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Com port management in Windows XP Sp2

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Com port management in Windows XP Sp2

nasa
Hi,

I'm using a USB dongle on my Windows XP SP2 machine to connect a GPS receiver. It seems it connects allright to the receiver, but when using some testing software and having it configured to use the correct com port and speed, the software says 'COM14 open ERR!'
In Device Manager, COM14, Port Settings tab, Advanced button, COM Port number I see up to 256 ports, but some 40 of them are reported as 'in use'. I can't imagine what is using these com ports, because I don't have anything else connected.
Does anyone know how to find out what is connected to these comports and how to get the free ports reported as really free?
Does anyone have an idea why I could get the error of 'COM14 open ERR!'?

Thanks in advance for any reaction...
Cheers,
Sander