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Problem Changing Com Port Assignments

Posted on 2007-04-02
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Last Modified: 2013-12-01
I recently had to reinstall Windows XP Professional (SP2) onto a Dell Dimension 8250.  I am slowly adding back all the software and hardware that was running on the machine.  I just installed my PCI Serial card that gives me a couple of serial com ports.  It installed just fine using the attached installation disk.  However, the devices I connect to the serial ports only have options to select Com ports 1-4.  Consequently, when I connect the external devices to the Com ports, the computer does not "see" them.  So, I accessed the Device Manager, Ports and selected the NetMos PCI Serial Port.  I selected Properties, Port Settings, Advanced.  An information box pops up informing me that I must have write privileges to the registry for this device in order to  modify this device's advanced features.  I am logged in as Administrator on my machine and should have full access (there are no other users).   I'm hopeful someone can help me gain access to the Advanced features of the card so I can change Com Port assignments.
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Question by:banethk
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10 Comments
 
LVL 88

Expert Comment

by:rindi
ID: 18841552
To get administrative rights to registry settings (the admin doesn't always have all rights, as some are just assigned to the system and no real user) you can right click that key and then select the security option. Now, if you can't add the admin account here already you can take ownership, similar to what you do in the ntfs filesystem. Once the admin is owner, you can also add users to the key.
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Author Comment

by:banethk
ID: 18841591
Rindi,
Thanks for responding.  I am by no means a computer expert.  Can you translate your advice so a dummy like me can understand?  I'm hopeful you can provide more specific advice.
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LVL 88

Accepted Solution

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rindi earned 2000 total points
ID: 18841620
If you open regedit and navigate to the key you want to change but don't have enough rights on, then right click that key, select the "Security" or "Permissions" option (I'm not sure what it is called, as I'm not using an english version at the moment), you should see a list of users which have what type of rights on that object. If you select the "advanced" option, you should have an "owner" tab. In there add yourself as Owner (take ownership), then you have enough rights to also add yourself in the previous list of users with enough rights so you can change or edit the object.
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Author Comment

by:banethk
ID: 18842892
Thanks Rindi.  I tried to find the right Key in the Registry.  HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE.  I selected Hardware and right-clicked MultifunctionAdapter.  I selected Permissions and selected Advanced.  I set the owner to me.  Still no luck.  I get the same warning in Device Manager when I try to chang Port assignments.
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LVL 88

Expert Comment

by:rindi
ID: 18843189
After setting the owner to yourself you also have to add yourself to those permitted. Making yourself owner only only allows you to add and change permissions. So when you right click "MultifunctionAdapter" and select "Permissions" and you aren't in the list, click on add and then add yourself. If you are in the list already, select yourself and then make sure everything in the "Allow" row is ticked. You might have to repeat this for the keys within that key too.
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Author Comment

by:banethk
ID: 18845572
Rindi,
Thanks again.  I just set myself up in the list as you suggested and then made sure that the Permissions were set as you suggested earlier.  Still no luck.  I'm beginning to think I have a bad driver (or bad install).  When I get some extra time later tonight, I will try to reinstall the MultifunctionAdapter card and drivers.  Thanks so much for your guidance.
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LVL 88

Expert Comment

by:rindi
ID: 18846031
Maybe you can also change the port settings directly in the registry and not via the device manager. A further thing that you should check or which could cause problems, the mainboard, if it isn't to new, probably has 2 builtin serial ports too. These could interfere with the port settings. You can often turn off the board's internal serial ports in the BIOS, or change their irq and address settings if they conflict with something else.
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Author Comment

by:banethk
ID: 18846491
Rindi,
I really hate opening up the computer case, so I sure appreciate your advice.  I was hopeful you could  provide some advice on how/where to find the specific registry key(s) to change Port assignments.  Also, I will check the BIOS to see if I can change IRQ and port setting of internal serial Com  ports.
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Author Comment

by:banethk
ID: 18848124
Rindi,
I had a chance to expand a little on your suggestion from earlier.  I went sequentially to each of the major Keys, including HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT as well as HARDWARE.  On the edit menu, I clicked on Permissions.  In the Groups box, I made sure both System and Administrator showed up.  I then clicked on Administrator.  I made sure that Read and Full Control were both checked in the box.  I did the same thing for System.  For System, I then clicked on Advanced.  I checked the box for Replace permission entries on all child...  I unchecked the Inherit from parent the permission entries...  As I mentioned before I did this sequentially for all the major Key categories.  IFor some reason, it was not enough just to correct Permissions in the Hardware Key.  Next, I rebooted.  Now, I am able to access Advanced Port settings.  Thanks for steering me in the right direction.
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LVL 88

Expert Comment

by:rindi
ID: 18848703
Your welcome.
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