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Reader Reports on Dial-Up Modems in OS X Tiger
Last Updated: 7/22/2005

Some readers reported problems with Dialup Modems after upgrading to Tiger. May 16th, 2005 news page had a post from Lawrence of MC2 Computers that 10.4.1 didn't help and he was told it was a confirmed problem with certain models (he mentioned an iBook 700MHz (G3?)), so I asked for feedback from Tiger users that were not having any modem problems. (Note: one later report from a G5 owner said 10.4.2 helped, but it wasn't a fix for everyone with the problem.) Within several hours I'd gotten more than 2 dozen reports on no problems from various system users (B&W G3 to Powerbooks) so apparently it's not a common problem, but that's little consolation for those that did have a problem.
If any reader that has the modem problem finds a fix for it - let me know.

Reader Reports: (most recent first)
(Note: For those that upgraded to Tiger, include a note in the report email if you did an upgrade over 10.3.x or an archive and install, etc. and if you tried creating a new location and another other usual voodoo/tips for OS X problems.)

(added 7/22/2005)
"I was having severe problems with my modem under MacOS Tiger. Specifically, I could not Fax. I tried resetting the print system in the Printer Setup Utility to no avail.

Then I went to System Preferences > Network > Network Port Configuration, and noticed that the "internal modem" port configuration was not checked. I checked it, reset the print system in the Printer Setup Utility (for luck...) and then all - magically - was fine....
Nick M.
Fukuoka Japan "

(added 7/22/2005 - another follow-up from a reader with previous problems)
" Mike, I have had only failure to connect since I stopped Little Snitch 1.2b4 and Deja Vu.
So guess I will leave them off, but maybe do some testing later by activating them again one at a time and seeing if the problem returns. Will let you know the results.
Really appreciate your suggestions and the web site, GREAT information!!!

(added 7/22/2005)
"To update a report I made on 5/17/2005 of "no problem at all" on dialup:
I have no problem getting on line with my iMac G4 Flat Panel 800MHz with SuperDrive and original internal modem, running Tiger 10.4.2. My problem is that the modem will *hang up* occasionally.

I have discovered this happens during an online session immediately after a reboot or repairing permissions. I have also discovered if I go to System Preferences>Network and change "Show: Network Status" to "Internal Modem" then quit System Preferences, for some reason I no longer get the Internet Connect message about hanging up. I can stay connected all day and night if I choose to do so.
I have no clue WHY this "fixes" the problem, but it does. ???
-Judie "

(added 7/21/2005 - in reply to a post yesterday below)
" Mike, Although I don't have tiger yet, I can confirm that my Web Accelerator, (SlipStream in my case), was a problem with 10.1.5, 10.2.x, and 10.3.x, in that it could sometimes fail yet leave the HTTP Proxy to a port Safari didn't use/check., and thereby prevent browsing, though things like Eudora, TransmitX, and Interarchy always worked.
-BDAqua "

(added 7/21/2005)
" I started with the original system restore disks on my TiBook 800 (10.1.4), then installed Tiger right on top
modem didn't work
Having installed all my applications (ugh) I went ahead and wiped the drive, and installed Tiger from scratch from its install disk, hoping a clean install would fare better.
same problem
Found your thread on this...tried to replace InternalUSBModem.kext with one from a 10.3.9 install... now Internet Connect error message instead of saying "no dial tone" on several different phone lines, now says "Could not open the communication device."
so I probably made the problem worse and should have waited for 10.4.3 to fix this bug ...
-Mark F. "

There were some other tips (below) also but nothing may be a universal fix for everyone with this problem. (and some past tips were used in 10.4.0 or 10.4.1, not 10.4.2.) It may not help but I asked if he repaired permissions after the extension change.
Reinstalling a "combo update" (i.e. 10.4.2 combo updater from apple support/downloads page) should overwrite the older extension I think.

