Here's our Hardware Tip for.. February 21, 2003
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New PC Setup--Part 4 of 6
If you plan to use an analog modem for an Internet connection, make sure you plug your modem into a phone line and test it. Before you connect to a new ISP or reconnect to your current ISP, you'll want to make sure the modem works properly on its own. This way, you eliminate the modem from any troubleshooting problems that might arise when you try to get online.

Read your documentation to determine if your modem vendor included a modem test application with your new PC. But, if not, use Windows NT's HyperTerminal applet or Windows 98's PhoneDialer applet to see if you can simply hear a dial tone through your modem.