I read today that the Windows 8.1 upgrade breaks Windows Fax and Scan’s ability to send a fax. I can confirm that it does indeed break Fax..

This is the problem.. FXST30.dll which is located in the Windows System32 folder

There is a fix.

  1. Download and save a new version of the file from here.. http://hevanet.com/hb/FXST30.dll 
  2. You may have to TAKE OWNERSHIP to do so, as this is a system file.
  3. Find the original in the Windows System 32 folder
  4. Rename it FXST30.old
  5. Copy the new file into the System 32 folder

The fix is done, and you will now be able to send and receive faxes via your analogue modem. Oh, and by the way, the above was the easy part.

How many faxes do you send per year? One, two maybe?

You see, Windows Fax and Scan has no distinctive ring facility. It is, like all Windows utilities, very basic..Sending a fax is easy enough. Your modem works as a regular phone and sends out the fax handshake squeals and blips which is picked up generally by a dedicated fax machine at the other end.

The return fax also sends out handshake squeals and blips which is really unpleasant to a human ear and completely unintelligible too. Plus, you have the added annoyance of answering machines which also can’t make head nor tail of the handshake. Your home phone system may have distinctive ring in the form of ‘virtual’ phones, but Windows Fax and Scan won’t know that and will answer EVERY call, even if it is picked up first by a human.

The net result is that you are unlikely to receive the return fax UNLESS you use a Fax Switch, cost $$$, a dedicated line, cost $$$$$, or a fax application like Snappy Fax, cost $$. Question: Are a couple of faxes per annum worth it?

Fax may seem antiquated today, but there are people who feel happier with the security of sending squeals and blips down a telephone line as opposed to using a ‘fax to email’ service across the Internet.  For my part, I never have anything that important to send to anybody, either time or content wise, so I use land mail.

Re Multi Function Centres, I don’t have one so can’t comment on their abilities, but my guess is that an MFC is probably the best way to handle home fax.