Return to Index Page content: Analysis - Tips



Should the the infrared transmission not function as expected, IrCOMM2k must not cause the issue. To narrow down on potential root causes for problems , I've described below how to systematically look for potential problems and have added a few tips. Should someone wish to share own experience with other users, please notify me and I would be more than happy to enhance this area. 

Step-by-step analysis ("Wizard")

  1. Does the infrared adapter work without showing any error? => Yes

    How to test: 
    When a infrared device is placed in range of the PC - will an icon appear accordingly in the taskbar? Is there an audible notification of this event? Note that it may take a few seconds until Windows detects the device.

    Possible Causes:
    • Does the infrared device driver work according to the device manager? 

    • When using serial adapters (also internal ones): is the COM-Port used by the device properly configured? 

    • Is the proper driver configured for the adapter? 

    • Is the Infrared Monitor-service running (see Control Panel /Administrative Tools /Services)?

    • Does the adapter hardware function properly (e.g. when using a self-developed adapter for IR-connectivity installed on the system board)?

  1. Does Terminal-connection work? => Yes

    How to test: 
    IrCOMM2k was extensively tested with the Windows terminal-application HyperTerminal, it should work just fine with this application. Should you have access to a Infrared-enabled cell phone with built-in modem: start HyperTerminal, select the Infrared-COM-port, active Infrared in the cell phone and place it in range of the IR-adapter. Should you be able to to type "AT" (then press "Enter") within the terminal window, the cell phone should respond with "OK". A similar test could be executed with Handhelds. I installed ptelnet  on my Palm IIIx, which can communicate with HyperTerminal.

    Possible Causes:
    • It might be possible that the cell phone experiences difficulties to communicate with Windows 2000. Windows might report a disconnect of the IR-connection in the taskbar. An upgrade of the firmware in the cell phone might be helpful. It is suggested to test with other cell phones too.

    • It remains the possibility of a bug in IrCOMM2k. To report this, please use the form on the error report-page.

  1. Does Microsoft's IrCOMM-Patch resolve the problem? => No

    How to test: 
    Microsoft offers a Windows 2000 IrDA-security patch, it will be part of Service Pack 3 too. Besides fixing a bug this patch enables also a function which can emulate a virtual COM port for cell phones. More specifically: it will automatically provide a modem device for cell phone's it can detect.  While the cell phone is in range of the IR-adapter not only a modem device is available but also a virtual COM-Port, similar to the IrCOMM2k-implementation. The COM port number can be identified on the property page of the modem device. Some applications work better with this COM port than with IrCOMM2k. Many applications, however, simply refuse to function. The Microsoft patch and IrCOMM2k can co-exist without any issues. A quick look at this might not hurt, therefore. Windows XP, by the way, already contains this "50%" solution.

  1. Does the application in question function properly with Windows 9x/ME?

    How to test: 
    If you have access to a Windows 9x- or ME system, it might be worthwhile to verify if the problem is not caused by the application itself. The 9x-systems have Microsoft's IrCOMM-Port incorporated. It will be activated automatically when installing the IR driver. How to enable the virtual virtual port in ME is described in Tips.

  1. Still no luck?

    Should even the below listed tips (please read first) not help to resolve the problem and if the issue is not one of the known issues in the software (refer to status-page), I would appreciate if you could send me a error report .

Additional Tips:

  • Installing cell phone-modems
    IrCOMM2k is not a "can-do-all" driver. Should you want to use your cell phone to dial up to the Internet, IrCOMM2k will only enable that a virtual, integrated modem is emulated for the Operating System to function like a standard modem. This means also, that this modem needs to be installed. Cell phone manufacturers usually offer a *.INF file for this purpose. When needed, the standard modem might serve as well (note: specific transmission modes such as HSCSD, GPRS or operating some cell phone's on 14400 Baud usually require additional configuration). Internet sites of cell phone manufacturers or one of the many Websites with information about cell phones should be visited first. Please note that installation documentation for a connection via a serial cable (data cable) is mostly 100% applicable to a connection via IR-COM port. 

    The "Infrared Modem Port" listed in "Dial Up and Network Connections" may also cause confusion. It might be good for something - I simply don't know for what. It just won't substitute for above-described modem installation. 

    Sending fax with the Siemens S35i

    When installing the S35i and using the file P35modem.inf provided by the vendor, you won't have much luck when sending faxes. This file appears to be buggy, which causes the S35i to be installed as a class 2 fax device. However, according to the manual and a statement from the vendor this cell phone only support class 0 and 1.

