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- C. M. Burns
June 18, 2010, 7:29 pm
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Flaky Dial-up Connection Using Agere Soft Modem
I recently switched from an 'old' (Windows Vista)
computer to a 'new' (Windows XP) computer. Both
computers use the same modem: Agere Systems
PCI-SV92PP Soft Modem.
The dial-up connection on the old computer was
stable at 49.2 Kbps. However, the initial connection
on the new computer is sometimes slower, pauses
frequently, and then switches to a lower speed
(about 32 Kbps).
The driver on the old PC is version 184.108.40.206.
The driver on the new PC is version 220.127.116.11.
Also, I noticed the old PC ran a startup program
called 'AGRSMSVC', which the new PC does not run
How can I fix my connection so that it's once
again stable at 49.2 Kbps? Is this a driver issue?
An OS issue? A buffer issue?
Thank you for any help you can provide.
Re: Flaky Dial-up Connection Using Agere Soft Modem
C. M. Burns wrote:
I can find a reference to a driver for that, on the HP site.
You can never be sure on things like this, that you've got
the right one. For example, on this page, does the
"Revision" refer to different hardware cards, or only
to the fact they've changed the driver itself ?
And in fact, checking the INF file inside the installer, shows
the most recent one, is for a different set of hardware device, than
the older one. The older 18.104.22.168 Rev.F mentions
%MONTBLANC.Modem% = MONTBLANC_Modem, PCI\VEN_11C1&DEV_048C&SUBSYS_044C11C1
%PINBALL.Modem% = PINBALL_Modem, PCI\VEN_11C1&DEV_0620&SUBSYS_062011C1
You'd start by going into Device Manager, doing Properties on the
current modem entry, and looking for a Device ID with numbers like that
11C1 and 0620 thing. 11C1 stands for Agere, so any of their chips should
have that VEN value. You could use that information then, to match
to the driver downloads.
The Version: 2.2.96 Rev. K (17 Feb 2010) download mentions these hardware
devices in its INF file. The %PINBALL.Modem% modem is still there for
%LSI3% = LSI_PCI, PCI\VEN_11C1&DEV_048C
%LSI3% = LSI_PCI, PCI\VEN_11C1&DEV_048E
%LSI3% = LSI_PCI, PCI\VEN_11C1&DEV_048F
%LSI3% = LSI_PCI, PCI\VEN_11C1&DEV_0600
%LSI3% = LSI_PCI, PCI\VEN_11C1&DEV_048C&SUBSYS_044C11C1
%LSI3% = LSI_PCI, PCI\VEN_11C1&DEV_048E&SUBSYS_044C11C1
%LSI3% = LSI_PCI, PCI\VEN_11C1&DEV_048F&SUBSYS_044C11C1
%LSI3% = LSI_PCI, PCI\VEN_11C1&DEV_0600&SUBSYS_160011C1
%LSI7% = LSI_PCI_PP, PCI\VEN_11C1&DEV_0620&SUBSYS_062011C1 <---
%LSI7% = LSI_PCI_PP, PCI\VEN_11C1&DEV_0620&SUBSYS_062111C1
%LSI8% = LSI_PCI_EX, PCI\VEN_11C1&DEV_0630
%LSI8% = LSI_PCI_EX, PCI\VEN_11C1&DEV_0630&SUBSYS_063011C1
In terms of the company name changes, they were
Lucent ---> Agere ---> LSI
so LSI is the company doing that business now. Each time
a company changes hands, there is an opportunity to drop
support for stuff. At least the date on the Rev.K thing is
relatively recent, which is a good sign.
I open driver packages like that, with 7-ZIP for a look. (You cannot
look very deep into InstallShield packages, but not every driver
is protected in that way.) That saves on installing them and
finding out they weren't what I expected. For example, I can
look through the file list inside, and see if there is an "AGRSMSVC"
in there or not. I can see a agrsmsrc.exe in the sp45489.exe (most recent)
download. You can learn more about 7-ZIP here. I use Wikipedia for this,
to try to find a legitimate author's web site reference for software.
Soft modems work via DSP (digital signal processing). The chip on
the card, works in the same way as a sound card. it takes sound
samples with a 4KHz cutoff. The modem transmits in "frequency bins",
and the DSP software does a FFT (Fast Fourier Transform) to convert from
the time domain into the frequency domain. The data is decoded
from what is in those bins. It takes perhaps 200MHz worth of
processor power now, for a good driver to do the conversion
continuously. On some older computers, the machine either can't
keep up, or the driver gets starved for cycles for some reason
(too low a priority ? some other software is a pig ?).
In any case, as long as you can get a relatively modern driver, they
seem to work. I did a comparison back home, between a soft
modem and a regular external hardware modem, and I was surprised
that the soft modem was actually delivering a couple percent more
data on average on downloads. I had expected the soft modem to be
inferior, but the benchmark testing (alternating between devices
late at night) came as a surprise to me. So as long as you have
"200MHz to spare", it seems to be fine.
If a computer is too balky, or you can't work the driver details,
then an external with its own data pump is the answer. I have two
externals here for emergencies, one K56 based and one X2 based,
so I can still connect to a dialup pool if I need to. I use the
local Freenet as a backup service. I can use the dialup modem,
to check the "service bulletins" from my ADSL provider, when my
high speed Internet goes down :-)
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