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Internet disconnect

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Last fall I replaced an old Pentium with a used Pentium III (from a business - harddrive wiped clean). I had it reformatted and Win2K installed. My ISP is NetZero. Last week I started getting a disconnect warning, and then get disconnected immediately. The message reads "3cmlink.exe has generated errors and will be closed by Windows. You will need to restart program. An error log is being created." The error occurs some time after connecting to the net, but each time it happens, the time logged on is less than the time before. The first time was after at least a half hour; the last time was after 10 minutes.

One suggestion I was given was to download a new modem driver from USR. Will that solve the problem? I have a 56k modem with dial-up service (don't have cable, and broadband in not available where I live). Do I need a new modem? Any other suggestions?
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