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Trouble Shooting for Dial Up Connections.
Windows 95, 98, 98-SE, ME

  1. . I have Windows 95/98 and I can't connect. A screen comes up, telling me "Dial Up Networking was unable to establish a connection. Check your password and try again." What's Wrong?

  2. I have Windows ME and I can't connect. A screen comes up, telling me "Dial Up Networking was unable to establish a connection. Check your password and try again." What's Wrong?

This page is for suggestions and reference only. Midwest Internet makes no guarantees of any kind as to its effectiveness or suitability.

Q: I have Windows 95/98 and I can't connect. A screen comes up, telling me "Dial Up Networking was unable to establish a connection. Check your password and try again." What's Wrong?

A: Chances are it's a misadjusted setting in your communications section. Troubleshooting this problem is a four-level process. Follow the instructions below; chances are your problem will be fixed by the time you reach the second level.

Level One-Check Dial up Networking Connection Settings

Most problems are encountered and solved at this level. To get to your Dial Up Networking connection:

  1. Double click on MY COMPUTER
  2. Double click on DIAL UP NETWORKING
  3. Find your Midwest Internet connection, right-click on it and go to PROPERTIES

Your connection will be divided into four tabs: GENERAL, SERVER TYPES, SCRIPTING and MULTILINK. We will be focusing on the first two.

  1. In GENERAL, look at the phone number. Does it match your Midwest Internet access number? If not, correct it. Just below the number, there is a checkmark box labeled, "Use Area Code and Dialing Properties when dialing this number. (On some systems, this statement is written a little differently. Just find the statement with the checkmark box below the phone number.) If there's a checkmark here, remove it; this will guarantee that you will be dialing without an area code.
  2. Next, look towards the bottom of this screen. You will see a section labeled "Connect Using." The field below will list your modem. It goes without saying to make sure a modem is listed in this field.
  3. Go back to the top and click on the field labeled SERVER TYPES.
  4. You will see a column of checkmark boxes to the left. The only ones that should have checks are ENABLE SOFTWARE COMPRESSION and TCP/IP. Remove any extra checkmarks.
  5. To the right of the TCP/IP checkmark box, there is a button labeled, "TCP/IP SETTINGS." Click once on this button; a new screen will appear. There will be a pair of statements at the top, another pair in the middle. Each statement has a circle next to it. In standard use, there should be a dot next to "Server assigned IP address," and "Server assigned name server addresses." In the bottom left-hand corner, there will be two checkmark boxes. Make sure these boxes have checks in them.

At this point, click OK, click OK again and exit out of Dial Up Networking. If you made any changes in DUN, try connecting again. If everything was in its place, proceed to the Level Two.

Level Two - Network settings

Network works hand-in-hand with DUN. If there's a problem in this section, DUN and Network will go toe-to-toe against each other you will not connect to anything. Before you start troubleshooting, bear this in mind: once you are finished checking this section, your computer will be rewriting files. As a result, it must have access to Windows system files. Check to see if you have a Windows system CD on hand; it should have been included with your computer. If not, don't give up hope. Some manufacturers have built in the Windows system files (or CAB files) directly onto your hard drive. Here's how to check:

  1. Go to START, FIND, FILES OR FOLDERS.
  2. In the NAMED section type in the following: *.cab (the star * is made by holding your shift key and tapping your 8 key.)
  3. In the LOOK IN section, make sure your hard drive is selected. If it says Document Folders or anything else along those lines, redirect it to your hard drive.
  4. Click FIND NOW

Towards the bottom of this screen, the Search Results section will tell you how many CAB files your system contains. If you have less than 30, you will need a Windows CD. If you have more than 30, Windows should be able to get its system files without a problem.

Here's how to get to Network:

  1. Click on START, to SETTINGS, to CONTROL PANEL.
  2. Double-click on the icon labeled NETWORK.
  3. The CONFIGURATION tab will appear, with the statement, "The following Network Components are Installed." Below will be a box displaying the components.
  4. In order for Windows to be connect properly, your system will need the following:

    • Client for Microsoft Networks
    • Dial Up Adapter
    • TCP/IP or TCP/IP Dial Up Adapter

    Sometimes Client for Microsoft Networks is missing. To add it, click on the ADD button. A menu will pop up asking you what you want to add. Select CLIENT and click ADD again. The screen will then be divided into two fields. Left-hand side will be labeled MANUFACTURER - highlight MICROSOFT. Right-hand side will be CLIENT types - highlight CLIENT FOR MICROSOFT NETWORKS. Click OK.

  5. After you have confirmed that Network has its three necessary components, highlight TCP/IP and click on PROPERTIES. (Note: Windows 98 systems will bring up a screen that starts "You have asked to change…..") Click OK.
  6. You will be greeted with two rows of tabs. The following tabs should be setup accordingly:
    • IP ADDRESS - a dot should be next to the statement, "Obtain an IP address automatically."
    • WINS CONFIGURATION - a dot should be next to the statement "Disable WINS resolution."
    • GATEWAY - find the Installed Gateway section-it should be blank, without any numbers. If it has numbers, highlight the numbers and click remove.
    • DNS CONFIGURATION - Midwest Internet normally assigns DNS automatically, so this section should be disabled.

