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Last post Author Topic: Fax Software  (Read 5202 times)

brahman

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Fax Software
« on: May 05, 2015, 08:26:47 AM »
I am really sick of Windows Fax and Scan.

I cannot send a fax because of some write protection BS message. And it has always been a huge hassel.

I used to be a very happy user of Winfax, before Symantec bought it.

Does anyone know of a good, free software for my Agere based LSI USB modem?

I only use it like once every couple of years, but if I do, I need to send some important documents quickly without fuss.
Regards, Brahman

IainB

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Re: Fax Software
« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2015, 09:15:57 AM »
I had much the same problem, and my solution was to purchase a Brother MFC-J65IODW A3 lnkjet printer, FAX, scanner, which came bundled with all the necessary software. The price was NZ$200 net - $350 retail, less $50 store discount and less $100 cashback from Brother (you had to request the cashback online within 2 weeks or so of buying the thing).
I jumped through the hoops for the cashback and found the printer and the bundled software to be very good.
Unfortunately, the printer is not used frequently, and I discovered that, if it is not used frequently, then the inkjet print heads clog up and it's a mission and half to clean them. If you can't clean them yourself, then you will be able to get them cleaned by a specialist, under the extended 3-year warranty, which is another mission.
The printer functionality is kinda redundant in my case, as the functionality is rarely required anyway, and even then it is usually only my teenage daughter who needs it for a school project. Having an A3 scanner can be a very useful input device though..

The printer can be connected as a WiFi device and as a USB device. For Fax, it is plugged in to the phone adapter (ADSL on the other side). Incoming Fax is simple: incoming phone calls are detected and if they have the Fax carrier signal, then the Printer/Fax deals with it, otherwise it is handed over to the voice phone. Outgoing Fax is also simple.

Fax is for the birds. My objective is to go paperless, and so, working with paper is a PITA. If you don't need to print any incoming faxes, then you can manage them as PDF or TIFF image files, which means that clogged-up inkjet print heads might not be a setback.

brahman

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Re: Fax Software
« Reply #2 on: May 05, 2015, 09:32:32 AM »
Thanks for the suggestion.

Won't work for me. I live on several continents. I need software only functionality.
Regards, Brahman

mwb1100

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Re: Fax Software
« Reply #3 on: May 05, 2015, 12:01:08 PM »
You might want to consider an email-to-FAX service.  I haven't used one myself (the last time I needed to FAX something, I was able to use the machine they still had at work, and the last time I bought/sold a home, we were able to do all document exchange via email or the web), but it seems like it might be a reasonable option to look into.



brahman

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Re: Fax Software
« Reply #4 on: May 05, 2015, 12:09:08 PM »
I am using my own router for incoming faxes.

But for outgoing I would prefer a free software solution.

Doesn't anybody know a free fax software?
Regards, Brahman
« Last Edit: May 05, 2015, 12:45:53 PM by brahman »

IainB

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Re: Fax Software
« Reply #5 on: May 05, 2015, 12:42:06 PM »
Thanks for the suggestion.
Won't work for me. I live on several continents. I need software only functionality.
_____________________________________

Ahh, I didn't know that. New information belatedly revealed as to requirements/constraints. (Why do people do that when asking for help?)
I would therefore answer almost exactly as per @mwb1100 above. In fact, I would have answered that straightaway if I had known of your constraints, since that was exactly the approach that I used when I was working across several continents/countries a few years back.

IainB

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Re: Fax Software
« Reply #6 on: May 05, 2015, 12:47:13 PM »
I am using my own router for incoming faxes.
But for outgoing I would prefer a free software solution.
Doesn't anybody know a free fax software.
__________________________

I just did a DuckGo search on "free fax software" and came up with quite a lot of what looked like potentially useful stuff. Try it yourself and you will see! https://duckduckgo.c...?q=free+fax+software
It included @mwb1100's response as well

brahman

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Re: Fax Software
« Reply #7 on: May 05, 2015, 12:48:59 PM »
People need to do that when those who answer questions do not answer as per the original requirements:

"Does anyone know of a good, free software for my Agere based LSI USB modem?"

