How do I find what program is using my serial port

Discussion in 'Computer Support' started by Lowly Engineer, Jan 24, 2006.

  1. I have a new computer with only 1 serial port (3F8-3FF, IRQ4).
    I use that serial port for firmware development for microcontrollers.
    The USB-serial converters just don't work well.
    I'm running XP Pro with all the latest updates.

    Recently I loaded several new programs. Those programs also loaded a
    whole slew of "helper applications". None of the programs are
    communication programs, and none should be using the serial port.
    Yet, when I went to open HYPERTERMINAL, it told me that it couldn't
    run because another program was using the serial port.

    I used MSCONFIG and removed about 15 different programs from both the
    STARTUP and the SERVICES tabs.

    Now my serial port works again. Is there any way I can find out which
    program hijacked COM1: without selecting each of the programs
    one-by-one and rebooting?
    Can't I just enable all the "possible offendors" and check something?

    FYI: some of the applications that I killed are:

    NVMixer Tray
    MicroTek Scanner Finder
    Adobe Gamma
    AutoCAD Startup Accelerator
    Adobe LM Service
    Ati Hotkey poller
    Autodesk Licensing Service
    Office Source Engine

    There are more, but you get the idea.

    Lowly Engineer, Jan 24, 2006
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  2. Lowly Engineer

    Toolman Tim Guest

    In Lowly Engineer spewed forth:
    Okay, Mr. L. Engineer, try troubleshooting by halves. Are you familiar with
    computer sorting algorithms? This is similar - and rather than trying one at
    a time, this should cut your troubleshooting time way down.

    First, re-enable HALF of the things you disabled. Then reboot. If your
    problem comes back, SWITCH HALVES. Reboot. If your problem is gone, you've
    cut the list of possible problems in half, right?

    So now, do it again: turn on half of THOSE items and reboot. Keep doing that
    over until you've narrowed it down to the offending item.
    Toolman Tim, Jan 24, 2006
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  3. The Scanner finder sounds a likely candidate to me.
    robertgibsonx, Jan 24, 2006
  4. You've come up a vast array of solutions in here, Tim, but think this
    half-vast approach is your best. ;)
    Blinky the Shark, Jan 24, 2006
  5. Yes, I should have thought of that - I actually WRITE code for

    Still, isn't there any Windows-based program that show what programs
    are using particular resources?
    Lowly Engineer, Jan 24, 2006
  6. Lowly Engineer

    Toolman Tim Guest

    In Blinky the Shark spewed forth:
    <VBG> It *is* what I do best...
    Toolman Tim, Jan 24, 2006
  7. Lowly Engineer

    Toolman Tim Guest

    In Lowly Engineer spewed forth:
    I imagine so - I've not used them though. Try the port monitor on this
    or maybe the some of the other neat tools.
    Toolman Tim, Jan 24, 2006
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