Com Ports or not

Acer / Aspire netbook
March 5, 2009 at 16:46:59
Specs: Windows XP SP3
A Friend has one of these and is trying to hook up a GPS to it using a serial/USB adapter.
He is having trouble and insists it has no Com Ports.
I maintain that everything has them as they are what the computer uses to see where everything is connected to it.
He says that no Ports are listed in the device manager.
Is it because the device or cord is defective or is it because he hasnt installed any drivers .
i would have thought it would see the connection and assign it a com port.
Advice please as he is adamant it hasnt got anyand I am equally certain that it does.
Thanks in advance

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March 5, 2009 at 17:20:00
Serial Com ports have kinda fallen out of favor. There are a lot of motherboards without them these days. The main use for them in the old days was a dial-up modem, but then the modems became available on PCI cards.

There are PCI cards with serial ports still available.

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March 5, 2009 at 18:40:31
I said in my post he is using an adapter to use the USB ports


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March 5, 2009 at 19:06:01
>> I maintain that everything has them as they are what the computer uses to see where everything is connected to it. <<

Whatever gives you that idea.

I take it you are using a serial to USB adaptor. Did yiu install the software that came with it? Not all USB devices are plug & play and until the software is installed the computer wont recognise the device. It will show up under USB Devices, not under Com ports. If the GPS software he is using is expecting a Com port it wont work as all you will see is a USB port.


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March 5, 2009 at 19:29:51
Maybe I am not explaining myself correctly.
What I mean is that things get assigned a com number by the machine.
EG modem com 5
Bluetooth com 9
What is happening his is giving a com port error and does not recognize the GPS
as i understand it he has installed the drivers that came with it and the netbook does not recognize it still

I use Copilot on my netbook and can alter the com from within the program to find my bluetooth GPS

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March 5, 2009 at 21:17:05
Some usb to serial don't allow changing of the com numbers. There seems to be a wide range of quality on those products. I had to buy a few until wife's gps would work. Some other reason too that had issues but I forget now.

"Best Practices", Event viewer, host file, perfmon, antivirus, anti-spyware, Live CD's, backups, are in my top 10

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March 6, 2009 at 05:19:30
Do USB ports utilize COM ports? I didn't think they did.


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March 6, 2009 at 06:25:37
FYI on my system I have two USB Hubs ,one has seven usb slots the other is a combination USB Hub and Memory card reader . The combination 4-Port USB/16-1 Memory card reader came with a installation disk and does show up under ports with Com 4 as the one being used ! The other 7 port USB Hub was plug and play and list each slot seperatly under Human Interface Devices ,both of the hardware devices are self powered ! l also have 5 usb ports on my tower ,these also do not have any com ports assigned to them !
Take Care ,Nick

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