I am trying to help my brother-in-law get his computer on line and I can't get his computer to recognize the modem. He is running Windows 95, ( I know it is old, but it what he can afford) I have the ISP all set up, but can't get the machint to see that there is a modem in it. It tells me that there is no modem. I am not sure what kind of modem is in it, or even what kind of computer it is. No markings on the outside at all. It was given to him. I am not an expert by any means and am just trying to be a good sister-in-law, but this is driving me nuts. If I can get this thing on line then I can get him upgraded and give him more memory. Can any one out there tell me how to get the computer to see the modem?

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I'm not exactly sure if I can remember back into the days of good ol' Win95 but I'll give it my best shot.

My first guess would be to check out the device manager and see if it's listed there, even as an unknown device or with uninstalled drivers. If it is, you're in luck. But we'll think about that later.

From what you described, most likely this isn't the case. Rather, your computer can't detect the modem at all? Perhaps you can check in the BIOS (Cmos setup, when you start up your computer) and make sure all PCI slots are enabled. (The PCI slot being how the modem is connected to the computer's motherboard).

Either way, I would definitely open up the machine and check out the make and model of the modem (it'll be printed on the modem card, itself). You said the rest of the machine is very old - how old is the modem? Is it possible for anything in this computer to have "died"? (Stuff occassionally does that to yaz over the years, although it doesn't seem like the case here).

Get back to us :)
I'll try to help some more

You may have an ISA modem. ISA is an old standard for connecting expansion cards to the motherboard, and it is NOT plug and play. Just go to Add Hardware in control panel, and let it do a detection. If that dosen't work, then I would open your case up, unscrew the card, and maybe reseat it (take it out, and put it back in). Next, try putting it into a different slot. Then try cscgal's instructions.

56k modems aren't very expensive. If this one is dead, you can pick a brand new one up for about $15.

OK, I did check with the device manager and saw no modem listed, I went to the control pannel and clicked on the modem and tried to install what I was told the modem was, but keep getting the message that the modem could not be found. I will have to get back to you on the PCI slots. Didn't think of them. I was trying not to have to open the machine up since I haven't had any classes in PC arcatecture (or how ever it is spelled). But I think I can fumble my way through it. The people who gave this machine to him just redid the hard drive, but forgot to make sure the modem was being recognized. I do have a couple of old machines that I could take a modem out of and try that. This machine had the plug and play capabilities, so it should see a new modem, right? Or I coudl try the suggestion to reseat the card that is in there now.
I will give these things a try and let everyone know how it goes on Monday.
Thank you so much for the help.

Being the CEO of a PC Modification Enthusiast website, this opinion may be biased, but opening a PC and snooping around in it isn't very hard.

The first step is to make sure everything is unplugged, and to make sure you don't have any static electricity in you. To get rid of the static electricity, just touch a metal item before using the computer. Also, I don't suggest working on computers on a carpet.

After thats out of the way, just grab a phillips screw driver and take off the screws in the back (some cases just have bigger thumb screws, where you don't need a screw driver). After this, the computer may be VERY dusty, considering its age. I would suggest blowing some air in it, and cleaning the dust out. DO NOT put any water to clean the inside. The best thing you can used is canned compressed air.

Next, locate the modem. The easiest way is to look on the back of the computer and see where you plug in the phone cord and look where that is inside the computer.

When you locate the modem, you'll notice one philips screw holding it in. Just remove the screw, and pull the card out. You may need to pull a little hard; expansion cards sometimes are quite fussy.

To reseat it, just pop it back in. At this point, you may want to just plug everything back in and test it, with the case open. This can save a lot of time if it dosen't work. If it works, close it up. If it dosen't, try the other suggestions.

Lastly, take a look around. If you have any questions about what "things" do inside the computer, we would be happy to answer. These things are good to know. We all know this expression:

"Knowledge is power"

Thanks so much for the step by step. I will do it tomorrow and let every one know how it goes.

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