Windows 98 - modem woes denied

Despite denials from OEMs and Microsoft, there appears to be a problem with Windows 98 and its ability to connect users to phone lines.

‘No dial tone detected' has greeted over 200 ZDNet News readers' machines attempting to dial into the Internet using ‘dial-up networking' yet none of the organisations identified by users have any record of any issues relating to dialling out on machines that have been upgraded to Windows 98.

In our own tests, 5 machines, including models by Gateway, Dell, Packard Bell and Hewlett Packard all failed to pick up phone lines despite reinstalling Windows 98 and manually configuring modem settings.

Sander Siezen, product marketing manager at Packard Bell said he isn't aware of any specific modem "issues" suffered by users upgrading to Windows 98 but he does know of problems with certain sound cards. "Some of the drivers [in Windows 98] aren't as backwards compatible as Microsoft would have liked them," he said.

A source close to Hewlett-Packard who requested anonymity told ZDNet News: "Windows 98 is not backwards compatible. I am strongly suggesting that people don't upgrade to Windows 98 until they [Microsoft] provide a decent service pack." The source said that users buying new PCs would not be affected, "If a system has Windows 98 pre-installed, than all the hardware will have been accommodated."

If you have experienced problems since upgrading to Windows 98, then please email us with the details.