COM Port Blues

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.hardware (More info?)

Ok, I first off admit I don't know much about this stuff, so please excuse me if I
might ask a dumb question here.

I'm trying to install a program (Softimage XSI for those who might be curious) on my
PC (Sony Vaio) which is running XP Home.

The program comes in two parts. The problem is....the main graphics program utilizes
a server (the secondary part of the program) which must make use of either COM 1 or
COM 2. The main program "communicates" with the secondary (server) program by use of
the COM port, even though both programs are installed on the same machine, (they do
this incase you might want to do network rendering...in which case you would have the
server program installed on some main super-computer somewhere)

Here's the problem: I do not seem to have any COM ports on my computer. In Device
Manager, under 'Ports', it only indicates that I have a printer port, (Printer Port
(LPT1)).

The Only place that I get any indication of a COM port is for a dial-up modem (which
I never use) which is on COM 3.

If this has anything to do with it, the are 3 PCI slots in my computer. One is being
used by a Radeon Video card. Another for a M-Audio sound card. And the last for that
dial-up modem. I can remove the modem. I never use the damn thing.

Is there any connection between PCI slots and COM ports? Can a PCI slot be used as a
COM port? How exactly could I go about finding out which COM ports my computer has
and is using. Nothing shows up in Device Manager as far as COM ports go. Can I set up
a "virtual" COM port if need be?

Once again, the program I'm installing must make use of either COM 1 or COM 2.

Any help much appreciated.
5 answers Last reply
More about port blues
  1. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.hardware (More info?)

    The easiest solution is to use a "real" com port. Look on
    the back of the computer for a 9 pin male connector in a
    DB style - two rows, one 5 pins and the other one 4 pins,
    with a sort of wedge shaped flange around it. That would
    be a com port, typically COM 1. If it is there, read on.
    Otherwise, you very likely have no com port.

    If the connector is there but no com port shows up in the
    device manager under the ports branch, it is probably
    turned off in CMOS (BIOS). You will need to boot into the
    CMOS setup screen - I hope you have a prompt to tell you
    which key to press during bootup, or you have
    instructions - and look in the "peripherals" section. The
    com port needs to be enabled there so Windows can detect
    it.

    After all this, you still have one potential problem.
    Historically, COM 1 and COM 3 shared IRQ 4. Because of
    that, trying to use both caused (at best) one not to
    work, or (more commonly) lock-ups when they were used. A
    check of the device manager for IRQ conflicts will tell
    the story. In that case you will have to change the modem
    com port assignment.

    Mike
    >-----Original Message-----
    >Ok, I first off admit I don't know much about this
    stuff, so please excuse me if I
    >might ask a dumb question here.
    >
    >I'm trying to install a program (Softimage XSI for those
    who might be curious) on my
    >PC (Sony Vaio) which is running XP Home.
    >
    >The program comes in two parts. The problem is....the
    main graphics program utilizes
    >a server (the secondary part of the program) which must
    make use of either COM 1 or
    >COM 2. The main program "communicates" with the
    secondary (server) program by use of
    >the COM port, even though both programs are installed on
    the same machine, (they do
    >this incase you might want to do network rendering...in
    which case you would have the
    >server program installed on some main super-computer
    somewhere)
    >
    >Here's the problem: I do not seem to have any COM ports
    on my computer. In Device
    >Manager, under 'Ports', it only indicates that I have a
    printer port, (Printer Port
    >(LPT1)).
    >
    >The Only place that I get any indication of a COM port
    is for a dial-up modem (which
    >I never use) which is on COM 3.
    >
    >If this has anything to do with it, the are 3 PCI slots
    in my computer. One is being
    >used by a Radeon Video card. Another for a M-Audio sound
    card. And the last for that
    >dial-up modem. I can remove the modem. I never use the
    damn thing.
    >
    >Is there any connection between PCI slots and COM
    ports? Can a PCI slot be used as a
    >COM port? How exactly could I go about finding out which
    COM ports my computer has
    >and is using. Nothing shows up in Device Manager as far
    as COM ports go. Can I set up
    >a "virtual" COM port if need be?
    >
    >Once again, the program I'm installing must make use of
    either COM 1 or COM 2.
    >
    >Any help much appreciated.
    >.
    >
  2. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.hardware (More info?)

    On Mon, 20 Sep 2004 20:32:09 -0700, "Michael Pardee"
    <anonymous@discussions.microsoft.com> wrote:

    >The easiest solution is to use a "real" com port. Look on
    >the back of the computer for a 9 pin male connector in a
    >DB style - two rows, one 5 pins and the other one 4 pins,
    >with a sort of wedge shaped flange around it. That would
    >be a com port, typically COM 1. If it is there, read on.
    >Otherwise, you very likely have no com port.

    Here's the strange part. There is what *should* be a connector there. However, it is
    "covered over" with a metal cap of some type. There are no screws or nuts to remove
    it. It just looks like it's permanent...almost as if it's a fused part of the metal
    casing itself. I'm familiar with the 9 pin type connector you're speaking of. This
    definitely is it (or at least the shape of it). Just has a metal cap over it that
    doesn't look like it was meant to be removed, and it came from the factory this way.
    Personally I've never seen anything like it. Where would I go from here?
  3. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.hardware (More info?)