A follow-up from a reader that previously reported problems:

(added 7/21/2005)
" Thanks Mike for your reply. I Will do that and see what happens. Turned off Little Snitch, and Deja Vu and rebooted. The system addressed the modem, reasonable time, about 12-15 seconds, the modem dialed and connected. This usually happens right after I reboot with LS and DV running. Will disconnect and then reconnect.

Checked on the "Web Proxy" and it is unchecked and as far as I know it has always been unchecked.

1st reboot, 9 seconds for system to access the modem, using speaker to monitor modem sounds.
Disconnected after auth.
10 seconds to modem access, 30 seconds to lockup, 40 seconds auth. Disconnected after auth.
9 seconds to modem access, 29 seconds lockup, 38 seconds auth. So after three tries, it seems to be working better. Also seems to be more responsive without Little Snitch and Deja Vu running.
Will keep an eye on it and see how it works over time.
Thanks for your help, as the club here in Sun City West professes, the Mac people are great in helping each other.
BTW been using Apple computers since 1981, but did have to use that "dark side" machines when I was working. Management was somewhat "narrow minded" ;-)). -Harold
Tried replacing the script with the one that is in Panther, no difference, but Little Snitch and Deja Vu still running. "

(added 7/21/2005)
" Oops I forgot to notify you. 10.4.2 fixed my modem problem. (he reported a problem back in May with his G5 1.6GHz single CPU early model modem in previous tiger version.-Mike) It works fine now.
-Ilgaz "
Note on Web Proxy Setting:

(added 7/20/2005)
" Mike, I own a 15" Powerbook 1.6Ghz w/ 128MB Video Card. Upgraded to Tiger, lost my Dial-up modem when using Safari, (all others such as Mail, and FTP have worked fine). I thought that my computer was part of this dial-up modem fiasco and I have been waiting for a fix. After updating w/ 10.4.2 Combo, and still having problems with Safari and my Dial-up, I went to the Apple Store Genius bar today. Turns out that my problem has been with Web Proxy (HTTPS) that was checked. It is found under System Preferences / Network / Proxies. Once this was unchecked, Safari worked with my Dial-up.
Web Proxy (HTTPS) is what my ISP uses for "Web Accelerator". This has been the trouble the whole time!
The Genius at the bar, said that he has seen this as causing trouble and does not recommend using it.
Thanks for your great web site!
-Brent T."

If anyone else with a problem finds this helps let me know.

(added 7/20/2005 - also see his later post dated 7/21/2005 above)
" I am having the problem with the modem, the system will not communicate with the modem quite often. Of course, other problems are also apparent, like it won't connect correctly with the server. The computer here is a G4 MDD 1.0GHz Purchased in Dec 2002, 1.75GB RAM.
Using 10.4.2 operating system. Security patch 006 is also installed. A few 3rd party stuff but not all that much:
Cursor Zoom
Little Snitch (I asked if it was the latest version but since it's network related I'd try removing it just as a test. But also worth checking the other tips/settings mentioned by others here.-Mike)
Kensington Mouse Works
3 hard drives, 2-160gig seagates, The original 80meg drive. the original CD burner/reader, PIONEER DVD-RW DVR-104 and SONY DVD RW DRU-710A
Machine Name: Power Mac G4
Machine Model: PowerMac3,6
CPU Type: PowerPC G4 (2.1)
Number Of CPUs: 2
CPU Speed: 1 GHz
L2 Cache (per CPU): 256 KB
L3 Cache (per CPU): 1 MB
Memory: 1.75 GB
Bus Speed: 167 MHz
Boot ROM Version: 4.4.8f2
Will try the work around and see what happens.
Thanks for the heads up. This problem is a real PITA.

