mic works pretty well. I also use it to chat on the internet using Vocaltec i-phone 5.
* Stefano Catarsi, webtalk

Voice Mail Software on Internal WinModem Modem

by Royce Oxford - webtalk - 22Nov98

I have had the I7000 for a month and wanted to use voice capabilities of the modem for voice mail software. I chose Symantec TalkWorks Pro 2.0 and had one devil of a time getting it to work. Here is what I did. NOTE: It is possible that all of these steps were not necessary, but until I performed them ALL, in THIS ORDER, I could not get the blooming thing working.

  1. Print this message (you've been warned)
  2. Whenever I suggest backing up your working copy of a file that is about to be overwritten by an "updated" version, DO IT (again, you've been warned)
  3. Create a new folder on your desktop named whatever you wish (named mine Surgery)
  4. Double click on folder and click on "create new folder (within the new one) named Unimodem Step
  5. Create another new folder and name it LT WinModem Driver Step
  6. Go on the net and find a file named UNIMODV.exe (I used Alta Vista and got it off of a Soundblaster/Voiceblaster mirror site.
  7. Save this file to the folder you created named Unimodem. There should also be a 2K file named something like unimodem.txt which holds the instructions for installing the unimodem driver. Save it to the same folder for later reference.
  8. Go get the latest (5.32 as of 11/20/98) version of the LT WinModem driver from
  9. Save this LTWinmodem driver in the the appropriate folder
  10. Follow the directions in the unimodem.txt for getting the necessary files into your C:\windows\system directory and performing the installation of unimodem.exe
  11. You will probably want to reboot if not prompted to do so. this will give your registry the new information so that we may proceed.
  12. After the reboot, go to the Start button, click Settings, and launch Control Panel.
  13. Launch Add New Hardware, let the wizard try to find new plug n play devices. It probably won't since we haven't added any physical hardware. It will want to go find non plug n play stuff, don't bother. Go to "select devices from a list". Go to Sound, Video, and Game controllers. Click Next. Highlight Microsoft Audio Codecs from the mfg list. Choose GSM. 6.10 Audio Codec from the models list. Click Next. Click Finish. The computer will install the correct Codec from your CAB files on the laptop. NOTE: this step should not require a reboot, but if you would like to, go ahead, it won't hurt anything.
  14. Time to update the LT Driver! Go to Windows Explorer and open up c:\windows\system
  15. Rename the existing LTmodem.vxd file to LTmodem.old
  16. Go to your LT Winmodem folder that you created earlier and double click the .exe file, this will automatically update the c:\windows\system directore with the appropriate .vxd NOTE: if you are concerned about virus' from the internet, make sure you have a good virus program and that you have a back up (your CAB files should be sufficient). *anytime* you download a program that ends in .exe and launch it, you should take the necessary precautions! I can describe the file any way I like and you NEVER know. I can say that when I did it, I had absolutely no problems, and that the Norton Anti Virus did not sniff out any problems with the .exe file. You may or may not need to reboot, go ahead.
  17. Reinstall your voice mail software (in my case TalkWorks Pro 2.0) or at the very lease get into the software and have it take another look at your modem and its capabilities.

    Good Luck! Some important caveats: this procedure is for Win98 and is NOT meant for WinNT!!! Mileage may vary yadda yadda yadda. I am NOT responsible for lost data! If you want to visit the sites that will help you try- http://808hi/56k/x2-lucent.htm and last but not least, Symantec's Knowledgebase and search for LT winmodem.

    I ~have~ had some difficulty with the hard drive noise creating hum during voice message recordings, leaving them decidedly unprofessional sounding, but I found a shareware sound editor that removes noise and cleans them up nicely. The help file in TalkWorks Pro suggests that the ability to eliminate background noise is part of the wave editor, but that is not the case currently.

