COM1 Windows XP VM on Windows 8

Best and free way to setup a COM1 serial connection for software that MUST run on Windows XP. Setup Windows XP VM on Windows 8 Hyper-V. Found some workarounds using named pipes and serial over TCP/IP (most were about Server 2008). Hoping since those were asked and answered that a better and/or easier solution is around for Windows 8. I am also familiar with virtual box (Oracle) so if that is a better Windows XP solution for software that needs COM1 then please advise solution using it. Either or both as long as I can get COM1 working for a VM on Windows8--thank you.
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Lionel MMSmall Business IT ConsultantAsked:
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Virtualbox and Hyper-V are different Hypervisor products.

VMware Workstation is a better product at supporting serial ports, and pass through to the VMs.
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Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
Agree that VMware does a better job with serial port passthrough.

In addition to the paid VMware Workstation, you could use the free VMware Player.
http://www.vmware.com/products/player/
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Lionel MMSmall Business IT ConsultantAuthor Commented:
hanccocka
I am aware that hyper-v and virtual box are different (say so above) but my question was "Best and free way to setup a COM1" and not something that would cost $250. Thanks.
garycase
Thanks for that -- I tried player in months past but it says the player can be used for non-commercial purposes only (unless I am mistaken). I need this for 2 PCs to run an old Win XP App that will be replaced in about 9 months when their update will be Win8 ready. Need something that is free to tide me over until then. I was just hopeful there was some easier solution than http://www.thermoguard.com/download/Hyper-V_Serial_Ports.pdf or http://www.goodjobsucking.com/?p=214.
Thanks.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
I'm afraid the free offerings are poor, compared to VMware Workstation, and unreliable.

If you want a trouble free implementation of providing serial pass through to a virtual machine I would recommend  VMware Workstation, and yes it may cost $250, but it functions much better than the free competition in our experience.
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Lionel MMSmall Business IT ConsultantAuthor Commented:
I understand that you have a view and an opinion but the question is asking for something free (best AND free). If $500 was easy to throw away for an app that get used maybe 5 times a month then we would gladly throw it away but $500 is a lot of money for us. I would find it much more helpful to get some information about how to do this, what issues you indicate you have encountered that made it unreliable than to simply tell me to buy something with money we can't afford. Thank you. Especially since I have indicated that we only need this for a period of about 9 months.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Hyper-V and Virtualbox are not reliable or stable to provide you with a solution. Commications keep timing out, which is why I do not recommend it, because otherwise, your next question after a few weeks would be "how do avoid these timeouts?".

So on that basis there is nothing available for free.

The issues we have seen do not provide a stable communication pipe via serial, and often we have recommended using USB to Serial Adaptors.

e.g. hosting USB devices within the VM if supported.
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Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
"... I'm afraid the free offerings are poor, compared to VMware Workstation, and unreliable. "  ==>  I disagree (at least a bit).    I've found VMware Player every bit as good as Workstation for RUNNING VM's.    I don't use it for myself -- I use Workstation because of the Snapshots (an invaluable feature IMHO) ... but I do use it on some spare systems and haven't found it any less reliable than Workstation.

"...  I tried player in months past but it says the player can be used for non-commercial purposes only ... ==>  You're correct.    I wasn't aware this wasn't for your personal use.    You can buy "Player Plus" for $99, however, which is licensed for commercial use and is much more economical than using Workstation:   http://www.vmware.com/products/player/
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
@gary....

Just to be clear, I was referring to the OPs chosen free products! (FREE Hyper-V and Virtualbox.)

Player/Workstation much the same code!
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Lionel MMSmall Business IT ConsultantAuthor Commented:
Ended up using http://www.thermoguard.com/download/Hyper-V_Serial_Ports.pdf. I even tried VM Player but could not get it to work. Installed the system this past Tuesday at the client and so got the workaround to work but could not get VM Ware to work.
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