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Problems sending or receiving faxes with FaxTalk

Faxes can fail during sending or receiving for a variety of reasons. The following are some possible causes for failure to transmit or receive faxes.

NOTE: The following suggestions are for issues where faxes attempt to be sent or received but fail during transmission.

Reliability issues with the modem hardware or modem drivers

Many of the operations that are performed by the FaxTalk software are dependent on the quality of the modem hardware and modem drivers.

  1. If FaxTalk cannot communicate with the fax modem because of a change of the modem, updated fax modem driver, or updated operating system, you may be required to re-configure the modem settings in FaxTalk by clicking Tools, Options, Connection. Select the modem from the list and click Change. Note that any FaxTalk custom settings for the modem will be lost after this change.
  2. With the exception of some fax modems, you should use the latest modem drivers supplied by the modem manufacturer for your modem model and operating system. Modem drivers supplied by Microsoft as part of the Windows operating system instead of custom drivers provided by the modem manufacturer may not be complete or reliable for faxing or voice operations. Some generic drivers do not support voice, or do not answer calls properly. Unless specified by the modem manufacturer, the generic modem drivers provided by Microsoft as part of the Windows operating system provide basic data/Internet connectivity for dial up connections and may not considered reliable for fax or voice operations. Contact your modem manufacturer for proper setup.
  3. If the fax modem drivers or the Windows version was updated and you find that you can no longer send or receive faxes, you may need to re-install the fax modem drivers using the installation method recommended by the modem manufacturer for your specific operating system.
  4. If possible, avoid using a USB hub when connecting a USB based fax modem to your computer. USB fax modems should be connected directly to the computer. If you having problems with the fax modem installed to a USB port, try installing on a different USB port.  You may need to reconfigure the FaxTalk Modem settings after reinstalling the fax modem on a different USB port.
  5. Connect your USB modem to a USB 2.0 or lower speed port. USB 3.0 (specified by a blue color port) may not be compatible with some USB fax modems.
  6. Use the next available COM port settings on your computer. If you have COM3 available, configure your modem to use COM3 instead of COM4 or a higher port. If you have a serial port, or your BIOS reserves COM1 and COM2 to serial ports, you must disable them in the bios before you can configure the fax modem to use these ports.
  7. Avoid using 2 or more USB based fax modems on the same computer, unless it is supported by the fax modem drivers. If you must use two or more USB modems on the same computer, try different types/models. When installing two or more modems, do so by installing one at a time.
  8. Turn off power saving features of your operating system (if applicable) specific to your USB based fax modem.
  9. Problems with the modem hardware can also result in problems sending or receiving faxes. If updating the modem drivers does not help with the problem you should try using a different modem to see if that corrects the issue.
  10. Not all fax modems are created equal. If you are using a software based fax modem. Try another fax modem if available, preferably a controller-less or controller based hardware fax modem. We offer them on-line at
  11. If your fax modem is not answering after 1 ring, try setting FaxTalk to answer in 2 or more rings. Some fax modems do not properly answer within 1 ring. If modem does not answer calls, check for correct modem drivers or telephone connection.
  12. If you are having a problem with sending to a fax machine or fax modem, try sending a test fax to another fax machine or fax modem to determine if the problem is specific to one recipient Its possible the problem is with the recipient.
  13. There is a free test fax service you can use to test your FaxTalk software. You can send a test fax to, this service will display your fax on a web page within minutes of receiving it.  Don’t send any private information as these faxes are public for everyone to see. For more information and the fax number visit

Troubleshooting phone line related issues.

The quality of the telephone line connected to the modem being used by FaxTalk to send faxes can have an impact on the ability to reliably send or receive faxes.

