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  Troubleshooting: Common Questions and Problems
 
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Quick Troubleshooting Tips
I get "Illegal" operations, what does this mean?
I can connect to 99main but I cannot seem to get any web pages to come up, how can I fix this?
When ever I try to connect to 99main it disconnects me and tells me to "Check my password and try again" How do I fix this?
I'm trying to dial into 99main to get my E-mail from one of my extra e-mail accounts but it is not letting me in. Why?
I can connect to 99main and I can send and receive E-mail, however I cannot browse the internet, what could be wrong?
Web Browsing seems to take a very long time to completely load a page, how can I improve performance?
Windows gives me a "No Dial Tone" error when I am trying to dial 99main. How can I fix this problem?
I've installed a new modem and loaded the drivers for the modem hardware, when I try to dial Windows tells me "The computer you are dialing is busy" or "The line is busy" How do I fix this?
I have a 56k Modem but I am not getting 56k connections, what's the reason and is there anything I can do to help achieve higher speeds?
I play many games on the internet and am experiencing lag while playing. Is there anything I can do to help with this issue?
My computer no longer seems to dial when I try to launch my web browser, how can I fix this?
Every time I check my mail in Outlook Express 5 I get disconnected, how can I fix this?

 
Quick Troubleshooting Tips
  1. Reboot your computer and then try reconnecting to 99main.  Often this simple step can solve the problem and save you vast amounts of time.
  2. "Check your password and try again?" Click here!
  3. Make sure your phone line is snuggly in place in your modem and in the wall jack; if you have an external modem make sure that it is on and the modem lights are lit.
  4. Some computers require that you set up regional settings such as Area Code. Sometimes the area code that is entered turns out to be the ZIP code.  To check these settings click Start >> Settings >> Control Panel.  Find the Modem icon and double click it.  There should be a button labeled Dialing Properties.
  5. Do you have Call Waiting on your phone line?  This may cause some of your random disconnect problems if you do.  You can disable call waiting by typing in a *70, (make sure the comma is there) before the telephone number.
  6. If you have two phone lines try plugging in your modem to the second phone line then try connecting.
  7. No Dial-tone? Click here!

 
I get "Illegal" operations, what does this mean?
Simple Version:
When windows tells you "This program has performed an illegal operation and will be shut down" it is telling you that it has become confused and can't handle all the work it is doing right now. This error is also called a General protection fault. Usually you can start your application again and not encounter the error a second time. If you find that windows is producing this error many times a session and you haven't restarted your computer you should do so. If it still persists than you may have to re-install your browser software or even Windows itself if the problem is bad enough.

Note: You have done nothing wrong. The "Illegal" operation has nothing to do with breaking the law.

Technical Version:
When you start a program in windows the program tries to tell windows how much RAM it will need and windows tries to fulfill that request. Everything is usually fine until that program tries to use more memory. If the program then tries to use a memory area assigned to another program the offending program becomes unstable. If the offending program gets to a point where it is unstable enough that it may crash windows, windows shuts down the offending application.

If you really do want to reinstall the entire windows operating system, we recommend you visit the page below for more information. Please keep in mind that 99main is not geared for entire system configuration. However, we will help you reconfigure your internet settings, E-mail and browser once you have finished re-loading your system.

http://www.everythingcomputers.com/reformat.htm

 
I can connect to 99main but I cannot seem to get any web pages to come up, how can I fix this?
The most common reason that you cannot surf the web even though you are connected to 99main is that one or more components have been corrupted in the Dial-up networking components and protocols. You can find help on how to re-install those components at one of the links below.

How to Re-install Dial-up Networking for Windows 95
How to Re-install Dial-up Networking for Windows 98

 
When ever I try to connect to 99main it disconnects me and tells me to "Check my password and try again" How do I fix this?
When it tells you to check your password and try again it means that is could not verify the password according to the Username that is listed in the box. You should make sure that the name listed in the box marked User name is the log in name you chose when creating your account. If your E-mail address is bob@99main.com then your User name would be bob. It is important that both your user name and password are in lower case letters and that there are no spaces contained in them.

 
I'm trying to dial into 99main to get my E-mail from one of my extra e-mail accounts but it is not letting me in. Why?
E-mail is setup such that you can have up to three E-mail boxes, however you only have one Dial-up account name. The first name that you signed up with is the name that you must log in as in order for you to establish connection. E-mail clients then have their own set of login names and passwords which allow them to connect to and download mail from our mail server.

For Example: You might have two account names you are using. The primary account name is bob and your second e-mail account is joe. In order to get e-mail from joe you will need to dial your computer using bob. You dial in to 99main using joe's account name and password in order to retrieve his E-mail, the verification server will not allow it.

 
I can connect to 99main and I can send and receive E-mail, however I cannot browse the internet, what could be wrong?
The most common cause of this problem is when an option called Proxy Server is checked in the internet properties. To fix this follow these steps:

1. Click the Start button >> Settings >> Control Panel
2. Double click on the Internet or Internet Options icon
3. Click on the Connection tab
4. Find the button labeled Settings...
5. Make sure that the option Use a Proxy Server or just Proxy is UN-checked.
6. Click the OK button and try browsing the internet.

 
Web Browsing seems to take a very long time to completely load a page, how can I improve performance?
Web browsing is far from perfect, the internet is made up of millions of computers hooked together and sharing connections and information. Also there are millions of people sharing these resources at the same time. If for some reason a server computer receives a large amount of requests for information it may take longer than usual to get the information that you requested. Sometimes simply clicking the Stop button and then clicking Refresh or Reload button on your browser may clear up the problem.

Another thing you may wish to try is to empty/delete the cache files contained in the Temporary Internet Files folder. Follow the links below to learn how. You will not lose anything by emptying the temporary files. Internet browsers download files from the web site into the Temporary Internet Files folder in order for it to more easily display your requested web page. Sometimes these files can congest a computer and slow down your connection, emptying the old files can both free up hard drive space and speed up your browsing. The next thing you may wish to check is that your modem has the latest drivers and Firmware for your modem. A good place to start to locate these files are on 56k.com and the 56k=v.Unreliable Web site.

To learn How to empty Temporary Internet Files, click your browser below.
Internet Explorer | Netscape Navigator
You can also read How 56k modems Work and Common Troubleshooting Here

 
Windows gives me a "No Dial Tone" error when I am trying to dial 99main. How can I fix this problem?
First off we should check the obvious things. Make sure that you phone line is plugged into the modem and that it is plugged into the correct phone jack. There are usually phone jack slots on the back of a modem very close to each other and it can be easy to miss and plug it into the wrong one. The one that you must plug it into in order for the modem to use your phone line will be marked Line or Telco, NOT Phone. Once this is confirmed make sure that the other end is plugged into the correct phone jack on the wall. If you have a handset telephone you would like to plug in to have it next to the computer you can plug the handset into the back of the modem marked Phone. If you do plug in a handset you can then pick up the phone and check by ear to see if there is a dial tone; if there is then the modem is plugged in correctly. Make sure that the modem line goes directly from the Line/Telco jack to the wall phone jack without passing through any type of surge suppressors, fax machines, caller ID boxes or answering machines.

If you still did not get a dial tone, try unplugging the cord coming from your modem from the wall jack and then plugging in your handset into the wall phone jack and listen to see if there is a dial tone. If you hear a dial tone now you should replace the cord that is going to your modem and then try connecting again.

Another thing that we typically see is Modems often give the "No Dial Tone" error when they have been hit by lightning. If you have had a lightning storm in the area recently and your modem was working before the storm this is most likely the cause.

 
I've installed a new modem and loaded the drivers for the modem hardware, when I try to dial Windows tells me "The computer you are dialing is busy" or "The line is busy" How do I fix this?
When installing a new modem one of the settings that is commonly missed is a small setting in the dialer. The Dialer is the part of the internet connection that contains all of the specific information of what settings to use when calling 99main. One of those pieces of information is which modem to use. If you have just replaced your modem make sure that your dialer is set correctly. You can check its setup by following the instructions below.

1. Double click on the My computer icon.
2. Double click Dial-up Networking folder. Inside here you should see the 99main icon.
3. Right mouse button click on the 99main icon, a short-cut list will pop up. Left mouse button click on Properties.
4. Windows will probably tell you it cannot find the modem that was installed. If this happens you will need to click on the drop down box below the section marked Connect using. Your old modem will be in there. Simply click on the modem in the box and from the drop down list choose your current modem from the list.

Once this has been completed try connecting to 99main and see if the problem has been resolved.

 
I have a 56k Modem but I am not getting 56k connections, what's the reason and is there anything I can do to help achieve higher speeds?
This subject is pretty long and requires its own page for proper explanation. For the full article on 56k modems, technology and troubleshooting click here.

 
I play many games on the internet and am experiencing lag while playing. Is there anything I can do to help with this issue?
Being a gamer you realize the all important part of internet gaming, latency. Latency, or lag, between your computer and the server can be attributed to many things not just the Internet Service Provider that you are connected to. As you may know in order for you to have proper response in a real time first person game like Quake II/III or even NASCAR you must have a good low latency connection. Generally, your ideal ping time over a modem to the server you play on would be 200ms - 350ms (milliseconds) to provide proper action/reaction from the server. Ping time is often not enough, if you use a program like GameSpy you may be seeing it report ping times as low as 150ms - 200ms. While these appear to be excellent you also have to take into account how many players are on that server as well. A good rule of thumb is that you should add 10ms to the ping time for each person on that server, including you. For example, You ping a server and it responds with a time of 200ms which is very good. You may notice that there are 13 players on that server plus you when you log on, so you would have a PLAYING ping time of around 340ms which is acceptable but not great. Once you begin playing you may notice that you ping time has risen! Even though you thought you would have somewhere around 340ms you never thought you'd have a 450ms or higher ping time but you do. So what could be wrong? Any number of things could be the culprit but I will inform you of the three most common problems. Close all unnecessary communications programs that share your internet connection like ICQ, AOL IM, and Yahoo Pagers. Also Exit/Close as many of the icons you can in the system tray (Down where your clock is along the Start bar), they take up a lot of your memory and resources and will make your game slow down when you get around to playing. Also if you happen to get messaged by the communications programs while your playing it will end up lagging you. There are also large internet gaming companies like Heat.net, Microsoft Gaming Zone, Mplayer, etc. that often suffer from overload during peak times on the internet.

Another common problem with gaming might be the modem. If you have a name brand computer (such as Compaq, Packard Bell, Hewlett-Packard, Gateway, Dell) you may have a modem which is called a Soft modem or Winmodem. These modems are often favorites of large computer manufacturers because they are cheap to buy and they are okay for most users, except gamers. Soft modems work by removing some of the major control parts and emulating them in software, shifting the work load of modem communications to the Processor. This is bad because in on-line gaming it is more than likely that your processor is busy doing things like rendering graphics and playing sound effects. While it is doing these high workload processes it does not have enough time to process the information for your modem, hence slower response times. Having a true hardware modem can help with this problem. Most External modems have all their parts intact and are full hardware modems, they are slightly more expensive but if you are a serious gamer it is worth the cost.

The third problem are modem drivers that are not updated to the most recent versions. You may want to find out who makes your modem and download the latest drivers from their web site. If you have no idea who makes your modem you can take a look at http://www.56k.com or 56k=v.Unreliable web sites to help track down a driver for your system. This site will also give you some more resources to look over in your search to help with your gaming latency.
We also have additional information in our How 56k Works article which may help.

 
My computer no longer seems to dial when I try to launch my web browser, how can I fix this?
This problem some times occurs after windows was shut down improperly or the system crashes. If you follow these steps it is fairly simple to fix:

1. Click Start >> Settings >> Control Panel.

2. Find the icon called Internet or Internet Options.

3. If it looks like the "e" with the wrench and hammer Go to step 4. If it looks like the Globe with a Wrench and hammer go to step 6.

4. Double Click the "e" icon.

5. Click the Connections tab on the top of the window. You should then find something that says "Connect to the Internet with a modem" or "Connect to the Internet using a Local Area Network (LAN)" it should be selected on The modem or Phoneline option. Then click OK button and try your browser again. No need to go on to the next step.

6. Double click the globe icon.

7. Click the Connections tab on the top of the window. In the middle of the window you should see three options one of them labeled "Always Dial my Default Connection" Click this option even if it's already marked and then click the OK button on the bottom of the window. Try the internet Connection again.

 
Every time I check my mail in Outlook Express 5 I get disconnected, how can I fix this?
Outlook Express has this option that you can select to have it disconnect you after it finishes checking your mail.  This option often turned on when someone Clicks the send and receive button and then selects the option to "Hang up after sending and Receiving" on the details box.  To turn this option off you must be in Outlook Express 5 then follow the steps below:
  1. Click the Tools Menu
  2. Click Options
  3. On the top of the window you should see a Click the Connections tab.
  4. Uncheck the box labeled "Hang up after sending and receiving".
  5. Click the OK button to save your settings.

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