(added 7/19/2005)
" Similar problem with a 700MHz iBook and Tiger 10.4.2. I am able to make a dial up connection and the OS thinks it is connected. However, it will not load a page in the web browser or get E-mail. Dropping back to the Apple Internal 56k Modem V.34 on the modem selection works but the connection is very slow. Tested with two different dialup ISP's - BellSouth and Earthlink.
-Roland C.
Modem Model: MicroDash
Interface Type: USB
Modulation: V.92
Hardware Version: 1.0F
Firmware Version: APPLE VERSION 2.6.6
Driver: InternalUSBModem.kext (v2.6.6) "

(reports below were from before the 10.4.2 update release, although one was updated to note 10.4.2 solved his problem)

Tip for those with Tiger/Modem Problems:

(added 6/1/2005)
"Well, someone with the screen name jethro77 posted a workaround on the Apple discussion thread about this issue. The link to the full thread is this:
However, here's the relevant text from jethro77's post:
    " OK, I waited for this to make the rounds from the forum where I initially posted it, but apparently it hasn't and since Apple doesn't seem to be forthcoming, here goes. The 10.4.x InternalUSBModem.kext extension is messed up. It sometimes leaves the modem in a state where the system can't communicate with it. That's OK because the 10.3.9 one works, this is why going back to 10.3.9 let's you use the modem. If you did an archive & install you should just need to do something like this in the terminal:

    cd /Previous\ Systems.localized/Previous\ System\ 1/System/Library/Extensions/

    cd IOSerialFamily.kext/Contents/PlugIns/

    sudo kextload InternalUSBModem.kext

    I split that up for legibility, the first line takes you to the extensions folder of the previous system folder, the second takes you into the plugins folder of the old serial extension, the last one loads up the old internal modem extension. If you didn't do an archive & install but have 10.3.9 on another drive or partition, you can just cd to the proper directory on your own. You should now be able to use the modem. The 10.4.x .kext should also now work, but if it stops working again (it did for me, this is what led me to do all this in the first place) then doing the above again should get you online.

    I don't recommend replacing the 10.4.x version with the 10.3.9 one since the fix Apple eventually comes out with (it could happen!) may not work properly with that one.
    Enjoy. :)"

Of course this workaround requires still having access to a previous installation of Panther, and is in no way shape or form suggested or supported by Apple. That being said, it worked for me ;-)
-Eric W."

(added 5/31/2005 - updated 7/21/2005 for note 10.4.2 fixed the problem)
Oops I forgot to notify you. 10.4.2 fixed my modem problem. It works fine now.
-Ilgaz "(His original report from May 2005 (earlier Tiger version) follows)
Its a known problem with Tiger kernel, its the InternalUSBModemSupport not working as kernel extension. Its in IOSerialFamily.kext as a plugin

Sad problem is, its closed part of OS X as its a winmodem (officially HCF), I reported to Apple USB list, than they requested me to use bug reporter of developer connection, sent with all details, its marked as "duplicate"

One guy on list having an @apple.com email address replied "We hope to make a fix soon"

No confusions: Its Internal Microdash brand modem came with a G5 1600 SP of mine. Modem does NOT work at all. E.g. as a old timer, you would know, you can't send a "ATZ" to modem. Modem simply does NOT exist. /dev/cu.modem is not loaded, modem not powered on.

We are actually buying an actual fax device today or tomorrow, used modem for faxing here and it will be really stupid to buy it as I have vuescan pro, canon scanner and a colour laser.
(he later wrote)
Almost forgot, (as addition to my mail)
Look, they tell the guy to recompile, we don't have sources in hand. It can be only fixed by them, nobody else.
-Ilgaz O.
(he later wrote with more info on his modem)
Its below, pasting from System info. I traced it, its a conxion chipset (Rockwell HCF family, remember?)
Modem Information:
Modem Model: MicroDash
Interface Type: USB
Modulation: V.92
SKU Name: Euro
Hardware Version: 1.0F
Firmware Version: APPLE VERSION 2.6.4
Driver: InternalUSBModem.kext (v2.6.4)
System is G5 1600 SP (one of first shipped I guess with latest firmware applied), Hardware Overview:
Machine Name: Power Mac G5
Machine Model: PowerMac7,2
CPU Type: PowerPC 970  (2.2)
Number Of CPUs: 1
CPU Speed: 1.6 GHz
L2 Cache (per CPU): 512 KB
Memory: 768 MB
Bus Speed: 800 MHz
Boot ROM Version: 5.1.5f2
Serial Number: CK3370FRNV9

