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Enumerating serial ports - W2K style.

, 20 Jul 2002
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Enumerating the serial ports using the SetupDi* API provided with Win2K and later
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You might think that determining which serial ports are present on a Windows PC would be an easy task. It seems like a reasonable enough thing for the OS to support. Unfortunately, there was no support for it at all (short of reading the registry yourself) before Win2K, and even then, the API is a bit cumbersome.

The attached serial port enumeration code first determines which operating system it is running under, and then runs the appropriate routine to enumerate the serial ports. In Win 9x (and Me) it uses the registry. In W2K and later it uses the SetupAPI that was included in that version of the WinSDK. It also has support for "brute force" enumeration of serial ports under NT4.

Unfortunately, I statically linked with setupapi.lib, so the provided executable won't actually run under 95 and nt4 (I didn't really need to support those OS's for my application.) This could be finagled by replacing the SetupDi* function calls with dynamic binding via LoadLibrary if needed.

To use the EnumSerial code, simply include EnumSerial.cpp and .h in your project, and link with setupapi.lib in the win32 sdk (this is under "additional dependencies" in the project link settings in Visual Studio).

All you have to do now is #include "EnumSerial.h" in your source code, allocate an empty CArray of SSerInfo structs, and make a call to EnumSerialPorts. It will populate your array with filled-out SSerInfo structs which contain the following information:

CString strDevPath;      // Device path for use with CreateFile()
CString strPortName;     // Simple name (i.e. COM1)
CString strFriendlyName; // Full name to be displayed to a user
BOOL bUsbDevice;         // Provided through a USB connection?
CString strPortDesc;     // friendly name without the COMx


CArray<SSerInfo,SSerInfo&> asi;
EnumSerialPorts(asi,FALSE/*include all*/);


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About the Author

Zach Gorman

United States United States
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Comments and Discussions

QuestionEnumSerial class Pinmemberalkam11-Aug-11 10:52 
does anyone know how to modify the enumseral code so that only the usb port can be populated on the output screen? i've been trying to modify it but haven't find any luck.
GeneralERROR_INVALID_USER_BUFFER PinmemberMaciej Polanczyk11-Dec-08 21:55 
GeneralQuestion on bidirectional USB Pinmembergbeez22-May-08 11:49 
QuestionHow can I get Serial port properties? Pinmembermazhar_cse4-Feb-08 20:08 
QuestionLNK2019 error Pinmemberbob go4-Nov-07 20:46 
QuestionTest for connection to USB bus Pinmembersay.hello5-Oct-06 9:51 
GeneralObtaining the PortName PinmemberPatrickA26-Nov-04 2:01 
GeneralRemoval relations Pinmemberyonalevine9-Nov-04 23:29 
GeneralUsing SetupAPI Functions Pinsussmajid taghiloo8-Jun-04 0:03 
GeneralClaim/Release SerialPort Pinmemberorfeas2913-Apr-04 1:08 
GeneralUSB/Serial cables in Win98 &amp; WinME PinmemberHoward C. Anderson10-Nov-03 6:26 
QuestionHow to identify application which has access to port? PinmemberJoerg Hoffmann11-Apr-03 0:35 
AnswerRe: How to identify application which has access to port? PinmemberZach Gorman11-Apr-03 6:00 
QuestionAny idea how to get friendly names on NT? PinmemberJoerg Hoffmann10-Apr-03 5:54 
AnswerRe: Any idea how to get friendly names on NT? PinmemberZach Gorman10-Apr-03 7:19 
GeneralRe: Any idea how to get friendly names on NT? PinmemberJoerg Hoffmann10-Apr-03 21:22 
GeneralFTDI(Win98) and PCI modem(WinXP) PinsussPabloII22-Dec-02 21:59 
GeneralRe: FTDI(Win98) and PCI modem(WinXP) PinmemberZach Gorman7-Jan-03 10:40 
GeneralRe: FTDI(Win98) and PCI modem(WinXP) PinmemberChristian B21-Apr-03 10:05 
GeneralRe: FTDI(Win98) and PCI modem(WinXP) PinmemberSamuliA5-Sep-06 0:26 
GeneralRe: FTDI(Win98) and PCI modem(WinXP) Pinmembergrandmasta14-Nov-07 22:32 
GeneralData Structure Item Missing in EnumPortsWdm Pinmemberavidgator7-Aug-02 6:25 
GeneralRe: Data Structure Item Missing in EnumPortsWdm PinmemberZach Gorman10-Aug-02 8:36 
GeneralRe: Data Structure Item Missing in EnumPortsWdm PinmemberChristian B21-Apr-03 10:02 
GeneralRe: Data Structure Item Missing in EnumPortsWdm PinmemberPeter Wurmsdobler10-Jun-04 4:40 

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