Outdated Drivers
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What is a modem driver? What is TAPI?

A modem driver is the software file that translates the computer's instructions into commands a modem can understand, and then translates the responses. All the devices in a computer need a driver to make them work with the CPU and eachother. A modem driver is a list of the AT commands that a modem understands along with the way the CPU can send those commands in its own special way. A driver will differ for each modem and each operating system out there. You can understand, then, why it is so important to have the correct and most recent driver installed. The reason we "uninstall" and "reinstall" a modem is because either the wrong driver is installed, or because the driver file has become corrupt and needs to be replaced with the original. All we are uninstalling is this driver file (although there are situations in which it is beneficial to yank and replace the actual modem, but this goes well beyond what we can do over the phone with a customer).

TAPI stands for Telephony Application Programmers' Interface. A modem's driver conforms to the TAPI standard and allows the operating system and/or dialer to know which commands work and what they do. Without the standard, each software application must know the AT commands for each kind of modem and to which modem is talking. Actually, the user has to know and manually type in an init string or otherwise configure the program to use the specific brand of modem. With TAPI, the driver ships with the modem, and the software just has to know what it wants to do, not how it has to do it. The user says "use hardware flow control" or "wait for a dialtone before dialing" and the TAPI driver takes care of the modem.


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