    Well, since you don't have a built-in COM port, and you don't have any open
    PCI slots, you're going to have to remove that modem card, and replace it
    with a PCI bus serial I/O card. I'm sure you can find one at CompUSA, or a
    similar store. You might want to get one with at least 2 serial ports, so
    you can dedicate one to your application, and have the other available in
    case you need to hook up an external modem. When you configure your add-on
    COM ports, be sure to map the addresses and interrupts to the old ISA
    standards, or your software isn't likely to work:

    COM1: irq 4 address 03f8-03ff
    COM2: irq 3 address 02f8-02ff

    "Michael J." <graphics_N@nspam.net> wrote in message
    news:jovuk098t6apvvfdm8ec8uj4b2sod3vvkc@4ax.com...
    > Ok, I first off admit I don't know much about this stuff, so please excuse
    > me if I
    > might ask a dumb question here.
    >
    > I'm trying to install a program (Softimage XSI for those who might be
    > curious) on my
    > PC (Sony Vaio) which is running XP Home.
    >
    > The program comes in two parts. The problem is....the main graphics
    > program utilizes
    > a server (the secondary part of the program) which must make use of either
    > COM 1 or
    > COM 2. The main program "communicates" with the secondary (server) program
    > by use of
    > the COM port, even though both programs are installed on the same machine,
    > (they do
    > this incase you might want to do network rendering...in which case you
    > would have the
    > server program installed on some main super-computer somewhere)
    >
    > Here's the problem: I do not seem to have any COM ports on my computer. In
    > Device
    > Manager, under 'Ports', it only indicates that I have a printer port,
    > (Printer Port
    > (LPT1)).
    >
    > The Only place that I get any indication of a COM port is for a dial-up
    > modem (which
    > I never use) which is on COM 3.
    >
    > If this has anything to do with it, the are 3 PCI slots in my computer.
    > One is being
    > used by a Radeon Video card. Another for a M-Audio sound card. And the
    > last for that
    > dial-up modem. I can remove the modem. I never use the damn thing.
    >
    > Is there any connection between PCI slots and COM ports? Can a PCI slot
    > be used as a
    > COM port? How exactly could I go about finding out which COM ports my
    > computer has
    > and is using. Nothing shows up in Device Manager as far as COM ports go.
    > Can I set up
    > a "virtual" COM port if need be?
    >
    > Once again, the program I'm installing must make use of either COM 1 or
    > COM 2.
    >
    > Any help much appreciated.
  4. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.hardware (More info?)

    Hello,

    If my any chance you don't have a com port and this could be possible
    because you are installing in a Sony VAIO laptop right ? In this case you
    can buy a usb-com port adapter (this is a cable you connect to your usb port
    and at the end it has a com port) then you can configure it to use com1 or
    com2. I have a HP Omnibook XE3 that don't have a com port either and have a
    usb-com adapter...

    "Michael J." <graphics_N@nspam.net> wrote in message
    news:jovuk098t6apvvfdm8ec8uj4b2sod3vvkc@4ax.com...
    > Ok, I first off admit I don't know much about this stuff, so please excuse
    > me if I
    > might ask a dumb question here.
    >
    > I'm trying to install a program (Softimage XSI for those who might be
    > curious) on my
    > PC (Sony Vaio) which is running XP Home.
    >
    > The program comes in two parts. The problem is....the main graphics
    > program utilizes
    > a server (the secondary part of the program) which must make use of either
    > COM 1 or
    > COM 2. The main program "communicates" with the secondary (server) program
    > by use of
    > the COM port, even though both programs are installed on the same machine,
    > (they do
    > this incase you might want to do network rendering...in which case you
    > would have the
    > server program installed on some main super-computer somewhere)
    >
    > Here's the problem: I do not seem to have any COM ports on my computer. In
    > Device
    > Manager, under 'Ports', it only indicates that I have a printer port,
    > (Printer Port
    > (LPT1)).
    >
    > The Only place that I get any indication of a COM port is for a dial-up
    > modem (which
    > I never use) which is on COM 3.
    >
    > If this has anything to do with it, the are 3 PCI slots in my computer.
    > One is being
    > used by a Radeon Video card. Another for a M-Audio sound card. And the
    > last for that
    > dial-up modem. I can remove the modem. I never use the damn thing.
    >
    > Is there any connection between PCI slots and COM ports? Can a PCI slot
    > be used as a
    > COM port? How exactly could I go about finding out which COM ports my
    > computer has
    > and is using. Nothing shows up in Device Manager as far as COM ports go.
    > Can I set up
    > a "virtual" COM port if need be?
    >
    > Once again, the program I'm installing must make use of either COM 1 or
    > COM 2.
    >
    > Any help much appreciated.
  5. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.hardware (More info?)

    On Tue, 21 Sep 2004 11:51:01 +0100, "André Cruz" <andre.cruz@sapo.pt> wrote:

    >If my any chance you don't have a com port and this could be possible
    >because you are installing in a Sony VAIO laptop right ?

    Actually this is a Sony Vaio tower, model RZ26G. It's a puter set up exclusively for
    video work.

    > In this case you
    >can buy a usb-com port adapter (this is a cable you connect to your usb port
    >and at the end it has a com port) then you can configure it to use com1 or
    >com2. I have a HP Omnibook XE3 that don't have a com port either and have a
    >usb-com adapter...

    The only thing is... I believed the setup/install instructions say specifically that
    you cannot use a USB port, but that it must be either the "real" COM 2 or COM 1 port.
    Just as a side note: This computer does not use any COM ports for mouse or keyboard
    plug in either. It's all PS/2.
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