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Thread: Why 2 modems?

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    Why 2 modems?

    My son-in-law has a new custom-built computer, and I'm trying to diagnose a problem with his webcam. In the process, I discovered that he has two modems installed. Well, that's what Device Manager says, anyway. There is actually only one physical modem installed, but Device Manager lists "Motorola SM 56 Speakermodem" and "Motorola SM 56 Speakermodem #2." The former uses COM4, and the latter uses COM1. Might there be a reason for such a setup, or did the custom builder boo-boo this part? One of the problems we've had with the webcam is that he gets an error message telling him the camera is in use by another program. I can't imagine what other program would be using it. Could this dual-modem stuff have anything to do with it?

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    Re: Why 2 modems?

    The dual driver modem could be causing such a problem, but it's a long shot. While I cannot address the primary problem, (webcam in use by other software), I can tell you a bit about the modem situation. First item of note is that you are dealing with a WinModem. This is a half hardware half software device that, in general, is trouble. Most likely, the first time the computer was turned on outside of the factory, Windows detected a new device -- the modem with the drivers already installed. Don't know why this happens, just that it does. Someone accepted their way through the Add Hardware wizard and *poof!* computer has two modems. Should be a problem to remove both of them then look for a remove utility in with the original drivers. Then reboot and feed it the drivers again. Trying to remove just one will probably not work well. I've fought this battle before.

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    Re: Why 2 modems?

    The history on the computer in question is as follows: It started out in life as an ordinary Packard-Bell Pentium 166. Then my son-in-law (the owner) let a colleague build him a custom computer. The builder took the drives from the old unit (hard drive, floppy and CD-ROM) and put them into a new, bigger tower with a new AMD Athlon processor and, of course, a new motherboard. I don't know the physical nature of the modem(s). That is, I cannot say whether the modem is build onto the motherboard or is a separate item. Almost certainly the modem was built onto the motherboard in the original Packard-Bell. P-B (and other low-end makers) are famous for sticking modems onto the motherboards, eh? Thanks for the advice.

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    Re: Why 2 modems?

    The Motorola SM-56 is a winmodem. I know this because I deal with them all the time at work. You know the drill... price is more important than performance. Oh well.

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    Re: Why 2 modems?

    OK, here's a another question for you: Suppose you were going to replace a 33.6 modem with a new 56K modem. Which make and model would you select?

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    Re: Why 2 modems?

    Any modem that supports DOS, Win 3.1, or Linux should be a good one. This is the test for a hardware based modem. A quick search on C|Net found one by <A target="_blank" HREF=http://link>ActionTec</A> for around $60 (us dollars).

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