A+ Certification / Beginners

Installing a modem

Most modems today ship as PCI cards and are inserted into a PCI slot in the computer - this is known as an internal modem. You can install an internal modem by following these steps:

  1. Power off the computer and be sure to ground yourself.
  2. Remove the cover from the computer.
  3. If necessary, remove the blanking plate that allows access to the modem from the back of the PC.
    This allows the modem card to fit in the slot.
  4. Place the modem card into the appropriate expansion slot. For example, you will most likely have a PCI card, so place the PCI modem card into an available PCI slot.
  5. Screw the modem card into place and put the cover back on the PC.
  6. The modem has two ports on it that both take RJ-11 connections - connect the incoming phone line to the appropriate port and then connect the phone to the modem's second port.
  7. Power on the PC.

Configuring a modem

After you have installed the modem and Windows starts up, Plug and Play should kick in and detect the new device. If a driver is not present in Windows for the device, you will be asked for the driver. If you don't have the driver, you can choose to cancel adding the driver at this time and go to Device Manager at a later time to update the driver after you have it.

When the driver has been loaded, you can go to the properties of the device in Device Manager and query the modem to verify that the modem is functioning properly. Querying the modem is the term used to describe sending AT commands to the modem and verifying that the modem responds to the commands. The nice thing is you don't need to type each command listed earlier in Table - there is a Query button in the properties of the modem that does this for you. To verify that the modem is working, follow these troubleshooting steps:

  1. Click Start and right-click My Computer.
  2. Choose Properties from the pop-up menu.
  3. In the System Properties window, click the Hardware page tab and then click the Device Manager button.
  4. In Device Manager, expand the modems node, right-click your modem, and choose Properties.
  5. In the Properties window of the modem, click the Diagnostics page tab and then click the Query Modem button to perform a diagnostic on your modem using the AT commands.
    You should notice a list of AT commands that have been issued against the modem as a diagnostic test and whether the test was successful or not.
  6. Close all windows.
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