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Modem dials without dialtone?

I've just set up a debian woody system with an external Intel chipset
modem.  The modem is on the same telephone line as a fax machine, and
while the fax machine was receiving a fax I watched syslog as the modem
tried to dial out.  It didn't dial, and eventually came back with NO
DIALTONE.  All fine so far.

Later, while someone was talking on the line, the modem dialled while
they were talking.  Why would this happen?  Presumably the modem is set
to detect dialtone, since it failed during the fax transmission, but
then why wouldn't it fail when the line was in use for a voice call?

My only idea is to specifically set X4 and hope that fixes it, but I'm
not too confident.

Any ideas?  Is it likely to be just a poor modem, or is there a setting
that I can't find that will fix it?

I'd like to add that this is a server we've just built and sold with
debian Linux on -- our first!  (We've done plenty of Microsoft servers
previously.)  It's working as a file server (samba), email server
(fetchmail/exim/courier imap), and internet proxy server (squid).  It
went in as a cheaper alternative to Microsoft Exchange for a small
company that wanted a single shared mailbox for incoming email.  The
company also appreciates the Linux ethos.  Many thanks to everyone!

Randy Orrison
Keswick Computer Services

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