  1. Static or other “noise” on the line can force the fax transaction to have to resend data multiple times and in some cases automatically drop the sending speed to attempt to compensate for the line condition. Faxes may fail during sending if these methods for compensating for line quality issues are not successful. You should verify with your telephone service provider that there are no quality issues with your telephone line.
  2. Make sure you have Call Waiting feature disabled on your fax telephone line. Call Waiting can be disabled for all outgoing calls usually by dialing *70 before the fax number. If you have problems with receiving faxes while Call Waiting is enabled, you will need to contact your telephone provider to disable this feature on your phone line.
  3. If your telephone line has DSL Internet service (on the same telephone line where your fax modem is connected to) you may require to install a DSL filter between the fax modem and telephone connection.  Not all DSL services require additional filters, so check with your DSL internet service provider to determine if you require to install a DSL filter.  If you have DSL filters installed for each telephone in your home or office, you will also require a filter for the fax modem. Extra DSL filters are available from your internet service provider or at a local computer dealer.
  4. Some fax modems may be not be able compensate for a poor or fair quality line and cause errors when sending and receiving faxes. If possible, try a different fax modem that is hardware based (controller-less or controller based). We offer them on-line at
  5. Try disabling or unplugging other devices that are connected to the same telephone line as the fax modem. A fax machine, an answering machine, an external caller id device, a telephone switch box etc. connected on the same telephone line could cause interference when sending or receiving faxes.
  6. Try changing the telephone jack location, and/or the telephone cable.  The length or quality of the telephone cable could also be a factor in poor transmissions.
  7. Use of Voice Over IP (VOIP) (Vonage, MagicJack etc.) or Cable Bundled telephone service (Comcast Digital Voice, AT&T U-Verse, Rogers Digital Phone etc.). VOIP based phone service uses a packet based data transmission that can sometimes cause problems with sending or receiving faxes. For voice use, packet loss is unnoticeable but for fax can be the difference between a successful or a failed fax. Your internet connection and the internet connection to the local switch where the fax is being transmitted is a major factor here. Too much jitter or packet loss will cause faxes to fail. A fax transmission expects a continuous connection between two machines when sending and receiving data throughout the fax transaction. If you use a VOIP based telephone service which separates the data into individual packets you can encounter situations where the communication between both fax machines is out of sync or no longer valid which will cause errors and failures. Successful fax transmissions over a VOIP connection will depend on the quality of the VOIP connection. There are many who use this successfully, and some that complain about the reliability (which is generally related to the VOIP connection quality and the VOIP hardware used). In some cases reducing the sending speed to 9600 bps or lower in FaxTalk can compensate for issues with VOIP connections. If your VOIP hardware is connected via a wireless connection, try connecting directly to your internet router via network cable.
  8. If you are using a VOIP service with a fax modem connected to an ATA (Analogue Telephone Adapter) try adjusting your settings in the ATA device so it is optimized for fax transmissions. G.711U codec or T.38 is recommended for fax. Contact your VOIP service provider for recommended settings for fax. Some ATA devices do not support all codecs recommended for fax.

Lower your fax speed in FaxTalk

Adjusting the speed can help when having difficulties sending or receiving faxes. To change the default fax speed settings in FaxTalk:

  1. Open the FaxTalk program.
  2. Click on the Tools menu and select the Options command. The FaxTalk Settings application will open.
  3. Click on the Connection selection in the list to display the Connection configuration page.
  4. Select the modem from the list and click the Properties button.
  5. On the Connection Settings dialog click the Fax tab.
  6. On the Fax tab under the Modem speed settings, select 9600 from both the Fax transmission speed and Fax receive speed dropdown lists.
  7. Click OK to save the change and close the Modem Settings dialog.
  8. Click OK to close the FaxTalk Settings application.

Adjusting (ECM) Error Correction Mode in FaxTalk

Error Correction Mode (ECM) can improve fax transmission quality by verifying the data received is the same as the data sent. This may help in cases where VOIP connections result in some minor data packet loss. However, when there are many errors and retries due to line noise or packet loss/jitter, faxes will usually fail completely. To enable or disable Error Correction Mode (ECM) support in FaxTalk:

  1. From FaxTalk, click on the Tools menu, and click Options.
  2. In the configuration list on the left, click Connection.
  3. On the Connection configuration page, click Properties.
  4. On the Fax tab check Enable Error Correction Mode (ECM) support, uncheck to disable..
  5. Click OK to close the Modem Settings dialog.
  6. Click OK to save the changes and close FaxTalk Settings.
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