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Article ID: 115831 - Last Review: March 1, 2005 - Revision: 3.3

This article was previously published under Q115831

SUMMARY

CreateFile() can be used to get a handle to a serial port. The "Win32 Programmer's Reference" entry for "CreateFile()" mentions that the share mode must be 0, the create parameter must be OPEN_EXISTING, and the template must be NULL.

CreateFile() is successful when you use "COM1" through "COM9" for the name of the file; however, the message
INVALID_HANDLE_VALUE
is returned if you use "COM10" or greater.

If the name of the port is \\.\COM10, the correct way to specify the serial port in a call to CreateFile() is as follows:
   CreateFile(
      "\\\\.\\COM10",     // address of name of the communications device
      fdwAccess,          // access (read-write) mode
      0,                  // share mode
      NULL,               // address of security descriptor
      OPEN_EXISTING,      // how to create
      0,                  // file attributes
      NULL                // handle of file with attributes to copy
   );

				
NOTES: This syntax also works for ports COM1 through COM9. Certain boards will let you choose the port names yourself. This syntax works for those names as well.

APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft Win32 Application Programming Interface, when used with:
    • Microsoft Windows 95
    • Microsoft Windows 98 Standard Edition
    • Microsoft Windows 2000 Standard Edition
    • Microsoft Windows Millennium Edition
    • Microsoft Windows NT 4.0
    • the operating system: Microsoft Windows XP
Keywords: 
kbhowto kbapi kbcommport kbkernbase kbserial KB115831
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