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Aside from the many possible causes of Modem Disconnections that can occur with any modem and system, Windows XP introduces a new gotcha:
Automatic Updates - if enabled, an attempt is made every 5 minutes to "check in with Microsoft" to see if there are any new security patches or other system updates that correct newly discovered flaws or security problems. By default, Microsoft will try and persuade you to keep Automatic Updates ON.
The problem occurs when a new modem is installed: an undocumented feature of Automatic Updates becomes Automatic Disconnect: while your new modem may work just fine, you may find it works only for 5 minutes and disconnects. Every time. That's because Automatic Updates has become 'Automatic Disconnect'.
To fix this problem:
From Control Panel -> System, click on the Automatic Updates tab: