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Anybody else run into issues when using serial ports in Win10?
(applies to users of K108, K145, K190, etc.)

I upgraded a Win7 box to Win10 (pro) a few weeks ago. Yesterday, Windows wanted to do a reboot after applying some new updates. After the reboot, the serial ports have swapped.

This is what I found...
1) after the reboot, the serial ports (2 of) have been reversed -- what was COM1 now appears as COM2, and what was COM2 now appears as COM1.
2) if any external hardware is connected to one of the serial ports, the "Microsoft Serial Ballpoint" driver is automatically installed.

About 1): In DeviceManager, COM1 shows as linking to IRQ3, and COM2 shows as linking to IRQ4 -- this is the opposite of the traditional (pre-Win10) configuration. There were no external hardware/cable changes, this is strictly an internal Windows phenomenon. It's a bit of a head-scratcher at first, but the solution is simple: either swap (physical) port connections, or modify config settings in software (in mine, anyway).

Note: In DeviceManager, it's possible to modify settings for each COM Port. I'm out of my depth here, so while I played around a bit with these, I had no success, and reverted back to "Automatic" settings.

About 2): this Ballpoint driver ties up the port, making it unavailable to other devices. Pre-update, it would install *occasionally*, now it's *consistent* (tested over multiple reboots). The solution is to make sure all external hardware is disconnected from the serial ports, before doing a reboot.

A quick search of the Microsoft site shows the Serial Ballpoint driver is a long-standing issue. I couldn't find any reference to the serial ports being switched -- I'm guessing this is brand new, which would fit with the change appearing after the recent updates.


A side note... Microsoft has changed how updates are applied in Win10. If you're contemplating moving to Win10, *do* read up on how the new system works. I'm reminded of Laurie Anderson's song "Language is a Virus".

One thing I'm not clear about is how far Windows will go in pushing for a reboot, after updates are applied. I'm wondering if I have control/monitoring software running, will Windows reboot anyway? When yesterday's reboot notice appeared on my system, Windows had scheduled a time for the reboot (during a supposed "quiet" time). I should have waited to see what would happen at that point (instead of accepting an immediate reboot).


I'd be interested to hear other peoples' experience.


Feb 16/16

A follow-up to my earlier comments about Win10 updating process...
If Windows wants to do a reboot, it *will* do a reboot. It will give you some leeway -- a few hours to a few days, but eventually, if you don't commit to a time, it will force a reboot. It doesn't matter if apps are running, and a port is active, it will reboot anyway. The only way that I can see to avoid this is to disconnect from the network (so updates are not received).  

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