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AOL Help: Modem not detected while installing AOL

If you're installing the AOL software but AOL cannot detect your modem, try one or all of the following steps to resolve the problem. We suggest printing these instructions before you continue.

1. Check your PC specification:
Ensure that your PC meets the required specification to run AOL.

The minimum system requirements for AOL 9.0 are as follows:

  • Operating system: Windows 98, 2000, Me or XP
  • Processor: Pentium-class; minimum speed as recommended for your operating system (e.g. 266MHz or above for Windows XP)
  • RAM: 64MB or above (128MB recommended)
  • Hard disk space: 129MB or above
  • Screen resolution: 800x600 and 256 colours or greater
  • Connection: Any of the following: 28.8Kbps modem or faster; broadband (DSL or cable); ISDN; or TCP/IP (LAN connections)


2. Close all other software while starting AOL

  1. Shut down all running programs, except anti-virus and firewall software.
    Windows 95/98 users: Press the CTRL, ALT and DELETE keys simultaneously. The Close Program window will appear. The only tasks that should be listed are Explorer and Systray, all others must be ended.
    Note: If an internal ISDN TA or USB ISDN TA are being used then either CFOSDW or OEMCFOS applications should be left running
    Windows 2000/XP users: Having closed all open programs, press the CTRL, ALT and DELETE keys simultaneously. The Applications tab should be empty. If it is not, highlight any programs shown and click End Task.
  2. Look at icons in the Windows taskbar (area by the clock on the task-bar) and see if any of these can be closed. Remember to leave anti-virus and firewall software running. Close programs by right-clicking on the icon and selecting Exit or Close.
    If you are unsure of what an icon is, try placing the mouse cursor over the icon. A pop-up should appear advising what the program is.
  3. Restart your AOL software by double-clicking the AOL icon on your desktop.


3. Perform a HyperTerminal test

  1. Click on Start and select Run.
  2. Type hypertrm then click OK.
  3. Type test and click OK.
  4. Enter your access number and click Dial
    After a successful test, you should get the prompt: Login.

If this fails to dial, please contact your PC vendor for technical support.


4. Check the computer's physical connections

  1. Check that the modem is connected directly to the wall socket. Remove any splitters from the line.
  2. Ensure the cable is connected to the socket marked LINE on the modem.
  3. If using an external USB hub, try connecting the modem directly to the computer.
  4. The cable should not be too long (less than 10 metres is recommended).
  5. If used disconnect your fax machine or digital TV set-top box from the line.


If AOL still does not detect your modem, try installing the AOL software again from your original AOL CD-ROM.  Visit this page for advice on how to do this: Reinstalling your AOL software.

Alternatively, call AOL Member Services on 0870 320 2020 for further technical support.