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how to test COM1 serial port to see if broken?

Posted on 1999-09-04
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Last Modified: 2008-02-20
I bought a PC used and fear the COM1 serial port (only one on back of machine) doesn't work.  How can I verify whether or not it works?

I borrowed a MS serial port mouse and connected it, and in NT4 selected MS serial port mouse in mouse control panel, but after rebooting the mouse didn't work.

Is there a DOS diagnostic utility or something that can tell me?  The motherboard is an FIC, model PA-2005.  The BIOS doesn't seem to have diagnostic tests available, though I just upgraded it (Award).

Thanks,
Michael
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Question by:molivier
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15 Comments
 
LVL 6

Expert Comment

by:satwa
ID: 2023231
Yes make you a DOS boot disk, copy the Microsoft file: MOUSE.COM to this
boot disk.  Coinnect a good working Microsoft Serial mouse to the COM 1 port.
Boot the computer with the boot disk.  At the A:\ prompt type:
MOUSE.COM and press enter.  If the COM PORT is enabled, and the MS
serial Mouse is in good working order,  you will see on your screen:

MICROSOFT MOUSE DRIVER ENABLED.

If you see: MICROSFT MOUSE NOT FOUND, re-boot the computer,
select CMOS SETUP, by pressing  DEL, F1, CTRL+ALT+ESC or whatever
you have to do to get into setup on your computer.

Once inside setup go to your I/O settings and enable COM 1 or Serial 1,
according to the wording on your computer.

MOUSE.COM can be found on the 3rd or 4th setup disk for Windows 3.1.
sometimes it is listed as MOUSE.CO_ and has to be expanded.

If you are unavble to locate MOUSE.COM,  post your e-mail address here and
I will e-mail you a copy of it.
0
 
LVL 4

Expert Comment

by:Gtrist
ID: 2023284
There are comm port testing utilities available that will do the job. They require that you build a loopback connector for sending signals out and looping them back in again. I believe that I have a copy around if you want it.
0
 
LVL 4

Expert Comment

by:chewymon
ID: 2023380
Remember that the serial port on the back is not necessarily COM1.  COM1 is an address that can be set to the external serial port or not.
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LVL 6

Expert Comment

by:satwa
ID: 2023559
chewymon:
that is why testing these ports with a serial mouse and MOUSE.COM is so
successful, because when the mouse is enabled MOUSE.COM creates a file
called MOUSE.INI.  When you open MOUSE.INI, it tells you if the port is set
to COM1, COM2, COM3, COM4, etc.

note: if you install MOUSE.COM in C:\MOUSE, the file MOUSE.INI will be
created in C:\MOUSE.  If you install it elsewhre, the MOUSE.INI file will be
created elsewhere.
0
 
LVL 2

Expert Comment

by:ViperOne
ID: 2023581
Satwa is right, but as you're using NT you might wanna put everything on the floppy.

Simon
0
 
LVL 6

Expert Comment

by:satwa
ID: 2023663
You do not need anything but DOS on the floppy boot disk if you have MOUSE.COM on the floppy boot disk.  MOUSE.INI will be written to the floppy
boot disk, if MOUSE.COM IS THERE ALSO.

I apoloogize for not being clearer, I was mearly using that C:\MOUSE directory
as an example.

You can do what needs to be done from the DOS boot disk, without
distrubing the C:\ drive where NT is loaded.
0
 
LVL 8

Expert Comment

by:netmage
ID: 2023686
Do you have an internal modem?

Are you getting "event viewer' errors in NT?

0
 
LVL 4

Expert Comment

by:chewymon
ID: 2023867
>COM1 serial port

Just wanted to make sure that molivier understood the difference.
0
 

Author Comment

by:molivier
ID: 2024203
Thanks for the input everyone.  I would like to try the mouse.com approach but don't have a copy, so satwa -- if you can send me a copy I'd appreciate it!
0
 
LVL 6

Expert Comment

by:satwa
ID: 2024295
molivier:

please post your e-mail address here so that I can send you a copy.

If I do NOT have your e-mail address, I cannot send you a copy of MOUSE.COM.
0
 

Author Comment

by:molivier
ID: 2024308
Right, it's michaelo@dnai.com. Thanks.
0
 
LVL 6

Expert Comment

by:satwa
ID: 2024460
The file: MOUSE.COM has been sent to you as an e-mail attachment.

It should be at your e-mail site right now.
0
 

Author Comment

by:molivier
ID: 2024760
Satwa - you earned this - post something as an answer so I can credit you the points...

My serial port appears to be broken.  The mouse.com thing failed.  BIOS setup looks fine.  Can anyone suggest a cheap serial port card that will work with NT and Linux?  Or other suggestion?  Not a hardware guy...
0
 
LVL 6

Accepted Solution

by:
satwa earned 400 total points
ID: 2025239
This is my answer. MOUSE.COM WILL ALWAYS VERIFY ANY SERIAL PORT
FOR YOU IF YOU HAVE THE SERIAL PORT ENABLED IN CMOS SETUP.

ALL YOU NEED IS MOUSE.COM AND A MICROSOFT SERIAL MOUSE TO
TEST ANY SERIAL PORT.
0
 
LVL 6

Expert Comment

by:satwa
ID: 2025248
Yes, you can get a cheap serial port card from DALCO at:
http://www. dalco.com
part no. 61485 and part no. 61545 work with NT and Linux.

I personally have used both of them.
0

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