After you have examined these areas, click OK, then click OK once more. In most cases, settings will be readjusted and Windows will ask you to restart. Sometimes it will ask you for your CD - in this case, insert the CD, wait 30 seconds for the CD to spin up, then click OK. Windows will reset its files and ask you to restart. Say YES.

When your system restarts, the Control Panel will pop open-this is because it was left open before you shut down the system, so just close it.

Try redialing again. If you still can't connect, proceed to LEVEL THREE.

Level Three - PWL file Removal

PWL files are Windows password files, and they sometimes prevent you from connecting. A sure sign of trouble from these little buggers is when you can't save your password on the "Connect To" screen. Either the checkmark disappears or the box it becomes greyed out. In most cases, the following procedure should solve the problem:

  1. Go to START, to FIND, to FILES AND FOLDERS.
  2. In the NAMED section type in the following: *.pwl (the star * is made by holding your shift key and tapping your 8 key.)
  3. In the LOOK IN section, make sure your hard drive is selected. If it says Document Folders or anything else along those lines, redirect it to your hard drive.
  4. Click FIND NOW.

Your system should find at least one .pwl file. Once it's found all of them, select the first file, right-click on it and delete it. Repeat this step for the remaining .pwl files.

After you have eliminated them, restart the computer. When your system reboots, you should be greeted with a screen saying something along the lines of "Type your name and password for Windows" In most cases, the username will be listed as Default and the password field will be blank. Just click OK - do not enter a password. This will create a clean PWL file, and in most cases you'll never see that screen again.

Try connecting again. You should now be able to enter your password and save it.

If you still can't connect, go to LEVEL FOUR.

Level Four - Adjust Cancel Connection Timer

If the Cancel Connection timer is set too short, you won't connect. Rarely does the timer gets set incorrectly, but it's one potential problem that should not be overlooked:

  1. Go to START, SETTINGS, to CONTROL PANEL and double-click the Modems icon.
  2. From the MODEMS window, click on PROPERTIES.
  3. At the top of PROPERTIES, click on the CONNECTIONS tab.

In the middle, there will be three checkmark boxes with statements next to them. Make sure there is a checkmark next to the statement, "Cancel the call if not connected within xx seconds." Also, look at the number listed in the white box. If it's less than 20 seconds, this will almost guarantee connection problems. Change this number to 60 seconds.

Try connecting again. If you are still unable to connect, there is a possibility that your TCP/IP stack has been corrupted. Contact Technical Support.




Q: I have Windows ME and I can't connect. A screen comes up, telling me "Dial Up Networking was unable to establish a connection. Check your password and try again." What's Wrong?

A: Chances are it's a misadjusted setting in your communications section. Troubleshooting this problem is a four-level process. Follow the instructions below. Chances are your problem will be fixed by the time you reach the second level.

Level One - check Dial up Networking Connection Settings

Most problems are encountered and solved at this level. To get to your Dial Up Networking connection:

  1. Go to START, to SETTINGS to DIAL UP NETWORKING.
  2. Find your Midwest Internet connection, right-click on it and go to PROPERTIES

You will see six tabs on the top - we will concern ourselves with the GENERAL, NETWORKING and SECURITY tabs.

  1. In GENERAL, look at the phone number. Does it match your Midwest Internet access number? If not, correct it. Just below the number, there is a checkmark box labeled, "Use Area Code and Dialing Properties when dialing this number. If there's a checkmark in this box, remove it; this will guarantee that you will be dialing without an area code.
  2. Next, look towards the bottom of this screen. You will see a section labeled "Connect Using." The field below will list your modem. It goes without saying to make sure a modem is listed in this field.
  3. Go back to the top and click on the field labeled NETWORKING. You will see a column of checkmark boxes to the left. The only ones that should have checks are ENABLE SOFTWARE COMPRESSION and TCP/IP. Remove any extra checkmarks.
  4. To the right of the TCP/IP checkmark box, there is a button labeled, "TCP/IP SETTINGS." Click once on this button; a new screen will appear. There will be a pair of statements at the top, another pair in the middle. Each statement has a circle next to it. In standard use, there should be a dot next to "Server assigned IP address," and "Server assigned name server addresses." In the bottom left-hand corner, there will be two checkmark boxes. Make sure these boxes have checks in them. Click OK.
  5. Now click on the SECURITY tab. Enter your Midwest Internet username and password. You have the option of saving your password by putting a checkmark in the SAVE PASSWORD box.

At this point, click OK and exit out of Dial Up Networking. If you made any changes in DUN, try connecting again. If everything was in its place, proceed to LEVEL TWO.