:)
Regards, Brahman

IainB

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Re: Fax Software
« Reply #8 on: May 05, 2015, 12:54:16 PM »
I would have thought the answer to that was pretty obvious, actually, you ingrate.
That is, it's probably "No".
But this looked interesting: https://duckduckgo.c...+based+LSI+USB+modem

I do apologise for trying to help you.

brahman

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Re: Fax Software
« Reply #9 on: May 05, 2015, 01:21:27 PM »
Actually it's very funny:

The 5th entry on your duckduckgo search above is this thread I just opened today. Hahaha

But I tried a similar search before and all the results are only drivers when you scrutinize them closer.
Regards, Brahman

IainB

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Re: Fax Software
« Reply #10 on: May 05, 2015, 02:10:53 PM »
Yes, it seems to be quite common to find one's own discussion on a subject coming up in a search on that subject.
Almost real-time computing.

You wrote:
"the results are only drivers when you scrutinize them closer."

Yes, and for Linux and Windows OS. But did you notice the dates on some of the files mentioned? e.g., 1998.
In my comments above, I was trying to avoid saying that I thought modems went out with the Ark. There - now I've said it! In light of which, I would recommend that you reconsider your requirements and so exclude the modem.

One can steel oneself to do these things if one has to. For example, I threw out my approx. 12 y/old  HP DeskJet 1220C A3 printer only a couple of weeks ago, some months after having already replaced it with the Brother MFC-J65IODW A3 lnkjet printer, FAX, scanner.

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4wd

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Re: Fax Software
« Reply #12 on: May 08, 2015, 02:47:28 AM »
Impact Color Fax Lite

Personally, I just use Windows Fax & Scan since I only use it once every couple of years or so - never had a problem with any write protection stuff on Windows XP, 7, and 8.

IainB

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Re: Fax Software
« Reply #13 on: May 08, 2015, 04:26:16 AM »
The above suggestions look pretty handy to me, but they are not cheap and @brahman seems adamant that he wants free software, and for it to run using his existing "Agere based LSI USB modem".
He's already using Windows Fax and Scan, but he "cannot send a fax because of some write protection BS message."

Yet @40hz says "Personally, I just use Windows Fax & Scan ... never had a problem with any write protection stuff on Windows XP, 7, and 8."

So @brahman already has an apparently perfectly good modem, and the appropriate and $FREE software - and that all should meet his requirements.
However, it's apparently not working properly on send fax.
So, maybe we are looking at it all wrong, and simply need to eliminate the cause of the error "write protection message".

I don't know much about that modem, but I would presume that:
(a) IF the modem device had all the necessary and up-to-date firmware and drivers for that modem, and was suitable for whatever version of Windows he was using, and
(b) IF the Windows Fax & Scan was up-to-date, then
(c) there should be no error or write protection message.

So lets help him get up to that state and see if the problem goes away, and, if it doesn't, then we carry out some problem analysis with him.

Stoic Joker

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Re: Fax Software
« Reply #14 on: May 08, 2015, 06:43:27 AM »
So, maybe we are looking at it all wrong, and simply need to eliminate the cause of the error "write protection message".

Personally I would love to see a screen shot of that error message to try and ascertain its origin. As I too have always had very good luck with the native Windows Fax & Scan utility. This could very well be just a configuration issue.

4wd

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Re: Fax Software
« Reply #15 on: May 08, 2015, 06:58:40 AM »
A couple of slight corrections:

The above suggestions look pretty handy to me, but they are not cheap ...

Impact Color Fax Lite is free, you just need to fill out your name and email to download it here.

Quote
Yet @40hz says "Personally, I just use Windows Fax & Scan ... never had a problem with any write protection stuff on Windows XP, 7, and 8."

Close but not quite there  ;D

And for what it's worth, I'm using something similar to one of these modems.

MilesAhead

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Re: Fax Software
« Reply #16 on: May 08, 2015, 11:38:01 AM »
I think I sent maybe 1/2 dozen faxes total.  Therefore I don't have any software to suggest.  But I do suggest using searches that allow you to filter out the paid listings.  For example once you search in Softpedia Desktop Windows section, at the bottom of the page change the license type to Free and hit Go.

Also you may find some good ones on ZDNet or PCMag download sections.  ZDNet you may have to take a few minutes to sign up.

techsupport alert site has "best free Windows" type lists.  But they seem to be falling a couple of years behind now.  It may be a crap shoot if you have a Windows newer than Vista.



Vurbal

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Re: Fax Software
« Reply #17 on: May 08, 2015, 01:48:31 PM »
M
So, maybe we are looking at it all wrong, and simply need to eliminate the cause of the error "write protection message".

