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Faxes Not Being Received On The Fax Machine

What to Check When Faxes Aren’t Being Received


If your customer can send faxes from their fax machine but complain they can’t receive faxes there are several things you can check to determine the cause. First, when a fax comes in does the user hear the fax machine ringing? If so does the fax machine pick up the call? You, or they, might report hearing the familiar fax handshaking tones. If they do not hear it ringing or they don’t hear the fax tones then it could be an issue with the settings of the fax machine. You can ask your customer to check, or if you are onsite you can check, the following troubleshooting points:

  1. Is the Fax Machine set to Auto-Answer?
  2. Is the Fax Machine set to auto-negotiate speed or 14400 BAUD? Please note that 14400 BAUD is the maximum speed the ATA can use to communicate with any Fax machine.
  3. Does the Fax Machine receive to memory or a network share? If so are either of these full?
  4. Does the Fax Machine have ink and/or paper?
  5. Is the Fax Machine using the correct paper tray? Multifunction devices often have a few different paper trays for legal and ledger sized paper and so the default tray for rece ving faxes may have changed to something other than regular sized paper; as an example.

There are also physical things to check such as:

  1. Is the connection between the ATA and the Fax machine OK? Try reconnecting the cable (RJ11 phone cable) between the Fax machine and the ATA. This cable should use the ATA’s LINE1 port and make sure it is connected to the Line (not Telephone) jack/port on the Fax Machine. Sometimes a bad cable can cause this problem so changing to a new RJ11 phone cable might help.
  2. Reboot the Fax machine. This may help re-establish communication between the ATA and Fax Machine even when sending is working.
  3. If it still doesn’t work if possible please connect the ATA to another Fax machine to do a test. If no other fax machine is available it is possible to try Line2 of the ATA. This does require making changes in the portal and so you might not want to do that without calling us first.

When calling us it’s a good idea to get the brand and model of the fax machine. Because there is a known issue with the Xerox 5000 and 7000 series WorkCentres. We have an ATA firmware patch for these Xerox models and can apply it remotely. Other Xerox WorkCentre models are not affected. No other brand or model of fax machine has this receive issue.

By the way, while troubleshooting this problem you can set the user to receive faxes via email. You would do this by changing the user’s account setting to “Deliver Fax to Email” or “Both” in the portal. You should add an email address too. This will allow new inbound faxes to be delivered to the user’s email box.

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