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HELP! Can't Remove Flex Virtual COM PORTS

Steve W6SDM
Steve W6SDM Member ✭✭

I can't seem to remove my FLEX Virtual COM Ports from Windows 10. No matter what I do, they keep coming back - like ****. I read Tim's article on the subject and followed it carefully but after a reboot, the ports are there again.

The problem is that CAT doesn't see them. Something happened to my system and the ports that have been working for a long time no longer show up in CAT but they are there in Device Manager. This happened a few years ago and I was able to remove the ports in device manager and then reinstall them using CAT. Not this time.

Any help would be very much appreciated.

73,

Steve, W6SDM

Comments

  • ka9ees
    ka9ees Fithian IL USAMember ✭✭✭

    @Steve W6SDM

    Open CAT. Right click on the on the remove button. Click on the reset FlexVSP ports. That will allow SmartSDR CAT to see them again. Don't try to remove them in WIndows. That can cause problems.

  • Steve W6SDM
    Steve W6SDM Member ✭✭

    Thank you! I know that trying to remove them in Windows is as hard as killing Zombies.

  • Steve W6SDM
    Steve W6SDM Member ✭✭

    Is there a way to remove all of the existing Flex Virtual COM Ports and start from scratch?


    Steve, W6SDM

  • ka9ees
    ka9ees Fithian IL USAMember ✭✭✭

    Open CAT. High lite the port and click remove.

  • Steve W6SDM
    Steve W6SDM Member ✭✭

    That's works if the ports show up in CAT. Some of my ports show up in Device Manager but not in CAT, and they are Flex Virtual Ports. If I disable them and uninstall them in Device Manager, they come back.

    Steve, W6SDM

  • WX7Y
    WX7Y Eastern Utah, USAMember ✭✭✭

    THIS IS DANGERIOUS AND MAY BREAK YOUR WINDOWS OS SO USE AT YOUR OWN RISK, YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!

    I hate to Send you down this path but it may take a bit of Registry Editing.

    1st make sure you can't see them in SmartCAT

    2: In device manager click View and click on show hidden devices.

    THE NEXT STEP IS DANGERIOUS AND MAY BREAK YOUR WINDOWS OS SO USE AT YOUR OWN RISK.

    3: once the COM ports are deleted search for regedit and run it as administrator, MAKE A BACKUP of the registry, now search for COM and be very careful you delete JUST the bad ports, search thru the registry twice

    Save the Registry and reboot the computer immediately,

    Hopefully they will be gone

  • Mike-VA3MW
    Mike-VA3MW Administrator, FlexRadio Employee, Community Manager, Super Elmer, Moderator admin
  • Steve W6SDM
    Steve W6SDM Member ✭✭

    Bret,

    Thank you. I am familiar with the registry editor so I will give that a try. I will go through it a couple of times and see what's all there before I delete anything.

    73,

    Steve

  • Steve W6SDM
    Steve W6SDM Member ✭✭

    Mike,

    One thing I haven't done yet is to remove SSDR and then try to uninstall the ports in Device Manager. I have everything working by installing new ports and redirecting the apps to them but I hate the clutter of unused ghost ports hanging around in Windows.

    73,

    Steve

  • Mike-VA3MW
    Mike-VA3MW Administrator, FlexRadio Employee, Community Manager, Super Elmer, Moderator admin
    edited January 2022

    @Steve W6SDM

    You can try that, but based on all the other comments in the people who have been down this path, it has not been a reliable fix. There is something else within the operating system that is causing all these conflicts and failures.

    If you can find the root cause, then we can work towards understanding why it is happening. As VE3HG posted last week, only a total reinstall of Windows fully resolved it and he spent about a year trying to figure out why.

    I had a similar problem when I got my IC-9700 and the USB/RS232 drivers wouldn't work on one computer. Icom's advice was to fully rebuild the computer from scratch and that resolved it. Yes, it was something I didn't really want to do, but it resolved it.

    Mike

  • Tim's procedure for removing com ports in Windows should work. Be sure to reboot the computer after removing and then go back in to check that they were removed. For me, the solution this time, (after removing com ports) was to remove SSDR, including DAX and CAT using add/remove in Windows and then reinstalling SSDR 3.2.39 as before. All my configurations were still there, including all my many profiles. It is working fine right now.

    Best 73 All, Jim

  • Robby
    Robby Member ✭✭

    I lost my FLEX 6400 along with everything else electrical in a lightning event in December. Shortly before that I suffered a **** so I was not capable or interested in restoring my statioin until recently. I had many more important issues to deal with.

    Now I hope to try to get back to radio. My code speed dropped about 16 WPM and I would like to try to get it back if possible.

    A friend kindly sent me a K3 as a gift to help enable me to get on the air a few months later. Now I want to use the K3 as I cannot afford to gamble on the cost of repair of my 6400. Flex Support wants me to send it to them but that will be expensive from my QTH. They hint that I would need to buy a new one. That would take several months living on half my pension and does not appeal to me much as I miss my Flex.

    My problem is that the FLEX virtual com ports still exist on my PC and I can't get rid of them since I cannot load the SSDR software without the hardware. This prevents me from using N1MM with the K3 while waiting to decide what to do about FLEX Radio.

    Since I have a K3 that works and a FLEX 6400 that does not, I am not encouraged to exist on half of my pension for several months.

    How do I get rid of the Flex virtual com ports so I can use N1MM on the K3?

    (Long story. Sorry.)

    73

    Robby/HP3SS

  • Mike-VA3MW
    Mike-VA3MW Administrator, FlexRadio Employee, Community Manager, Super Elmer, Moderator admin

    Hi Robby

    So sorry to hear about your health and your station. Our condolences.

    This paper on the FlexRadio site should do it for you.

    1. Power on your FLEX-6000
    2. Open SmartSDR CAT and make sure it is connected to your radio.
    3. On the SmartCAT window, place your mouse cursor over the REMOVE button and right mouse click to bring up the Remove Menu options
    4. Select Reset FlexVSP drivers
    5. Wait about a minute
    6. Then run this procedure:
    7. https://helpdesk.flexradio.com/hc/en-us/articles/115000504463-Removing-In-Use-Com-Ports-for-Available-Com-Ports
    8. Reboot your PC

    Of course, that doesn't work if you can't connect the radio, so please open a support ticket if just uninstalling SmartSDR didn't give you the option to remove the VSP drivers.

    As for the K3, you just need to find a port number that is not already in use. Ports can be manually deleted or renumbered in Windows Device Manager.

    Lightning damage is pretty hard to fix. If it just takes out a power supply, which it often does, then the fix is simple. But, if it arcs around internally to the radio, there is no guarantee that restoring a radio to factory specifications is even possible. It just takes too much time to work on each stage and ensure that it has no issues.

    A friend of mine had the same problem with his K3. He's pretty good under the covers and after 20+ hours of working on it, it works well enough, say 90% but it still does some strange things. It is about diminishing returns.

    I gather you would have gone down the insurance route if you could to have it replaced if you could have.

    73

  • This is valuable info. Thanks

    Andy K3UK

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