Personally I would love to see a screen shot of that error message to try and ascertain its origin. As I too have always had very good luck with the native Windows Fax & Scan utility. This could very well be just a configuration issue.

If this is Windows 7, it could be related to the issue I've run into with virtual (PDF) printers in the past. Most of the time they just disappear from the printer list completely, but on at least 1 or 2 occasions, I've gotten the same bizarre write protection error. It may not actually be specific to Windows 7, but that's the only version where I've seen or heard about it.
I learned to say the pledge of allegiance
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Follow the path of the unsafe, independent thinker. Expose your ideas to the danger of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label of ''crackpot'' than the stigma of conformity.
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I recommend reading through my Bio before responding to any of my posts. It could save both of us a lot of time and frustration.

MilesAhead

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Re: Fax Software
« Reply #18 on: May 08, 2015, 03:19:11 PM »
If this is Windows 7, it could be related to the issue I've run into with virtual (PDF) printers in the past. Most of the time they just disappear from the printer list completely, but on at least 1 or 2 occasions, I've gotten the same bizarre write protection error. It may not actually be specific to Windows 7, but that's the only version where I've seen or heard about it.

Many programs assume they can write files in the folder where the exe is.  I usually create an .ini file for my AHK programs in the same folder as the AHK utility.  From Vista on the system has gotten progressively more persnickety about writing to Program Files folders.  To avoid running everything As Administrator on W8 I took ownership of all the files in the Program Files and Program Files (x86) folders.  It's a pita.  If the error occurs in XP then it is likely some other issue.

It is not recommended o take ownership of either all of C: or the Windows folder.  Just in case anyone was considering that as a quick solution.  :)

Vurbal

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Re: Fax Software
« Reply #19 on: May 08, 2015, 05:51:06 PM »
^ That's why I install almost all software to a custom folder instead, although that obviously doesn't solve every permissions issue.

However, it's unlikely this is related to that. If it were, the error should appear every time, but it doesn't. In my case, I've "printed" numerous PDF files and then, days (or months - not like I use it often) later, either the printer just mysteriously vanishes from the printer list or throws the write protection error. In either case, the only solution I've found is to uninstall and reinstall the virtual printer software from scratch.

This discussion suggests to me that Windows Fax and Scan has similar issues. The responses there suggest the error is usually resolved by blowing away the existing "Fax Account" and creating a new one. Presumably each entry there is a separate virtual printer. Other people reported fixing it by stopping and restarting the service.

My semi-educated guess is there's an issue with the printing subsystem. However, I don't recall every hearing about it happen with actual printers. That suggests it may be specific to some interface unique to virtual printers. My first thought, considering write protection is involved, would be that it's spooling related. However, taking everything (including that MS link) into account, I'm inclined to think it's more likely to be an error sending data from the spooler to the virtual device.

That might also explain why my PDF printers would seem to just disappear from the system entirely, even though the software appears to be working fine. If Windows can't talk to the device any more, it should disappear from the printer list. From Windows' perspective, it has effectively been unplugged. Actually, the more I think about it, the more likely that scenario seems.
I learned to say the pledge of allegiance
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I got a billion years probation
- The MC5

Follow the path of the unsafe, independent thinker. Expose your ideas to the danger of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label of ''crackpot'' than the stigma of conformity.
- Thomas J. Watson, Sr

It's not rocket surgery.
- Me


I recommend reading through my Bio before responding to any of my posts. It could save both of us a lot of time and frustration.

Curt

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Re: Fax Software
« Reply #20 on: May 08, 2015, 06:33:50 PM »
The name is Microsoft Shared Fax Driver. Maybe you need to first change your settings for sharing?


IainB

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Re: Fax Software
« Reply #21 on: May 09, 2015, 01:46:13 AM »
...Many programs assume they can write files in the folder where the exe is.  I usually create an .ini file for my AHK programs in the same folder as the AHK utility.  From Vista on the system has gotten progressively more persnickety about writing to Program Files folders.  To avoid running everything As Administrator on W8 I took ownership of all the files in the Program Files and Program Files (x86) folders.  It's a pita.  If the error occurs in XP then it is likely some other issue.
It is not recommended o take ownership of either all of C: or the Windows folder.  Just in case anyone was considering that as a quick solution.  :)
______________________________

^ That's why I install almost all software to a custom folder instead, although that obviously doesn't solve every permissions issue.
______________________________

^^ +1 for that. I've tended to do that (install to custom folders rather than in Program Files) more and more over the years, to combat the increasing lengths the user has to go to, to defeat the growing number of seemingly unnecessarily restrictive system "security policies" and bugs therein.