Level Two - Network settings

Network works hand-in-hand with DUN. If there's a problem in this section, DUN and Network will go toe-to-toe against each other you will not connect to anything. Before you start troubleshooting, bear this in mind: once you are finished checking this section, your computer will be rewriting files. As a result, it must have access to Windows system files. Check to see if you have a Windows system CD (NOT a recovery disk) on hand; it should have been included with your computer. If not, don't give up hope. Some manufacturers have built in the Windows system files (or CAB files) directly onto your hard drive. Here's how to check:

  1. Go to START, SEARCH, FOR FILES OR FOLDERS.
  2. In the NAMED section type in the following: *.cab (the star * is made by holding your shift key and tapping your 8 key.)
  3. In the LOOK IN section, make sure your hard drive is selected. If it says Document Folders or anything else along those lines, redirect it to your hard drive.
  4. Click SEARCH NOW

Towards the bottom of this screen, the Search Results section will tell you how many CAB files your system contains. If you have less than 30, you will need a Windows CD. If you have more than 30, Windows should be able to get its system files without a problem.

Here's how to get to Network:

  1. Click on START, to SETTINGS, to CONTROL PANEL.
  2. Double-click on the icon labeled NETWORK.
  3. (Note to ME users-you may not find this icon right off the bat. Microsoft decided to add a switch in the Control Panel that lets you see a fraction of the icons available. To see the complete icon listing, go to the top of the Control Panel. Just above the icons, you'll find a statement labeled "View All Control Panel Options." The letters will be in blue and will be underlined, like a hyperlink. Click on it, and the rest of the icons will appear).

  4. The CONFIGURATION tab will appear, with the statement, "The following Network Components are Installed"
  5. In order for Windows to be connect properly, your system will need the following:

    • Client for Microsoft Networks
    • Dial Up Adapter
    • TCP/IP or TCP/IP Dial Up Adapter

    Sometimes Client for Microsoft Networks is missing. To add it, click on the ADD button. A menu will pop up asking you what you want to add. Select CLIENT and click ADD again. The screen will then be divided into two fields. Left-hand side will be labeled MANUFACTURER - highlight MICROSOFT. Right-hand side will be CLIENT types - highlight CLIENT FOR MICROSOFT NETWORKS. Click OK.

  6. After you have confirmed that Network has its three necessary components, highlight TCP/IP and click on PROPERTIES. Windows 98 systems will bring up a screen that starts "You have asked to change….." Click OK.
  7. You will be greeted with one row of tabs. The following tab should be setup accordingly:
    • DNS CONFIGURATION - Midwest Internet normally assigns DNS automatically, so this section should be disabled.

After you have examined these areas, click OK, then click OK once more. In most cases, settings will be readjusted and Windows will ask you to restart. Sometimes it will ask you for your CD-in this case, insert the CD, wait 30 seconds for the CD to spin up, then click OK. Windows will reset its files and ask you to restart. Say YES.

When your system restarts, the Control Panel will pop open-this is because it was left open before you shut down the system, so just close it.

Try redialing again. If you still can't connect, proceed to LEVEL THREE.

Level Three - PWL file Removal

PWL files are Windows password files, and they sometimes prevent you from connecting. A sure sign of trouble from these little buggers is when you can't save your password on the "Connect To" screen. Either the checkmark disappears or the box it becomes greyed out. In most cases, the following procedure should solve the problem:

  1. Go to START, to SEARCH, to FOR FILES AND FOLDERS.
  2. In the NAMED section type in the following: *.pwl (the star * is made by holding your shift key and tapping your 8 key.)
  3. In the LOOK IN section, make sure your hard drive is selected. If it says Document Folders or anything else along those lines, redirect it to your hard drive.
  4. Click SEARCH NOW.

Your system should find at least one .pwl file. Once it's found all of them, select the first file, right-click on it and delete it. Repeat this step for the remaining .pwl files.

After you have eliminated them, restart the computer. When your system reboots, you should be greeted with a screen saying something along the lines of "Type your name and password for Windows" In most cases, the username will be listed as Default and the password field will be blank. Just click OK - do not enter a password. This will create a clean PWL file, and in most cases you'll never see that screen again.

Try connecting again. You should now be able to enter your password and save it.

If you still can't connect, go to LEVEL FOUR

Level Four - Adjust Cancel Connection Timer

If the Cancel Connection timer is set too short, you won't connect. Rarely does the timer gets set incorrectly, but it's one potential problem that should not be overlooked:

  1. Go to START, SETTINGS, to CONTROL PANEL and double-click the Modems icon.
  2. From the MODEMS window, click on PROPERTIES.
  3. At the top of PROPERTIES, click on the CONNECTIONS tab.

In the middle, there will be three checkmark boxes with statements next to them. Make sure there is a checkmark next to the statement, "Cancel the call if not connected within xx seconds." Also, look at the number listed in the white box. If it's less than 20 seconds, this will almost guarantee connection problems. Change this number to 60 seconds.

Try connecting again. If you are still unable to connect, there is a possibility that your TCP/IP stack has been corrupted. Contact Technical Support.



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