How many serial ports are there?

1.Does someone have a function()/api that returns the number of serial ports installed on a system.

2. Is there a better way to test if a serial port is free other than trying to open the port and checking for errors.

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sachin_nigamConnect With a Mentor Commented:
One thing that you can do is try opening ports from number 1 to 16 in binary mode...if a port can be opened that means that port number is available..if cannot that means that port number isn' is the code snippet:-

Dim ffree as integer,i as integer,intPort as integer

for i = 1 to 16
On Error Resume Next
ffree = freefile
Open "COM" & cstr(i) For Binary Shared as #ffree
if Err.Number = 0 then ''means Port isd available
intPort = intPort + 1
Close #ffree
end if
Msgbox "Number of Ports:-" & intPort

Hope this helps

I found looping through the ports to be the easiest. There are, other methods.

1. Registry Method 1
Enumerate all values in key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\HARDWARE\DEVICEMAP\SERIALCOMM. Key names will be \Device\Serial0, \Device\Serial1, etc. The value is that port's name: COM1, COM2, etc.

Don't make the common mistake: SERIALCOMM is the key. \Device\Serial0 is the value name, slashes and all.

Drawback: You can not use scrrun.dll's Registry functions because you can not enumerate. Must use RegEnumKey.

2. Registry Method 2
Get the value from key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\ControlSet001\Control\COM Name Arbiter\. Value name COMDB. The first byte should tell you the next x for COMx to be assigned. I have not been able to verify this conclusively.

Drawback: You can have COM1, COM2 and COM8. Next is COM9 but that does not mean you have 8 ports.

GavinSAuthor Commented:
Hhmmm, Wasn't quite what I was after, but that will do for now. I've seen api functions posted on various vb web sites in the past that return the number of com port installed, but do you think I could find the damn things when I really wanted it. Not on your nelly!    -Thanks


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