Thursday, August 20, 2009

Remove Hidden & Ghost Hardware from XP

Wow, it's been 2 weeks since I've posted. I don't really have any excuse, although my HAI UPB PIM died after less than a year. No warranty, of course, since I got it cheap off eBay. Anyway, I've been cleaning up my HA server today and thought this would be a useful topic.

One very annoying thing I've run into as I'm installing/removing hardware from my server is that I end up with unusable serial ports. For example, I was removing the bluetooth adapter quite often without uninstalling it. As as result, in the Device Manager, I ended up with things like Bluetooth Device (Personal Area Network) #26 and Standard Serial Port over Bluetooth link(COM25). Every time I unplugged the adapter, I lost 2 serial ports and created 2 more when I plugged it back in. This can cause a problem because some software isn't very happy with COM ports over a certain number. I suppose the easiest thing is to make sure to uninstall USB hardware like the bluetooth adapter before unplugging it, but sometimes you forget. In that case, here's a tip to help you uninstall the ghost devices and recover their resources. Thanks to this, I'm back down to COM11 instead of COM26 :)

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