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AOL Help: Modem cannot detect a dial tone

No dial tone was detected when AOL attempted to make a connection.  This may be due to a problem with your phone line or with your modem settings. To fix the problem, try one or all of the following steps:

1. Troubleshoot the issue using the information contained in AOL Offline Help

  1. Ensure that AOL is offline, click the Help Menu at the top of the screen and select the AOL Help option. Alternatively, press the F1 key on the keyboard to launch the AOL Offline Help section.
  2. Click the plus icon (+) to expand the Connecting to the AOL service options
  3. Click the plus icon (+) to expand the Resolving connection Problems section
  4. Click Modem has reported No Dial Tone and follow the troubleshooting steps.


2. Check your modem connection

  1. Make sure that your modem is connected directly to the wall socket, with no cable splitters on the line.
  2. Make sure the telephone cable is connected to the correct socket on the modem.  If there are two sockets, it should be connected to the one marked Line.
  3. Make sure nothing else is plugged into the same phone line (e.g. fax machine, digital TV set-top box, etc.).


3. Are you connecting from an office or hotel?

If so, you may need to dial an extra digit to reach an outside line (usually 9) as follows:

  1. At the AOL Sign-On Screen, click Setup, and then click Edit Numbers. AOL 9.0: At the AOL Sign-On Screen, click Sign On Options, and then click Edit Numbers.
  2. Choose the first number on the list and click Edit.
  3. Tick the box that says Dial 9 to reach an outside line (change the digit if necessary) and click OK.
  4. Repeat Step 3 for each of the numbers on the list.
  5. Click OK.
  6. Then try to connect to AOL again.


4. Call-services and splitters

Connection problems may be caused by additional call services on the telephone line. Answering services that operate while you are away from the phone, or on another call, will create an interrupted or stuttered dial tone to let you know that you have new messages. Once you have listened to your new messages - and then deleted or saved them - the dial tone will return to normal. If you don't collect your messages then the interrupted dial tone may cause connection problems.

Splitters are extension sockets that are designed to take two telephones or modems in one wall socket. For a stable connection, it is recommended you remove any splitters from the line.


5. Run the 'I cannot get connected to the AOL service' Auto Fix (AOL 9.0 only)

Note: Make sure that any external modem is connected, powered on and that AOL is offline.

  1. Close all open programs, sign-off AOL.
  2. When offline, click Help (located on the AOL toolbar).
  3. Click the + beside Resolving Problems, and then click Solving Common AOL Problems.
  4. Click I cannot get connected to the AOL service.
  5. Close all programs (including AOL) and click Continue.


6. Repair the AOL Connectivity Service (AOL 9.0 only)

  1. Click Start, then Settings and Control Panel. Windows XP users: Click Start and Control Panel.
  2. Double-click Add/Remove programs. Windows XP users: Click Change/Remove programs.
  3. Select AOL Connectivity Services and click Add/Remove.
  4. Select Repair AOL Connectivity Services, click OK to start the repair process.
  5. Once complete, close all windows, start AOL 9.0 and click Sign On.
  6. Enter the location name and click Next to continue. AOL will now auto-detect the connection device.
  7. Confirm connection device by clicking Next and then click Sign on to AOL Now.

If the problem reoccurs, call AOL Member Services on 0870 320 2020 for further technical support.