NB. This driver only works on Windows 2000 and above. With Vista and above you need to run VCOMConfig as Administrator.
It does not work on 64 bit versions of Windows.
This Driver, BPQVirtualCOM.sys, provides emulated(virtual) COM ports which are used by the BPQ TNC2 emulator to allow a program which was designed to talk to a standard TNC via a standard serial port to be used with the BPQ32 node.
Note that BPQ32 now includes two Virtual COM Drivers, this one and BPQVirtualSerial.sys.
This is a Kernel Mode Driver (ie runs as part of the operating system). BPQVirtualSerial.sys s a User Mode Driver
(ie runs as an application, not as part of the operating system). Each has its advantages and disadvantages:
This Driver (BPQVirtualCOM.sys)
Ports can be monitored using Portmon.
Doesn't work on 64 bit versions of Windows. (64 bit Kernal Drivers have to be signed, and that process costs quite a lot).
Devices don't show up in Device Manager.
Works on 64 bit versions of Windows.
Devices show up in Device Manager.
Cannot be monitored by Portmon.
The driver is loaded as part of the operating system. It can support up to 20 Virtual COM ports, from the range COM1 to COM255. The devices themselves can either be created when the system is loaded, or dynamically added and deleted by the application as required. The driver is installed and configured by running the program VCOMConfig. BPQVirtualCOM.sys must be in the current directory when VCOMConfig is run. The driver is loaded by clicking "Load Driver". Once installed, it will be loaded each time the system is booted. It can be uninstalled by clicking "Unload Driver".
VCOMConfig displays the currently defined Virtual COM ports (either permanent or dynamically defined). Ports may be added or deleted by selecting the COM port from the drop-down list, and clicking "Add" or "Delete".
To save the current configuration, so it will be restored when the system reboots, click "Save".
BPQVirtualCOM was based on ComEmulDrv serial port bridge driver, Copyright (c) 2002 MixW team www.mixw.net.
John Wiseman G8BPQ
Updated January 2012