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Troubleshooting
Greetings from the TFN Technical Group! We're sorry to hear that you've been having problems with your TFN sessions disconnecting unexpectedly. There are actually a number of possible causes for this.

A list of common problems have been compiled here, complete with solutions that will help you solve your problem! If you are having troubles correcting your problem, you are welcome to email us with the information found at the bottom of this list. Please remember to include as much detail as possible about your problem, what you have tried, and your system information (e.g. running Windows 98).

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Why does it say "no dialtone" when everything is set up properly?
If you subscribe to the VoiceMail service from the telephone company and somebody leaves you a message, you will hear a "stutter tone" before the actual dialtone. Unfortunately, the modem has trouble with this "stutter tone" and hence, fails to recognize the dialtone. You can tell the modem to ignore the stutter tone by doing the following:

  1. Click the Start button, then choose Settings then Control Panel.
  2. Find and open the icon Modems. You should see your modem listed here.
  3. Ensure your modem is highlighted, and then click Properties.
  4. In this window, choose the Connection tab at the top.
  5. Look for "Wait for dial tone before dialing" and Uncheck that box.
  6. You may now close all the windows by clicking OK, Close, etc.
  7. Try and connect... the modem should now ignore the stutter tone and dial.


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Why isn't my modem dialing all 10 digits?
Usually, the computer only dials the 7-digit phone number, without the area code (as many cities in Canada still dial without the area code). To change this setting on your computer so that all 10 digits will be dialed, follow these steps:

  1. Click the Start button, then choose Settings then Control Panel.
  2. Find and open the icon Modems. You should see your modem listed here.
  3. Ensure your modem is highlighted, and then click Dialing Properties.
  4. Beside the area code, click the button Area Code Rules.
  5. Check the box "Always dial the area code (10-digit dialing)".
  6. You may now close all the windows by clicking OK, Close, etc.
  7. Try and connect... the modem should now dial all 10 digits.


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Why won't it let me connect, saying I have a wrong username/password?
First, ensure that you have an active TFN account. Before you start dialing, you will see a box that lets you type in your TFN username and password. Please make sure that you have typed in everything exactly the way it was set up. For example, if you had a password "jello", it would NOT be the same as "Jello" with a capital J. Make sure "CAPS-lock" is off, then re-type your password and connect again.

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Why do I unexpectedly get disconnected from the TFN?
There are actually a number of possible causes for this.

  1. Limited minutes are available depending on what type of account you have with the TFN. For example, a Plus allows you to connect for to the TFN for up to 60 minutes at any given time, up to a maximum 70 minutes total per day. On those few occasions when you dialed in to connect a second time in the same day, the available time has been reduced by the proper amount from the first call. Visiting our webpage (http://www.torfree.net) will give you your approximate time left for your account (at the top of the page).

  2. Call Waiting may be another thing that may discconect you from the TFN. The 'beep' tone made by an incoming second call may cause confusion to the modem and cause it to disconnect. In this case, you will need to turn off Call Waiting by adding a prefix code (*70) to the front of the number you dial for TFN. You will also need to add a 'pause' in between *70 and the TFN by typing a comma (","). The final result should look something like this when you dial in:

    Phone Number: *70,647-477-1477

    Please note that this is only needed if you have call waiting. Do not use *70 if you do not have call waiting!

  3. Obvious noise on your phone line may be another cause of your sudden disconnects. If you hear clicks or pops on your phone line during normal voice phone calls, these will be loud enough to disrupt how the modem communicates with the TFN, causing you to disconnect. You will need to find the source of this noise, possibly by removing faulty phone line extenders between the modem and the wall jack. Also check for faulty phone equipment. Some phones, answering machines and other specialized equipment can intrude in the phone line. Again, the clicks should be noticable when talking on the line.

  4. If your modem is not configured to properly handle renegotiating connection speeds mid-call, it may be your reason why it is disconnecting as well. You need to check your modem instructions/manual, and insure that the modem is using the correct 'initialization string' (init string) commands. In Windows, this may mean insuring that the modem is correctly named/identified in your setup.

  5. You may also like to check for any commands/settings that tell the modem to Only connect at a given speed, or to 'lock' itself to whatever speed selected when the connection was established. In either case, if there is a temporary line problem (e.g. noise) that causes the modem to slow down and if your modem refuses to slow down, the your call with the TFN may be disconnected.


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My problem isn't here, how can I contact you for help?
If you have a problem that is not listed above, you are welcome to email us with your problem at help@torfree.net. Please include in your message to us: detailed information about your problem, what you have tried, and information on your computer.




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