Internal Modem vs. Modem Card

A: When I ordered my I7000 I wasn't sure which modem to get. I went with the internal modem since it was 'free' and I already have a few pc card modems. I've found that the internal modem allows the machine to run cooler then when I'm using a PC-Card modem. The internal modem is v.90/kflex compatible. It does use the system processor more then a PC Card version but it doesn't really matter if you have a Pentium II processor. I've tested the machine with several different pc-card modems and I've found that the 3com is the only modem that is consistently faster i.e. better throughput and higher connection speed at v.90. IMHO the only reason for not getting the internal modem is if you use Linux or if your ISP doesn't use v.90 or kflex modems. James, newsgroup

User Comments about Using the Internal Modem

Q: OK...what does one have to do to be able to use or get the 56k capability with built-in modem ? Robert Moister, Webtalk

A: Your ISP must also be v.90 [or k56flex] compliant. If it is not [meaning if it's x2], then the fastest speed you will connect at is 28.8, and that is only under ideal conditions. Dell/Brian McCullough, Webtalk

Q: Sound of the modem dialing out.  The sound is so loud I swear my neighbors downstairs and next door can all hear it quite clearly. Later post... It turns out that the volume control knob on the side of the machine controls speaker volume too, and not just headset.  That's takes care of the problem.  Steve Hsieh, newsgroup Note: Steve is running Linex, so probably means he is using card modem, not the internal.

Q: Does built-in modem work under NT?

A: Y-E-S. See OS section of these notes for details. The traditional answer is no, but there's been a breakthough. Richard offered some valuable input. Albert Ho took Richard's input and added his own thoughts and wala it works under NT4. Teamwork, ain't it great! And now, Dave Nichols got it to work under NT5 Beta2... Good work!!!

Q: Internal modem - performance?

A: For those of you worried about the 7000 internal modem, I have had no problems using it so far and have been logging onto AOL at 44k and higher. DougD2000, newsgroup

A: The I7K is great so far, but I do have to use a PC card modem for more that 24.4, and my ISP supports x2. [Well, that's a problem, the internal modem is Kflex/V.90, not X2] Randy Richardson, Webtalk

A: I too really love my new I7K, however I too can only connect to my ISP at 24000. For this reason, I have currently connected my 33.3 [external] modem to get a faster connection than my 56K. Also, this internal modem takes longer to negotiate a connection. Frankly, I am surprised that DELL would allow a modem like this to be sold on one of its computers. This internal modem may be v90 compliant, but my experience on dialing my ISP on an X2/V90 line doesn't work well. Gordie N, WebTalk

A: I connect regularly with the [7000's] internal default modem at 48,000 bps. Occasionally I'll connect at 50k, lowest has been 44k. I noticed that the length of the phone cord always makes a difference. Shorter is better! Also, plug the cord into the wall socket, do not share the connection with a plugged-in phone. Larry Lueck, newsgroup A: I have connected at 50kbs on my internal modem. My ISP is Penn State university which has implemented v.90. Bryan Quay, Webtalk

A: I was only able to connect at 12000 and 18000 when plugged in to my power center with a printer, fax and other equipment also plugged into it. When I switched to battery power, I was connecting in the 40000's. Later, on an uncluttered AC line, I was able to get the same results using AC power. James Jordan, Webtalk

Q: I thought that my ISP was using the X2 standard, but I browsed the 3 San Jose dial-up numbers and the one I have been using was listed as K56flex. So my ISP should be vary compatible with this LT Win Modem... can't make any progress on my slow connect speed problem. I have even tried the 5.20a drivers... nothing I change (drivers/firmware or internet connect parameters...) seems to make any difference... always 26.4k. Vic Oros, Webtalk

A: We could try having your modem replaced if you would like. Dell/Brian, Webtalk

Q: I just received my computer (7000 w/15") and I TOO... am only connecting at 26,400 with the internal modem. I also use Microsoft Network... like Vic. My old 486 dell desktop is connecting at 28,000 on the same phone line. I am dialing the 56k v.90 number... but never higher than 26,400. Marc, Webtalk

A: Try reinstalling the drivers for the modem. You can do this by removing the modem from Device Manager, shutting down, and restarting. Windows will redetect the modem on reboot, and install the drivers. See if that makes a difference for you. Dell/Brian, Webtalk

Q: I have tried 2 different Kflex v.90 ISPs (several access numbers at each), as well as x2,kflex, and v90 AOL numbers. I have never connected greater than 26.4. I tried removing and reinstalling the modem without success. I also have no problems connecting at higher speeds, on the same phone line, with my desktop. Paul Flaherty, Webtalk

Problems related to using internal modem on AC power

Note: See also POWER section of these notes ror other problems related to AC Adapter.

