Here are some reasons why you might see this error message, and suggestions for solving each problem:
The modem can't get a dial tone. If you don't hear the modem dialing, this is most likely the problem. Make sure your phone line is working properly. If necessary, contact your telephone service provider for assistance.
The modem at the other end might not be answering. On a regular phone, dial the number. If you hear modem sounds, the modem is answering. If you don't hear sounds, contact a person at the destination computer to make sure that the computer and modem are working properly.
You might be dialing the wrong number, or a long-distance code or access code might have been added to the phone number. Check the modem log to see what number is actually being dialed. Here's how to view the log:
Open Phone and Modem Options by clicking the Start button , clicking Control Panel, clicking Hardware and Sound, and then clicking Phone and Modem Options.
If you haven't opened Phone and Modem Options before, a dialog box will appear, prompting you to type your area code and access codes.
Click the Modems tab, select your modem from the list, and then click Properties.
Click the Diagnostics tab, and then click View log.
If the Append to log check box is not selected, select it, try the call again, and then view the log.
If you need to change the phone number or add or remove codes, in Phone and Modem Options, on the Dialing Rules tab, click Edit.
Your modem might not be able to connect with the modem at the other end before the allotted time is up. If you hear the modem connection noise but this message still appears, try increasing the allotted time before a call is canceled or decreasing the port speed. Here's how to do that:
Click the Advanced tab, and then click Change Default Preferences.
Increase the number of seconds before a call is canceled, decrease the port speed, or make both changes.
Your modem driver might not be compatible with the version of Windows that you are using. Contact the manufacturer of your modem for the latest compatible driver.
There might be a problem with your Internet service provider (ISP). For assistance, contact your ISP.
Your modem's firmware or your computer's basic input/output system (BIOS) might be out of date. Contact your modem manufacturer for modem firmware updates, or your computer manufacturer for BIOS updates.