To give a clue how serious problem is, clicking to "modem" in system information made machine use 90% of NON IDLE CPU even.
So, people saying there "Slowed down my system" could be connected.
If you have internal or exclusive contacts from Apple, Its problem ID (which marked duplicate) is:
Problem ID: 4130118 via ADC bug reporter (some apple guy told me to use it)

Seriously, I am checking fax prices now as they didn't give a time frame for fixing the problem. Really funny things as maid going to a cafe to fax stuff happens here.
Sadly, it looks like there is nothing to be "hacked" or the people would tell me. A guy even sent his own variant of file to try, no help. The respected developers of Adium etc tells me, I am looking to wrong place, the problem is much deeper than that. meaning, no plist files to hack :) Have a nice day
Ilgaz Ocal "

There's some previous reports below from 1.8GHz and up G5 owners reporting no internal modem problems in Tiger, but not sure those have the same modem as Ilgaz's.

(added 5/18/2005)
I have a similar configuration to others who have had the modem problem (MDD, v.92 internal), dial-up *was* working fine until the modem-on-hold thing got used and then it started with the "could not open..." message. I did some quick voodoo (reset nvram in open firmware, new location, etc.) and then tried out the internal v.90 modem that I had laying around from an older machine and am online with that. (I asked for more info on the v.90 modem-Mike)
I'm pretty sure all G4 Mac modems are compatible, at least the v.92 modem that came with the MDD, a v.90 modem from a GigE and a Stealth Serial adapter all work in the various G4s that I've tried them in.

I'll try the v.92 again in a bit and see if its time out has made it see things my way. I did just install 10.4.1 but since they didn't address anything modem related that probably doesn't mean anything. (he later wrote) It didn't resolve itself a few hours later. I then tried it in the GigE with the same hard drive and got the same results. Then I grabbed the disk that I'd tried 10.4 out on to make sure the modem didn't have any problems on my system (and it didn't, then) and that failed now too. (I asked if he still had the v.92 modem installs to send a clip of the details on it from Apple System Profiler-Mike)

I'd suggest disabling the online call notification thing for dial-up users with the suspect configuration in the meantime.
-Steve "

(Another reader later said to check the Modem setup country setting.) If any readers with Tiger modem problems find that helps (or the tip in the next report below), let me know. Thanks.

(added 5/18/2005)
"My modem works fine on Tiger. (I asked what mac model/modem he was using-Mike)
I do know that there was an issue on Panther that caused my Mac to freeze when trying to connect via the modem. I solved this problem by deleting /var/log/ppp.log. To access this from the Finder, select the Go menu > Go to folder and enter in /var/log/ then press return. Find ppp.log, move it to the trash (you'll be asked for your administrator password) and empty the trash. After that, try connecting again.
It worked for me; maybe it'll work for others.
Nick M. - Mac Editor
Deep Thought - inside the minds of geeks
http://www.dtgeeks.com/ "

(added 5/18/2005)
"G5 dual 1.8GHz, 3gig ram. archive and install from 10.3.9
Fax has had some modifs but still not working. For one one has to always midify the modem to ignore dialtone then the modem does not remain selected as a faxprinter. Not good.
-Paolo Z "

I'd tend to doubt that will help since I think some users with a modem problem even tried a Tiger clean install (erase and install).

(added 5/18/2005)
"Airport Extreme BaseStation w/dialup
Powerbook - Panther 10.3.9, internet from AEBS over Airport
PowerMac dual 2.5 - 10.4.0, internet from AEBS over Airport

PB connects to AEBS and shows and does modem connect. PM has trouble joining AEBS, often shows error, after upgrade to Tiger. If modem connect of AEBS is activated via PB then if PM joins AEBS ( problematic) the modem connect time indicator in menu extras cycles in/out contact ever 5 sec. Bad in/out internet on PM. Ran ethernet cable from AEBS to PM. Now connection is more stable but still need to initiate AEBS modem connect form PB. Later today will try 10.4.1
-Terry "