Stoic Joker

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Re: Fax Software
« Reply #22 on: May 09, 2015, 09:16:21 AM »
That might also explain why my PDF printers would seem to just disappear from the system entirely, even though the software appears to be working fine. If Windows can't talk to the device any more, it should disappear from the printer list. From Windows' perspective, it has effectively been unplugged. Actually, the more I think about it, the more likely that scenario seems.

Not quite. All things printer are controlled by the Print Spooler. So when the spooler starts it checks the registry (in 4 locations) to see what if any printer objects are to be loaded. If a device is offline or unavailable (for a multitude of reasons), it will still be loaded but be displayed in a greyed out state. It never removes anything ...(ever)... Which is frequently a performance issue if many offline/disconnected printers are installed on the system, especially if they have aggressive reporting/monitoring utilities that will then bring the shebang to a screeching halt. This is why our service department has a purge unused drivers policy to keep the Tech's machines from constantly crashing due to the spool having to drag a load of - for testing only single use - unavailable print device drivers.


This is why seeing the error, and knowing (before/after what step) when it is being thrown would help in figuring out what the issue is. A fax driver is simply a standard printer driver that prompts the user for a phone number before sending it (as a print job) and the number to the (frequently a Multi Function Printer) fax device.

Vurbal

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Re: Fax Software
« Reply #23 on: May 09, 2015, 08:39:38 PM »
^ Thanks for the details. That should be a big help if I can reproduce the problem.

Interestingly, I apparently haven't run into the problem since switching from PDFCreator to Bullzip. I think it's already been installed longer than PDFCreator made it before problems showed up. Of course, I only notice it when I need to generate a PDF, and don't really have time for thorough troubleshooting.

Looks like it's time to install PDFCreator again and get a regular testing schedule setup. The long, and seemingly random, time between incidents makes a problem like this nearly impossible to track down any other way, unless you're prepared to wait a long time for the stars to align.

Is it sad that I'm looking forward to this?
I learned to say the pledge of allegiance
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They haven't got a word out of me since
I got a billion years probation
- The MC5

Follow the path of the unsafe, independent thinker. Expose your ideas to the danger of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label of ''crackpot'' than the stigma of conformity.
- Thomas J. Watson, Sr

It's not rocket surgery.
- Me


I recommend reading through my Bio before responding to any of my posts. It could save both of us a lot of time and frustration.

Vurbal

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Re: Fax Software
« Reply #24 on: May 09, 2015, 10:00:30 PM »
...Many programs assume they can write files in the folder where the exe is.  I usually create an .ini file for my AHK programs in the same folder as the AHK utility.  From Vista on the system has gotten progressively more persnickety about writing to Program Files folders.  To avoid running everything As Administrator on W8 I took ownership of all the files in the Program Files and Program Files (x86) folders.  It's a pita.  If the error occurs in XP then it is likely some other issue.
It is not recommended o take ownership of either all of C: or the Windows folder.  Just in case anyone was considering that as a quick solution.  :)
______________________________

^ That's why I install almost all software to a custom folder instead, although that obviously doesn't solve every permissions issue.
______________________________

^^ +1 for that. I've tended to do that (install to custom folders rather than in Program Files) more and more over the years, to combat the increasing lengths the user has to go to, to defeat the growing number of seemingly unnecessarily restrictive system "security policies" and bugs therein.

You, sir, have a gift for understatement. That may be the single most effective strategy for eliminating bizarre access errors, especially if you have any software that's getting long in the tooth.

I do, generally, let Microsoft software install in the standard folders. I've never actually run into problems sticking any of their programs elsewhere, but their installers almost always put some files and folders under Program Files no matter where the main install location is. I figure splitting things up like that is more likely to cause problems than solve them.
I learned to say the pledge of allegiance
Before they beat me bloody down at the station
They haven't got a word out of me since
I got a billion years probation
- The MC5

Follow the path of the unsafe, independent thinker. Expose your ideas to the danger of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label of ''crackpot'' than the stigma of conformity.
- Thomas J. Watson, Sr

It's not rocket surgery.
- Me


I recommend reading through my Bio before responding to any of my posts. It could save both of us a lot of time and frustration.