FAQ Fax Machine

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Can Fax Machine work with my cable / DSL / ADSL / ISDN modem?

No. Fax Machine needs a genuine analog class 1, class 2 or class 2.0 fax modem. Check your modem’s documentation to see if your modem falls in one of these categories.
Many users don’t realize that faxing is a function that can only use analog (voice) phone lines and analog fax modems. Accordingly, no fax software will function with broadband modems. And faxing has nothing to do with the Internet.
The process of faxing uses an analog fax modem to send a lot of very short whistles with varying pitch over a simple voice connection. So when a voice phone conversation is possible, then a fax conversation is also possible. This means that you should connect the fax modem to a voice telephone line, not to a line that only carries the broadband signal for your computer.

If you don’t have an analog modem and an analog (voice) phone line, you can’t use Fax Machine.

Fax Machine says it can’t find or open my modem. Why?

Option 1
Your modem could be allocated by some other process, which blocks it for use by Fax Machine. This other process could be the fax service of Windows. Deallocating the modem from the fax service can free it for use by Fax Machine.

In Windows 2000 proceed as follows:

  • Click Start – Programs – Accessories – Communications – Fax – Fax Service Management.
  • Click ‘Devices’. This will display a list of modems.
  • Right click on the modem you want to use and click ‘Properties’.
  • Make sure that both the ‘Enable send’ and ‘Enable receive’ checkboxes are UNchecked.
  • Close Fax Service Management.

In Windows XP proceed as follows:

  • Click Start – Programs – Accessories – Communications – Fax – Fax Console.
  • Click ‘Tools’ from the menu and then ‘Configure fax’.
  • In the wizard make sure that both the ‘Enable send’ and ‘Enable receive’ checkboxes are UNchecked.
  • Close the Fax Console.

In Windows 7 proceed as follows:

  • Click Start – Control Panel.
  • Click ‘System and Security’.
  • Click ‘Administrative Tools’.
  • Double click ‘Services’.
  • There should be a service called Fax in the list that appears. Right click it and choose ‘Properties’.
  • Click the Stop button to stop the service and change the ‘Startup type’ to Disabled.

After having freed the modem you can let Fax Machine search for it again.

Option 2
If you are running Windows XP Media Center Edition (MCE) then the problem could be caused by the Caller ID Notification service that is part of MCE. To be able to catch incoming phone calls, this service grabs your modem and phone line, thereby blocking them for use by Fax Machine.

To verify whether this is the cause of the problem try this:

  • Stop Fax Machine.
  • Click Start, click Run, type “net stop ehsched” without the quotes to stop the Caller ID service and click OK.
  • Start Fax Machine again and see whether it can now access the modem.

If it works, it will only be a temporary solution: after restarting your system the Caller ID service will be running again, and Fax Machine will have problems accessing your modem.

To permanently switch off Caller ID Notifications proceed like this:

  • Click Start, click All Programs, and then click Media Center.
  • On the Media Center Start menu, click Settings, click General, click Notifications.
  • The Notifications page should have a group of three radio buttons labeled “Calls with Caller ID”, “All calls” and “Disabled”.
  • Click “Disabled”.
  • Restart the system and then see whether Fax Machine can now find the modem.

Option 3
If neither the Windows fax service nor the MCE Caller ID service seem to be the cause of the problem then I would like you to run the Port Scanner utility program you can download here. It will make a report about the communication ports in your machine and write that report to the file PORTSCAN.MDM in the “My Documents” folder (XP) or “Documents” folder (Vista). Please email that report to me (see support).
On some machines Port Scan will crash while accessing a communication port, but even then the program will have written valuable information to its report.

On the cover page an ampersand (& character) in one of the fields displays as an underscrore (_). Why?

Use two ampersands where you want to display one.

Can I use my Outlook contacts in Fax Machine?

Yes. Fax Machine can use information from either Windows Contacts (called Windows Address Book in Windows XP), Microsoft Outlook or Mozilla Thunderbird. Go to the General tab page of Fax Machine’s settings and make your choice there.

When I try to scan from Fax Machine I get an error message saying “10: data parameter out of supported range”. What does this mean and how can I correct it?

