How to check or modify COM port settings

Date Published: December 23, 2009

 

Last Updated: 2010-06-25

Applies To

 

Summary

You are having problems downloading your readers and need to verify the COM port settings for the Downloader or reinitialize the COM port.

 

If your Downloader is connected to your PC with a Serial cable:

  1. Right-click My Computer (Computer in Windows Vista & 7) and select Manage.
  2. In the left column, under System Tools, click Device Manager.
  3. In the right column, expand the Ports (COM & LPT) folder. Your serial port should be listed as Communications port (COM#). NOTE: depending on your PC’s configuration, the COM number may be different. Typically it is COM1 or COM2.
  4. NOTE: This applies to Direct Downloaders only; if you have a Mobile or Modem Downloader, skip to the next section to reinitialize your COM port. If the Serial port is listed, check the Device Manager list for a folder named Downloader.
  5. If the Downloader folder is present, expand it. You should see an entry for TKS Direct Downloader. Right-click this entry and select Properties.
  6. In the Properties window, the Location field will show the COM port the Downloader is attached to. Verify that this COM port exists in the Ports (COM & LPT) folder.

 

Many issues with Serial connections can be resolved by reinitializing the COM port. To do this:

  1. In Device Manager, expand the Ports (COM & LPT) folder.
  2. Right-click the COM port your Downloader is connected to and select Uninstall.
  3. Choose OK or Yes.
  4. You may be asked if you want to restart the computer. If so, choose Restart now, then click OK to restart the PC. If you are not asked to restart, close all open Windows and restart the PC.
  5. When the PC restarts, the COM port will be re-added automatically. Try downloading again to see if the problem is resolved.

 

If your Downloader is connected to your PC with a USB cable:

  1. Right-click My Computer (Computer in Windows Vista & 7) and select Manage.
  2. In the left column, under System Tools, click Device Manager.
  3. In the right column, expand the Ports (COM & LPT) folder. There should be an entry for Prolific USB-to-Serial Comm Port (COM#). If this entry is NOT present, skip to Step 4. If this entry is present and the COM number is 8 or lower, skip to Step 5. If the COM number is higher than 8, disconnect the USB cable from the PC, wait 10 seconds, and reconnect it to a different USB port. Check the “Prolific” entry to see what COM number is assigned. If it is now 8 or lower, skip to Step 5. If it is still higher than 8, you must manually assign the COM port:
    1. Right-click Prolific USB-to-Serial Comm Port (COM#) and select Properties.
    2. Click the Port Settings tab.
    3. Click Advanced.
    4. Click the COM Port Number drop-down arrow, then scroll to the top of the list.
    5. Find an available COM port between 1 and 8 and select it.
    6. Click OK.
    7. Click OK.
    8. Restart the PC, then open Device Manager and verify that the “Prolific” entry is on the desired COM port, then skip to Step 5.
  4. If the “Prolific” entry is not present, check the Device Manager list for a folder called Unknown Devices (with a yellow question mark). If that folder has an entry for USB Serial Controller (with a yellow question mark), the driver for your USB cable is not installed. The driver can be obtained from:
    • The Plug and Play Downloader Drivers CD that came with your system.
    • The Guard1 Plus 2.60 or higher CD.
    • The Attendant SE folder on the Guard1 Plus SE Server share.
    • Download the driver.
    1. To install the driver from CD or the Attendant SE folder:
      1. If using a CD, insert it now.  If it Autoplays, cancel the installer window.
      2. Right-click USB Serial Controller and select Update Driver.
      3. Follow the instructions onscreen to install the driver. Point the Wizard to the location of the driver (CD or folder).
    2. To install the driver from the downloaded file:
      1. Copy the downloaded file to a folder on the Guard1 Plus PC.
      2. Double-click the file to run the installer.
      3. Follow the onscreen prompts.
      4. When the installer finishes, restart the PC.
    3. When the driver is successfully installed, your Ports (COM & LPT) folder will show Prolific USB-to-Serial Comm Port (COM#).  Verify the COM number is 8 or lower. If higher than 8, go to Step 3.
  5. Open Guard1 Plus.
  6. Click the System Tab.
  7. If your Downloader is listed in the Downloaders folder:
    1. Right-click it and select Properties.
    2. On the Properties page, verify that the COM Port number is the same as that of the Prolific USB-to-Serial Comm Port entry in Device Manager. If necessary, change the Downloader's COM port to match the "Prolific" entry, then click the Save icon at the top of the Properties tab.
    3. Insert a PIPE in the Downloader, then click the Download Now icon at the top of the Properties tab. It should download successfully. If it does not, note any errors that you receive and contact Technical Support.
  8. If your Downloader is not listed in the Downloaders folder, right-click Downloaders and select Add Devices Wizard. Follow the onscreen instructions to add your Downloader. Refer to Adding a Downloader for more information.

 

More Information

Downloaders attached to COM ports higher than COM8 can not be detected by Guard1 Plus.

 

Devices such as PDAs (e.g. PalmPilot, Blackberry) and digital cameras often use synchronization utilities that can interfere with the COM port the Downloader is connected to. If you connect a PDA or camera to your system, make sure the synchronization utility used with the device is not running when you try to use the Downloader.

 

The TKS USB cable is actually a USB-to-Serial adapter. The COM port number for the USB cable is assigned by the PC when the USB cable is attached. Moving the USB cable to a different USB port will result in a different COM port number being assigned, and Guard1 Plus will no longer be able to see the Downloader. If you disconnect the USB cable from the PC for any reason, make sure you reconnect it to the same USB port. If you need to move the cable to a different USB port permanently, move the cable then delete and re-add your Downloader(s) using the Add Devices Wizard.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright © 2013-2016 TimeKeeping Systems, Inc.