A: When my laptop is plugged (power cord) in I can only connect at 26K.... when unplugged I can connect at 46K. Anyone else having the same problem or know solution. Is this because it's a winmodem? Also, when it is plugged in.. if you pick up a phone, the line sounds very bad. Aaron B, webtalk

A: Aaron, I had the identical problem. I ended up returning and exchanging the notebook for another unrelated problem. The new identical exchange notebook does NOT have the noise problem. I hook up at the same speed (40K - 43K) regardless of whether on AC or battery. So, I now think this is not normal and is a hardware problem that needs fixing. Jim

A: I would agree with James. This should not be the case. But what I would recommend first, is trying an alternate location, such as a friend's house to try dialing out again. This problem could be cause by electrical interference from the outlet where you plug the system in. Try to select an outlet not on the same circuit with major electrical appliances such as stereos or refrigerators. Let us know how it goes. Dell/Brian McCullough

A: Aaron, how long is the cable connecting your modem to the phone outlet? I have noticed that the longer the cable the worse results I get. The problem you are having with the power plug may indeed be noise related, due to induction or bad grounding; the problem may be noise coming in your ground wire. You can try putting a choke on the DC output of the AC/DC adaptor close to your notebook; you can get chokes from Radio Shack or other electronics stores. If this works, Dell may have an FCC emissions problem with that adaptor. Jeff Hales, webtalk

A: There is lots of hum or background noise when you record using either the internal or an external mic. The noise may also affect the speed of the modem connection. The problem can be solved by operating the notebook on battery. Otherwise, you have to ground the Ik7. It's enough to connect a printer or another device which has a 3-pole plug (grounded). I think Dell should provide a grounded power transformer instead of the 2-pole (ungrounded) one. The noise coming from the CD still remains though. When playing DVD, you can mute the CD, but when you want to listen to music CD you are out of luck.... Stefano Catarsi, webtalk

Traveler Discovers How to Get Fast Connections Using WinModem

Worth a try if you can follow it...

I am using v5.29 and the only way I can negotiate a v.90 handshake is to ad S38=0. Also I have only connected in motels being that I travel so much, and I have noticed that this modem will connect at 28xxx even when the red and green wire are reversed(when I test the circuit with a tester I get a red light). Use an R11 splitter with a 3" piece of cord and a connector to hook 2 males together. Use this configuration so the phone can remain connected. Rotate the connections on the splitter until the port where you plug in your modem turns green with the tester. Now most of the time I get at least a 42xxx connection. Hard to explain in such short message. Hope this helps someone. R. Allen Chapman (

Some ISP's Use Equipment that's Note WinModems Friendly

A: I cannot get the winmodem in my I7000 to connect to MSN via anything except V.34. I have downloaded the most current winmodem driver from Lucent - 5.23. It has not helped. Does anyone else use MSN and have a similar problem? I have called them several times and they cannot offer much advice. Brian Politis, webtalk

A: Yes, I have the internal WinModem and MSN for ISP. I finally tried connecting from a different location and I connected at 33,300. Much better than I do at home, but still not great. And at home it is infrequent if I connect at 28.8, usually 2.4 Marc, Email

A: I found out earlier today that MSN will not support winmodems. Their equipment (they will not reveal the manufacturer) is apparently incompatible at 56K speeds. I am currently shopping for a new ISP. I know the winmodem works with MindSpring at 56K speeds.

I have used the following settings in trying to connect to MSN

None of these settings altered my connection rate to MSN. I consistently got 26.4 regardless.

There are apparently known problems with WinModems and various types of POP dial-up equipment. MSN would not reveal the manufacturer of their equipment, so it will likely be very difficult to troubleshoot. MSN Tech support simply stated they did not support WinModem technologies, and would not in the future. You would think they would eventually have to because of the prevalence of the modems.

I am actually the IS manager for my company and have never had a problem with a WinModem before. Most of my employees use Mindspring with no trouble and several use WinModems. Most places MSN actually rents it's POP from UUNet. It might be worth trying to see if UUNet would be willing to troubleshoot the modem. However, at this point I am so frustrated, I bought a PCMCIA card, and disabled the WinModem.