During installation of Windows a Microsoft driver for your scanner will have been installed. The TWAIN part of the Microsoft scanner drivers have bugs (in particular the drivers for HP scanners). You should go to the website of your scanner’s manufacturer to look for updated driver software for your scanner model.

When I scan a small document or photograph Fax Machine puts all black on the rest of the page. Why?

Fax Machine always scans a full page. And since the inner side of your scanner’s cover is black it scans this black too. But Fax Machine has an “auto crop” function that automatically crops the black edges. It can be activated from the Scanner tab page of the Settings window.

Sometimes the scan result is a totally black page. Why?

This could be related to one of three things.
1. The scan may have been done in reverse (white becomes black, black becomes white) due to an incorrect scanner setting, in which case you can use the Invert image button in the preview window to change the negative image to a positive one.
2. Some users were able to solve the problem by changing a video driver setting. They turned down the hardware acceleration of the video adapter in Control Panel – Display – Advanced settings.
3. You may have noticed that Fax Machine instructs the scanner driver software to NOT show the driver’s user interface, which is what you normally see when scanning. Fax Machine instructs the driver to bypass it because it wants complete control over what is scanned and how it is scanned. However, not all scanner drivers like it to be instructed like this (although it’s perfectly legal in TWAIN terms) and then react in strange ways. Some deliver black scans, some end in a Windows General Protection Fault, and some don’t scan at all. There’s really not much we can do about this from our software. You could try to find more recent driver software or report this error to your scanner manufacturer.

When I try to scan I get a window titled ‘Microsoft Visual C++ Runtime Library’ with an error ‘abnormal program termination’. Why is that?

Apparently no TWAIN driver at all is installed on your system. Make sure to install the software that came with your scanner.

I tried to load a Word document that I had saved, but Fax Machine wouldn’t recognize it. Why?

If you want to fax a document that resides on your harddisk in let’s say Word format, proceed as follows:

  • Start Word.
  • Open the document.
  • Select File and Print from the menu.
  • Select “Fax Machine” as your printer.
  • Press OK.
  • After a few seconds Fax Machine pops up.
  • Click Send fax to start faxing the document.

When I try to send a fax I get this error message “NO DIAL TONE”. Why?

Do you have to dial a ‘0’ to get an outside line? If so, you can make the modem wait to dial by putting the ‘W’ after the 0 in the number: 0W123456789.
Or you can do blind dialing (do not wait for any dialtone) by adding X1 to the init string:
Some modems require you to add X0 in stead of X1.

When I try to send or receive a fax I get error messages like “Time out during send/receive” or “No Response to EOP Signal”. Why?

In order for Fax Machine to work correctly the modem needs to enable flow control by modifying your modem inititalization string. You can set the modem string in Fax Machine’s Settings window (modem part).

The flow control can be set to hardware flow control, software flow control or both.
Certain modems, in particular some USR models, do not have flow control enabled by default. These modems will need special initialization strings. The default init string is AT&FE0V1&C1&D2S0=0. Here is a list of some of the alternate strings:

Digi Acceleport:

US Robotics Sporsters:
Alternate USR string to enable both hardware and software flow control:

Practical Peripherals:

or for both Hardware & Software flow control:


If your modem is not listed:
In general, flow control can be set by adding to the init string:

&K3 — Enables RTS/CTS flow control. Flow control is active in both sending and receiving direction.

&K4 — Enables XON/XOFF flow control. Flow control is active in both sending and receiving direction.

&K5 — Enables transparent XON/XOFF flow control. XON/XOFF character which is sent from the system unit will be processed for flow control and also sent to the remote modem. Flow control is active in both sending and receiving direction.

&K6 — Enables both RTS/CTS and XON/XOFF flow control.

You will have to experiment a bit to find the correct setting for your situation.

Fax Machine tries to scan from my digital camera! How can I point it to my scanner?

Fax Machine uses the default imaging device on your system. The default device is the device last selected in the TWAIN “Select Source” dialog box. Fax Machine has a button labeled Select TWAIN device on the Scanner tab page of its Settings window that lets you switch to another imaging device.