    In order to resolve this issue, one needs to delete the modem and re-install it while using a corrected INF file. You may correct the problem in INF file with any text editor. Find the the row reading HKR, Fax, FixModemClass,, "2" and replace the number 2 with the number 1.

  • Hibernation Issues (Suspend-To-Disk)
    According to a user report, problems with hibernation could be experienced after IrCOMM2k was installed. Apparently Windows suddenly begins reporting that a different driver (in this user's case flpydsk.sys) prevents hibernating the system. In such cases, it may help to uninstall the driver mentioned in the error message (=removing the device related to the driver),  then to restart the system and to re-install the driver.
  • IrCOMM2k uses an inconvenient COM-Port-Nummer
    When IrCOMM2k is installed, the system assigns a COM-port, which the driver should use. On occasion, this assignment might not be without problems. Sometimes IrCOMM2k is assigned a port greater than 4, therefore it might not be accessible for some applications.

    Introduced with version 1.2.0 one can select the desired COM port during the first-time setup. Should IrCOMM2k already exist on a system, it has to be removed altogether, then you should start Setup.exe again and will be able to choose the desired COM port.

    In rare cases the assignment does not work as expected. If you are not afraid to edit the Windows registry, manual assignment of the COM port number is possible. But first you need to be sure that there is in fact no conflict with a different COM port. Be careful if COM2 appears to be available! A serial IR-adapter, especially on-board-adapters, seem to allocate this internal port in Windows, this may cause conflicts.

    In order to manually specify the port, start regedt32.exe (e.g. via "Run" in the Start Menu). Below Registry-entries have to be adjusted, some require additional access rights:

    • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Ports
      (should the desired COM port number be missing altogether, please add it)
    • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Enum\Root\IRCOMM2K\0000\FriendlyName
      (Cosmetic, so that the device manager displays a meaningful name)
    • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Enum\Root\IRCOMM2K\0000\Device Parameters\PortName

    When above changes were made, the virtual COM port has to be disabled, then re-enabled in the Device Manager (or, alternatively, restart the entire system).

    Since this process (I admit it... it's a bit complicated...) usually requires execution only once -if at all- during installation, I have so far avoided to have IrCOMM2k change the port number, this would require a very(!) complex function in the code. Instead, the existing method in the setup application (which appears to be working without issues) was quickly incorporated. But I might re-visit this for a later release...

    Dialing T-Online* won't work with IrCOMM2k

    The connection is terminated repeatedly after user name and password have been sent.

    The cause is within the status line of the modem and within the T-Online client software. Per default all status lines are disabled (enables quicker dial up via the Dial Up Network). Enabling those will permit dialing into T-Online. The configuration is explained in the Online-Manual.

    * ISP in Germany

  • Transmission Speed is only as high as 9600 Baud
    Low transmission speed (apparently or effectively) may be experienced due to a number of reasons.

    While using a cell phone as a modem, the speed is in fact limited to 9600 characters per second (in traditional GSM networks). Better throughput (14400 Baud without error control, HSCSD, GPRS) could be achieved depending on the type of the cell phone used and when using specific settings within the respective modem.  Further details should be obtained from the manufacturer.

    A few programs that use the virtual COM port of IrCOMM2k, may report that the connection utilizes only 9600 Baud. In most cases this "display" has no real meaning. Physical COM-Ports usually are configured by the applications to use the proper Baud rate. IrCOMM2k ignores a set command for the Baud rate, since the IrDA-protokol already ensures that both devices agree on the transmission speed. There is  unfortunately no way to identify this agreed-upon speed in Windows 2000/XP and to provide the application with the Baud rate of the virtual COM port. Thus, the port always returns 9600 Baud, which usually is not the reality.

    Finally, there is a chance that the maximum transmission speed of the IR adapter has been limited (verify the properties of the adapter in the device manager) or that both devices support no more than 9600 Baud (highly unlikely).

  • Use IrCOMM with Windows ME
    I am asked quite often if IrCOMM2k works with Windows ME too. But IrCOMM2k is neither designed for this Operating System, nor is it required. Microsoft simply hides the virtual COM- und LPT-ports in ME from the user (about their reason one could only speculate...). See Dschen Reineckes Infraredport-Site for a variety of manuals related to activating this port (in German only).

Updated: 08.18.2002
© 2001, 2002 Jan Kiszka - English Translation by Oliver Schneidemann
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