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Microsoft fax software - any guidance?
Thread poster: Claire Cox

Claire Cox
United Kingdom
Local time: 14:37
French to English
+ ...
Sep 23, 2008

Hello,

I have Microsoft XP and as my fax machine recently gave up the ghost, I thought I'd try and use the Microsoft fax facility with XP. I had to buy a separate modem as I usually use broadband, but we tried receiving a fax and that seemed to work fine. However, when I tried to send for the first time yesterday, it wouldn't work. I either had the message that there was no answer, or that there was an error. I eventually got it to work by reducing the modem speed to 9600. This morning I've tried sending another fax to a colleague in France and it seemed to work, albeit it slowly. Has anyone else had a problem with this software being temperamental? I actually use fax very rarely these days, but I still have to send invoices by fax to certain clients and other documents to contacts without e-mail (few and far between, thank goodness!), so it would be nice to know I could rely on it.

Many thanks for any tips.

Claire


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Pavel Blann  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 15:37
Member (2005)
English to Czech
regular fax is obsolescent Sep 23, 2008

hi claire,

regular fax uses voice-grade lines, which are usually not fixed (wired) anymore for international connections. wireless / satellite / other links can be used, e.g. even local loops can be wireless. "fixed" lines may also use voip (voice over internet protocol). so it's a telco jungle out there and fax protocols can't handle all of this over a modem and the so called "voice" lines. thus you get frequent errors, disconnections, etc.

my recommendation is to negotiate with the other parties to use signed/secured pdf files, encypted files/e-mails and/or other electronic means.

good luck,
pavel


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PAS  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:37
English to Polish
+ ...
Share in the pain Sep 23, 2008

Claire Cox wrote:

I either had the message that there was no answer, or that there was an error...


That's interesting, because just last night I installed the generic Windows fax driver and encountered the same problem.
I did use the Windows fax facility before, though, and it worked quite fine - just print a document and choose "fax" as the printer, type in the number and off it went.

This was before a system reinstall and before XP service pack 3.

On a different note, if someone asks me to send them a fax, I ask if a scan sent by email will do, and most of the time it is, so Pavel is right.

But once in a blue moon there is someone out there who will insist on getting something by fax, so I keep my modem in my computer, just in case.

Pawel Skalinski

Theres is some basic information here:

http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/using/setup/learnmore/crawford_02october21.mspx


[Edited at 2008-09-23 14:53]


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Claire Cox
United Kingdom
Local time: 14:37
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Still out there Sep 23, 2008

Yes, I'm afraid there are still some translators out there who haven't got e-mail! One chap I occasionally send things to dictates his translations to a typist, who sends them back to me. However, she charges him extra for downloading e-mails (I know!!!), so he prefers me to fax the documents (usually pdf files) to him in the first place. It really wasn't that long ago that every translator had to have a fax, so I suppose I shouldn't complain because times have changed.....

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RieM  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 09:37
English to Japanese
+ ...
an alternative Sep 23, 2008

Hi Claire,

I have an internal modem, but I've been too lazy to set up a fax service, and when I'm asked to send something to a fax machine I scan the paper and use an internet fax service.

There are a number of companies offering a variety of services depending on your needs - free, pay-per-send, a fixed fee, etc. (http://www.savetz.com/fax/). I'm sure you can find such a service locally. Just an alternative.

Regards,
Rie


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Claudia Alvis  Identity Verified
Peru
Local time: 08:37
Partial member
Spanish
+ ...
Faxitnice Sep 23, 2008

I also don't see the need to have a separate fax machine, unless you send/receive massive amounts of faxes and you need the equipment. But there are plenty of online options out there. I use Faxitnice, which doesn't require monthly fee payment; all faxes (send and/or received) are billed per page. Although they have several plans. Additionally, an exclusive fax number is assigned when a new account is set. So far I've never had a problem with it.

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ybfishel
Local time: 16:37
Hebrew to English
+ ...
fix Sep 24, 2008

Go on to Control Panel and check out how your Modem is set up.

You should have one listing only that gives your local area code.

If you have two, delete the one you aren't using.

Better yet, make a new one>give it a name>set as default>delete the old one >restart Windows.

I had the same problem, and this is what my technician did.

Claire Cox wrote:

Hello,

I have Microsoft XP and as my fax machine recently gave up the ghost, I thought I'd try and use the Microsoft fax facility with XP. I had to buy a separate modem as I usually use broadband, but we tried receiving a fax and that seemed to work fine. However, when I tried to send for the first time yesterday, it wouldn't work. I either had the message that there was no answer, or that there was an error. I eventually got it to work by reducing the modem speed to 9600. This morning I've tried sending another fax to a colleague in France and it seemed to work, albeit it slowly. Has anyone else had a problem with this software being temperamental? I actually use fax very rarely these days, but I still have to send invoices by fax to certain clients and other documents to contacts without e-mail (few and far between, thank goodness!), so it would be nice to know I could rely on it.

Many thanks for any tips.

Claire


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Claire Cox
United Kingdom
Local time: 14:37
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks Sep 30, 2008

Thank you, everyone, for your suggestions. The modem speed seems to be the critical thing - I did have it working at a speed of 9600, but when I tried today to a colleague, it didn't seem to recognise my call as a fax. Once again I tried reducing the speed, this time to 2000 and eventually it worked! Perseverance is obviously called for!

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