Checking for Hidden or Ghosted COM Ports

  • 1
  • Idea
  • Updated 3 years ago
  • Implemented
I'm not sure whether Hidden or Ghosted COM ports still crop up occasionally, but I still take a look before I make any COM port changes and/or do a clean install of SmartSDR.  Here's a batch file to facilitate the process.  I named mine "ghost.bat" and it lives on my desktop.

@echo off
REM Sets Device Manager to show all COM devices
REM July 2017, KJ3P
@echo on
cd c:\
set devmgr_show_nonpresent_devices=1
set devmgr_show_details=1
@echo ***
@echo ***
@echo *** !! When Device Manager starts,
@echo ***    be sure to click "View" and select
@echo ***    "Show Hidden Devices".
@echo ***    Then, expand "Ports (COM & LPT)"
@echo ***  !!
@echo ***
start devmgmt.msc

  --- jim,  KJ3P
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Jim, KJ3P

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Posted 3 years ago

  • 1
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Steve W6SDM

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Very nice, Jim.  Even nicer, I didn't find any hidden devices.


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Clay N9IO

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Ditto Jim, I always do the same.

Hadn't thought of that, batch files can be a powerful time saver.

I will borrow this from you and create myself a .bat file in notepad.


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David NT8Y

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I had a similar bat file, however I like yours better, so I replaced mine with yours. Thanks.


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I decided to uninstall all previous versions before installing v2.0 I choose to uninstall the CAT configurations, which I later realized would have been compatible with 2.0  That decision required me to reinstall all my programs that communicate with my 6500. When SmartCAT would not allow me to create new ports I reached out to Dave, WO2X. The ghost ports were causing the errors. Using Team Viewer, Dave completely reconfigured 2.0, WSJT and LOG4OM in about 15 minutes. I wonder if its possible to create some sort of automated process to remove these if / when you wish to remove all earlier versions?

Dave is definitely a Flex Wizard! He ought to think about opening up a remote Flex configuration service! My advice for anyone who has not yet updated is to save the CAT configuration setup which should restore normal operation as soon as the upgrade is done.
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Stan - VA7NF

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Yes ghosted ports exist.  Whether previous to, or during, removal of 1.16 and the installation of V2.0 all COM ports from 3 to 155 became ghosted; I'm inclined to believe during rather than previous.  This prevented using CAT from assigning low ports or having N1MM use the high (160+) ports.
Removing them thenusing SmartCAT in "Normal" mode started things working again.