(added 5/18/2005)
"I'm running Tiger 10.4.1 on a Dual 2.5 Ghz. The modem always connected at 49,333 and after update from Panther will only connect at 28,800. I tried several things with no luck.
-Robert C. "

(added 5/18/2005)
"No dialup modem problems here with OS 10.4.0. iMac G4 20" 1GB RAM. Archived & installed Tiger with no problems.
-C.K. "

(added 5/18/2005)
"I have a MDD 867 G4 and have had no problems using the modem on Tiger.
-Robert "

(added 5/18/2005)
"my internal modem runs fine.( both 10.4 & 10.4.1) iMac 17" flat panel 800 Mhz
-Jon H. "

(added 5/18/2005)
"No modem problems with Tiger on a 1.5gig AL PB w/1gig ram.
-Wil N. "

(added 5/18/2005)
"Just wanted to add this since I didn't see any Cube listed yet. So far i've not had any modem problems with X.4. Nor have I had them with the X.4.1 update. I have a 600Mhz Cube that started life as a 450Mhz model. If this might help in anyway, here's what system profiler says for my modem:
Model: Spring
Interface: Serial
Modulation: V.90
Hardware Version: 3.0F
Driver: com.apple.driver.AppleSCCSerial (v1.3.0)
-Josh "

(added 5/18/2005)
"I'm using the dial-up modem on two iMac G4s, one a 1 Gig model, the other a 700 Mhz. The only thing broken here is the sound of the modem connecting, and that only on the 1 Gig. Otherwise everything works well.
-Richard T. "

(added 5/18/2005)
"I installed Tiger on my G3 400MHZ 384MB 10GB Pismo PowerBook last week and the dial up modem seems to be working OK so far. Now I am reluctant to update to the 10.4.1 until I am sure it won't mess up the modem operation. (I don't think 10.4.1 affects it - people reported the problem with 10.4.0 originally and so far no indication that 10.4.1 helps, but if it's working in 10.4.0 I doubt 10.4.1 would affect it but of course I can't guarantee anything.-Mike) I have noticed some strange behaviour with the MicroMouse scroll wheel working intermittantly and the touch pad not responding sometimes. I think these items are supposed to be addressed with the update.
-William D. "

(added 5/18/2005)
"running Tiger on G5 2.0GHz DP and 667MHz powerbook G4 with NO modem problems
-Larry F. "

(added 5/18/2005)
"Mike, I'm running 10.4, now 10.4.1 on a Powerbook 800 DVI and using dialup with no problems. In fact, this email was sent using my modem. Thanks for the great website.
-GM "

(added 5/18/2005)
"Hey there, I normally use DSL but need to dial up into the network at work, no problems here doing that. Always dials and connects.
I have a MDD 867 and am using 10.4.1
Regards, C. Archie "

(added 5/18/2005)
"Thanks, Mike, for your great service to the Mac community.
I am running a Pismo upgraded with a Daystar 550 G4 and Tiger (10.4.0) and the dial up modem is working, although I am experiencing cut offs after about an hour. Most likely the cut offs are from my ISP, not a modem problem, as I have had this problem previously.
Best, Rick "

(added 5/17/2005)
"I am running Tiger on a G4 AGP graphics Mac upgraded with an OWC 1.5 GHz processor. I am using the internal modem with a dialup connection with no problems. I have actually had an intermittent problem since Panther where I sometimes can't connect on the first try. Internet connect goes through the motions of dialing and connecting but the modem makes no sound. I am usually successful on the second try. I have experienced this same problem once or twice in Tiger but otherwise have had no trouble using the modem.
Wayne B. "

(added 5/17/2005)
"Hi. I've experienced no problems what so ever using dial up with Tiger.
(love your site) Dual 800MHz (Quicksilver)
-JS "

(added 5/17/2005)
"I'm running Tiger (10.4) and using a dialup/modem with absolutely no problems. I have a dual 1.8GHz G5 with 3.0 GB RAM.
-G. Cooper "

