Windows 7 Desktop Shortcuts and USB COM port problems solved

A while back (I’ve been too busy to blog much for almost a year) I was puzzled to find some of my desktop shortcuts disappearing seemingly randomly. A page in the Microsoft Knowledge base explained why it was happening. In my particular case the shortcuts where pointing to network shares and documents and neither of the proposed solutions was right for me. Then in a flash of inspiration I realized that if I put those shortcuts inside of a folder on the desktop the System Maintenance troubleshooter doesn’t touch them.

My old XP box finally died so I had to move my USB to EIA-232 adaptors to my Win 7 box. Shuffling the devices around between various USB ports and hubs I saw the old problem of new COM port numbers being assigned to the adaptor with each USB port change. This of course rapidly leads to having to deal with COM10+. I vaguely remembered that there was a way to remove the extra ports so that once the adaptors where in their final USB destinations they’d have the low numbers I like. Searching around I found this excellent page with instructions.

See Also:
Device Manager does not display devices that are not connected to the Windows XP-based computer, from Microsfot
How to Find Hidden COM Ports, from Adafruit
USBDeview, from NirSoft

3/16/2015 Update: Updated the rttycontesting.com URL, added other reference URLS