This article is from the GNU Chess and XBoard FAQ, by Tim Mann email@example.com with numerous contributions by others.
Here are solutions to some common problems in this area.
Some people want to connect to ICS through HyperTerminal or some other
terminal program first, then run WinBoard. This is not how it works.
WinBoard wants to talk directly with your modem, acting as a terminal
program itself. Start out with the modem "on hook" (not making a call).
Run WinBoard with a command line like this (adding more options if
WinBoard /ics /icscom com1
Use com2, com3, or com4 in place of com1 if your modem is connected to
one of those ports.
After you start WinBoard, you may need to change some of the options in
the Communications dialog (on the Options menu). The dialog has the
usual options for talking to modems: bits per second, bits per byte,
parity, number of stop bits. You will probably want to use Save Settings
Now when you're done.
Next, type dialing commands to your modem in the text window that
WinBoard creates. You may need to turn off Local Line Editing on the
Options menu while you are typing commands to your modem. Turn it back
on when you're done. See the WinBoard Help file for instructions if you
see your typing echoed an extra time after you hit Enter.