Download Free Tools and Utilities to Debug COM Ports

The third-party software tools listed on this page can be useful in application development and system problem diagnosis.  These tools can be used in conjunction with the Tactical Software COM port monitor and tracing features to debug COM port activity.

Tactical Software Redirector Configuration Replication

Configuration Snapshot Utility

Captures redirector configuration information in a form that can be used in subsequent command line installations to replicate all redirector settings.

TCP/IP Packet Capture

Wireshark (formerly known as Ethereal) is freeware program that records the details of network traffic.

COM Port Logging

PortMon is a free program that captures very detailed information at the COM port level and works with both real COM ports and virtual COM ports created by Tactical Software redirectors.

When submitting PortMon logs to Tactical Support, be sure to use Clock Time mode (using the Option | Clock Time menu command) and include a Trace Log file from the redirector that shows the same session.

System Debug Output Monitoring

DebugView is a free application that lets you monitor debug output on your local system, or any computer on the network that you can reach via TCP/IP. It can be used to capture the trace information emitted by Tactical Software redirectors that have been configured to send trace data to the system debug channel.

Tactical Redirectors starting with version 4.6 are able to send Trace Log information to DebugView in order to capture large logs that would normally fill the Trace Log buffer. 

To configure Tactical redirectors to send information to DebugView, open the Port Monitor, select the Trace tab, under the Trace Options menu select System Debug Output and check box labeled Send trace data to system debug channel.

Process Explorer
System Process Information

Process Explorer is a free program that shows information about which handles and DLLs processes have opened or loaded.  This is useful for determining what program/process is holding open both real and virtual COM ports.

In Process Explorer choose Find | Find Handle | enter: serial | then click Search.  This will give a list of all processes that have real or Tactical Software COM ports open.

To list only programs that are using Tactical Software COM ports instead enter:  siserial (for Serial/IP ports), deserial (for DialOut/EZ ports) or ciserial (for COM/IP ports).

Terminal Emulator

PuTTY is a free and open source terminal emulator application that can be used with Tactical Software virtual COM ports. PuTTY can be used as a replacement for HyperTerminal, which is not included with newer versions of Windows.