CAT invisible to device manager No COM ports in device manager, 3rd parties don't connect

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  • Updated 5 years ago
The CAT ports have disappeared.  No listing in Device manager and none of my 3rd party programs can connect to it.  I see this has happened before but not (as far as I can tell) with 1.3.8.   It was working fine earlier today but in the middle of something else (see below) I lost my CAT and it never came back.

I opened a support ticket (after hours) but I'm hoping someone knows a work-around.

Details:

I was setting up my remote system. I was rehearsing it at the shack so I had everything plugged in. Once I installed the remoterig's drivers (N.B. remoterig is a company that has devices that enable remote operation -- I had both at the shack at once to "rehearse" things), CAT has never been the same. I "lost" my usual COM4 for CAT and it never came back. I uninstalled the remoterig software and its drivers. No help. I uninstalled and reinstalled SmartSDR 1.3.8. No help. Windows does not "see" the drivers, even when I use a mode I found in the internet that is supposed to identify hidden devices.

When I do things like the FA; command under SmartCAT's test, I get a correct response. So, the basic flow is there. What it seems like is that somehow, SmartCAT does not "register" the port anymore, so programs like FliDigi and MixW2 cannot find it. I know that things are basically sound elsewhere, because I have other devices (e.g. serial emulation) and I can access and contact them just fine. Configuring a PTT port also fails. Basically, it's like SmartCAT knows it is there, SmartSDR (or the part running on the rig anyway) seems to respond to it. But no applications are able to "see" or open the port. So either it is not there (which is what Device Manager kinda sorta tells me by not listing it) or else it is somehow "jammed" open by some other program. But, I have rebooted and rebooted, and kept it pretty basic thereafter, so it's hard to grasp who that might be (the message says "not there or in use" which is why I mention this). I think it really just isn't there.

Anyone have any idea what to do?
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Larry Loen WO7R

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Posted 5 years ago

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Neal - K3NC, Elmer

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Is Smartsdr CAT running? If not, you will see the behavior that you are describing. Make sure you have not accidently turned off its starting up with the system (look at the Startup group in the Windows->View All Applications->Startup folder. If you do not see it, I would recommend uninstalling the SmartSDR package and then re-install it.

73
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Bill W2PKY

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In the device manager at the top view hidden ports. Had trouble today myself. Also if CAT comes up with connect to COM0 enter COM4 over that. Hope this helps.
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Bill W2PKY

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Look for starting Virtual Com Ports in service.msc in the Community.
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Thom Baxter

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You could spend hours troubleshooting, but in 10 minutes you could uninstall and reinstall and all would probably be great. This fixed the same issue for me.
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Bill W2PKY

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Re-installing didn't do it for me.
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Larry Loen WO7R

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Reinstalling failed for me too.  I don't know how to install SMARTCAT separately so I just reinstalled everything.  No joy..

Found and tried several combinations of the Virtual Serial Port Kit service and CAT running/not running.  No combination seems to affect anything.  Right now,  I am looking at CAT running, and being able to communicate (in test) with "COM4" or whatever it uses to get there.  The Virtual Serial Port Kit service is now running (as is CAT) and it thinks it has "created" COM4 for me.  But Device Manager sees nothing.  So, it isn't obviously sensitive to the order I start things.  Also, the service was running when I brought up the services display.  Maybe there's some Windows Fix that's the issue???  A bunch of those went on the system today.
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Larry Loen WO7R

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A little care bought a little extra information.  If I started CAT before the service, it does not know about the PTT port I created.  It still runs the test to "COM4" (or whatever it actually is) just fine.  When I kill CAT, bring up the VSPK service and then start CAT, it then finds the virtual ports.  This increasingly suggests to me that the problem is with the Virtual Serial Port service and not CAT proper.  Device manager stoically shows nothing no matter what I try.
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Andrew Russell

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Larry,

I have had this problem a few times. The fix is:

https://helpdesk.flexradio.com/hc/en-us/articles/200883925-Removing-Hidden-or-Ghosted-Com-ports

Even set up a batch file.

Set flex control if used to com30

Andrew

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Larry Loen WO7R

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Andrew, thanks.  I tried that before, but nothing magical happened.  Now I seem to have "half" a fix.  When I tried it again (thanks to your post) all of my old ports came up, including a few from a third party virtual controller I tried going back to the 5000.  I deleted those (which covered COM3 and COM4).  That wasn't enough. so I deleted the Flex virtual ports as well.  Now my problem seems to be that I can't get Smart CAT to recreate the ports.  After I deleted under DevMgr, it at least doesn't think the CAT5 I added for PTT exists anymore, especially as I told it to delete all virtual ports.  But, it seems to think COM4 exists.  Dev Manager seems about right now.  It shows the two real ports and it shows the RRC ports I installed yesterday.

I could try deleting those as well.  I deleted the drivers for those about eight hours ago and the device in question is not attached via USB/Serial anymore.  But, they "should be" unrelated to the problem and they don't claim port numbers that Flex CAT is trying to use.

So, I have a situation where Flex CAT still thinks the main port (still COM4) exists, but doesn't even have a "ghost" existence now.  I suppose that is better, but how do I get SmartSDR (CAT) to recreate the port?

I may try deleting the "unrelated" ports, rebooting, and seeing if it clears.  If all else fails, fix what is broken even if it isn't related.
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Larry Loen WO7R

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No progress.  Reinstalled SmartSDR (including CAT and DAX).  Other than having to clean up the DAX config to get that going, which only got me back to where I was (no CAT, no COM4) nothing has changed.  All "ghost" ports are gone, I just can't create any new ones.
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Larry Loen WO7R

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OK, this is definitely some kind of new problem or at least one nobody here has figured out.  For some reason, SmartCAT seems to think it is creating ports, but they never show up in Device Manager.  There are no phantom ports, the only ones showing up now (even when I set the "secret" bit to show phantom devices) are the ones that actually exist.  Just not the ones from Flex.  So, there are no port conflicts and even if  I create a 'dedicated' port and switch to it, it doesn't show up either.

Anyone know how to "completely" uninstall CAT so that it looks around and realizes that what it thinks exist do not actually exist?
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DrTeeth

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There is one very, very useful thing in windows that gets overlooked that is an absolute life saver. I use it even though I back up daily - it is System Restore. It is quick, easy, and does what it says and saves hours of faffing about trying to fix things.