Brian Politis, Email

A: Thanks for all that info. I am actually in NJ right now, and here I can connect at 40,000. Much better than the 28 I get in MA. It must be location??? I am still using MSN here in NJ. I find it hard to believe that MSN doesn't work well with WinModems. Does that really make sense?? Marc, Email

A: Well I talked to FoxInternet today as they are an alternative to MSN for me. They have a problem with WinModems too. He said it was because they have the latest *all digital* equipment which uses Livingston PortMasters3 made by Lucent and they are running the latest v3.8 software for their end. They acknowledged the irony of it - that Lucent made ISP equipment - cannot give 56k connection to latest modem that uses a Lucent chipset??? He said that a modem with a Digitial Server Processor (DSP) is what you want when you are connecting to Digital equipment, and that WinModems don't have a DSP and this is the source of the problem. He said all WinModems will experience problems, it's not a brand thing. Then I visited Richard's site (see above where the drivers are) and found that he has a nice summary of ISP Equipment with known problems related to WinModems. Some of the problems will be fixed by future updates. ISP equipment has more problems with WinModems than with Hardware modems. Very informative. Lilla

User Comments about Modem Technology (not specific to 7000)

A: Your modem can reflect two different speed results: The 57,600 (or 115,200) reported is referring to modem serial port rate, not the modem speed. You may still be connecting at 26,400, but the serial port rate is at 57,600 (you can actually up this to 115,200 bps). The highest a modem could achieve with X2, KFlex, or V.90 is 53,333. David Walker, webtalk

A: I prefer the "XJack", type connector. The only ones I know of with this type of connector are 3Com/Megahertz/U.S Robotics, Hayes (called EZJack), and Simple Technology (Simplejack). The Simple Technology is offered at much lower prices and has a lot of features, so I'm thinking of getting this one (56K Communicator with SimpleJack). Mike, Newsgroup

A: Do not buy Hayes. Period. They [SimpleTech] have an excellent rep. Great value. Personally, we're using the Diamond Supra 56, (now flashed to interim V.90) which performs reliably, costs approx $150.00 and installs without problems., newsgroup

A: Some modems are "Dual Mode", in that they can connect at the old (Flex56) or the new system (V.90). However, some modems do not have enough memory to support dual operation, and can only use the one system they are set up for. My Supra PCMCIA card is that way [v.90 only]. Fred McKenzie, newsgroup

Q: X2/V90 vs. Flex/V90 connect problems? I have a X2/V90 modem on my desktop and a flex/V90 modem on my laptop. Connecting through the same phone line to my ISP who is X2/V90, I can connect at 49,300 with the X2/V90 modem. With the Flex/V90 modem I can only connect at 31,200 and sometimes I cannot connect at all. Where is my problem?

A: I had a similar problem, with two X2 modems -- a PC Card modem in my laptop, and an internal hardware modem in my desktop. Turned out that the desktop modem would tolerate having two phone lines plugged into a little splitter that then plugged into the wall. (Only one line active at a time, of course.) But the PC Card modem in the laptop would only connect at 33.6 unless it was plugged directly into the wall -- no splitter. Solved the inconvenience by buying a $14.95 phone line A/B switch from Radio Shack. "A" is the desktop line; "B" is the laptop line. Punch the button for the one I want. Both modems now connect at 48-50K. gary, newsgroup

A: Transmission speed is greatly affected by the quality of the telephone line and distance you are from the ISP. Probably the biggest impact on 56K modem transmission speed is how far you are away from the telephone company central office (CO) that provide you with phone service. In order for a 56K modem to connect at 53K, the telephone signal can only go through one analog to digital (A/D) conversion. If you live more than 3 or 4 miles from the CO, your service likely goes through more than one A/D conversion. From what we have seen, if you go through more than one A/D conversion a 56K modem will likely connect at only 24K or 28K. From - An ISP

Q: Advantages of Internal vs. PC Card?

A: First, less heat ... which means more battery life, better user comfort. Next, PC Card modems don't talk to internal sound cards well, if at all. In most, you won't hear dial up sounds, and full duplex capacity won't be had. I am still looking for a full duplex pc card modem. If you use a dialer with a PIM, WinFax Pro's TalkWorks, or Internet Phone, having full duplex on the voice side of the modem and sound card is important. Steve Parkhill, newsgroup.

Q: Can I have both an internal modem and PC-Card modem installed ?

A: You can have more than one modem, as long as each one is set to use a different unused comm port. Windows 98 will even let you use two modems at once (assuming you have 2 phone lines) for a single internet session, so you can surf at speeds faster than 56K. Joel Rittvo, Webtalk

Q: We have a Desk-top PC at home, which runs off a Cable modem ISP. We want to connect the Notebook to the Cable modem at home, what do we need to buy to enable us to do this? Peter, webtalk

A: If you're interested in sharing your cable connection, check out this site: What I ended up doing was to network the two computers together, and running a proxy server on the desktop. My ISP is Charter Communications. A couple of my friends in the MediaOne service area are doing the same. Jimmy Huey, webtalk

User Comments about PSION Card Modem

Psion's web site: Contact: for email queries etc.

A: The Psion Dacom Gold card modem works fine under NT with the correct drivers. Dell/Brian, Webtalk

A: The Psion that I have connects at about 46.4k most of the time. It did not connect at better than 28.8 until I upgraded it with their new V.90 code. Supposedly one can get an upgrade for a Cell modem for it. They (Psion) also claims that there is an ISDN (from Eicon) upgrade for it. Bruce A. Mallett, newsgroup.

A: I have a Psion Gold Card K56 Global Fax that (knock,knock) is fantastic: Using the FlashNet Connection Monitor pgm, I connect @ 44,000bps; on AOL @ 57,600bps (we all know that's inflated!); on MSN @ 40-46,, I guess I'm just blessed and must be in the minority or us happy Psion Gold Carders just keep quiet...Good Luck!! Rick Dreibelbis [i3200], Webtalk

A: Dell/Brian (Webtalk) says that Psion card is *not* OEM'd, but is the full product, so you can use drivers, flash updates, etc. on their site without fear of problems. Lilla

A: The V.90 upgrade is now available for the Psion Dacom range of modems. See the downloads area on their website for details... Robert Wigley, newsgroup

3Com Megahertz 3CCM156 56k modem

A: I got mine with the external card modem. It's a very nice USR Global modem but it has the dongle instead of X Jack. Mike Pak, Webtalk

A: v.90 flash is available on Dell's site. Dell, Webtalk

A: Dell/Brian (Webtalk) says that 3Com card is *not* OEM'd, but is the full product, so you can use drivers, flash updates, etc. on their site without fear of problems. Lilla

Network Card

General comments about Network Cards

Q: Dell/3Com 3C575 10/100 Fast Ethernet adapter?

A: The I7k will accept a cardbus PC Card, I have the 3com 3CCFE575BT and it works excellent. ]Sorry, I lost track of source on this one.]

A: They sent the Dell/3Com 3C575B with the notebook but I bought a Megahertz XJack Ethernet card instead. I like it better because it doesn't have any cables for me to carry around with it, the Xjack is great. I considered getting the Xircom Realport card since it seems safer but I didn't want to lose both pccard ports. Colin Fetter, Email.

A: At first, I was sold on the X-Jack but after having sent it back twice for repairs, I decided on a regular Dongle. Its just too flimsy for constant plugging/unplugging. The Xircom Realport is a better solution but takes up 2 slots. Sam Chin, newsgroup

A: Just got in my new xircom realport cardbus modem/nic combo card..installation was flawless and easy, works like a charm, i love the lack of dongles and x-jacks it was simple to disable the internal winmodem in the bios, no conflicts or problems encountered oh yeah, shortly before my 30 days were up i called and bitched about the misrepresentaion by the sales folks regarding the modem (i had specifcally asked if it was a winmodem and was assured it was not...this was almost two months ago when the lilla knowledge tree was merely an acorn...) was put on hold for a minute, then given a credit for the amount of the internal modem (derived from the 13.3" version available sans modem, $59). love this machine! Count Scrofula, newsgroup

Q: What about USB Network solution instead of Network card?

