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My modem is too loud!

Q.I get on to the Internet by hooking up to the phone line in my house. When I click on the icon I hear the phone dial out and then get an awful screeching sound for awhile before it connects. Is there a way to lower the volume on the phone?

A. That sound you hear is called the "handshaking" between your computer's modem (the device that connects your PC to the phone line) and the modem at the other end of the phone cable at your Internet Service Provider (ISP). It can certainly be annoying.

I am assuming that you plug the phone cable into a port on the back of your computer. That would make the modem an internal modem. If you have an external modem (a box that sits outside the computer that you plug into) it will have a volume knob on it that you can adjust.

If you are running Windows 98 or Windows ME, click on the Start button, then Settings, then Control Panel. One of the icons will be called Modems. Double-click the Modem icon and then click the Properties button. Select the General tab.

If you are lucky you will see a sliding bar that lets you adjust the volume of the modem. If so, adjust it to where you want it (maybe off completely) and then click OK and close the windows.

In Windows XP, click on the Start button and choose Control Panel and choose Classic View. Click the Phone and Modem Options and then choose the Modem tab. Select your modem and click Properties and adjust the sliding volume bar.

You may be unlucky and there is no sliding bar or it is grayed out so you can't change it. You can still silence the modem but it's a little trickier.

If you are running Windows 98 or Windows ME go back to the Modem Properties as described above. Choose the Connections tab and then the Advanced button. In the Extra Settings box type in atm0 (zero, not the letter O) and save it.

In Windows XP, when you get to Modem Properties click the Advanced tab and find Extra initialization commands. Type in atom in that text box and save.

Your modem dialing should now be silent.

(Note - the letters atm0 are part of what's called the AT command set and these codes have been used to send commands to and control modems since the early days of the PC)

Someday you may want to turn the volume back on to troubleshoot your connection. For example if you click on your icon to logon and nothing happens it may be hard to figure out the problem if you can't hear if the phone is dialing or not.

Just undo the changes you made and you can again hear the dialing and connecting process.


Answered by Tech Expert Dan Hanson





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