FTDI FT232RL Devices and Windows COM Ports

If FTDI devices have the same vendor ID and product ID but different serial numbers, the Microsoft Windows system will normally treat them as different devices. This causes the drivers to be installed for each device and create registry entries for each device.

This means that every device, circuit or project which contains an FT232RL USB to TTL serial IC will get a new COM port assigned to it.

Whilst most users will be happy with this scenario, in a development or production environment where you are making boards and testing them, each board will get a new com port and they will soon get into the hundreds.

You can turn this feature off for FTDI chips by setting the Ignore Hardware Serial Number feature

You can do this by adding a couple of entries into the Windows Registry

  1. Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\UsbFlags
  2. Right-click usbflags, select New, select Binary Value
    • Name the new entry: IgnoreHWSerNum04036001
    • Double-click the new entry, enter 01, click OK
  3. Right-click usbflags, select New, select Binary Value
    • Name the new entry: IgnoreHWSerNum04036010
    • Double-click the new entry, enter 01, click OK

 

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