A: USB is a great system for slow things like mice and keyboards, but for ethernet I don't think it would work too good. After all of the overhead of a USB transfer, you get about 9.6 megabits/sec. Not only that, but a 10BaseT would eat up 90% of the bus because 10% of the USB bus width is reserved for other types of transfer. That means that if you want to use more than two highband USB devices, your going to take a hit (around 50%) in performance on both devices. Use a cardbus ethernet card. They are for laptops after all. Vilkas , Webtalk

A: The throughput for USB Ethernet adapters remains to be seen. I think the reality is that many ISA Ethernet cards did not perform all that great. And If I remember correctly, in the last reveiw I read of Ethernet cards, the best got about 7 Mb/s throughput. ADS Technoligies is coming out with a USB Ethernet adapter very soon, and I have ordered one. For me I'm not concerned with getting the maximum throughput, I just want to free up the PCI slot and IRQ I'm wasting with my ethernet card. But if its much less then 4 Mb/s I won't be too happy. If its any indication, my scanner seems to perform quite well on USB, and I thought those tend to be pretty high bandwith devices. tladuca, newsgroup

Suspend problems when using Dell/3Com Fast Ethernet 10/100 Base TX (purchased with i7k)

A: It has been my experience with all Dell laptops I have owned (3000, 3200, and now 7000) to have suspend problems. However, I have personally found my problems related to my ethernet card, the standard 3Com 10/100bt and the only PCMCIA card in the system. I have a little trick that always works for me, and might work for you if you are using an ethernet card too -- right before you suspend, pull off the ethernet dongle. Let it sit for at least 10 seconds. Then try to suspend your laptop. When you resume, DON'T attach the dongle until after the laptop comes up and is fully resumed. I use NT mostly, and as long as I don't have active programs running (say, a compile or mp3 player or what not), I am usually able to resume without problem. Hope this works for someone else. Jordan Ritter, webtalk

A: The "Suspend" function is quirky at best when my 3Com ethernet PC card is installed and working. Sometimes Suspend works; sometimes the OS appears to hang, forcing me to reboot. I'm using Win98 (it came installed on the laptop). I bought the NIC from Dell when I purchased the laptop. The front has a Dell label on it; it reads: Dell Fast Ethernet 10/100 Base TX by 3Com. The connecting dongle looks pure 3Com, and the back of the card only has 3Com stuff on it. Scott Sillett, webtalk

A: Scott to Tech Support: In response to my problem with the laptop's Suspend feature and ethernet networking, you stated that, "the Advanced Power Management (APM) isn't funtional with all network protocols and may hang the system if you go into a suspend and come out of it." I don't understand this answer. I'm using standard Microsoft networking protocols, and am connected to the network via a Dell-branded 3Com ethernet card that I purchased with my Inspiron 7000. Are you saying that Dell's Suspend feature doesn't work with its own branded hardware? Seems a bit absurd to me! Here's my question: how can I troubleshoot this problem? If there's no solution, I expect that Dell will replace my ethernet card with one that works. Scott Sillett, email 6Dec98

A: Scott, this is not a widely reported problem. Make sure you are at the latest BIOS revision. Also make sure you have the 98PCCARD.EXE update from our website installed. Dell/Brian McCullough, webtalk

Q: I am having several problems related to PC Cards. I have the Psion DACOM Gold Card and the 3Com 3CCFE575BT-D Ethernet card. The machine is running Win 98. I've installed all of the patches listed on Dell's site. I have also turned off PC Card power management as described in one of the Dell technical notes. Now the problems:

  1. If I have either or both cards in and suspend the machine, the machine crashes upon wake up. I've found that the only way to use the suspend feature is by closing all internet applications, stopping the card(s) and then ejecting the cards. This is a major pain. I replaced my desktop with this machine so that I could carry my machine from place to place while leaving all applications running.
  2. If I try to boot with the Ethernet card in place, the machine hangs just after I enter my Windows password. Ctrl-alt-delete indicates that mprexe is not responding.
  3. If I boot without the ethernet card, when I try to print to a printer that is attached to a Windows NT Server, the application doing the printing and msqsrv hangs (not responding). On shutdown mprexe hangs and I must shut off the machine.
  4. If I have both the Ethernet and Modem cards inserted and I dial in to an ISP using the modem, I cannot access any IP addresses in the same domain as the static IP address that is set in the TCP/IP settings. If I change this address (by changing the first number), or pop the Ethernet card out, I can then access the IP addresses.

    I really need a PC laptop that I can just close up, drop into my case and take home. I can do that with my G3 Powerbook, but I also need a PC. Todd Johnson, webtalk

A: Todd: You should always stop the cards before suspending the system. So what you are doing is correct. In order to suspend while attached to the network, your NDIS level and network software would need to support this feature. Otherwise you will need to do exactly as you describe. Dell/Brian McCullough, webtalk