(added 5/17/2005)
"No problems with modems on Tiger 10.4 (didn't test 10.4.1). Powerbook 550 MHz, v92 Apple driver.
-John L. "

(added 5/17/2005)
"I was just looking @ your website, I’m in New Zealand, I have a Apple G3 (upgraded to 512 RAM) and now running OS 10 (I asked to verify it was Tiger-Mike) with a dialup, seems to work ok at this stage
Regards, Morgan M.
Microcraft Systems Ltd. "

(added 5/17/2005)
"I'm running 10.4.0 on a B&W G3 and my modem works fine. I thought that my machine was affected by that bug at first but apparently my modem got pooched in a lightning storm right after my Tiger install. Throwing in a new modem fixed it and it's worked fine ever since.

I also am running Tiger on a 400MHz slotloading iMac with no problems - modem is working perfectly.
Hope this is helpful.
-Brett "

(added 5/17/2005)
"10.4.0 has NOT been a problem with internal dial-up modem on B/W G3. It will be a couple hours before 10.4.1 is installed to check that. I did have several occasions of 3rd party cordless (IOGear Bluetooth and Microsoft) mice causing hard freezes with 10.4.0
-Dave T. "

(added 5/17/2005)
"Hi, Mike.
OK here with Tiger 10.4.0 and original internal dial up modem of a Pismo (G3/900 Powerlogix) and a G4/533 Digital audio.
Location : Belgium.
-Philippe H.
AWTC Europe
Equipment Engineer "

(added 5/17/2005)
"Hi Mike, I'm using my new G5 Dual 2GHz, when I read todays news, I thought I try the modem for the first time. (running X.4.1) If your reading this, It works!

G5/DP 2.0 with 2.5 gigs of ram, 160 harddrive, optional modem and down graded Sony DVD combo drive and uped the Video card to the 9650. Student price was $1740.
(I added the ram). Given my G4/533 gave me 4 solid years, this is a nice upgrade. (I dont care about PCI-X)
-Ben "

(added 5/17/2005)
"Hi - I exclusively use dial-up since they can't hook my apartment up with broadband - Rev C Power Mac G5 2.0 BTO with optional modem (came with Tiger installed). No problems at all. ISP is Earthlink.
Regards, Jareer "

(added 5/17/2005)
"I'm running an original 1.8Ghz single G5 using the built-in modem with no problems under Tiger. Also used an 800Mhz ibook under Tiger, built-in modem.
Cheers, Isaac G. "

I asked what type of Tiger install he did (upgrade/dirty install or archive/install, etc.)

(added 5/17/2005)
"i have been successfully running tiger with dial up on my AGP 400MHz 1g (1st gen. Sawtooth I assume-Mike) mac tower for a while now, but have been beset with problems including finder crashes and spotlight not indexing correctly and not shutting down, untold grief in fact. 

after formatting and re installing a number of times and emptying my mac of almost 1t of drive space and work i found that tiger was not accepting or reporting the failure of an old 128MB PC133 chip on the main board! i had actually forgotten it was there.
since its removal tiger runs but for now will not shut down correctly when installed as an upgrade. fresh install works fine. grrrrrrrrrrr!
-Simon "

(added 5/17/2005)
"My mother-in-law has a new iMac G5 with nothing but dial-up modem access to the net. She's not having a problem.
-Ward M. "

(added 5/17/2005)
"Just replying to your request to let you know if anyone is able to successfully use their dialup/modem with Tiger 10.4. I'm having NO trouble at all. I have a Flat Panel iMac 800mhz with SuperDrive and am using the original modem that came in the iMac.

I'm about 10 minutes away from installing the Tiger 10.4.1 update. If anything changes I'll let you know.
-Judie "

(added 5/17/2005)
"Have a quicksilver 867 & Tiger and 10.4.1 with fastermac.net dial-up.
No problems here.
Maybe see if OWC (fastermac.net) has heard of anything
-Gerry "

Apparently it's not as common a problem as some thought, I just wish there was a fix/tip for those that have the problem.

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